Monday, May 27, 2024

Grammy Wrap Up: Lee Ann Rimes Steals Foundation Show, OneRepublic Wows


There were a lot more parties, shows, and showcases this weekend in LA around the Grammy theme that I didn’t even get to tell you about.

On Thursday, The Grammy Foundation– the sister group to MusiCares–showcased a dozen acts at the Saban Theater at something called Play it Forward: A Celebration of Music’s Evolution and Influencers. Seagate, the company that makes hard drives, was the sponsor–they just launched a new line of attractively packaged 1T drives. NARAS VP Kristen Madsen gave a great speech about the importance of music through the ages including recent events in Timbuktu.

But who played: Lee Ann Rimes, who’s more in the tabloids recently, performed a remarkable blues number that blew the doors off the house. Good for her. Yolanda Adams led a gospel choir and was simply sublime–she went to church big time. She should be a bigger deal. Ed Sheeran, the new “it” guy, was lovely. George Thorogood rocke the house with “Bad to the Bone.” And Dionne Warwick, who opened the show, remains the class act of all time. She’s a pleasure.

On Saturday afternoon I ran into producer Don Was at the Universal-Interscope-DefJam lunch showcase at Lure in Hollywood. This was a first time event, and I hope they do it again. This is what all the record companies should do–offer a two song look at their cool artists to press. OneRepublic, Emili Sande, Florence and the Machine–were all the well known artists. Chrisette Michele was a revelation–she plays the guitar! I really liked Churchill and Imagine Dragons and Mayer Hawthorne too. Trinidad James, however, is a trip. Ellie Goulding has a beautiful, fragile sound.

Motown and Stax were built on their traveling revues, and in late 70s we killed for tickets to see Elvis Costello, Wreckless Eric, Lene Lovich and Rachel Sweet on the Stiff tours. We need more more more of this type of thing, especially with so many new artists hitting the scene.

PS One newer artist you must download, buy or stream: K’Naan. He’s in the UMG family. I wish they’d included him.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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