35th Blues Music Award Nominees Announced

Fromt he Blues Foundation Website (https://www.blues.org/#ref=index)
The Blues Foundation is pleased to announce the nominations for the annual Blues Music Awards, which will be presented at the Cook Convention Center in downtown Memphis, Tennessee on Thursday, May 8, 2014. The Blues Music Awards are universally recognized as the highest accolade afforded musicians and songwriters in Blues music. The annual Blues Music Awards ceremony is the premier event for Blues professionals, musicians, and fans from all over the world. The focus of this celebration is to recognize superior achievements in Blues performance, songwriting, and recording while honoring a rich cultural tradition. 
Leading the list of nominees for the 35th Blues Music Awards with five nominations are Lurrie Bell, James Cotton and Charlie MusselwhiteBuddy Guy received four. Rick Estrin, Doug MacLeod and Bobby Rush each garnered three nominations. Both of Charlie Musselwhite’s releases Get Up! with Ben Harper and Remembering Little Walter with a quintet of harpists were nominated (as they were for the Grammys®). It was good year for members of the Blues Hall of Fame as Cotton, Guy, Musselwhite, Rush and Billy Boy Arnold are all enshrined but still artistically relevant.The complete list of 35th Blues Music Award nominees follows.Tickets for the Award show go on sale December 16. Blues Foundation members are the only fans who vote to decide which nominees will actually take home the Blues Music Award. Of course, anyone can become a member!

Every year, the Blues Music Awards ceremony itself proves to be one of the best shows of the year. After all, almost every nominee not only attends, but also performs – creating a lineup comprised of the best of the best in blues all in one evening.

Major funding is provided by ArtsMemphis and the Tennessee Arts Commission. The 34rd Blues Music Awards are also sponsored by BMI, Catfood Records, Eagle Rock Entertainment, FedEx, First Tennessee Foundation, Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise, Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and Sony/Legacy.

35th Blues Music Award Nominees

Acoustic Album
There’s a Time – Doug MacLeod
Juba dance – Guy Davis featuring Fabrizio Poggi
Soulscape – Harrison Kennedy
Avalon – Rory Block
Unleashed – The Hound Kings

Acoustic Artist
Doug MacLeod
Guy Davis
Harrison Kennedy
Little G Weevil
Rory Block

Get Up! – Ben Harper with Charlie Musselwhite
Remembering Little Walter – Billy Boy Arnold, Charlie Musselwhite, Mark Hummel, Sugar Ray Norcia & James Harman
Rhythm & Blues – Buddy Guy
Cotton Mouth Man – James Cotton
Blues in My Soul – Lurrie Bell

B.B. King Entertainer
Bobby Rush
Buddy Guy
John Németh
Kim Wilson
Rick Estrin

Lil Ed & the Blues Imperials
Rick Estrin & the Night Cats
Tedeschi Trucks Band
The Mannish Boys
Trampled Under Foot

Best New Artist Debut
Double Crossing Blues – Adrianna Marie and Her Groovecutters
Rooster – Clay Swafford
Proof of Love – Gracie Curran & the High Falutin’ Band
What’s the Chance… – Paul Gabriel
Daddy Told Me – Shawn Holt & the Teardrops
Pushin’ Against a Stone – Valerie June

Contemporary Blues Album
Get Up! – Ben Harper with Charlie Musselwhite
This Time Another Year – Brandon Santini
Rhythm & Blues – Buddy Guy
Magic Honey – Cyril Neville
Badlands – Trampled Under Foot

Contemporary Blues Female Artist
Ana Popovic
Beth Hart
Bettye LaVette
Candye Kane
Susan Tedeschi

Contemporary Blues Male Artist
Buddy Guy
Gary Clark, Jr.
Johnny Sansone
Kim Wilson
Otis Taylor

High John Records – Time Brings About a Change (Floyd Dixon)
J&R Adventures – An Acoustic Evening at the Vienna Opera House (Joe Bonamassa)
Shake-It-Sugar Records – Live (Murali Coryell)
Ruf Records – Songs from the Road (Royal Southern Brotherhood)
Blue Star Connection – Live at Knuckleheads (The Healers)

The Sun Blues Box (Various Artists) – Bear Family
The Original Honeydripper (Roosevelt Sykes) – Blind Pig Records
The Jewel/Paula Blues Story (Various Artists) – Fuel Records
Death Might Be Your Santa Claus (Various Artists) – Legacy Recordings
The Complete King/Federal Singles (Freddie King) – Real Gone Music

