A songwriter whose family is rooted in Yuba-Sutter was nominated for two Grammy awards.
“I still haven’t come to terms with this being real,” said Sam Ashworth. “As a kid I watched the Grammys every year and would think that it was going to be me on that stage or getting nominated. It’s mind blowing going from ‘that’s going to be me too ‘that’s me’.”
Ashworth was nominated for his work on singer and songwriter H.E.R.’s latest album, “I Used to Know Her.” He was nominated for Album of the Year and Song of the Year for the hit single off the album, “Hard Place.”
Ashworth said he never wanted to do anything professionally other than make a living off of what he loves, music. He said he got his work ethic from his late grandfather, Bill Ashworth, who taught music at Marysville High School and retired as a Yuba College music professor.
He said he was also inspired by his dad, Charlie Peacock, a Yuba-Sutter native and producer who has won multiple Grammys such as Folk Album of the Year, Best Country Duo/Group performance and Best Rock Gospel Album.
Ashworth said “Hard Place” is a special song because it was created in the moment with four friends who loved each other and were sitting in a room just having fun.
“We weren’t planning on making music that night. We were supposed to just have dinner but ended up in the studio. You just never know what could happen,” Ashworth said.
Ashworth said when he was a child he would come home from school and watch his dad for hours making music in the studio.
“It’s a full circle thing. We raised him as a musical kid. By the time he was a teenager he was making music all of the time,” said Ashworth’s father. “I followed in my dad’s footsteps and he followed in mine.”
Peacock said Dean Estabrook of Yuba City was one of his first music teachers and that he uses Estabrook’s music theory to this day. Although they now reside in Nashville, he says Yuba-Sutter was where he first became a musician.
“I feel blessed to have been surrounded by so many talented artists,” Ashworth said.
He said he was first introduced to H.E.R. after he met one of her producers at a writing camp.
He said they grew to become best friends.
“What also makes the song and album so special is Gabi (H.E.R.). She’s an amazing artist and makes anything sound good,” Ashworth said.
Ashworth said he is excited about the nomination and even if he doesn’t win he still considers a nomination a great accomplishment.
“There’s not many avenues for great music to be recognized. The Grammys are magical for any artist or musician,” Ashworth said. “I’m just excited to go to the show with the possibility of winning with my wife, Ruby Amanfu who also co-wrote ‘Hard Place’, my children, and family.”