The Grammys showed Minnesota a little love. Just a little.
When the nominations for the 59th annual Grammy Awards were announced Tuesday morning, Mint Condition ended up as a finalist for best R&B album for “Healing Season,” a holiday album. This is the longtime Twin Cities R&B band’s first Grammy nomination, though lead singer Stokley Williams received two R&B noms in 2012 for “Not My Daddy,” a collaboration with singer Kelly Price.
"We're honored and humbled," Williams said Tuesday. "What's interesting, we weren't interested in the Grammys till we joined the Recording Academy six or seven years ago. We learned to appreciate it."
He said Mint put its spin on some holiday classics and crafted some origional material for "Healing Season." "We did it our way," he explained. "The feedback we to is it doesn't feel like a holiday album. People listen to it in any month."
The Okee Dokee Brothers, the Twin Cities duo that makes music for kids of all ages, earned its third nomination for best children’s album, for “Saddle Up.” That makes it three for three for them in Grammy noms for three consecutive albums. Joe Mailander and Justin Lansing took home the trophy in 2013 for “Can You Canoe?” “Saddle Up” was based on the duo’s horseback-riding trip across the Continental Divide.
'It's always a surprise that we get nominated but it's welcome news," Mailander said Tuesday. "We put a lot into this record, researching the genre of Western music and riding in the Continental Divide. We have a strong connection to Colorado [where both musicians grew up]. This is a special record for us. We think it's our best work."
Prince received a posthumous nod for best engineered album nonclassical for “Hit N Run Phase Two.” He shares the nom with a cast that includes Booker T., Dylan Dresdow, Chris James and Justin Stanley.
Other artists with Minnesota connections received nominations, as well.
King, a new trio featuring Minneapolis-reared twin sisters Paris and Amber Strother, is competing for best urban contemporary album for “We Are King.” The Strothers moved to Los Angeles a few years ago.
Bon Iver’s “22. A Million,” which was released on the last day of Grammy eligibility on Sept. 30, is vying for best recording package. Bon Iver, a band fronted by Eau Claire’s Justin Vernon, won for best new artist in 2012. Technically, this new prize would go to designer Eric Timothy Carlson, a former Minneapolis artist who also has designed album covers for Twin Cities acts Doomtree, P.O.S. and Polica, among others.
Many Twin Cities musicians, including Michael Lewis, Ryan Olson and Andrew Broder, played on the new Bon Iver album.