Bill Stuve
Bob Stroger
Danielle Schnebelen
Larry Taylor
Patrick Rynn

Cedric Burnside
Jimi Bott
Kenny Smith
Tom Hambridge
Tony Braunagel

Anson Funderburgh
Gary Clark, Jr.
Kid Andersen
Lurrie Bell
Ronnie Earl

Brandon Santini
Charlie Musselwhite
James Cotton
Kim Wilson
Rick Estrin

Big James Montgomery
Eddie Shaw
Jimmy Carpenter
Sax Gordon
Terry Hanck

Koko Taylor Award (Traditional Blues Female)
Diunna Greenleaf
Lavelle White
Teeny Tucker
Trudy Lynn
Zora Young

Rock Blues Album
Gone to Texas – Mike Zito & the Wheel
Made Up Mind – Tedeschi Trucks Band
Can’t Get Enough – The Rides
John the Conquer Root – Toronzo Cannon
Luther’s Blues – Walter Trout

Pinetop Perkins Piano Player
Barrellhouse Chuck
Dave Keyes
Marcia Ball
Mike Finnigan
Victor Wainwright

“Blues in My Soul” – Lurrie Bell
“He Was There” – James Cotton, Tom Hambridge & Richard Fleming
“That’s When the Blues Begins” – James Goode
“The Entitled Few” – Doug MacLeod
“The Night the Pie Factory Burned Down” – Johnny Sansone

Soul Blues Album
Down In Louisiana – Bobby Rush
Soul Changes – Dave Keller
Soul for Your Blues – Frank Bey & Anthony Paule Band
Remembering O. V. – Johnny Rawls
Truth Is (Putting Love Back Into the Music) – Otis Clay

Soul Blues Female Artist
Barbara Carr
Denise LaSalle
Dorothy Moore
Irma Thomas
Sista Monica

Soul Blues Male Artist
Bobby Rush
Frank Bey
John Nemeth
Johnny Rawls
Otis Clay

Traditional Blues Album
Driftin’ from Town to Town – Barrelhouse Chuck & Kim Wilson’s Blues All-Stars
Remembering Little Walter – Billy Boy Arnold, Charlie Musselwhite, Mark Hummel, Sugar Ray Norcia, James Harman
Cotton Mouth Man – James Cotton
Blues in My Soul – Lurrie Bell
Black Toppin’ – The Cash Box Kings

Traditional Blues Male Artist
Anson Funderburgh
Billy Boy Arnold
James Cotton
John Primer
Lurrie Bell


Love, Peace & Chicken Grease

©Blues411.com 2013
Where Blues Thrive

CD Reviews: Fly By Music, Or Is It Music To Fly By ?

Well with 2 hours of delay added my flight from Rochester to Chicago, and headed to San Francisco, I had ample time to listen to a few newer releases from some artists that I had not been familiar with. This was pretty cool, it offered me a chance to hear (and re-affirm) just how many great musicians there are in the Blues family. Oh yeh, managed to get to the connecting flight by running to the gate and huffing and puffing my way onto the flight. And as you can tell by pictures, had a great time in San Francisco.

Billy Thompson: A Better Man: (Papa Lee Records)

Okeh kiddoes, the line up here is butt-kicking. Produced by Tony Braunagel, who also plays the drums. Featuring Mike Finnigan, Johnny Lee Schell, The Texicali Horns (Joe Sublett/Darrell Leonard) and Kenny Gradney & Hutch Hutchinson this is kinda like the Phantom-Bonnie Raitt-Little Feat- Blues Band or what Blind Faith only hoped to be, a super group, even if they are just on this release.
I’d like to talk about the title track ‘A Better Man’, first of all. Since Mr. Thompson titled the release after this song I felt there was a connection that I needed to explore. Good thought, to quote Fred Sanford ‘you big dummy’….

In it Billy sings of the hope and belief that after all the crap, disappointment, failures, missed opportunities that occur to us that we will come out of it and become ‘better men’. As he sings regarding the “grief and glory’ that we go thru one cannot help but feel the truth ring out in his words. It truly is our quest to live thru these hard times and to come away being ‘a better man today’. The feeling of redemption is helped along by some seriuosly righteous work by Mike Finnigan.

Billy provides us with an intersting take on the oft’ used term, ‘Born Again’. In this song he tells us how his lonely prayers were answered by the love of his woman and, and in doing so it provided the saving he needed and thus made him feel as if he was born again. With this usage it somehow seems more real than the hackneyed politico/religious phrase that we have become used to.

Billy possesses a fine, gruff-tinged voice the he uses well to convey the often intricate points he makes with his music. His guitar work is spot-on, never overplaying and always being in the right place at the right time and in the right form needed. His songwriting is intelligent and thought provoking with such lines as ‘what was up down under you’ from ‘Who Knew’ and his work on ‘the aforementioned ‘Better Man’, but does not stop there. His songs that seem to come from ‘everyman’ and he has graciously put pen to paper and share with us. There is an ever-present upside to Billy’s music which I believe comes from a man who has lived life on all sides of life and survived. His tales remind us al that life in not written in stone and there is always redemption and we can all move on and become ‘a better man’.

