Lurrie Bell, Kilborn Alley Blues Band, Cash Box Kings Lead 2012 Blues Blast Music Award Nominees

Voting is now open for the 2012 Blues Blast Music Awards...
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2012 Blues Blast Music Awards Kilborn Alley Blues Band, Lurrie Bell, Joe Louis Walker, Janiva Magness

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.

Kilborn Alley Blues BandLurrie Bell

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

  • Eugene "Hideway" Bridges - Rock And A Hard Place
  • Toronzo Cannon - Leaving Mood
  • Janiva Magness - Stronger For It
  • Billy Thompson - A Better Man
  • Johnny Sansone - Lord Is Waiting the Devil Is Too
  • Joe Louis Walker - Hellfire
  • Traditional Blues Album

  • Mac Arnold And Plate Full O' Blues - Blues Revival
  • The Cash Box Kings- Holler And Stomp
  • Chicago Blues: A Living History The (R)evolution Continues – (Billy Boy Arnold, John Primer, Billy Branch, Lurrie Bell with Ronnie Baker Brooks, Magic Slim, James Cotton, Buddy Guy)
  • Big James And The Chicago Playboys - The Big Pay Back
  • Mud Morganfield - Son Of The Seventh Son
  • Bernie Pearl – Sittin on Right Side Of The Blues
  • Sugar Ray And The Bluetones - Evening
  • Song Of The Year

  • "Holler And Stomp" - Joe Noseck (Holler And Stomp - The Cash Box Kings)
  • "Thank You for Giving Me the Blues" - Grady Champion, Zac Harmon And Chris Troy (Dreamin' - Grady Champion)
  • "Blinded By The Darkness" - Matthew Curry (If I Don't Got You - Matthew Curry And The Fury)
  • "That's How A Woman Loves A Man" - EG Kight (Lip Service - EG Kight)
  • "I Won't Cry" - Janiva Magness And Dave Darling (Stronger For It - Janiva Magness)
  • "Back to the Blues" - Hadden Sayers (Hard Dollar - Hadden Sayers)
  • New Artist Debut Release

  • Ivan Appelrouth - Blues And Instrumental
  • Matthew Curry And The Fury - If I Don't Got You
  • Mary Bridget Davies - Wanna Feel Somethin'
  • Sena Ehrhardt Band - Leave The Lights On
  • Big Pete - Choice Cuts
  • Andy Poxon Band - Red Roots
  • Male Blues Artist

  • Lurrie Bell
  • Tab Benoit
  • Bob Corritore
  • John Primer
  • Bobby Rush
  • Johnny Sansone
  • Joe Louis Walker
  • Female Blues Artist

  • Shemekia Copeland
  • Ruthie Foster
  • Diunna Greenleaf
  • EG Kight
  • Janiva Magness
  • Ana Popovic
  • Blues Band of The Year

  • The Cash Box Kings
  • Big James And The Chicago Playboys
  • Kilborn Alley
  • Lil' Ed And The Blues Imperials
  • Sugar Ray And The Bluetones
  • Trampled Under Foot
  • Sean Costello Rising Star Award

  • Toronzo Cannon
  • Matthew Curry And The Fury
  • Mary Bridget Davies
  • Sena Ehrhardt
  • Mud Morganfield
  • Victor Wainright