Congratulations to the Smithsonian Folkways Recordings artists and producers who have earned four GRAMMY Award nominations, capping off the label’s seventy-fifth anniversary in 2023.
The four nominations join thirty previous Folkways nominations and nine wins to date. The Folkways catalog also contains eleven lifetime achievement award recipients. The 2024 winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on Sunday, February 4.
“We’re deeply honored to receive this recognition from the Recording Academy, especially as we celebrate seventy-five years of Folkways in 2023,” said director and curator Maureen Loughran. “These nominations top off a historic year for Smithsonian Folkways, and we look forward to the ceremony in February.”
The four nominations are:
- Best Album Notes: Playing for the Man at the Door: Field Recordings from the Collection of Mack McCormick, 1958–1971 (album notes by Jeff Place and John Troutman)
- Best Historical Album: Playing for the Man at the Door: Field Recordings from the Collection of Mack McCormick, 1958–1971
- Best Folk Album: Traveling Wildfire by Dom Flemons
- Best Bluegrass Album: Radio John: Songs of John Hartford by Sam Bush
In the 1950s and ’60s, Robert “Mack” McCormick captured the vibrant blues community in and around Texas through photographs, recordings, and interviews with local musicians. Playing for the Man at the Door is the first compilation from his legendary archive, showcasing both renowned and lesser-known artists. Accompanying this three-CD/six-LP set is a 128-page book featuring McCormick’s captivating photographs and essays on his life and the communities he documented. This release is in collaboration with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.
Dom Flemons has built a reputation on presenting a hundred years of American roots music, but now, with Traveling Wildfire, his own songwriting prowess comes into the spotlight. Carefully selected from his personal repertoire, these original songs reveal his love of country, western, blues, Americana, bluegrass, and folk music as they tell of true love, family legacy, survival, time travel, and the juxtaposition between light and dark. Traveling Wildfire weaves through the themes of hope and humor as it rises above the hard times with strength and lightheartedness.
Radio John: Songs of John Hartford is Sam Bush’s heartfelt tribute to his hero and mentor, John Hartford. With dedication, admiration, and love, Bush takes on personal favorites from Hartford’s vast catalog, including songs he played with Hartford on stage and in the studio in the 1970s. It is a testament to the impact Hartford had on American traditional music as a songwriter, an instrumentalist, and, most importantly, someone who fostered the careers of musicians like Bush and countless others, reinventing roots music in the last half of the twentieth century.
About Smithsonian Folkways
Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, the “National Museum of Sound,” makes available close to 60,000 tracks in physical and digital format as the nonprofit record label of the Smithsonian, with a reach of 80 million people per year. A division of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, the nonprofit label is dedicated to supporting cultural diversity, and increased understanding among people through the documentation, preservation, production, and dissemination of sound. Its mission is the legacy of Moses Asch, who founded Folkways Records in 1948 to document “people’s music” from around the world.