This is a fine album and the production by Mr. Braunagel only adds to the deep soulfull feel of this release.

Nerak Roth Patterson: Brown Angel  Self produced

Out of Yellow Springs, Ohio a hotbed of the blues, Mr. Patterson is an up and coming singer, songwriter, and guitar playing Blues man, who has logged serious time with Guy Davis, and many others. Mr. Patterson’s latest release showcases his multiple talents in a wide variety of music for our enjoyment.

He offers 2 versions of title track ‘Brown Angel’ and the instrumental ‘Brown Angel Blues’. They differ in approach, which allows ‘Roth’ to showcase his singing and shuffle based guitar licks in the first version, and the ‘Blues’ version provides us with a driving guitar based sampling of his fine fretwork. Reminding one of SRV but with a keen ear for bends and understanding the value of the space between notes. Personally I would like to hear more instrumental tracks – let the instrument(s) take center stage and play on brothers and sisters. But that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Showcasing a nice mix of style and substance Mr. Patterson spends time getting funky in ‘Everybody Counts’, banging the Reggae beat with ‘Lovin’ Each Other’ add to those a taste of New Orleans, a-la The Neville Brothers, in Raisin’ Hell. I like the thoughts expressed in ‘Raisin’ Hell’ as Nerak, the protagonist, raises to much hell down below that the Devils has taken to drinking beer and sent Nerak back up to Earth cos he can’t deal with him down below. Just a funny, nice twist showing some real originality in his song writer song writing skills that venture out of the ordinary.

Earlier I mentioned SRV style guitar playing, Mr. Patterson is not a one style player. His roots and influences vary and are backed by a solid skill set in each ‘style/form’ of the Blues he plays. There are hints of Otis Rush, B.B. King, and T-Bone Walker, but with him doing that he makes them part of his own sound. It is quite apparent on the cut ‘It Ain’t Over’ where there is a semi-trippy feel to the song and his guitar has a very cool sound here.

The final cut is ‘Truckin’ Man Blues’ which features Ian Anderson and Doane Perry from Jethro Tull (yeh them). This song provides us a great ride on 61 Highway, with Mr. Patterson,  Mr. Anderson and Mr. Perry providing the bumps, twists and sharp turns before delivering us, unharmed, at the very crossroads we have often heard about in the Blues. I must share a quote that Ian Anderson said about Mr. Patterson…
“Roth is a rare find and an increasingly soul-less and machine driven musical world.” Now ain’t that the truth.

As mentioned earlier this is a self-produced release, I must say that I would like to hear what Mr. Patterson could turn out if he was availed of a full blown studio, and all the accoutrements that come with it. Is anybody out there ?

John-Alex Mason: Jook Joint Thunderclap (Naked Jaybird)

 First off, anyone who shares my birth date (not year, goodness NO) is OK with me, got that straight. Cool.

Now, there will always be that historical rift that runs between the sacred and the profane that has tormented Blues singers such as Son House, Skip James and Dion Dimucci. In Mr. Mason’s latest effort he confronts the problems that these others have done in the past, and in doing so comes to a stand-off, which is probably as good as one can ask for.

Featuring guest appearances by such luminaries as Gerry Hundt (harmonica, 9-string banjo), Cedric Burnside (Drums) and Cody Burnside (vocals) and Steve ‘Lightin’ ‘ Malcolm (guitar, bass), 2011 IBC winner Lionel Young (fiddle, bass), and percussionist Fara Tolno & Alya Sylla. This collection of ten songs shakes all the walls of artificial genre classifications. Equally at home in Roots, Delta, Spiritual, Jam and Modern.

Outstanding amonsgt these songs are “Gone So Long’ we see Mr. Mason tapping into the spirit of that postwar Memphis sound, his guitar snarling and licking at it’s own flames as he sets the stage for Mr. Cody Burnside to lay down a dynamic staccato rap (thank you gentlemen for doing this) that will have you re-thinking the idea of rap and it’s place in the Blues world (thanks again LOL).

Let’s take that thought and move to another cut featuring Mr. C. Burnside and world percussionists, Yolno & Sylla. ‘Riding On’ is a maelstrom of poly-rhythmic impressions that somehow fuse together what I believe will be a much sought after sound-marriage in the future.

Just to differ somewhat “Diamond Rain’ offers us a tear down of the illusionary borders between Blues and Country. Re-establishing the formers rightful place in the Blues house. A toe-tapping jaunt, with Mr. Mason laying the groundwork for Mr. Young to clean up with his fiddle playing bringing both grace and fire to it.

