Terrace Martin among Nebraska natives honored at 2016 Grammys; Saddle Creek signs Brooklyn’s Big Thief; Mothers tonight at O’Leaver’s

Terrace Martin among Nebraska natives honored at 2016 Grammys

When hip-hop giant Kendrick Lamar took home the Grammy for Best Rap Album, so did his Omaha native collaborator.

Multi-instrumentalist and producer Terrace Martin worked with Lamar on the rapper’s groundbreaking album To Pimp A Butterfly, which was also nominated for album of the year. The record also earned honors for Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song for “Alright” and best Rap/Sung collaboration for “These Walls.”

Martin, a now Los Angeles-resident, lent his production prowess and alto saxophone to the hit album, his second collaboration with Lamar after working on “Real” and “m.A.A.d city” from 2012 record good kid, m.A.A.d city. He also played on R&B singer Lalah Hathaway’s Grammy-winning track “Little Ghetto Boy,” which won for Best Traditional R&B performance.

The son of jazz drummer Curly Martin, Terrace frequently performs in Omaha at his own Social Club series, and has worked with Puff Daddy, Snoop Dogg, Busta Rhymes, Stevie Wonder, Charlie Wilson, Raphael Saadiq and many more.

Martin wasn’t the only nominated artist with Nebraska ties. Vocalist Karrin Allyson was nominated for Best Jazz Vocal Album for Many A New Day, a compilation of Rodgers & Hammerstein originals. Allyson is a former Omaha resident and former University of Nebraska-Omaha attendee. And don’t forget Lincoln native and Maroon 5 guitarist James Valentine, whose band was nominated for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, losing out to the Mark Ronson-Bruno Mars mega-hit “Uptown Funk.”

There are plenty other notable in-state Grammy connections. Make Believe Records producer Rick Carson has worked extensively with Martin, who recorded and mastered his forthcoming record Velvet Portraits with Carson in Omaha. Martin just released the album’s first single, “Valdez Off Crenshaw,” earlier today via Apple Music’s Zane’s World First (listen below).

Carson has also worked with 2016 nominees Ed Sheeran (who won Song of the Year), Jah Cure, and more.

Though he was not directly involved with anything nominated in 2015, Carson has worked with plenty artists who were. Carson is also working on a record with Robert “Sput” Searight, Lamar’s Butterfly drummer and keyboard player on Velvet Portraits. His jazz band, New York-based Snarky Puppy, won Best Contemporary Instrumental Album for Metropole Orkest collaboration Sylva. Carson also mixed Searight’s and Nate Werth’s record Ghost Note.

View a complete list of Grammy nominees and winners here.

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Saddle Creek signs Brooklyn’s Big Thief

Saddle Creek Records announced the signing yesterday of indie rock band Big Thief. It marks the first new signing since Philadelphia foursome Hop Along climbed aboard early last year.

The news comes with a full-length album for the Brooklyn-based quartet, which will drop later this year. The group — comprising vocalist Adrianne Linker, guitarist Buck Meek, bassist Max Oleartchik and drummer James Krivchenia — also plans multiple shows at SXSW and national tours with Yuck and Eleanor Friedberger.

Saddle Creek representative Jeff Tafolla says that though the Omaha label usually moves slowly when it comes to signings, Big Thief was a no-brainer in terms of fit.

“We fell for Big Thief instantly upon hearing Masterpiece.” Tafolla says. “We got in touch the band, we felt comfortable working with them immediately. The record is really terrific. We’re excited for everyone to hear it.”

It’s already a busy year for Saddle Creek, after a cascade of 2015 albums by Twinsmith, Icky Blossoms, The Good Life, The Mynabirds and Hop Along. The label will also reissue the Philly band’s Get Disowned on March 4 as well as The Thermals’ new record We Disappear March 25.

Listen to the title track from Big Thief’s forthcoming album below:

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Concert Round-Up

Tonight, Athens, Ga., band Mothers plays O’Leaver’s with Eklectica and fellow Athens native Graham Ulicny’s project Thick Paint. Mothers began in 2013 as vocalist Kristine Leschper’s solo project, expanding not long after into a full-fledged band. The indie-folk band debuted single “No Crying In Baseball” in October, followed by the lead single, “Too Small For Eyes,” from its forthcoming record. When You Walk A Long Distance You Are Tired drops Feb. 26. RSVP to the show here.

For a fuller listing of shows, head to our statewide calendar at hearnebraska.org/events. If you do not see your show or one you plan to attend, email us at news@hearnebraska.org or add it yourself here. And keep those song submissions, story ideas and news tips coming.

Andrew Stellmon is Hear Nebraska's managing editor. Reach him with news tips and story ideas at news@hearnebraska.org.