Gary Clark Jr, Nick Moss Join Magness, Nemeth, Tedeschi Trucks Band Among 34th Blues Music Award Nominees

Legends, fresh faces, and favorites among the nominated (as well as the snubs)...
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Nominees for the 34th Blues Music Awards have been announced and once again Janiva Magness is out front along with John Nemeth when it comes to most nominations and Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi are once again well represented as they have been the past two years.

I'm mostly pleased with the nominees and will enjoy voting for some great artists and records and will struggle to choose among them in some categories. I'm also annoyed past the point of outrage some deserving artists and their albums aren't on the ballot enough or at all. I didn't have the opportunity to review as many of these records throughout the eligibility period as I should have liked but I've most of these albums and will make it a point here at this gift-giving time to treat myself to a few more of these before finalizing my ballot. I'll highlight a few categories and nominees now and hope to come back and do a little more in depth breakdown of them between now and awards night on May 9, 2013 in Memphis.

Eric Bibb - Blues Music Award Nominee

Let's start with the happys: Eric Bibb's Deeper In The Well is such a special record and I'm thrilled to see it nominated in the Acoustic Album category along with Hall of Famer Billy Boy Arnold's ...Sings Big Bill Broonzy, an equally special record. This entire category is pretty amazing and will be the toughest choice for me because Bob National Treasure Lurrie BellMargolin and Ann Rabson made a wonderful record together and while I haven't heard John Primer's record yet (that gets rectified... STAT), he's such a great artist and I can't imagine I won't love Blues On Solid Ground. Paul Rishell is an artist I'm least familiar with but he's in great company. The one thing that would have made this category impossible for me is if the nominees had done the right thing and nominated National Treasure Lurrie Bell's The Devil Ain't Got No Music. Bell did get a nomination for the title track in the Song Of The Year category but he belongs in this one as well. And in the Acoustic Artist category, I'm very happy to see Carolina Chocolate Drops nominated. Good for them!

Gary Clark Jr

I'm very excited to see Gary Clark Jr. getting some recognition from the Blues Foundation, although I probably would have put Blak & Blu in the Blues-Rock category rather than Contemporary Blues. I'm very glad the Nick MossFoundation remembered to give Nick Moss' Here I Am a nod in the Blues-Rock category but am sorely disappointed they didn't get his outstanding band in the Best Band category. Blue Bella Records labelmates Kilborn Alley Blues Band were shut out altogether and that's a total outrage. Four is such a great record and they're an amazing ensemble band, deserving of far better treatment than this. Their absence and the under representation of Bell are probably my two biggest gripes. I have others but I'm resigned to those. Bell does have a backdoor nomination, having collaborated with his godfather Eddie C. Campbell on the killer Spider Eating Preacher record.

Our beloved Curtis Salgado had a really challenging year, releasing a fantastic record (Soul Shot) and then having surgery to treat a recurrence of cancer. He is recovering well and I'm so happy and 

Curtis Salgado

thankful he's with us, ready to perform and entertain again and glad to see him nominated a number of times along with his Alligator Records labelmate Joe Louis Walker. It's very bittersweet to see another Alligator Artist, Michael "Iron Man" Burks, nominated in prominent categories for his Show Of Strength LP. The blues world is still in shock at his passing earlier this year at age 54.

Those are a few of my cheers and jeers. We'll discuss these records further in the coming months. In the meantime, peruse the nominees and weigh in with your thoughts.

Acoustic Album

  • Billy Boy Arnold Sings Big Bill Broonzy - Billy Boy Arnold
  • Blues on Solid Ground - John Primer
  • Deeper in the Well - Eric Bibb
  • Not Alone - Ann Rabson w/ Bob Margolin
  • Talking Guitar - Paul Rishell

Acoustic Artist

  • Carolina Chocolate Drops
  • Doug MacLeod
  • Eric Bibb
  • Harrison Kennedy
  • Paul Rishell


  • And Still I Rise - Heritage Blues Orchestra
  • Double Dynamite - The Mannish Boys
  • Show of Strength - Michael Burks
  • Son of the Seventh Son - Mud Morganfield
  • Stronger For It - Janiva Magness

B.B. King Entertainer

  • Curtis Salgado
  • Janiva Magness
  • Joe Louis Walker
  • John Nemeth
  • Rick Estrin


  • Lil' Ed & the Blues Imperials
  • Phantom Blues Band
  • Rick Estrin & the Nightcats
  • Tedeschi Trucks Band
  • The Mannish Boys

Best New Artist Debut

  • 24 Hour Blues - Charles "CD" Davis
  • They Call Me Big Llou - Big LLou Johnson
  • Turning on the Naughty - Paula Harris
  • Uphill from Anywhere - Brad Hatfield
  • Wanna Feel Somethin' - Mary Bridget Davies

