The nominating committee for the National Academy Of Recording Arts & Sciences, who distribute the Grammy Awards each year, decided yesterday that the new release from Merle Haggard, titled The Bluegrass Sessions would not be eligible for Grammy consideration in the Best Bluegrass Album category in this year’s voting.
Billboard reported today that despite the CD being #1 on their Bluegrass chart the past four weeks, the new Haggard album would be considered in the Best Country Album category instead.
Chris Harris of McCoury Music, who released The Bluegrass Sessions, expressed some frustration with NARAS over this decision.
“When I contacted NARAS, they would not identify the committee, their qualifications, or why they don’t classify this album as bluegrass. Their stance just doesn’t make sense. With that said, of course, we’re grateful that members can at least vote for The Bluegrass Sessions in other country categories, including Country Album of the Year,” Harris said. “But by every reasonable definition, this is a bluegrass album, and we–Merle, Ronnie [Reno], Del [McCoury] and everyone involved in the project–think that Academy voters ought to be able to consider it for Best Bluegrass Album.”