Blues Music Awards Nominees Announced

Blues Music Awards

The Blues Foundation have announced the nominees for the 40th Annual Blues Music Awards that will be taking place on May 9 at Memphis' Cook Convention Center.

We were sent the following details: Leading the way this year with the most nominations is the keyboard whiz Anthony Geraci, who is in the running in six categories. The Boston-area musician is up for consideration for Song of the Year ("Angelina, Angelina"); Album of the Year and Traditional Blues Album (Why Did You Have To Go); Traditional Blues Male Artist; Pinetop Perkins Piano Player Award, and, with his group, the Boston Blues All-Stars, Band of the Year. If this six-pack isn't enough, Geraci also is a part of the band The Proven Ones, which garnered a Contemporary Blues Album nod for Wild Again. Furthermore, his fellow Proven Ones mates, Jimi Bott and Willie J. Campbell, are up for best drummer and bassist honors, respectively.

Also standing out are the sublime singer Shemekia Copeland and Chicago-based bluesman Nick Moss, who each are nominated in four categories. They both are battling Geraci in the Album of the Year category; Copeland for America's Child and Moss for The High Cost of Low Living, the Nick Moss Band effort featuring Dennis Gruenling. Additionally, Copeland is up for consideration for the Contemporary Blues Album, Vocalist of the Year, and Contemporary Blues Female Artist honors. Worth noting too is that her hit single, "Ain't Got Time For Hate," is a Song of the Year candidate for its songwriters John Hahn and Will Kimbrough. Moss' other three nominations are for Traditional Blues Album, Traditional Blues Male Artist, and Band of the Year (for the Nick Moss Band). Gruenling, meanwhile, nabbed his own nomination in the Harmonica instrumentalist category.

The Blues Music Award nominations are just the start of a big January for The Blues Foundation. They will close the month with another signature event: the 35th Annual International Blues Challenge will take over Memphis January 22-26. This big week of blues, which is packed with performances, panel discussions, meet & greets, film screenings and exhibits, is highlighted by honoring of 2019's Keeping the Blues Alive Award recipients (January 25) and the IBC Finals competition concert (January 26). To purchase an International Blues Challenge Pass and final seating upgrades, along with tickets to the Keeping the Blues Alive Awards Brunch and Ceremony, please visit this link: http://bit.ly/2scWEhP

A trio of Blues Hall of Famers - Bobby Rush, Joe Louis Walker, and Buddy Guy- could add a 2019 BMA award to their trophy cases. Rush is nominated for the B.B. King Entertainer Award (an honor he won in 2015). Walker's collaboration with Bruce Katz and Giles Robson,Journeys to the Heart of the Blues, is a contender for both best Acoustic Album and Album of the Year. Guy garnered nods for Traditional Blues Album for The Blues Is Alive and Well and Song of the Year for "Cognac," which he co-wrote with Tom Hambridge and Richard Fleming.

Hambridge, Guy's producer, is among the contenders in the Drums Instrumentalist category.

Among those battling Guy, Hahn, Kimbrough, and Geraci for Song of the Year (for "No Mercy in This Land") is Ben Harper, who is one of several nominees whose name will be familiar to rock music fans. ZZ Top's Billy F Gibbons is contending for Blues Rock Album (The Big Bad Blues) and Blues Rock Artist, where Kenny Wayne Shepherd also is in the running. The Fabulous Thunderbirds' Kim Wilson is on the ballot for the Harmonica Instrumentalist title, while the legendary soul/gospel singer Candi Staton is vying for Soul Blues Female Artist honors.

40th Blues Music Awards Nominees

Acoustic Album:
A Woman's Soul - Rory Block
Black Cowboys - Dom Flemons
Global Griot - Eric Bibb
Journeys To The Heart Of The Blues - Joe Louis Walker/Bruce Katz/Giles Robson
Wish The World Away - Ben Rice
Acoustic Artist:
Ben Rice
Guy Davis
Hadden Sayers
Harrison Kennedy
Rory Block

Album of the Year:
America's Child - Shemekia Copeland
The High Cost Of Low Living - The Nick Moss Band Featuring Dennis Gruenling
Journeys To The Heart Of The Blues - Joe Louis Walker/Bruce Katz/Giles Robson
Rough Cut - Curtis Salgado and Alan Hager
Why Did You Have To Go - Anthony Geraci

