Bob Ludwig holds a couple of his numerous Grammy awards in the lobby of his recording studio shared with Adam Ayan. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

Several Mainers won Grammy awards Sunday during ceremonies in Los Angeles.

Amy Allen, who grew up in Windham and South Portland, won for her work as one of the songwriters on “Harry’s House” by Harry Styles, which won album of the year. Portland-area musician Dave Gutter co-wrote the song “Stompin’ Ground” for musician Aaron Neville, which won a Grammy in the best American roots performance category. The other Maine win went to mastering engineer Bob Ludwig, of Gateway Mastering Studios in Portland. It’s his 13th Grammy. He won in the best historical album category for his work on the 20th anniversary edition of Wilco’s “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.”

Lawrence Manchester, who grew up in Windham, was honored Sunday for his work as the recording engineer on “Into The Woods,” which won for best musical theater album.

Ludwig’s co-worker at Gateway Mastering, Adam Ayan, was also up for a Grammy but did not win. He was nominated for his work on Father John Misty’s “Chloe and the Next 20th Century.”

Allen had been nominated for songwriter of the year, the first time the award was given, but did not win.

Gutter flew to Los Angeles with his 16-year-old daughter, Kani, a junior at Falmouth High School.


“We just walked the red carpet. I feel very validated as a musician and a writer,” Gutter said in a telephone interview Sunday evening. “I’ve been doing this for nearly 40 years, and it feels great.”

Maine musician Dave Gutter is going to his first Grammy Awards ceremony Sunday, after writing a song that has been nominated for an award, and is bringing his daughter, Kani Gutter, 16. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

Sunday’s Grammy presentation was a special moment for Gutter, who was invited on stage to accept the Grammy on behalf Neville. Neville was unable to attend. He credited his mother, Erlene Gutter of Gorham, with supporting him in his decades-long musical career.

“My message to other musicians, keep going,” he said. “I remember something nice my mother said to me when I told her it took me almost 40 years to get here. She said, no, it took them 40 years (to recognize you).”

His mother had always been a fan of Aaron Neville, an American R&B and soul singer, who is 82 years old and was born in New Orleans. Gutter took his mom to see a Neville performance and when she met him, “She kissed Aaron on the lips.” Gutter joked that the kiss might have ended his relationship with Neville.

Gutter, 48, began performing around Portland professionally when he was just 11, and a few years later his band became Rustic Overtones, one of Maine’s best-known rock groups. He’s continued to perform with Rustic, as lead singer, as well as solo and with other groups. He’s also written song lyrics for well-known artists like Neville, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks, Carlos Santana and Eric Clapton.

He got the gig writing with and for Aaron Neville – who has already won four Grammys – with help from his longtime friend Eric Krasno of the band Lettuce. Gutter looked over hundreds of Neville’s poems to find inspiration for song lyrics. The poems were about Neville’s life and his view of the world. The song “Stompin’ Ground” was written from a poem about growing up in New Orleans. Gutter said when he read the poem, he could hear the horns and New Orleans-style percussion that eventually became part of the song. Gutter, Krasno and Neville are all credited as co-writers of the song.


In an interview with the Press Herald, Gutter said he wanted to thank Kani for putting up with “a narcissistic, ego-driven, music-obsessed father” who has taken her to lots of not-so-glamourous events over the years, like long recording sessions and band rehearsals. Now, she gets to go to a very glamorous event, because of her dad’s work.

Maine native Amy Allen is bringing her two sisters and her parents to the Grammy Awards. Photo by Caity Krone

Allen, 30, now lives in California. She began performing and singing around Portland as a teen, and has been working as a songwriter for some of the biggest names in pop music the past few years, including Halsey, Selena Gomez, Shawn Mendes and Harry Styles. She’s been nominated for songs or albums she worked on for other artists as well, but this is her first nomination alone, as a songwriter.

Allen was nominated on the strength of a slew of songs she wrote or co-wrote that were released in the past year or so, including “Matilda,” by Harry Styles; “If You Love Me,” by Lizzo; “For My Friends” by King Princess, “Move Me,” by Charli XCX and several others.

Tobias Jesso Jr. won the Grammy for songwriter of the year (non classical) defeating Allen and three other songwriters for the inaugural honor. Jesso has written songs for Adele, King Princess, and Harry Styles. It was Jesso’s first Grammy award.

Manchester has now won three Grammys. He won in 2021 for his mix of the score of the Netflix series “The Queen’s Gambit,” and in 2013 for “Blow Your Pants Off” by Fallon, which won best comedy album. He is also the music mixer for NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” He is based in New York, working as a recording and mixing engineer on film scores, TV shows and albums.

CORRECTION: This story was updated at 3:20 p.m. Monday, Feb. 6, to include Amy Allen’s win as a songwriter on “Harry’s House” and Lawrence Manchester’s win as recording engineer for “Into the Woods,” which won Best Musical Theater Album.

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