I do believe this release has successfully bridged the gap between Church music and the Devils music, but also between the generations of Blues artists and fans. Hopefully this release will reach across the borders and create a massive upheavel of what is thought of as these different styles of music and bring some light in the form of truth to us all.

Love, Peace & Chicken Grease

photos courtesy of  Artists, chefjimi.
©Blues411.com 2011

LRBC –Another Great Day to Be At Sea

Virgins report to the Pool Deck to get leid – repeat offenders to the lounge for the returnee party. Virgins get treated to performances by ‘virgin’ acts, this year it was Lightin’ Malcolm and Cedric Burnside aka Two Man Wrecking Crew, and Grady Champion. Which isnt too shabby, oh yeh, along with champagne, mimosas’ or bloody mary’s. My only concern was that it might be a little cold up there.

Repeat Offenders settle into the lounge and were treated to the ‘Coffee and Chicken Review’. This is a song written by Jimmy Thackery about Smokin’ Joe Kubeks’ need for coffee on a regular basis (many times a day) while on the road and his partner in the Blues, Bnois King’s diet – which consists of KFC. Of course there were plenty of drinks available to the returnees to begin their day. Aforementioned, Grady Champion wowed the crowd on the deck with his band which consist of Nathan Keck (a talented young guitarist), Chis Gill on slide, Xavres Good on drums and Marquis Champion (Grady’s) son, on drums. With a voice that is a fiery mixture of grit and soul, and harp playing that is both energetic and accomplished, Mr. Champion would appear to be a fast rising star, and new favorite of the cruise.

Elvin Bishops’ Raisin’ Hell Revue featured a wonderful assortment of talented musicians such as Kid Anderson and Bob Welsh on guitar (along with Elvin). A dynamic horn section with Brother Ed Early on ‘bone, Terry Hanck on sax, versatile keyboardist and accordionist, Steve Willis, Ruth Davies on bass, and Bobby Cochran on drums. Throw in Finis Tasby, and John Nemeth and you won’t find a better revue anywhere. All took the spotlight on various numbers but Terry Hanck wowed the crowd with some searing vocals and nasty sax work. Not to be outdone was John Nemeth whose voice is so very fine that it defies description. A big plus to Kid Anderson and Elvin for their fun verbal fisticuffs concerning the nattily attired Kid, vs. the down home Elvin wardrobe.

Deciding to actually eat dinner tonight we hit the Rotterdam dining room dressed in theme appropriate (Soul Blues Night) attire. Not many cruisers seemed to get the ‘theme thing’ here but that could be attributed to the large number of ‘virgin’ cruisers on the West Coast cruise. Had the opportunity to spend some quality time with XM 74’s ‘voice of god’ Big Llou and learned of how much he is enjoying working with XM and just how amazed he is at the Blues community caring and friendliness, and how he seems to have, also, found his tribe.

In order to work off a seriously full course meal, the pool deck featured a full nights worth of entertainment starting with Coco Montoya. His performance was a sign of how great a blues player he really is and his band just kicked butt and continued to every time we saw him.

Next up was the much anticipated appearance of Johnny & Edgar Winter. It is great to have Johnny back on the scene and Edgar was looking healthy and at the top of his musical game. Each taking turns to feature their works, and then jamming together at the end of the set. If you want to read a wonderful book about Johnny’s life please consider Mary Lou Sullivan’s’ “Raising Cain’ it is a wonderful in depth biography and highly recommend it.

Hoping to move around somewhat – and get off the pool deck (still) – I planned on seeing the beginning of the Low Rider Pro-Jam, and moving to the Piano Bar after a while. As they say (whoever they are) the road to Hades is paved with good intentions. So instead of Slippin’ into darkness, and asking the musical question, why can’t we be friends? I hung out with the Cisco Kid and realised that the World is a Ghetto and got sucked into the Pro-Jam hosted by Low Rider Band. Wait – weren’t those songs by War ? Well yeh, the Low rider Band are the majority of artists from he original band War. As funky as ever they kept us dancing thru the late night into he early morning hours. Fronted by vocalist/guitar player Howard Scott, Lee Oskar on harmonica, drummer Harold Brown (as funky as anyone) they ripped a few fav’s fro over the years and then brought up Mr. Larry McCray, Sister Monica Parker, Dennis Jones and a host of others as we ventured into P-Funk, James Brown and some down home tasty soul-stirring funk. With nothing left in the tank it signaled it was time to end of Day 2.

Highlight: The Low Rider Pro-Jam with MC’s Big Llou, and Scrap Iron and the refusal of the band to quit it – they just kept doing it again and again.

Up next Day 3 Cabo, Fish Tacos, Pacifico and love or confusion . . .

Until next time,

Love,Peace & Chicken Grease

©Blues411.com 2010