B.B. King Entertainer:
Beth Hart
Bobby Rush
Lil' Ed Williams
Michael Ledbetter
Sugaray Rayford

Band of the Year:
Anthony Geraci & The Boston Blues All-Stars
Larkin Poe
Lil' Ed & the Blues Imperials
Nick Moss Band
Welch-Ledbetter Connection

Best Emerging Artist Album:
Burn Me Alive - Heather Newman
Free- Amanda Fish
Heartland And Soul - Kevin Burt
Tough As Love - Lindsay Beaver
Wish The World Away - Ben Rice

Blues Rock Album:
The Big Bad Blues - Billy F Gibbons
High Desert Heat - Too Slim and the Taildraggers
Live At The '62 Center - Albert Cummings
Poor Until Payday - The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band
Winning Hand - Tinsley Ellis

Blues Rock Artist:
Billy F Gibbons
Eric Gales
J.P. Soars
Kenny Wayne Shepherd
Tinsley Ellis

Contemporary Blues Album:
America's Child - Shemekia Copeland
Belle Of The West - Samantha Fish
Chicago Plays The Stones - The Living History Band
Hold On - Kirk Fletcher
Wild Again - The Proven Ones

Contemporary Blues Female Artist:
Beth Hart
Danielle Nicole
Samantha Fish
Shemekia Copeland
Vanessa Collier

Contemporary Blues Male Artist:
Kenny Neal
Rick Estrin
Ronnie Baker Brooks
Selwyn Birchwood
Toronzo Cannon

Instrumentalist - Bass:
Danielle Nicole
Michael "Mudcat" Ward
Patrick Rynn
Scot Sutherland
Willie J. Campbell

Instrumentalist - Drums:
Cedric Burnside
Jimi Bott
June Core
Tom Hambridge
Tony Braunagel

Instrumentalist - Guitar:
Anson Funderburgh
Christoffer "Kid" Andersen
Laura Chavez
Monster Mike Welch
Ronnie Earl

Instrumentalist - Harmonica:
Billy Branch
Bob Corritore
Dennis Gruenling
Kim Wilson
Mark Hummel

Instrumentalist - Horn:
Doug James
Jimmy Carpenter
Kaz Kazzanof
Mindi Abair
Nancy Wright
Vanessa Collier

Pinetop Perkins Piano Player (Instrumentalist - Piano):
Anthony Geraci
Bruce Katz
Jim Pugh
Marcia Ball
Mike Finnigan

Instrumentalist - Vocals:
Beth Hart
Danielle Nicole
Janiva Magness
Michael Ledbetter
Shemekia Copeland

Song of the Year:
"Ain't Got Time For Hate," written by John Hahn and Will Kimbrough
"Angelina, Angelina," written by Anthony Geraci
"Cognac," written by Buddy Guy, Tom Hambridge, and Richard Fleming
"No Mercy In This Land," written by Ben Harper
"The Ice Queen," written by Sue Foley

Soul Blues Album:
Back In Business - Frank Bey
Every Soul's A Star - Dave Keller
I'm Still Around - Johnny Rawls
Love Makes A Woman - The Knickerbocker All-Stars
Reckoning - Billy Price

Soul Blues Female Artist:
Annika Chambers
Barbara Blue
Candi Staton
Thornetta Davis
Whitney Shay

Soul Blues Male Artist:
Frank Bey
Johnny Rawls
Sugaray Rayford
Wee Willie Walker
William Bell

Traditional Blues Album:
The Blues Is Alive And Well - Buddy Guy
The High Cost Of Low Living - Nick Moss Band Featuring Dennis Gruenling
The Luckiest Man - Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters
Tribute to Carey Bell - Lurrie Bell & the Bell Dynasty
Why Did You Have To Go - Anthony Geraci

Koko Taylor Award (Traditional Blues Female Artist):
Fiona Boyes
Lindsay Beaver
Ruthie Foster
Sue Foley
Trudy Lynn

Traditional Blues Male Artist:
Anthony Geraci
Cedric Burnside
James Harman
Lurrie Bell
Nick Moss

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