Mississippi gets to add to its distinction that it is home to the most Grammy nominations per capita after the 59th annual award nominations were announced Tuesday morning by the Recording Academy.
Three Mississippi icons were nominated in the traditional blues category: Bobby Rush, Vasti Jackson and Luther Dickinson. Pass Christian native Tig Notaro was also nominated for best comedy album.
2016 has been a breakout year for Notaro, whose album “Boyish Girl Interrupted” was nominated in the comedy category. Notaro’s show “One Mississippi” on Amazon has received sterling reviews and she received a Governor’s Award from Mississippi in February.
Rush, 82, earned the fourth Grammy nomination of his storied career for the album “Porcupine Meat,” which released on Rounder Records in September.
“My attitude now is that even when you lose, you win,” Rush said by phone. “You’re in the ballpark with such great entertainers. If you’re up for a Grammy among all of them, just being in the running is a winner. I’ll bring (the Grammy) in my heart, but if we win, I’ll bring it home in my hand.”
Jackson, a McComb native and Hattiesburg resident, received his first individual Grammy nomination for “The Soul of Jimmie Rodgers,” his homage to “the Father of Country music.” Jackson was cast in “Jimmie Rodgers: America’s Blue Yodeler,” the musical of Rodgers’ life. While preparing for the play at Meridian’s Little Theatre, he became inspired by Rodgers work.
“This is a very special moment for me as an artist,” Jackson said, noting that he’s worked on Grammy-nominated projects as performing and producer.”As I was practicing these songs (for America’s Blue Yodeler), they resonated with me and as I continued through the Jimmie Rodgers catalog...I couldn’t just listen and absorb (his work); once it was in, it had to come out.”
Jackson self-released the album in May, in conjunction with the play’s stage run. He is hopeful the play will return in 2017.
Dickinson, a Hernando resident, received his first individual Grammy nomination for “Blues & Ballads (A Folksinger’s Songbook: Volumes I & II).” Dickinson’s North Mississippi All-Stars have received three nominations in the contemporary blues category.
The winners will be announced Feb.19 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The 59th Grammy Awards will be broadcast by CBS beginning at 7 p.m. central.
View the complete list of nominees here.