The Grammys 2023: Best American Roots Song

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Once again, I hadn’t heard any of the songs in this category before yesterday.

“Bright Star,” performed by Anaïs Mitchell; Anaïs Mitchell, songwriter:

“Forever,” performed by Sheryl Crow; Sheryl Crow and Jeff Trott, songwriters:

“High and Lonesome,” performed by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss; T Bone Burnett and Robert Plant, songwriters:

“Just Like That,” performed by Bonnie Raitt; Bonnie Raitt, songwriter:

“Prodigal Daughter,” performed by Aoife O’Donovan and Allison Russell; Tim O’Brien and Aoife O’Donovan, songwriters:

“You and Me on the Rock,” performed by Brandi Carlile (featuring Lucius); Brandi Carlile, Phil Hanseroth and Time Hanseroth, songwriters:

Wow. Is it just me, or is it tough picking a favorite in this category? “Forever” is a good song. “Just Like That” just about undid me. What a powerful message. And “You and Me on the Rock” is adorable.

But “Prodigal Daughter” delighted me. O’Donovan’s gentle guitar picking is such a perfect accompaniment.

I first became aware of Aoife O’Donovan a decade ago, through this song from the Goat Rodeo Sessions (which also launched my obsession with Chris Thile, if you want to go down that rabbit hole, and yes, that is Yo Yo Ma rocking out on the cello):

Now it’s your turn. Which song gets your vote for Best American Roots song, and why? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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