The Special Drink of 2013:
Well it was a wild year, with the move, the job situation (Leslie) and the initial travel and getting situated in South Carolina. So here’s this years potable honoring our new home state.
Bluffton Blues Iced Tea…
Absolute Wild Tea Vodka, unsweetened iced tea, fresh lemon and lime juice, with sprigs on fresh slightly bruised mint. Mix to your liking and sit back and enjoy this years edition of the Blues 411 ‘Jimi’ Awards. Winners are in Bold.
Best Live Recording:
Delta Moon: Life’s A Long Song – Live Vol. 1&2
Murali Coryell: LIVE
Little Bit A Blues: Little Bit A Blues Live at B.B. King’s Bluesville
Kirsten Thien: Solo Live from the Meisenfrei Blues Club
Phil Gates: Live at The Hermosa Saloon
The production level of live recordings has sky rocketed in the past few years, the five of these are equally superb, but only one can win.
Acoustic Blues Release:
Steve Howell & The Mighty Men: Yes, I Believe I Will
Roy Bookbinder: The Good Book
Guy Davis: Juba Dance
Aaron Burton: The Return of Peetie Whitestraw
Marshall Lawrence: House Call
The perfectly natural sound of acoustic blues holds a spot close inside my soul. These releases touched me at a very deep and personal level.
Best Blues/Roots Release:
Ruff Kutt Blues Band: That’s When The Blues Begins
Omar Dykes: Runnin’ With The Wolf
Spencer Bohren: Tempered Steel
Lisa Biales: Singing In My Soul
April Mae & The June Bugs: Boogie!
Not the easiest category to classify, but with the inclusion of Roots to the Blues we open it up to a lot of releases and artists that may not get the needed props in other categories.
Best Soul R&B Release:
Bobby Rush: Down In Louisiana
Dave Keller: Soul Changes
Sojouners: Sing And Never Get Tired
Annie Mack: Baptized In The Blues
Deep in the roots of the blues is soul, gospel and R&B music they are like the first growths of Bourdeaux wines in France. All noble releases but only one winner.
Best Debut Release:
Kevin Selfe: Long Walk Home
Southern Hospitality: Easy Livin’
Wayne Sharp and The Sharpshooter Band: Living With the Blues
Grace Curran & The High Falutin’ Band: Proof of Love
Long Tall Deb: Raise Your Hands
Port City Prophets: Mule
As long as there are releases from talented rookies like these the blues will thrive and survive.
Alexis P. Suter
A wide range of styles and approaches the ladies are the rock on which the blues used to relay upon, and with these and others they may well reign again.
Eugene ‘Hideaway’ Bridges
Seriously emotive voices and deep resounding blues comes from all these cats, but ‘Hideaway’ thakes the prize
Electric Guitar Hero:
Electric Guitar Herorine:
Emily Burgess (24th Street Wailers)
Joanne Shaw Taylor
One from each gender, the variety, power, and personal approach makes these folks outstanding.
Melvin Smith (John Primer)
Ruth Davies (Elvin Bishop)
Charlie Wooten (RSB)
Carl Dufrene (Anders Osborne)
Holding down the bottom and keeping is the pocket is what it’s all about, these are the baddest of the badass bass players.
Radiating Them 88’s Piano/Keys Award:
It’s goes beyond piano here, into the realm of B-3, and organ work, all these cats are super qualified but one stands above right now.
Harmonica Player Award:
Might be the hardest to choose from, but one cat has shown so much talent and still has room to grow.
Drum Thumper Award:
Matt Tecu (Janiva Magness)
Chris Peet (Southern Hospitality)
Yonrico Scott (RSB)
Lindsey Beaver (24th Street Wailers)
Matt Sobb (Monkey Junk)
Henry Ancrum (Port City Prophets)
Keeping everyone else on time and in-line, these folks can take off when they have to. Our winner can cover so much ground and in so many ways and styles, mmm, mmm, mmm.
Rich DelGrosso – Mandolin
Dwayne Dopsie – Accordian
Washboard Jo – Washboard
Cyril Neville – Percussion
Otis Taylor – Electric Banjo
It ain’t all about guitars y’all.
Best Traditional Release:
Chris James & Patrick Rynn: Barrelhouse Stomp
Shawn Holt & The Teardrops: Daddy Told Me
Little G Weevil: Moving
Watermelon Slim & The Workers: Bull Goose Rooster
The California Honeydrops: Like You Mean It
John Primer: Knockin’ Around These Blues
Strong roots make good fruits, and these releases all can stand alone.
