Like most awards shows this year, tonight’s Grammy Awards (hosted by The Daily Show‘s Trevor Noah), will be quite different from years past. Many presenters, including Lizzo and Ringo Starr, will be streaming in remotely, and workers from shuttered concert venues will be presenting awards.

Headliners include Taylor Swift, Dua Lipa, Billie Eilish, Megan Thee Stallion, Bad Bunny, and Harry Styles. There will also be performances from Black Pumas, Cardi B, Brandi Carlile, Mickey Guyton, HAIM, Brittany Howard, Miranda Lambert, Chris Martin, John Mayer and many more.

Be sure to tune in here at 3PM for the “Premiere Ceremony,” with host Jhené Aiko, where the majority of the awards are actually presented. It’s there where you’ll find many artists who have played the Folk and Jazz Festivals, including some who got their “big break” at Newport.

Check out my predictions below in those categories that include many of our favorite Newport performers. And enjoy the show!

Best Alternative Music Album –  Phoebe Bridgers The Punisher will take this one. Bridgers has crossed over to the mainstream for good reason- she’s courageous and talented. Fiona Apple is another top contender here with her acclaimed album Fetch the Bolt Cutters.

Best Rock Song – Brittany Howard’s “Stay High” is my pick, with several “Indie” artists competing for this one, almost all Newport Folk Festial veterans.

Best Rock Album – This is a wide open category featuring a range of artists. I’ll give it to Sturgill Simpson for his album Sound and Fury, but who knows, this one could go to The Strokes, Grace Potter, Michael Kiwanuka or Fontaines D.C. All quite worthy!

Best American Roots Song – John Prine’s “I Remember Everything,” will no doubt take this one. It’s the best song in the category, and the with the Award show coming almost a year after Prine’s death from COVID_19, he’s the sentimental favorite. Lucinda Williams’ “Man Without a Soul” is a close second here.

Best American Roots Performance – John Prine should rule all “Americana” categories, but I’m gonna go with Black Pumas “Colors.” But I still expect Prine to win.

Best Americana Album – This is a tough category … Sarah Jaroaz, Marcus King, Courtney Marie Andrews and Hiss Golden Messenger put out great albums last year, but I’m going with veteran Lucinda Williams, Good Souls, Better Angels.

Best Traditional Blues Album – I like Don Bryant’s Don’t Make Me Feel in this category, a win long overdue for 78 year old R&B veteran. Look for Robert Cray to make a run here as well.

Best Contemporary Blues Album – I’m going with Blackbirds from Bettye LaVette, who is long overdue for a Grammy win and a cool Jersey girl who once granted me an interview. Some good competition here including Fantastic Negrito and the North Mississippi All Stars.

Best Folk Album – Another tough one to call here, but I’m going with Gillian Welch & David Rawlings All the Good Things. Welch and RI native partner Rawlings have been nominated before, and are overdue for the award. Leonard Cohen’s posthumous Thanks for the Dance is also a strong contender.

Ken Abrams

Lifestyle Editor Ken Abrams writes about music for What'sUpNewp, SO RI, Folk Radio UK and more. He's also a DJ Tuesday night 6-9PM on WRIU 90.3 FM.