The Cascade Blues Association held their 25th annual Muddy Awards celebration on Thursday, November 7th at The Melody Ballroom in Portland and with little doubt it was certainly the night for Kevin Selfe & The Tornadoes. The band took honors in seven of the twenty-two categories presented, including both Contemporary & Traditional Blues Act, Kevin for Electric Guitar, Jimi Bott for Drums, both the NW Recording & National Recording for Long Walk Home and Performance of the Year for their big band set at the Waterfront Blues Festival.

Other recipients included Ben Rice whose band tied with Kevin’s for Traditional Blues Act and he also received the award for the “Curtis Salgado” Male Vocalist. Rae Gordon was named this year’s recipient of the “Duffy Bishop” Female Vocalist Muddy Award and Joey Scruggs was named the Back What You Believe In recipient for his tireless work promoting the local and national touring artists. The Lifetime Achievement Muddy went to Norman Sylvester, who has been performing throughout the Northwest for the past thirty years and never fails to give back to the community with special events like the Inner City Blues Festival or working in the schools for Ethos.

The night saw superb performances by a virtual who’s who in the regional blues scene. Opening with the 2013 Journey to Memphis band winners The Ben Rice Band, they brought up a special guest in young Jonathan Swenson whose guitar was almost as large as himself. Swenson showed no fear whatsoever on stage and perhaps stole the whole night from the established performers on the bill. Midway through the awards, we took a break and were delighted by a very entertaining short set from 2013 Journey to Memphis solo winner Tevis Hodge Jr.

Every year we end the event with an all star Muddy Awards jam. This year keyboardist Steve Kerin was asked to put together the band for this set and he went way beyond expectations in the line-up he created. This jam may go down as perhaps the best ever. The players in order of appearance included Curtis Salgado, Lloyd Jones, Steve Kerin, Dave Fleschner, Brian Foxworth, John Mazzocco, Peter Dammann, Mary Flower, Michael Quinby, Peter Moss, Brad Ulrich, Joe McCarthy, Randy Oxford, Dave Melyan, Brian Harris, Rae Gordon, Lisa Mann, Gaddis Cavenah, Norman Sylvester, Rob Shoemaker, Vicki Stevens, Sonny Hess, Allen Markel, Mitch Kashmar, Chris Carlson, Kevin Selfe, Dave Kahl and Duffy Bishop.

Here is the complete list of all 2013 Muddy Award recipients:

Contemporary Blues Act – Kevin Selfe & The Tornadoes
R&B Act – Curtis Salgado
Traditional Blues Act (tie) – Kevin Selfe & The Tornadoes / Ben Rice Band
New Blues Act – Sonny Hess & Vicki Stevens Band
Regional Blues Act – Hank Shreve Band
“Duffy Bishop” Female Vocalist – Rae Gordon
“Curtis Salgado” Male Vocalist – Ben Rice
Electric Guitar – Kevin Selfe
“Terry Robb” Acoustic Guitar – Alan Hager
Bass – Dave Kahl
Drums – Jimi Bott
Keyboards – D.K. Stewart
Harmonica – Hank Shreve
Horns – Pete Moss
Venue – Duff’s Garage
NW Blues Event – Cascade Blues Association Members Picnic
“The Hurley Award” – Chris Colligan
NW Recording – Kevin Selfe – Long Walk Home
National Recording – Kevin Selfe – Long Walk Home
Performance of the Year – Kevin Selfe & The Tornadoes Big Band at the Waterfront Blues Festival
Back What You Believe In – Joey Scruggs
Lifetime Achievement – Norman Sylvester