01 January 2008

Joan Armatrading excited about blues Grammy bid

LONDON (Billboard) - Singer/songwriter Joan Armatrading scored a couple of firsts in the U.S. music business in 2007.

"Into the Blues" -- her 16th studio release -- was the first CD by a British female artist to top Billboard's Blues Albums chart, when it debuted at No. 1 in May.

And earlier this month, she became the first female British artist to score a Grammy nomination in the contemporary blues album category.

"There's a couple of firsts happening here," she says with a laugh. "Not bad for a 57-year-old."

Armatrading, who has received two prior Grammy nominations, spent much of 2007 touring "Into the Blues" internationally. The disc, which has sold about 17,000 copies in the United States, It marks her first deep foray into the blues after an eclectic career spanning the pop, jazz, rock and R&B genres.

"There's blues on all the CDs," she says. "It's always this mixture, (but) I really wanted to just write one (style). What I enjoyed was that I could still be eclectic, because there's gospel blues, rock blues, swamp blues, all these different things happening."

Although there are no specific marketing plans around the nomination, Armatrading is looking forward to attending the Grammys ceremony in Los Angeles on February 10. She will be up against Doyle Bramhall, J.J. Cale & Eric Clapton, Robben Ford, and Bettye LaVette.

"You might hear artists saying awards don't mean anything," she says. "They're lying."


No comments: