Canadian homebodies also nab Grammys

by Elizabeth Renzetti
Toronto Globe and Mail
March 2, 1996

In all the excitement over Alanis Morissette, Joni Mitchell and Shania Twain winning Grammys on Wednesday night, some of their country mates - the ones who actually still live in Canada - got overlooked.

One of those was David Blamires, vocalist for the Pat Metheny Group (whose record We Live Here won best contemporary jazz recording). While Metheny picked up the award in Los Angeles, Blamires was cheering from his Toronto living room.

"I'll be getting it in the mail in a couple of weeks," said Blamires, who will keep his second Grammy in his home studio, next to the one the Pat Metheny Group won in 1987 for Still Life Talking. "It's a nice, tangible award after all the money from the tour is spent."

Prior to the ceremony, Charles Dutoit and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra won the award for best opera recording for Berlioz's Les Troyens (they also won a Juno for the same record last year). The orchestra had also been nominated for best classical recording and best long video.

The major Grammy news for Canadians was the four awards won by Ottawa native Morissette, two for veteran singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell, and one for pop-country star Shania Twain, a native of Timmins, Ont. All three now live in the United States.

Other Canadians honoured (although not during the three-hour telecast) include musicologist and York University professor Rob Bowman for best album notes; Toronto jazzman Rob McConnell for best instrumental arrangement with vocals for I Get a Kick Out of You; Toronto-born Robert Farnon (who now lives in England) for best instrumental arrangement for Lament.

Other Canadian nominees fared less well. St. Catharines accordion king Walter Ostanek lost out in the polka category to Jimmy Sturr's I Love to Polka. Winnipeg native Neil Young lost to Morissette for best rock song and rock album, and to American Tom Petty for best male rock vocalist.

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