The 2012 Blues Blast Music Award nominees were announced for eight categories. Details for the ceremony are still be finalized but past BBMA ceremonies have taken place at Buddy Guy's Legends in Chicago, usually in October.
We may not have the lowdown of when the winners will be announced but we know who is in the running and voting for the awards has already opened. Winners are chosen by subscribers to the free Blues Blast e-magazine, an online publication with more than 20,000 subscribers worldwide. Blues fans can sign up for Blues Blast and take part in the voting through August 31.
The nominees this year are once again an impressive list and it's always refreshing to see some different names among the BBMA nominees compared to those of the Blues Music Awards handed out by the Blues Foundation or those nominated for the sole blues Grammy still being awarded.
I'm not going to call my shots on how I, as a Blues Blast subscriber, intend to vote but I can't contain my excitement at seeing Kilborn Alley Blues Band nominated for Best Blues Band and International Treasure (that's right, he's been promoted) Lurrie Bell up for Best Male Blues Artist. KABB and Bell recently released great albums in Four and The Devil Ain't Got No Music, respectively.
Eugene "Hideaway" Bridges continues to be a breakthrough talent in the blues world after years of hard work and his excellent Rock And A Hard Place has clearly found a place in the ears and hearts of blues critics and listeners alike. Another veteran act, The Cash Box Kings, also had a big year with their Holler and Stomp record and they're up for multiple awards.
One of my favorite albums from last year, the collaborative Chicago Blues - A Living History The (R)Evolution Continues is nominated and the talents on that record are among the best. Hall of Famers like Billy Boy Arnold and Buddy Guy took part, as did the aforementioned International Treasure Lurrie Bell, Billy Branch, and John Primer.
Perennial favorites Joe Louis Walker, whose Hellfire is among the year's best, and Janiva Magness are also among the nominees along with some newcomers who are worth watching in the years that come.
Remember: you can help decide the winners by voting between now and August 31.
See the full list of nominees below:
Contemporary Blues Album
Traditional Blues Album
Song Of The Year
New Artist Debut Release
Male Blues Artist
Female Blues Artist
Blues Band of The Year
Sean Costello Rising Star Award