It’s that time of year again when the nominees for the forthcoming Grammy Awards ceremony are announced, and it’s no surprise to see that the guitar and guitar-toting artists are heavily represented across the board.
Naturally, some of the guitar world’s biggest hitters have made the cut, with the likes of Megadeth, Ozzy Osbourne, Muse, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Black Keys and many more all receiving nominations in various categories.
Indeed, Osbourne – who finally released his long-awaited guitar tour-de-force Patient Number 9 this year – received four nominations for his effort, including nods in Best Rock Album, Best Rock Song (Patient Number 9, featuring Jeff Beck), Best Metal Performance (Degradation Rules, featuring Tony Iommi) and Best Rock Performance.
By extension, production aficionado and session guitarist Andrew Watt is also included in all the above categories as a result of the production work he contributed on Osbourne’s album.
Bryan Adams, Beck, The Black Keys, Idles, Turnstile and Brandi Carlile capped off the Best Rock Performance round-up, while the Best Rock Album category also featured divisive rapper-turned-guitar star Machine Gun Kelly, who delved deeper into the world of guitar music with Mainstream Sellout.
While on the topic of heavier music, Muse – who have won Best Rock Album on two previous occasions – received a surprising nomination in the Best Metal Performance category for their track, Kill Or Be Killed. It’s a nod that’s bound to raise a few eyebrows, but there’s no denying their 2022 album Will of The People was their heaviest LP for quite some time.
Muse shares the category with more conventional metal legends Megadeth – whose We’ll Be Back is up for selection – and Ghost, who have received a nod for their single Call Me Little Sunshine. When paired with Osbourne’s nomination and final nominee, Turnstile, Muse’s presence in the category is made all the more impressive.
Red Hot Chili Peppers’ highly anticipated reunion with guitar legend John Frusciante has also been rewarded by the Grammys, with their Hendrixian-esque single Black Summer – their first of the year – receiving a nomination for Best Rock Song.
One of the most impressive performances from the whole round-up comes from Bonnie Raitt. The blues-rock veteran was selected for four separate categories, with her track Just Like That making the Song Of The Year list alongside the likes of Adele’s Easy On Me, Beyoncé’s Break My Soul, Steve Lacy’s Bad Habit and Kendrick Lamar’s The Heart Part 5.
To see a slow, soulful acoustic guitar number share the spotlight with today’s biggest TikTok hits and chart-smashing pop romps is a very impressive outcome indeed.
Other high-profile guitar acts to receive nominations include Brothers Osborne, whose Midnight Rider’s Prayer is up for Best Country Duo/Group Performance.
Moving into the realm of the blues, stalwarts Eric Gales and Buddy Guy are up for Best Contemporary Blues Album and Best Traditional Blues Album, respectively, with the latter category also featuring Gov’t Mule’s Heavy Load Blues and John Mayall’s The Sun Is Shining Down.
As for the Contemporary Blues Album collection, Gales’ Crown – which was produced by Josh Smith and Joe Bonamassa – lines up alongside Edgar Winter’s Brother Johnny: a tribute album for the late Johnny Winter that featured a number of high-profile guest guitarists.
And, as further evidence that the future of the guitar is as bright as it has been for quite some time, it’s also been a successful year for emerging guitar-driven bands and artists – an observation made particularly clear by viral breakout act, Wet Leg.
The indie rock band – who went viral thanks to their infectious hit Chaise Longue – received three direct nominations, having been selected for Best New Artist, Best Alternative Music Performance – a new category for 2022 – and Best Alternative Music Album. Their self-titled debut is also up for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical.
Wet Leg share the two Best Alternative Music lists with Arctic Monkeys, Big Thief, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Björk, Arcade Fire and Florence + The Machine, with jam favorites Snarky Puppy headlining the Best Contemporary Instrumental Album category.
A handful of other brea-through artists from 2022 have enjoyed similar successes. Madison Cunningham received a nomination for Best Folk Album off the back of her sophomore studio LP, Revealer, while names such as Molly Tuttle and Eurovision 2021 winners Måneskin are both up for Best New Artist.
Head over to the Grammys website to see the full list of nominations.