Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Blues Music Awards, Hall of Fame Inductions To Be Held in Memphis On May 5


MEMPHIS, Tenn. — On Thursday, May 5, 2016, the Blues Foundation will present its annual Blues Music Awards at the Cook Convention Center in downtown Memphis, Tennessee. The Awards are universally regarded as the highest accolade afforded to blues performers, and the awards ceremony is widely recognized as the premier event for professionals, musicians and fans from around the world. The mission of the celebration is to honor the rich cultural tradition of the blues by recognizing the past year’s outstanding achievements in performance, songwriting and recording.

On May 4, at the Halloran Centre for Performing Arts, the Blues Foundation will induct five legendary artists into the Blues Hall of FameElvin Bishop, Eddy Clearwater, Jimmy Johnson, John Mayall, Memphis Jug Band, and Malaco Records’ Tommy Couch Sr. and Wolf Stephenson. Elected by a select group of respected blues scholars and industry veterans, Hall of Fame inductees are recognized for their musical achievements and their contributions to blues history.

Leading this year’s award nomination count are James Harman with five nominations, and Anthony Geraci and Sugaray Rayford, who each have four nominations. Harman and Geraci will go head to head in three categories: Best Song, Best Album and Best Traditional Blues Album. Harman’s gift for musical storytelling, combined with the soulful sound of his newest release, Bonetime, propelled him to a nomination as Best Traditional Male Blues Artist, and his strong musicianship set the stage for his nomination as Best Instrumentalist — Harmonica. Geraci’s piano finesse led to a nomination for the prestigious Pinetop Perkins Piano Player award. Vocalist-songwriter Rayford is nominated for Contemporary Blues Album and Contemporary Blues Male Artist, as well as Best Song and the B.B. King Entertainer Award.

Cedric Burnside and Shemekia Copeland, 2016 Grammy nominees, each have three nominations here, as do Doug MacLeod, the Cash Box KingsVictor Wainwright and Wee Willie Walker (see below for a complete list of nominees).

The five new Blues Hall of Fame inductees have all had long and influential careers that have elevated each to seminal status in the blues world. Elvin Bishop was honored with the 2015 Blues Music Awards for Song of the Year. Bishop and his fellow 2016 inductees Clearwater, Johnson and Mayall all have bodies of work spanning more than half a century, and each continues to create new music and perform for new audiences. The legendary Memphis Jug Band’s music crossed racial divides during the first half of the 20th century, and inspired countless musicians to follow in their footsteps.

For behind-the-scenes contributions, Malaco Records partners Tommy Couch Sr. and Wolf Stephenson, who founded a Southern R&B empire that continues to be an influential force, are also Blues Foundation honorees this year.

This year’s literature entry into the Blues Hall of Fame is Jeff Todd Titon’s book Early Downhome Blues: A Musical and Cultural Analysis, which has been widely recognized as one of the most important analytical studies of the blues ever written. The Blues Hall of Fame is also honoring several historic blues recordings: The classic Big Bill Broonzy/Memphis Slim/Sonny Boy Williamson album Blues in the Mississippi Night (Nixa, 1957: United Artists, 1959), and the vintage singles “Crazy Blues” by Mamie Smith (OKeh, 1920), “That’s All Right” by Jimmy Rogers (Chess, 1950), Billy Boy Arnold‘s “I Wish You Would” (Vee-Jay, 1955), “Blues Before Sunrise” by Leroy Carr and Scrapper Blackwell (Vocalion, 1934) and “Merry Christmas Baby” by Johnny Moore’s Three Blazers (Exclusive, 1947). The last disc, with Charles Brown on vocal and piano, is the first Yuletide song inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.

The Memphis-based Blues Foundation is internationally renowned for its tireless efforts in preserving blues heritage, celebrating blues recording and performance, expanding worldwide awareness of the blues, and ensuring the future of this uniquely American art form. Founded in 1980, the Blues Foundation has approximately 4,000 individual members and 200 affiliated local blues societies, representing another 50,000 fans and professionals around the world.

The Blues Foundation’s signature honors and events — the Blues Music Awards, Blues Hall of Fame, International Blues Challenge and Keeping the Blues Alive Awards — make it the international capital of blues music. The recent opening of the Blues Hall of Fame Museum in Memphis, Tennessee, now adds the opportunity for music lovers of all ages to interact with the music and its history.

Major funding is provided by ArtsMemphis and the Tennessee Arts Commission. The 37th Blues Music Awards is also sponsored by AutoZone, BMI, First Tennessee Foundation, Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise, Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and Sony Legacy Recordings.

HOF tickets are $100 each, reception at 5:30 p.m. with ceremony beginning at 6:30 p.m. BMA tickets are $150 each, tables of 10 for $1500; a special pre-party will begin at 5:30 p.m.; the BMA begin at 6:30 p.m.

