Chris Tompkins said he didn't attend the 2013 Grammy awards nomination show Wednesday night at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena. He had another important business matter that took up his time.
The Greenhill native and his wife, Jessica, were busy preparing for their son's upcoming birthday.
It wasn't until later that evening that they learned the Carrie Underwood hit "Blown Away," a track written by Tompkins and his longtime Nashville song writing collaborator Josh Kear, is nominated for "Country Song of the Year."
Tompkins and Kear were nominated for two Grammys in 2008 for "Before He Cheats," another Underwood hit, which won "Best Country Song."
"I'm very excited," Chris Tomkins said Thursday during a phone interview as he drove to work at Big Loud Shirt, an independent music publishing company in Nashville's Music Row.
Tompkins isn't the only artist with connections to the Shoals who were nominated for a Grammy this year.
The Civil Wars, which include Florence resident John Paul White and Nashville's Joy Williams, were nominated for "Best Country Duo/Group Performance" for their collaboration with country superstar Taylor Swift on the track "Safe & Sound."
Swift and The Civil Wars were also nominated for "Best Original Song Written For Visual Media."
"Safe & Sound" was featured on the soundtrack for the film "The Hunger Games."
The Alabama Shakes, who live in Athens, were nominated for "Best New Artist" and "Best Rock Performance" for "Hold On," a track from their debut album "Boys & Girls."
Tompkins said his wife recorded the nomination show, but it only features the major categories like "Song of the Year" and "Album of the Year."
"We watched it and fast forwarded through the commercials," Tompkins said. "It said go to the Grammy's website to see the rest of the nominations."
His wife got online and Tompkins said he heard her screaming.
"She said, you got nominated," Tompkins said. "Then my 4-year-old started screaming. He didn't know what was going on."
So Tompkins showed him his 2008 Grammy award and said, "this means daddy wrote a good song and they might give me another one of these if I win."
Tompkins won't know until Feb. 10 if he and Kear will have another Grammy to display in their homes.
"It feels good to have a Grammy going in," Tomkins said, referring to the 2008 award. "I'm pretty good about not getting nervous or anything. But the last time I was at the Grammys, the only nerve racking thing was, a few awards before your award comes up, you start to get a little nervous."
Tompkins said he has been working with Kear since 2001 or 2002, and he's been his main song writing partner since then.
"It's like Nashville has connected us at the hip," he said. "We've been writing so much for so long. We just get in there and try to make the best song."
Tompkins said the two artists have a knack for improving on each other's compositions.
"He's really good about taking it to where it needs to be," Tompkins said. "If he brings in an idea, I can add my thing. It's a good collaboration."
Tomkins said he's going up against several friends in the "Country Song of the Year" category.
"If one of the other songs wins, I'll certainly understand," he said.
Tompkins said it was great to see the Grammys recognize other artists with Shoals and Alabama connections.
Efforts to reach members of The Civil Wars and the Alabama Shakes through their publicists were unsuccessful Thursday. Publicists for both bands did not return email requests for interviews or comments.
Jeremy Woods, of Florence, played trombone with the Alabama Shakes at a handful of shows earlier in the year, along with Shoals residents Danley Murner and Doc Dailey.
"I'm a fan of what they are doing and of how they are doing it," Woods said. "I'm glad they're having success and getting recognition for their music. It's also nice that they are spreading the love and having other Shoals-based bands come out on the road and open some shows for them."
Doc Dailey and Magnolia Devil and The Pollies have opened shows for the Alabama Shakes this year.
Ironically, the Alabama Shakes opened for Dailey's band at a free show at Pegasus Records in Florence during the 2011 W.C. Handy Music Festival.
Another Alabama musician, country artist Jamey Johnson, who is originally from Enterprise, was nominated for "Best Country Album" for "Living For A Song: A Tribute To Hank Cochran."
Russ Corey can be reached at 256-740-5738 or russ.corey@TimesDaily.com.