36th Blues Music Award Nominees Announced

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Blues Music AwardThe Blues Foundation is pleased to announce the nominations for its annual Blues Music Awards, which the international organization will present at the Cook Convention Center in downtown Memphis, Tennessee, on Thursday, May 7, 2015. The Blues Music Awards are universally recognized as the highest accolade afforded blues music performers. The annual Blues Music Awards ceremony is the premier event for blues professionals, musicians, and fans from all over the world.

Leading with six nominations each are Elvin Bishop, John Németh and Sugar Ray Norcia. Veteran slide guitarist Bishop must be doing something right as his Can’t Even Do Wrong Right CD and its humorous title track secured three nominations and propelled him to additional artist, entertainer and band nominations. John Németh continued his hot hand, or should we say voice, this year’s Memphis Grease release with The Bo-Keys garnered about every album and artist nomination possible. Sugar Ray and the Bluetones and their Living Tear To Tear album also received song and album recognition and they also added artist, band and instrumentalist recognition. Rick Estrin and the Nightcats combined for four nominations in individual and band categories. Blues Hall of Famer Bobby Rush, Janiva Magness, The Mannish Boys and newcomer Jarekus Singleton each received three nominations.

Tickets for the Award show are now on sale at The Blues Store at www.blues.org. A ballot will be soon be sent to all Blues Foundation members as they have the privilege of deciding which nominees will actually take home the Blues Music Award in May. Of course, anyone can join and become a member at blues.org!


The 36th Blues Music Award nominees are:

Acoustic Album

  • Hard Luck Child: A Tribute to Skip James – Rory Block
  • Jericho Road – Eric Bibb
  • Jigsaw Heart – Eden Brent
  • Son & Moon: A Tribute to Son House – John Mooney
  • Timeless – John Hammond

Acoustic Artist

  • Doug MacLeod
  • Eric Bibb
  • John Hammond
  • John Mooney
  • Rory Block


  • Can’t Even Do Wrong Right – Elvin Bishop
  • Living Tear To Tear – Sugar Ray & the Bluetones
  • Memphis Grease – John Németh
  • Refuse to Lose – Jarekus Singleton
  • Wrapped Up and Ready – The Mannish Boys

B.B. King Entertainer

  • Bobby Rush
  • Elvin Bishop
  • John Németh
  • Rick Estrin
  • Sugaray Rayford


  • Elvin Bishop Band
  • John Németh & the Bo-Keys
  • Rick Estrin & the Nightcats
  • Sugar Ray & the Bluetones
  • The Mannish Boys

Best New Artist Album

  • Chromaticism – Big Harp George
  • Don’t Call No Ambulance – Selwyn Birchwood
  • Heavy Water – Fo’ Reel
  • Making My Mark – Annika Chambers & the Houston All-Stars
  • One Heart Walkin‘ – Austin Walkin’ Cane

Contemporary Blues Album

  • Can’t Even Do Wrong Right – Elvin Bishop
  • Original – Janiva Magness
  • Refuse to Lose -Jarekus Singleton
  • Hornet’s Nest – Joe Louis Walker
  • BluesAmericana – Keb’ Mo’

Contemporary Blues Female Artist

  • Beth Hart
  • Bettye LaVette
  • Janiva Magness
  • Marcia Ball
  • Shemekia Copeland

Contemporary Blues Male Artist

  • Elvin Bishop
  • Gary Clark Jr.
  • Jarekus Singleton
  • Joe Bonamassa
  • Joe Louis Walker


  • From His Head to His Heart to His Hands – Michael Bloomfield (Columbia/Legacy)
  • Live at the Avant Garde – Magic Sam (Delmark)
  • Soul & Swagger: The Complete “5” Royales 1951-1967 – The “5” Royales (Rock Beat)
  • The Modern Music Sessions 1948-1951 – Pee Wee Crayton (Ace)
  • The Roots of it All-Acoustic Blues – Various Artists (Bear Family)


  • Bob Stroger
  • Lisa Mann
  • Michael “Mudcat” Ward
  • Patrick Rynn
  • Willie J. Campbell


  • Jimi Bott
  • June Core
  • Kenny Smith
  • Tom Hambridge
  • Tony Braunagel


  • Anson Funderburgh
  • Joe Bonamassa
  • Johnny Winter
  • Kid Andersen
  • Ronnie Earl


  • Charlie Musselwhite
  • Kim Wilson
  • Mark Hummel
  • Rick Estrin
  • Sugar Ray Norcia


  • Al Basile
  • Deanna Bogart
  • Jimmy Carpenter
  • Sax Gordon
  • Terry Hanck

Koko Taylor Award

  • Alexis P Suter
  • Diunna Greenleaf
  • EG Kight
  • Ruthie Foster
  • Trudy Lynn

Pinetop Perkins Piano Player

  • Barrelhouse Chuck
  • Bruce Katz
  • David Maxwell
  • Eden Brent
  • Marcia Ball

Rock Blues Album

  • Step Back – Johnny Winter
  • Goin’ Home – Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band
  • Time Ain’t Free – Nick Moss Band
  • heartsoulblood – Royal Southern Brotherhood
  • The Blues Came Callin’ – Walter Trout


  • “Another Murder in New Orleans” written by Carl Gustafson & Donald Markowitz, performed by Bobby Rush and Dr. John with Blinddog Smokin’
  • “Bad Luck Is My Name” written and performed by John Németh
  • “Can’t Even Do Wrong Right” written and performed by Elvin Bishop
  • “Let Me Breathe” written by Janiva Magness & Dave Darling, performed by Janiva Magness
  • “Things Could Be Worse” written by Ray Norcia, performed by Sugar Ray & the Bluetones

Soul Blues Album

  • Blues for My Father – Vaneese Thomas
  • Decisions – Bobby Rush with Blinddog Smokin’
  • In My Soul – The Robert Cray Band
  • Memphis Grease – John Németh
  • Soul Brothers – Otis Clay & Johnny Rawls

Soul Blues Female Artist

  • Candi Staton
  • Missy Andersen
  • Sharon Jones
  • Sista Monica
  • Vaneese Thomas

Soul Blues Male Artist

  • Bobby Rush
  • Curtis Salgado
  • John Németh
  • Johnny Rawls
  • Otis Clay

Traditional Blues Album

  • Common Ground: Dave Alvin and Phil Alvin Play and Sing the Songs of Big Bill Broonzy – Dave Alvin and Phil Alvin
  • For Pops (A Tribute to Muddy Waters) – Mud Morganfield & Kim Wilson
  • Livin’ it Up – Andy T-Nick Nixon Band
  • Living Tear To Tear – Sugar Ray & the Bluetones
  • The Hustle is Really On – Mark Hummel
  • Wrapped Up and Ready – The Mannish Boys

Traditional Blues Male Artist

  • Billy Boy Arnold
  • John Primer
  • Lurrie Bell
  • Sugar Ray Norcia
  • Sugaray Rayford

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