Chris Tompkins compares waiting to find out if he has won another Grammy Award to being in an intense competition.
Early on, you’re calm, cool and collected, but the anxiety starts to build as the time to announce your award draws closer.
In Tompkins’ case, the award is a coveted Grammy for Best Country Song.
The song is “Blown Away,” a hit by country star Carrie Underwood that was written by Tompkins and his frequent co-writer, Josh Kear.
Tompkins, a Greenhill native who resides in Nashville, has been here before, in 2008 to be exact.
Tompkins and Kear picked up their first Grammy for Best Country Song for “Before He Cheats,” which also was a hit for Underwood.
After a family trip to Hawaii, Tompkins stopped in Los Angeles on Saturday and attended a Grammy nominee party. He plans to attend the televised Grammy Awards show even though his award will be announced earlier in the day.
“I’ll either be a winner or a loser sitting there watching the show,” Tompkins said during a telephone interview. “Either one’s fine.”
He said he wants to win the award, but just being nominated again is an honor.
CBS is televising the Grammy Awards show at 7 p.m. today. Two other groups with local connections — The Civil Wars and Alabama Shakes — also are nominated for Grammys.
Not that he wasn’t already doing well as a songwriter at Big Loud Shirt, an independent music publishing company in Nashville’s Music Row, but Tompkins said the 2008 Grammy opened more doors.
He began receiving calls to write with other artists, not just country, but pop and rock,
If a record label wants Tompkins to write with an artist, the fact that he’s a Grammy Award-winning songwriter goes a long way in convincing the band or artist the collaboration is a good idea.
While being nominated for and winning a Grammy brings prestige and credibility, it also can bring stress.
“There is pressure to stay current, to kind of try to repeat the success,” Tompkins said. “It’s like an artist having a big first record. There’s pressure for the second record.
“As far as pressure for winning another Grammy goes, I’d love to win,” he said. “Nobody really wants to lose.” Tompkins said a couple of other songs in the Best Country Song category provide tough competition.
Also nominated for the award are Phillip Coleman and Ronnie Dunn for “Cost of Livin,” Will Hoge and Eric Paslay for “Even if it Breaks Your Heart,” Jay Knowles and Adam Wright for “So You Don’t Have to Love Me Anymore” and Eric Church, Jeff Hyde and Ryan Tyndell for “Springsteen.”
“I don’t think by any means that I wrote the best country song of the year,” Tompkins said. “We wrote a good song for a good artist. We’ve got a good shot. We did it once with Carrie and we can do it again.”
The Alabama Shakes from Athens is nominated for Best New Artist and Best Rock Performance for “Hold On,” a track from their debut album “Boys & Girls.”
“I’m in disbelief, about the same way I feel about the past year in general,” said Steven Johnson, the band’s drummer. “Granted, we’ve worked a lot the past year and definitely appreciate the nod and feel blessed to be in the position we are; there’s nothing you can do to prepare or expect something like this to happen.”
Lead singer/guitarist Brittany Howard will join Elton John, Mumford & Sons, T Bone Burnett, Mavis Staples and Zac Brown for a performance of The Band’s iconic classic “The Weight” during a tribute to the late Levon Helm.
Helm, The band’s drummer and vocalist, died April 19.
The tribute will take place during the portion of the program that is dedicated to honoring musicians who have died in the past year.
The Civil Wars, which include Florence resident John Paul White and Nashville’s Joy Williams, was nominated for Best Country Duo/Group Performance for its collaboration with country superstar Taylor Swift on the track “Safe & Sound.” The song appeared on the soundtrack for the hit film “The Hunger Games.”
Swift and The Civil Wars also were nominated for Best Original Song Written For Visual Media.
Russ Corey can be reached at 256-740-5738 or russ.corey@TimesDaily.com.
Alabama Shakes - Hold On: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Le-3MIBxQTw
Taylor Swift ft. The Civil Wars - Safe & Sound: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzhAS_GnJIc
What: 55th annual Grammy Awards
When: 7 p.m., today
Where: Los Angeles