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Shawn Holt

Shawn Holt is on a roll.

In September, the Nebraska bluesman released his national Blind Pig Records debut album with his band The Teardrops. “Daddy Told Me” hit the top of the Living Blues blues radio chart in October.

On Tuesday, Holt and the Teardrops and “Daddy Told Me” were nominated for the Blues Music Award for best new artist debut.

“It’s very cool,” Holt said shortly after learning of the nomination. “It’s been a long time coming, hard work, hard work.”

The “Daddy” of the album title is the late Morris “Magic Slim” Holt, Shawn’s father and musical mentor.

In getting the Blues Music Award nomination, Shawn, who has used the stage name ‘Lil Slim’ in Nebraska, is again following in his father’s footsteps.

Magic Slim won the traditional blues male artist award in 2013. Magic Slim and the Teardrops were named blues band of the year multiple times, most recently in 2003.

“I’m trying very hard (to match my father),” said Shawn, who grew up in Lincoln and now lives in Beatrice.

Holt and the Teardrops, which includes Lincoln guitarist Levi William, have toured extensively since the album was released, and are on the road this week.

“I am out now,” Holt said. “I’ll be back before Christmas, then I go to the East Coast and Scandinavia right after New Year's. They’ve got us touring our asses off. We leave for Scandinavia on Feb. 17 and won’t be back for a month.”

The Scandinavian tour will take Holt and company to Sweden, Norway and Denmark.

“I’ve never been to Europe,” Holt said. “I’m looking forward to it. It’s going to be fun.”

The other nominees for best new artist debut are Adrianna Marie and Her Groovecutters for “Double Crossing Blues”; Clay Swafford for “Rooster”; Gracie Curran & the High Falutin’ Band for “Proof of Love”; Paul Gabriel for “What’s the Chance”; and Valerie June for “Pushin’ Against a Stone.”

The 35th Annual Blues Music Awards will be presented May 8 in Memphis, Tenn.

Grammy nominees who played Lincoln

Speaking of awards, last week, the 2014 Grammy nominees were announced -- a long list of records, songs, artists and producers that includes five of the 10 artists that played the Pinnacle Bank Arena during its three-month opening run.

Topping the list -- with the most Grammy nominations of any artist -- is Jay Z, who is up for nine Grammys, all in rap or pop song categories.

Pink is nominated for two Grammys, including song of the year (one of the three top awards) for co-writing “Just Give Me a Reason”.

Michael Bublé received a traditional pop vocal album nomination. Miranda Lambert got two nominations for country solo performance and country song for “Mama’s Broken Heart,” and Jason Aldean gained a country album nod for “Night Train.”

Kendrick Lamar, who played Pershing Center, was the second most-nominated artist -- in 7 categories, including best new artist, a top award.

Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience, who played the Lied Center for Performing Center and ZooFest, earned a best regional roots music nomination and fellow ZooFest performer James Harman was nominated for his work on the multi-performer blues album, “Remembering Little Walter.”

And there’s one nominee who didn’t make it to Lincoln. Mavis Staples, who had to cancel her Bourbon Theatre show at the last minute because of a death in the family, got an Americana album nomination for “One True Vine.”

The 56th Grammy Awards will be presented on Jan. 26 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Reach L. Kent Wolgamott at 402-473-7244 or, or follow him @LJSWolgamott.


Entertainment reporter/columnist

L. Kent Wolgamott is an entertainment reporter and columnist.

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