Contemporary Blues Album

  • Blak & Blu - Gary Clark, Jr.
  • Blues Live - John Nemeth
  • Candy Store Kid - Ian Siegal & the Mississippi Mudbloods
  • Hellfire - Joe Louis Walker
  • Show of Strength - Michael Burks
  • Stronger For It - Janiva Magness

Contemporary Blues Female Artist

  • Bettye LaVette
  • Janiva Magness
  • Shakura S'Aida
  • Shemekia Copeland
  • Susan Tedeschi

Contemporary Blues Male Artist

  • Gary Clark, Jr.
  • Joe Louis Walker
  • Michael Burks
  • Robert Cray
  • Tab Benoit


  • The Lucky Peterson Band feat. Tamara Peterson: Live at the 55 Arts Club Berlin by Lucky Peterson
  • We Juke Up in Here! Mississippi's Juke Joint Culture at the Crossroads
  • That's My Thing - Elvin Bishop Live in Concert by Elvin Bishop
  • Live at Checkerboard Lounge by Muddy Waters & The Rolling Stones
  • Beacon Theatre - Live from New York by Joe Bonamassa

Gibson Guitar

  • Derek Trucks
  • Joe Bonamassa
  • Joe Louis Walker
  • Kid Andersen
  • Michael Burks

Historical Album

  • Plug It In! Turn It Up! Electric Blues by Various Artists
  • Complete Hit Singles A's & B's by Little Willie John
  • Raw Blues: Magic Sam Live 1969 by Magic Sam
  • Someday... by Otis Spann
  • Ladies & Gentlemen... Mr. B.B. King by B.B. King


  • Cedric Burnside
  • Cody Dickinson
  • Jimi Bott
  • Kenny Smith
  • Tony Braunagel


  • Bill Stuve
  • Bob Stroger
  • Patrick Rynn
  • Richard Cousins
  • Scot Sutherland
  • Willie J. Campbell


  • Billy Boy Arnold
  • Bob Corritore
  • John Nemeth
  • Kim Wilson
  • Mark Hummel
  • Rick Estrin


  • Al Basile
  • Big James Montgomery
  • Eddie Shaw
  • Kaz Kazanoff
  • Terry Hanck

Koko Taylor Award (Traditional Blues Female)

  • Diunna Greenleaf
  • Jewel Brown
  • Maria Muldaur
  • Ruthie Foster
  • Tracy Nelson

Rock Blues Album

  • Blues for the Modern Daze - Walter Trout
  • Driving Towards the Daylight - Joe Bonamassa
  • Everybody's Talkin' - Tedeschi Trucks Band
  • Here I Am - Nick Moss
  • Royal Southern Brotherhood - Royal Southern Brotherhood

Pinetop Perkins Piano Player

  • Barrelhouse Chuck
  • Chuck Leavell
  • David Maxwell
  • Deanna Bogart
  • Mike Finnegan
  • Victor Wainwright


  • "I Won't Cry"- Janiva Magness & Dave Darling - Stronger for It - Janiva Magness
  • "Lemon Pie"- John Hahn & Oliver Wood - 33 1/3 - Shemekia Copeland
  • "She Didn't Cut Me Loose" written by Curtis Salgado, Marlon McClain & Dave Duncan on Soul Shot by Curtis Salgado
  • "The Devil Ain't Got No Music" written by Matthew Skoller on The Devil Ain't Got No Music by Lurrie Bell
  • Too Much Jesus (Not Enough Whiskey) written by Sam McClain & Pat Herlehy on by Mighty Sam McClain

Soul Blues Album

  • Blues Heart - Dorothy Moore
  • Soul Live - John Nemeth
  • Soul Shot - Curtis Salgado
  • Soul Survivor - Johnny Rawls
  • Too Much Jesus (Not Enough Whiskey) - Mighty Sam McClain

Soul Blues Female Artist

  • Barbara Carr
  • Denise LaSalle
  • Dorothy Moore
  • Irma Thomas
  • Sista Monica

Soul Blues Male Artist

  • Bobby Rush
  • Curtis Salgado
  • John Nemeth
  • Johnny Rawls
  • Mighty Sam McClain

Traditional Blues Album

  • And Still I Rise - Heritage Blues Orchestra
  • Double Dynamite - The Mannish Boys
  • Milton Hopkins with Jewel Brown - Milton Hopkins with Jewel Brown
  • Son of the Seventh Son - Mud Morganfield
  • Spider Eating Preacher - Eddie C. Campbell

Traditional Blues Male Artist

  • Bob Margolin
  • John Primer
  • Lil' Ed
  • Magic Slim
  • Mud Morganfield