Free Dirt Records artists Julian Lage & Chris Eldridge received a Grammy nomination in the category of Best Contemporary Instrumental Album for Mount Royal during Tuesday’s announcement by the Recording Academy. This is the label’s first Grammy nomination. The 60th Annual Grammy Awards will take place in New York City’s Madison Square Garden on Jan 28 and be broadcast live on CBS.
Mount Royal, the second full-length album from virtuosic guitar duo Julian Lage & Chris Eldridge, is a testament to the visceral power of incredible musicianship and true creative collaboration. Produced by Gabe Witcher (one of Eldridge’s fellow Punch Brothers), Mount Royal includes eight originals, several reimagined versions of old bluegrass songs, and a cover of Eddie Vedder’s “Sleeping By Myself” that is as engrossing as it is surprising. Lage’s notable jazz background is apparent, yet Mount Royal ventures into old-time, gospel and bluegrass without ever settling into one genre. The New Yorker has said of the project that “each song is delivered personally to the listener, like a letter” while NPR Music noted that “there's an intimacy and thoughtful mutuality to the way they trade licks and unfurl tendrils of melody together on their new album.” The Fretboard Journal called the duo “two of the most important young guitarists performing today” and Downbeat praised the duo’s “eloquent sophistication.”