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Roger Smith

Greenhaw collaboration with Ann-Margaret up for Grammy

Mesquite's Art Greenhaw has been nominated for a Grammy Award for his gospel collaboration with Ann-Margaret. Mesquite resident Art Greenhaw has done it again. His newest project, "God is Love: The Gospel Sessions," has been nominated for a Grammy Award as the "Best Southern, Country or Bluegrass Gospel Album of the Year" by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. "I feel very honored to have received this nomination four out of five years," Greenhaw said. "This program is what I believe to be the essence of what an award program ought to be."

The awards will be presented on Feb. 27 in Los Angeles. Greenhaw is looking for his first Grammy victory.

According to Greenhaw, the award is based strictly on quality and artistic achievement rather than overall sales, mass appeal or popularity.

The 12-track CD features songs written mostly by Greenhaw and sung by vocalist, dancer and Academy Award-nominated actress Ann-Margret. Other songs are performed by Greenhaw's group The Light Crust Doughboys, nine-time Grammy Award Winner James Blackwood and the Elvis Presley backing group The Jordanaires. Greenhaw said the group started working together in 1996.

"It was a very complicated project," Greenhaw said. "When you have so many people involved, you have to go where the artists are. We recorded this CD in Houston when Ann-Margret was on tour, in her hometown of Hollywood and in Nashville, Tenn., to pick up the Jordanaires."

One of the things that makes this CD great is that each song was written with the recording artists talents in mind.

"All these people are my idols and heroes," Greenhaw said. "They were wonderful to work with."

In the case of Ann-Margret, this was the first gospel project she had ever worked on. Greenhaw said he's always been a fan of her style and had followed her career for a while.

"I just always felt a spiritual quality coming through in Ann-Margret's performances," Greenhaw said, which is why he approached her with the idea for this project.

"As it turned out, she said she had always wanted to do a gospel album, but had never had the opportunity," Greenhaw said. And according to Greenhaw, working with Ann-Margret only helped to reinforce his admiration of her talent.

"I believe she is the world's most romantic singer," Greenhaw said.

Several of the songs on the CD are especially appropriate for the times. "The High Road," "Keep Looking Up" and "Looking Through a Stained Glass Darkly" all address concerns that have come into sharper focus since the Sept. 11 attacks while still remaining timeless in nature. Two songs, "The Hallelujah Yodel Lady" and "Low-Singing Bass," feature duets by Greenhaw and Ann-Margret.

In addition to adding his vocals and writing the songs, Greenhaw said he also did many of the instrumentals on the album.

"When you're the world's smallest record label, you have to be ingenious," Greenhaw said.

The CD is available on Greenhaw's website at www.artgreenhaw.com or by calling 972-285-5441. It can also be purchased at many Borders Book Stores throughout the Dallas Metroplex and through Amazon.com.

As a special Grammy nomination kick-off celebration, Greenhaw said the Light Crust Doughboys will be putting on a special concert Feb. 11 at Dallas' Pocket Sandwich Theatre, 5400 E. Mockingbird. For more information, visit the theater's Web site at www.pocketsandwich.com or call the box office at 214-821-1860.

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By Wendy Kay Strain

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