Music News

Blues Music Awards

The best of the best, in Memphis

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Photos by Laura Carbone

It’s the 38th year for the Blues Music Awards celebrating the year’s heroes in the world of blues.  The music industry, performing artists as well as fans decked in glistening gowns to zoot suits converged at the Memphis Convention center to celebrate, be seen and to talk about the year in Blues. A six month process of nominating by over 100 judges then passing these on to be voted on by the Blues Foundation members from around the world. The ceremony is a 4 hour event with the awards sprinkled between a festival worthy array of the best in the blues performances.

The winners of the coveted brass guitar statues were strongly led by nationally known names such as Joe Bonamassa and the Tedeshi Trucks Band taking the top prizes of Entertainer, Guitarist and Band of the Year.  Blues Veteran and current Grammy winner Bobby Rush took both Blues Album of the year as well as Historical Album of the Year.  Curtis Salgado stole the soul show with Song of the Year, Soul Blues Album and Soul Blues Male Artist.  Many repeat winners resurfaced such as Doug McCloud in the acoustic category, Kim Wilson for harmonica, Victor Wainwright for piano and Cedric Burnside for drummer of the year.  Kenny Neal became the contemporary male blues soul artist as well as contemporary album of the year.   Diunna Greenleaf walked with the title on Best Female traditional vocalist while Mavis Staples took on the female soul blues category.  Jon Del Toro Richardson was the artist that rose to the top as the best emerging artist.  As Willie Dixon says…The blues will always be, because it is root of all American Music.  Or otherwise known as….Hey, Hey the Blues is Alright!

-Laura Carbone

2017 Blues Music Award winners 

Acoustic Album: “The Happiest Man in the World,” Eric Bibb

Acoustic Artist: Doug MacLeod

Album: “Porcupine Meat,” Bobby Rush

B.B. King Entertainer: Joe Bonamassa

Band: Tedeschi Trucks Band

Best Emerging Artist Album: “Tengo Blues,” Jonn Del Toro Richardson

Contemporary Blues Album: “Bloodline,” Kenny Neal

Contemporary Blues Female Artist: Susan Tedeschi

Contemporary Blues Male Artist: Kenny Neal

Historical: “Chicken Heads: A 50-Year History of Bobby Rush,” Bobby Rush (Omnivore Recordings)

Instrumentalist-Bass: Biscuit Miller

Instrumentalist-Drums: Cedric Burnside

Instrumentalist-Guitar: Joe Bonamassa

Instrumentalist-Harmonica: Kim Wilson

Instrumentalist-Horn: Terry Hanck

Koko Taylor Award: Diunna Greenleaf

Pinetop Perkins Piano Player: Victor Wainwright

Rock Blues Album: “Let Me Get By,” Tedeschi Trucks Band

Song: “Walk a Mile in My Blues” written by David Duncan, Curtis Salgado & Mike Finigan and performed by Curtis Salgado

Soul Blues Album: “The Beautiful Lowdown,” Curtis Salgado

Soul Blues Female Artist: Mavis Staples

Soul Blues Male Artist: Curtis Salgado

Traditional Blues Album: “Can’t Shake This Feeling,” Lurrie Bell

Traditional Blues Male Artist: Bob Margolin

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