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North Bay rockers score five Grammy nods

By Greg Cahill

What started eight years ago as a two-man band with acoustic guitars and powerful voices honed in college coffeehouses has built up a full head of steam and become a record industry juggernaut of sorts. Train, a Bay Area band with Petaluma connections, is definitely on a roll.

The popular rock act picked up five Grammy Award nominations last week--including the coveted Song of the Year (a songwriter award) and Record of the Year (an artist and producer award)--on the strength of their Drops of Jupiter (Sony) album and the hit title track.

Those nominations put the band in such lofty company as U2, flower pop star Nelly Furtado, and soul singers India.Arie and Alicia Keys. Train's ruggedly handsome singer, songwriter, and guitarist Pat Monahan, a Pennsylvania native who now lives in Petaluma, was on hand when the nominations were announced Jan. 4 at a press conference in Beverly Hills. The 44th annual Grammy Awards, televised worldwide, will take place on Feb. 27 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Train also picked up nominations for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals, Best Rock Song, and Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists, all for the "Drops of Jupiter" single. The band, which launched their Drops of Jupiter tour earlier this year with a show at the Mystic Theatre, heads for Europe Jan. 13 for a two-week tour.

Other North Bay artists involved in Grammy-nominated projects include rock guitarist Joe Satriani (Best Rock Instrumental Performance: "Always with Me, Always with You"), former Journey axe slinger Neal Schon (Best Pop Instrumental Album: Voice), and Indian classical and jazz fusion tabla player Zakir Hussain (Best World Music Album: Saturday Night in Bombay: Remember Shakti with John McLaughlin).

A host of local blues acts were also tagged, including singer Maria Muldaur (Best Traditional Blues Album: Richland Woman Blues with Roy Rogers and Bonnie Raitt), guitarist Joe Louis Walker (Best Traditional Blues Album: Hellhound on My Trail: Songs of Robert Johnson), folk/blues great Geoff Muldaur (Best Traditional Folk Album: Avalon Blues: A Tribute to the Music of Mississippi John Hurt), and blues harmonica ace Charlie Musselwhite (Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album: Spirit of the Century with the Blind Boys of Alabama, featuring Musselwhite).

"Once again, this year's nominations reflect many different musical points of view, from those established artists whose influence has shaped the evolution of our musical language to newcomers who speak with a unique resonance," said Recording Academy President/CEO Michael Greene. "We are gratified to see so many truly talented singer/songwriters; they remain a vital part of music's foundation."

Meanwhile, Train also leads the list of nominees for the California Music Awards (formerly the Bammy Awards) with six nominations, including Outstanding Album, Outstanding Single, Outstanding Rock/Pop Album, Outstanding Group, Outstanding Male Vocalist, and Outstanding Songwriter. That gala awards ceremony recognizing significant musical contributions made by California artists will be held Saturday, April 27, at the Henry J. Kaiser Arena in Oakland.

Other North Bay favorites nominated for a California Music Awards include Joe Satriani and Les Claypool.

From the January 10-16, 2002 issue of the North Bay Bohemian.

© Metro Publishing Inc.

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