The 63rd Grammy Awards nominations confirmed what we at Front Row Boston already knew: that despite an industry shuttering global pandemic, it was a stellar year in music. We had the pleasure of capturing some of the nominated musicians as they coursed their way through the Boston area. From intimate in-studio sessions to full concert recordings at House of Blues Boston, check out one-of-a-kind performances by Black Pumas, Big Thief, Marcus King, and more.
We traveled west to film Brooklyn-based Big Thief perform live at Gateway City Arts in 2018. Guitarist Buck Meek couldn't make the show, and the band's set took on a particularly intimate vibe with moments of full-volume energy. Among the backdrop of late summer cicadas by the canals of downtown Holyoke, Adrianne, Max, and James talked with us about touring and the importance of being present.
Big Thief has been nominated for Best Rock Performance, and singer/songwriter Adrienne Lenker has been nominated for Best Rock Song.
Black Pumas performed a live acoustic set in our Fraser Performance Studio in 2019. Lead guitarist/producer Adrian Quesada was held back by travel delays, but we were in great hands with vocalist/guitarist Eric Burton. Quesada and Burton met in Texas through a mutual friend who heard Burton busking in downtown Austin. The two connected and released their critically-acclaimed self-titled album.
Black Pumas have been nominated for Record of the Year, Album of the Year, and Best American Roots Performance.
Brooklyn Rider presented a gripping performance at our Fraser Performance Studio. Their eclectic repertoire draws rave reviews from classical, world, and rock critics alike. NPR credits the veteran string quartet with "recreating the 300-year-old form of string quartet as a vital and creative 21st-century ensemble."
Brooklyn Rider has been nominated for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance.
Marcus King brought a breathtaking acoustic performance to our Fraser Performance Studio in 2018. King's Grammy-nominated solo album El Dorado was produced by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys.
Marcus King has been nominated for Best Americana Album.
Sarah Jarosz (I'm With Her)
The celebrated folk trio I'm With Her—Sarah Jarosz, Sara Watkins, and Aoife O'Donovan—came together at House of Blues Boston to share their remarkable musicianship and extraordinary harmonies.
Sarah Jarosz has been nominated for Best American Roots Song and Best Americana Album.