Coolest Release Title:
No Fluff, Just The Stuff (Tom Holland & The Shuffle Kings)
Road Worn and Ragged (Jeff Jensen)
Six Pack of Cool (Big Papa & The TCB)
Secretly Famous (Rev. Jimmie Bratcher)
Drink Drank Drunk (Andy T & Nick Nixon)
Back Porch Dogma (Contino)
Always interesting titles out there sometimes they really click. The winner pretty much captures the life of a music warrior.
International Release of the Year:
James Boroski: Coming Home
Sunday Wilde: He Gave Me A Blue Nightgown
Monkey Junk: All Frequencies
Hans Theessink: Wishing Well
Chris Antonik: Better For You
Doggin’ It: Dog I Am
Strong representation from Canada, and looks like one of them takes this baby home.
Rock/Blues Release of The Year:
Pam Taylor Band: Hot Mess
Port City Prophets: Mule
Trampled Under Foot: Badlands
Anthony Gomes: Before The Beginning
Mike Zito: Going To Texas
Jason Elmore & Hoodoo Witch: Tell You What
Always some incredible works in this area, these are the ones that made it this far and all could have won….
Best Contemporary Release:
Billy Thompson: Friend
Rusty Wright Band: This, That & The Other Thing
Tinsley Ellis: Get It!
The Homemade Jamz Blues Band: Mississippi Hill Country
Sena Ehrhardt: All In
Jeff Jensen: Road Worn & Ragged
Contemporary Blues is a mix of traditional and electric with a touch of modernism and a hint of rock.
Blues Book of The Year:
Eyre Price: Rock Island Rock
Bob Riesman: I Feel So Good: The Life andTimes OF Big Bill Broonzy
Mark Hummel: Big Road Blues: 12 Bars on I-80
Melvyn ‘Deacon’ Jones: 40 Years With Blues Legends
Peter Spellman: The Self-Promoting Musician (3rd Edition)
Books are always entertaining, informative and downright companions on the road, even if in Kindle or Nook form or electronic form of choice, so keep reading folks.
Song Of the Year:
“Do You Know Who I Am” The Fabulous Thunderbirds
“I’d Never Let Her Down” Big Joe Shelton
“17 Years” Dave Keller
“Go To Hell” Samantha Fish
“Electric Cigarette Blues” Roy Bookbinder
“Love Looks Good On You” Guy Davis
“Be Somebody” Mighty Mike Schermer
Many more than I could include here, a great year for songwriters. Seems to be a movement to more opinionated and pointed songs coming out these days. This winner is just sly enough to take the cake.
Album Of The Year:
Guy Davis: “Juba Dance”
Toronzo Cannon: “John The Conquer Root”
Jeff Jensen: Road Worn & Ragged
Watermelon Slim & The Workers: Bull Goose Rooster”
The California Honeydrops: “Like You Mean It”
Dan Trainor’s Afrosippi Band: “Tangled Road Again”
Too Slim & The Tail Draggers: Blue Heart
With just the right amount of current styled music and throw back old school blues, this winner is headed straight for the top of many folks list. BTW all of these releseases should be in your collection.
Festival of the Year:
Chenango Blues Festival (Norwich, NY)
Amelia Island Blues Festival
Carolina Downhome Blues Bash (Camden,SC)
Pennsylvania Blues Festival (Palmerton, PA)
Bradenton Blues Festival
All great fests, I can only elect thoses that we have attended, so of these The Pennsylvania Blues Festival in it’s 23rd year gets the top slot. Thank you Michael Cloeren for all you do.
Outstanding Fan/Supporter of Blues411:
Marcia Goodwin Adams
Mark ‘Mad Dog’ Brown
Donnie Miller (National Blues Network)
A hard working crew of supporters, Ms. Adams has contended for this one several years and has finally taken home the proverbial bacon.So now fry it up in a pan!
Thanks to everyone – managers, artists, fans, sponsors, booking agencies, PR folks, labels, DJ’s, friends and so on down the line, without each of you this adventure would not be possible.
See ya around the Blues Campus this year, stop and say hi. Remember support live music and the artists who bring it to us all.
Love, Peace & Chicken Grease
Where Blues Thrive