Dozens of Grammy hopefuls, each wearing a distinguishing white rose, circulated through a hall packed with well-wishers Tuesday night (Jan. 22) at the Recording Academy's annual party for nominees. The celebration took place at Nashville's elegant Loews Vanderbilt Plaza hotel.
Among the famous faces confronting the gauntlet of TV crews and guests were Vince Gill, Taylor Swift, Dierks Bentley, Montgomery Gentry and the Whites.
Tall, regal and radiant, Swift was the undisputed belle of the ball. Up for a best new artist Grammy, the 18-year-old singer-songwriter was beset by young and old admirers at every step -- and she was invariably gracious and attentive with each one. At one point, two little girls approached her, and she enveloped them in a sisterly embrace while her publicist snapped their picture with their camera phone.
Gill, with wife Amy Grant in tow, came to the party wearing a battered straw cowboy hat, which he kept firmly in place until he exited an hour or so later. He's in the running for both the album of the year and best new country album awards.
Most of the 11 members of the Time Jumpers showed up to bask in the glow of their two Grammy nods -- one for best country instrumental performance, the other for best country performance by a duo or group with vocals. This is the ad hoc band's first brush with national notoriety, although many of the individual musicians have worked with Grammy winners. Indeed, "Ranger Doug" Green, who sings and plays rhythm guitar with the Time Jumpers, has won Grammys as a member of Riders in the Sky.
Jean Hughey, widow of the Time Jumpers' late steel player, John Hughey, wore his white rose at the party and took part in the band's interviews.
Also making the rounds were Bentley (up for best male country vocal performance), Michael W. Smith (best pop-contemporary gospel album), Montgomery Gentry (best country performance by a duo or group with vocals), Buddy Cannon and Jamey Johnson (best country song), Walter Ostanek (best polka album), the Whites (best Southern, country or bluegrass gospel album), Buck Howdy with BB (best musical album for children), Paramore (best new artist) and Alabama's Teddy Gentry.
The 50th annual Grammy awards show will take place Feb. 10 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. It will be broadcast on CBS.