This week the NCR Friday Five playlist features artists who represented country music at the 2016 Grammys last Monday.
1. â€œTravellerâ€ by Chris Stapleton
Stapleton claimed two titles with his album and song, Traveller, making him the most awarded country artist this year. His easy, carefree sound created a contagious wave of smiles when he played at the Grammys. Stapleton also performed alongside Gary Clark Jr. and Bonnie Raitt covering, â€œThe Thrill is Goneâ€ in tribute to the late B.B. King. In response to the night, Stapleton said, â€œThis is something that you never ever, ever dream of, so Iâ€™m super grateful for it.â€
2. â€œGirl Crushâ€ by Little Big Town
This song won Little Big Town the Best Country Duo/Group Performance, giving them a successful night as well. The group was also nominated for Best Country Album for Pain Killer. The group performed this song at the Grammys with a soft, a cappella opening before being carried off by an orchestra of strings.
3. â€œ24 Framesâ€ by Jason Isbell
This Americana artist walked away smiling with trophies for Best Americana Album and Best American Roots Song for writing, â€œ24 Frames.â€ When he accepted the award, Isbell offered some background to the song. â€œTwenty-four frames roll past the camera every second during a movie,â€ he explained. â€œIâ€™ve seen some stuff that’s faster, but it always looks like a British TV show. Thatâ€™s what the song is called, and I think itâ€™s really interesting â€” it kind of sounds like the way indie rock sounded when I was 15.â€
4. â€œHeartbeatâ€ by Carrie Underwood and Sam Hunt.
These two took the audience away somewhere with a clear starry sky, crisp night air, and maybe some moonlight dancing when they performed this song at the Grammys. Sam Hunt also performed his hit, â€œTake Your Timeâ€ with Underwood, and was nominated for Best New Artistâ€¦ but lost to Meghan Trainor. Underwood and Hunt had great stage chemistry as they traded verses back and forth until rising to a belted grand finale.
5. â€œHao Huaâ€ by Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn
These two may not sound like your typical western country music, but their haunting tone and tangled harmonies combined with the plucking of strings still carries a familiar sound. Fleck and Washburn won Best Folk Album for their self-titled Bluegrass/Americana release with some surprising Chinese influence. The album was released back on Oct. 7, 2014, and made their marriage in and out of the industry dubbed, â€œmusically official.â€