Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Blues Music Awards Contenders Announced

Posted By on Tue, Jan 9, 2018 at 2:05 PM

The nominees for the 39th Annual Blues Music Awards were announced this morning, and naturally many local greats made the final cut. Members of the Blues Foundation will be deliberating over their choices in the weeks to come, and the winners will be announced during the gala event, Thursday, May 10th at The Memphis Cook Convention Center.
click to enlarge R.L. Boyce
  • R.L. Boyce
Two new categories have been added, for a total of 26 awards. There now is a Blues Rock Artist of the Year award, with Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Mike Zito, Walter Trout, Jason Ricci and Eric Gales being this year's candidates. And for the new Instrumentalist-Vocals category, Beth Hart, Don Bryant, John Németh, Michael Ledbetter, Sugaray Rayford and Wee Willie Walker are in the running.

Local artists, locally-produced artists, and artists with local backup bands include Robert Cray, Don Bryant, Bobby Rush, John Németh, the North Mississippi All Stars, R.L. Boyce (one-time member of Otha Turner's Rising Star Fife and Drum Band), Memphis native (and daughter of Rufus) Vaneese Thomas, William Bell, new Stax artist Southern Avenue, and Scott Bomar (for co-writing the title song of Don Bryant's newest album). Add a comment if I've missed any!

The complete list of 39th Blues Music Award nominees can be found below and on the Blues Foundation’s website, www.blues.org. Membership to The Blues Foundation will remain open through the entire voting period from January 23rd to March 1st and ballots will be sent to new members as they join the organization.

Founded in 1980, the Memphis-based Blues Foundation has approximately 4,000 individual members and 200 affiliated local blues societies representing another 50,000 fans and professionals around the world. Funding for the Blues Music Awards is provided by ArtsMemphis and the Tennessee Arts Commission, and this year's ceremony is also sponsored by AutoZone, BMI, Ditty TV, First Tennessee Foundation, the Gibson Foundation, and the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Here's the full list of all 39th Blues Music Award Nominees:

Acoustic Album of the Year
Catfish Keith - Mississippi River Blues
Doug MacLeod - Break the Chain
Guy Davis & Fabrizio Poggi - Sonny & Brownie's Last Train
Harrison Kennedy - Who U Tellin’?
Mitch Woods - Friends Along The Way
Rory Block - Keepin' Outta Trouble

Acoustic Artist
Doug McLeod
Guy Davis
Harrison Kennedy
Rory Block
Taj Mahal

Album of the Year
Don Bryant - Don't Give Up on Love
Monster Mike Welch and Mike Ledbetter - Right Place, Right Time
Rick Estrin & The Nightcats - Groovin' In Greaseland
TajMo - TajMo
Wee Willie Walker & The Anthony Paule Soul Orchestra - After a While

Band of the Year
The Cash Box Kings
Monster Mike Welch and Mike Ledbetter
Nick Moss Band
North Mississippi All-Stars
Rick Estrin & the Nightcats  

B.B. King Entertainer of the Year
Bobby Rush
Michael Ledbetter
Rick Estrin
Sugaray Rayford
Taj Mahal  

Best Emerging Artist Album
Altered Five Blues Band - Charmed & Dangerous
Larkin Poe - Peach
Miss Freddye - Lady of the Blues
R.L. Boyce - Roll and Tumble
Southern Avenue - Southern Avenue
Tas Cru - Simmered & Stewed  
Contemporary Blues Album of the Year
Beth Hart - Fire on the Floor
Corey Dennison Band - Night After Night
Ronnie Baker Brooks - Times Have Changed
Selwyn Birchwood - Pick Your Poison
TajMo – TajMo  

Contemporary Blues Female Artist
Beth Hart
Karen Lovely
Samantha Fish
Shemekia Copeland
Vanessa Collier  

Contemporary Blues Male Artist
Keb' Mo'
Michael Ledbetter
Ronnie Baker Brooks
Selwyn Birchwood
Toronzo Cannon  

Historical Album of the Year
Jimmy Reed, Mr. Luck: The Complete Vee-Jay Singles – Craft Recordings
John Lee Hooker, King of the Boogie – Craft Recordings
Luther Allison, A Legend Never Dies – Ruf Records
The Paul deLay Band, Live at Notodden ’97 – Little Village Foundation
Various, American Epic: The Collection – Sony Legacy
Benny Turner
Bob Stroger
Larry Fulcher
Michael "Mudcat" Ward
Patrick Rynn  

Jimi Bott
June Core
Kenny Smith
Tom Hambridge
Tony Braunagel  

Anson Funderburgh
Chris Cain
Christoffer "Kid" Andersen
Monster Mike Welch
Ronnie Earl  

Billy Branch
Dennis Gruenling
Jason Ricci
Kim Wilson
Rick Estrin  

Al Basile
Jimmy Carpenter
Nancy Wright
Trombone Shorty
Vanessa Collier  

Instrumentalist- Pinetop Perkins Piano Player
Anthony Geraci
Henry Gray
Jim Pugh
Mitch Woods
Victor Wainwright  

Instrumentalist - Vocals
Beth Hart
Don Bryant
John Németh
Michael Ledbetter
Sugaray Rayford
Wee Willie Walker

Koko Taylor Award (Traditional Blues Female)
Annika Chambers
Diunna Greenleaf
Janiva Magness
Miss Freddye
Ruthie Foster   

Rock Blues Album of the Year
Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band - Lay It On Down
Mike Zito - Make Blues Not War
North Mississippi Allstars - Prayer for Peace
Savoy Brown - Witchy Feelin'
Walter Trout - We're All In This Together
Rock Blues Artist
Eric Gales
Jason Ricci
Kenny Wayne Shepherd
Mike Zito
Walter Trout  

Song of the Year
“The Blues Ain’t Going Nowhere” – written by Rick Estrin
“Don’t Give Up On Love” – written by Scott Bomar and Don Bryant
“Don’t Leave Me Here” – written by Kevin R. Moore, Taj Mahal, and Gary Nicholson
“Hate Take a Holiday” – written by Willie Walker, Anthony Paule, and Ernie Williams
“Prayer for Peace” – written by Luther Dickinson, Cody Dickinson, and Oteil Burbridge
Soul Blues Album of the Year
Don Bryant - Don't Give Up on Love
Johnny Rawls - Waiting for the Train
Robert Cray & Hi Rhythm - Robert Cray & Hi Rhythm
Sugaray Rayford - The World That We Live In
Wee Willie Walker & The Anthony Paule Soul Orchestra - After a While
Soul Blues Female Artist
Bettye LaVette
Denise LaSalle
Mavis Staples
Trudy Lynn
Vaneese Thomas  

Soul Blues Male Artist
Curtis Salgado
Don Bryant
Johnny Rawls
Sugaray Rayford
William Bell
Wee Willie Walker  

Traditional Blues Album of the Year
The Cash Box Kings - Royal Mint
Elvin Bishop's Big Fun Trio - Elvin Bishop's Big Fun Trio
Kim Wilson - Blues and Boogie Vol. 1
Monster Mike Welch and Mike Ledbetter - Right Place, Right Time
Rick Estrin & The Nightcats - Groovin' In Greaseland
Various Artists - Howlin' At Greaseland      
Traditional Blues Female Artist
Annika Chambers
Diunna Greenleaf
Janiva Magness
Miss Freddye
Ruthie Foster  

Traditional Blues Male Artist
John Primer
Kim Wilson
Lurrie Bell
R.L. Boyce
Rick Estrin

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