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From 22 to 72, Grammy folk nominees Sarah Jarosz, Guy Clark represent breadth of genre

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Folk music has always been hard to nail down to a certain style or sound. This year's nominees for best folk album at the Grammy Awards prove there's also no age limit for musicians in this category, either.

At just 22, singer and mandolin player Sarah Jarosz represents the genre's steady growth in popularity among younger fans. She counts fellow nominee, 72-year-old singer-songwriter Guy Clark, among her influences growing up in Texas.

"I think the coolest part this year has been actually being in these categories with some people that I really love, some musicians that are really good friends and heroes of mine," Jarosz said. "And that's kind of the coolest part, to get to share in the excitement with them, you know."

Jarosz earned one of her two nominations for her album "Build Me Up From Bones." Clark, the West Texas songwriter who penned such country hits as "L.A. Freeway" and "Desperados Waiting for a Train," is nominated for his album "My Favorite Picture of You." Other nominees in the folk album category include a bluegrass band, The Greencards, and an indie folk duo, The Milk Carton Kids.

Jarosz started learning the mandolin at 10 and had a record deal by 16. Her first album, released in 2009, also was nominated for a Grammy.

"I think all these kinds of awards are really exciting and fun and a big honour," Jarosz said. "But I think for me to have that happen so early on, it was like, 'OK, that is really great,' but it just made me want to work harder to keep growing and keep moving even further and pushing myself as an artist and musician."

Clark said that the wide swath of music and backgrounds nominated in this year's folk category is fitting for the genre.

"That's what folk music is," he said. "That's what it's supposed to be."

This is the seventh time Clark is up for a Grammy. He joked that he faced Bob Dylan each time before. But Dylan's not nominated: "So I think this year I'll send him a thank you note."

The Grammys will air live on CBS from the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday.

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Follow Kristin M. Hall: http://twitter.com/kmhall .

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Online:

http://grammy.com

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