Fiddler extraordinaire and Grammy-winner Michael Cleveland received a GRAMMY nomination last week for his newest project LOVIN’ OF THE GAME. The nomination for Best Bluegrass Album caps an exciting year for Cleveland which has included extensive touring with his band Flamekeeper, as well as with Béla Fleck’s Bluegrass Heart. The new album has earned Cleveland critical praise from the media including an appearance on NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt and a feature in the New York Times which wrote that Cleveland is “one of modern bluegrass’s most compelling musicians.”
Reacting to the nomination, Cleveland said: “I’m so honored to receive a GRAMMY nomination for LOVIN’ OF THE GAME. This album allowed me to collaborate with incredible musicians including my own band, Flamekeeper, and to see everyone recognized in this way is what dreams are made of!”
Built upon a rock-solid foundation of bluegrass prowess, LOVIN’ OF THE GAME (produced by Jeff White, Cleveland and Sean Sullivan) showcases the power of fusion, bringing truth to the phrase “greater than the sum of its parts.” Marking Cleveland’s sixth studio album, and the follow up to his 2020 Grammy-winning album TALL FIDDLER, LOVIN’ OF THE GAME positively hums with energy across the 12 tracks finding appearances from the likes of Béla Fleck, Billy Strings, Charlie Starr, Jeff White, The Travelin’ McCourys and Vince Gill.
Collaboration serves as the bedrock of the album, and that outreach towards community extends well beyond the studio. “People know me as a traditional bluegrass fiddle player, which is what I love to do,” says Cleveland, “but this album is more than just the pure tradition. It’s a little bit of a departure for me. For me, the ‘loving of the game’ has always been loving being a part of the musical community and all that being a musician has brought to me.”