The 35th annual Blues Music Awards was held at the Cook Convention Center in Memphis, TN, on Thursday, May 8th. Presented by The Blues Foundation, an enthusiastic audience was treated to dinner, multiple sets of music and the announcements of this year’s recipients as chosen by the members.
Performances began at 5:30 pm in the lower lobby of the Convention Center with nominees Dave Keyes and Gracie Curran & The High Falutin’ Band. The main show began promptly at 7:00 pm in the ballroom and included performances from people like Shawn Holt & The Teardops, Lurrie Bell, Anson Funderburgh, Mark Hummel, Charlie Musselwhite, Billy Boy Arnold, Rory Block, James Cotton, Elvin Bishop, Ronnie Earl, Doug MacLeod, Trudy Lynn, Teeny Tucker, Beth Hart, Kim Wilson, Kid Ramos, Brandon Santini, Mike Zito, Cedric Burnside, Vasti Jackson and many others.
On Thursday night, the Hall of Fame inductions were presented, this year honoring artists Big Jay McNeely, R.L. Burnside, Eddie Shaw, Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson and Robert Pete Williams. The big news for the event was that the necessary funds to erect the permanent home for the Blues Hall of Fame, to be housed in Memphis, have been raised and construction will begin on June 1st. Plans for the grand opening of the Hall of Fame are for next year’s Blues Music Awards.
This year’s complete list of winners are:
- Acoustic Album: There’s a Time – Doug MacLeod
- Acoustic Artist: Doug MacLeod
- Album: Remembering Little Walter – Billy Boy Arnold, Charlie Musselwhite, Mark Hummel, Sugar Ray Norcia, James Harman
- B.B. King Entertainer: Buddy Guy
- Band: Tedeschi Trucks Band
- Best New Artist Debut: Daddy Told Me – Shawn Holt & the Teardrops
- Contemporary Blues Album: Badlands – Trampled Under Foot
- Contemporary Blues Female Artist: Susan Tedeschi
- Contemporary Blues Male Artist: Gary Clark Jr.
- DVD: Ruf Records – Songs from the Road (Royal Southern Brotherhood)
- Historical Album: Bear Family – The Sun Blues Box
- Instrumentalist-Bass: Danielle Schnebelen
- Instrumentalist-Drums: Cedric Burnside
- Instrumentalist-Guitar: Ronnie Earl
- Instrumentalist-Harmonica: Charlie Musselwhite
- Instrumentalist-Horn: Eddie Shaw
- Koko Taylor Award: Diunna Greenleaf
- Pinetop Perkins Piano Player: Victor Wainwright
- Rock Blues Album: Made Up Mind – Tedeschi Trucks Band
- Song: ”Blues in My Soul” – Lurrie Bell
- Soul Blues Album: Down in Louisiana – Bobby Rush
- Soul Blues Female Artist: Irma Thomas
- Soul Blues Male Artist: John Nemeth
- Traditional Blues Album: Remembering Little Walter – Billy Boy Arnold, Charlie Musselwhite, Mark Hummel, Sugar Ray Norcia, James Harman
- Traditional Blues Male Artist: James Cotton