For someone who didn't watch the Grammys on TV, I sure did go to a lot of Grammy-related events this weekend.
I take that back. I caught a glimpse of I think Kanye West singing something while waiting for my friend Pam to get ready (she had the Grammys on TV when I came over Sunday night). Unmistakeable? Irreplaceable? Something like that? I was clearly impressed.
Several co-workers playfully accused me of being a "show whore" when I told them that prior to the private Dierks Bentley show I was scheduled to attend on Friday night, I would also be attending Yep Roc's Grammy Showcase at the Mint, thanks to Wanda and her college radio magic. We were mainly there to see Jim Lauderdale, who was nominated for (and later won!) Best Bluegrass Album for The Bluegrass Diaries. Jim's Friday night bluegrass set was pleasant but quiet, and a couple of times I wanted to punch the ass holes standing in front of us for talking so damn loud.
You'll have to ask Wanda about Peter Case and Doyle Bramhall, who followed Lauderdale, because after Jim, who was our priority, I went over to the Knitting Factory. I'm not embarrassed to admit that I'm a Dierks Bentley fan mainly because the very first time I saw him perform live, he did a really, really great job - and the merits of that one show (although I've seen him several times since then) have made me forgive him for not having a personality. Anyway, when I learned that Miranda Lambert and Dwight Yoakam were scheduled to make appearances, the value of this show skyrocketed for me.
And the show did not disappoint. I've seen Dierks enough times to kind of know his formula - I know that he's going to play the "hits," as well as "can't-miss" album cuts like "Domestic, Light, and Cold," "Cab of My Truck," "Wish It Would Break," etc. However, Dierks strayed from the norm with this show: instead playing album cuts like "Can't Live It Down," and introducing a new song, "Life on the Run." Miranda Lambert was the first guest to join Dierks for a duet of "Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way," which as you may recall, she performed with Jack Ingram on CMT Cross Country, and at this show, name-checked Jack - Nothin' wrong with that! (If you get that reference, know that I love you.) Following Miranda was Brad Paisley, who performed "Folsom Prison" and "Act Naturally" with Dierks. Next up - Mike McCready of Pearl Jam, who played guitar for another of Dierks' album cuts, "Distant Shore." The kids from Paramore were up next, and who knew Hayley could do "Jackson" so well?! They also performed the Foo Fighters' "My Hero," in honor of Chris Shiflett, who was scheduled but couldn't be there. The quote of the night belongs to my boss, who was in the restroom when Dwight Yoakam came out for the encore, to perform "Close Up the Honkytonks" and "Love's Gonna Live Here." "Wow, Dwight can really clear a bathroom!" was her comment upon returning to our post.
I took a breather from all-things Grammy on Saturday, before heading back over the Mint for the Americana Music Association's Grammy party, hosted by Sin City (I have now been to the Mint so many times in the past month, the girl at the door knows my last name). Pam and I are so cool that we said we'd be there at 9p, but we wound up leaving her place on the West Side at 9:30p. Fortunately, nothing really got underway until 10:30p, when the Sin-City All-Stars started their set. They're mostly a jam band, but guest appearances from Travis Howard (who performed "Famous In a Small Town," the song he co-wrote with Miranda Lambert, and which was nominated for a Grammy - but lost to Carrie Underwood) and Aaron from Shurman were much appreciated. Ted Russell Kamp was also in the audience, and if it was up to me, he'd have played, too. Jim Lauderdale was the well-deserved prince of the evening with his Grammy-win, and his hour-long set would have been awesome, enough....even if Lucinda Williams and Charlie Louvin hadn't come up on stage to sing with him! (Lucinda was standing right next to me for a little while - and I can honestly say I have never, ever been more nervous in MY LIFE).
People started clearing out around 1a, but they should have stuck around, because shortly afterward, Jim Lauderdale and Randy Kohrs started an impromptu acoustic performance by the bar. After two songs, it was suggested that the party be moved upstairs (I didn't even know the Mint had an upstairs!), but it was now 1:30a, and people, I had to be at work at 10a the next morning...and I don't like Monday mornings to begin with.
And now, I am Grammied out.