For more information, log onto; tickets and membership details are available at

37th Blues Music Award Nominees 

Acoustic Album 

Doug MacLeod – Exactly Like This

Duke Robillard – The Acoustic Blues & Roots of Duke Robillard

Eric Bibb – Blues People

Guy Davis – Kokomo Kidd

The Ragpicker String Band – The Ragpicker String Band 

strong>Acoustic Artist

Doug MacLeod Eric Bibb

Gaye Adegbalola

Guy Davis

Ian Siegal


Anthony Geraci & the Boston Blues All-Stars – Fifty Shades of Blue

Buddy Guy – Born to Play Guitar

James Harman – Bonetime

The Cash Box Kings – Holding Court

Wee Willie Walker – If Nothing Ever Changes


Andy T – Nick Nixon Band

Rick Estrin & the Nightcats

Sugar Ray & the Bluetones

The Cash Box Kings

Victor Wainwright & the Wild Roots

B.B. King Entertainer

John Németh

Rick Estrin

Shemekia Copeland

Sugaray Rayford

Victor Wainwright

Best New Artist Album 

Eddie Cotton – One at a Time

Igor Prado Band – Way Down South

Mighty Mike Schermer – Blues in Good Hands

Mr. Sipp – The Blues Child

Slam Allen – Feel These Blues


Contemporary Blues Album 

Buddy Guy – Born to Play Guitar

Eugene Hideaway Bridges – Hold on a Little Bit Longer

Shemekia Copeland – Outskirts of Love

Sonny Landreth – Bound by the Blues

Sugaray Rayford – Southside

Contemporary Blues Female Artist 

Beth Hart Karen Lovely

Nikki Hill

Samantha Fish

Shemekia Copeland

Contemporary Blues Male Artist 

Brandon Santini

Eugene Hideaway Bridges

Jarekus Singleton

Joe Louis Walker

Sugaray Rayford

Historical Album 

The Henry Gray/Bob Corritore Sessions, Vol. 1, Blues Won’t Let Me Take My Rest on Delta Groove Records

Hawk Squat by J. B. Hutto & His Hawks on Delmark Records

Southside Blues Jam by Junior Wells on Delmark Records

Buzzin’ the Blues by Slim Harpo on Bear Family Records

Dynamite! The Unsung King of the Blues by Tampa Red on Ace Records


Charlie Wooten

Lisa Mann

Michael “Mudcat”

Ward Patrick Rynn

Willie J. Campbell


Cedric Burnside

Jimi Bott

June Core

Tom Hambridge

Tony Braunagel


Anson Funderburgh

Kid Andersen

Monster Mike Welch

Ronnie Earl

Sonny Landreth


Billy Branch

Brandon Santini

James Harman

Jason Ricci

Kim Wilson


Al Basile

Doug James

Kaz Kazanoff

Sax Gordon

Terry Hanck


Koko Taylor Award (Traditional Blues Female)

Diunna Greenleaf

Fiona Boyes

Ruthie Foster

Trudy Lynn

Zora Young

Pinetop Perkins Piano Player

Allen Toussaint

Anthony Geraci

Barrelhouse Chuck

John Ginty

Victor Wainwright

Rock Blues Album of the Year

Joe Bonamassa – Muddy Wolf at Red Rocks

Joe Louis Walker – Everybody Wants a Piece

Royal Southern Brotherhood – Don’t Look Back

Tinsley Ellis – Tough Love

Walter Trout – Battle Scars


“Bad Feet/Bad Hair” written and performed by James Harman

“Fifty Shades of Blue” written by Anthony Geraci and performed by Anthony Geraci & the Boston Blues All-Stars

“Gonna Live Again” written and performed by Walter Trout

“Southside of Town” written by Sugaray Rayford and & Ralph Carter and performed by Sugaray Rayford

“You Got It Good (and That Ain’t Bad)” written and performed by Doug MacLeod

Soul Blues Album 

Bey Paule Band – Not Goin’ Away

Billy Price & Otis Clay – This Time for Real 

Jackie Payne – I Saw the Blues

Tad Robinson – Day into Night

Wee Willie Walker – If Nothing Ever Changes 

Soul Blues Female Artist 

Bettye LaVette

Dorothy Moore

Missy Anderson

Toni Lynn Washington

Vaneese Thomas

Soul Blues Male Artist 

Frank Bey

Jackie Payne

Johnny Rawls

Otis Clay

Wee Willie Walker

Traditional Blues Album 

Andy T – Nick Nixon Band – Numbers Man

Anthony Geraci & the Boston Blues All-Stars – Fifty Shades of Blue

Cedric Burnside Project – Descendants of Hill Country

James Harman – Bonetime

The Cash Box Kings – Holding Court

Traditional Blues Male Artist 

Cedric Burnside

Dave Alvin & Phil Alvin

James Harman

Jimmy Burns

John Prime

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