Best Country Album
Will Win/Should Win - Miranda Lambert "Platinum"
Could Win - Eric Church "The Outsiders"
Commentary - Last year, Grammy voters threw out the odds-on favorite, Taylor Swift's Red for a hot newcomer in Kacey Musgraves (still one of my favorite wins last year). And, in her history, Miranda Lambert has only won one Grammy award. So even though Miranda Lambert's album was probably the most popular, and probably the best of the bunch. But Platinum is not a lock and I have a hunch that the artist that will benefit most from this is Eric Church, whose album and singles have lit up country charts, and had crossover success. I will put this disclaimer out there though: Taylor Swift's Red was barely country, and they went for an actual country album instead, and Lambert is full-on country. All of that rambling and here is the point: I think Lambert is ahead, and it is time that she takes home an album award from these voters, but the race is not over.
Best Country Solo Performance
Will Win/Should Win - Eric Church "Give Me Back My Hometown"
Could Win - Miranda Lambert "Automatic"
Commentary - Speaking of Eric Church, I do not think he will go home empty handed this year. Automatic was a popular record, and if Lambert could finally have a big year. But Give Me Back My Hometown, in terms of a record and a song had more impact on radio and on country music this year. I think they split these two, and Church takes home a deserved Grammy for a great song.
Best Country Duo/Group Performance
Will Win/Should Win - Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood "Somethin' Bad"
Could Win - Keith Urban feat. Eric Church "Raise 'Em Up" or Tim McGraw feat. Faith Hill "Meanwhile Back at Mama's"
Commentary - Not really sure which way to go here. Urban and Church had a nice offering, and McGraw and Hill had a feel-good homecoming song, and at this point are bona fide country legends at this point. But I think the all-star power of Lambert and Underwood together will be hard for Grammy voters to pass up.
Best Country Song
Will Win/Should Win - Glen Campbell and Julian Raymond "I'm Not Gonna Miss You"
Could Win - Nicolle Galyon, Natalie Hemby & Miranda Lambert "Automatic", Eric Church and Luke Laird "Give Me Back My Hometown", or Tom Douglas, Jaren Johnston & Jeffrey Steele "Meanwhile Back at Mama's"
Commentary - I thought that this was going to be another Eric Church vs. Miranda Lambert race, with Give Me Back My Hometown as the spoiler, and all three are still in this. But then I remembered that Glen Campbell was nominated for the song that earned him an Oscar nomination this year. He is a country legend that hasn't won a Grammy since the 1960's. I think that voters will be hard pressed not to give him this honor while they still can.