Canada’s Maple Blues Award Nominations Announced

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(Toronto, ON, CA) – Canadian blues artists from coast to coast have been honored with nominations for the 20th annual Maple Blues Awards, being held on January 23rd at Koerner Hall in Toronto.

Leading the way with multiple nominations are Quebec’s The Paul DesLauriers Band and its members with five nominations, followed by Angel Forrest with four. Ontario’s MonkeyJunk and its members also received four nominations while Toronto/Texas-based The 24th Street Wailers, British Columbia’s David Gogo and Harpdog Brown each received three nominations.

There are several first-time nominees including 17-year old newcomer Spencer MacKenzie, Andre Bisson, Blue Moon Marquee, Debra Power, and Mark Crissinger for New Artist of the Year. There are several acts from across the country that each received two nominations. A full list of nominees is below.

The nominees, selected by a panel consisting of industry professionals from across Canada, are recognized both for their talent as well as their contribution to the growing Canadian blues music scene.

The 20th annual Maple Blues Awards will be hosted by award-winning multi-instrumentalist, bandleader, sideman and producer Steve Marriner of MonkeyJunk, and will feature performances by a half dozen nominees from all parts of Canada, all backed by the all-star Maple Blues Band led by Gary Kendall.

Tickets for the Maple Blues Awards, held at the Royal Conservatory’s Koerner Hall in Toronto, are on sale now for $45 – $80 and can be purchased at The Weston Family Box Office, located in The Royal Conservatory building at 273 Bloor Street West, Toronto, by phone at RCM box office (416) 408-0208 or online. TBS Members, Nominees and Blues Summit Eight Delegates can purchase best available seats for $35.

Voting will open November 1 at 11:59pm Newfoundland Daylight Time (10:29pm EST). Blues fans can vote online for their favorite blues musicians in the eligible categories until December 1. Register at www.mapleblues.ca.

The 20th Annual Maple Blues Award Nominees:


Entertainer of the Year

Angel Forrest

Cécile Doo-Kingué

Matt Andersen


The Paul DesLauriers Band

Electric Act of the Year

David Gogo


The Paul DesLauriers Band

Steve Hill

The 24th Street Wailers

Acoustic Act of the Year

Al Lerman

Big Dave McLean

Harrison Kennedy

Jimmy Bowskill & Carlos del Junco

Tim Williams

Male Vocalist of the Year

Duane Blackburn

Harpdog Brown

Harrison Kennedy

John Mays

Matt Andersen

Female Vocalist of the Year

Angel Forrest

Dawn Tyler Watson

Samantha Martin

Shakura S’Aida

Suzie Vinnick

New Artist of the Year

Andre Bisson

Blue Moon Marquee

Debra Power

Mark Crissinger

Spencer MacKenzie

Recording/Producer of the Year

Angel Forrest – Angel’s 11 (Morningstar); Producers: Angel Forrest & Denis Coulombe

David Gogo – Vicksburg Call (Cordova Bay); Producer: The Pérignon Partnership

David Vest – Devestatin’ Rhythm (Ark-O-Matic); Producers: David Vest & Gary Kendall

Dawn Tyler Watson – Jawbreaker! (Self); Producers: François Thiffault

Harpdog Brown – Travelin’ with the Blues (Dog House Records); Producer: Little Victor

International Artist of the Year

Beth Hart

Joe Bonamassa

Shemekia Copeland

Tedeschi Trucks Band

Mavis Staples

Guitarist of the Year

Colin James

David Gogo

Paul DesLauriers

Steve Hill

Tim Williams

Harmonica Player of the Year

Carlos del Junco

Harpdog Brown

Jerome Godboo

Roly Platt

Steve Marriner

Piano/Keyboard Player of the Year

David Vest

Duane Blackburn

Jesse O’Brien

Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne

Michael Kaeshammer

Horn Player of the Year

Al Lerman

Chris Whiteley

Frankie Thiffault (Ben Racine Band)

Jon Wong (The 24th Street Wailers)

Mat “Moose” Mousseau (Ben Racine Band)

Drummer of the Year

Chris Nordquist

Lindsay Beaver (The 24th Street Wailers)

Matt Sobb

Sam Harrisson (The Paul DesLauriers Band)

Tom Bona

Bassist of the Year

Alan Duffy

Alec Fraser

Gary Kendall

Greg Morency (The Paul DesLauriers Band)

John Dymond (Colin Linden)

Songwriter of the Year

Angel Forrest & Denis Coulombe

Cécile Doo-Kingué

Paul Reddick & Colin Cripps

Ross Neilsen

Sugar Brown

Blues With A Feeling (lifetime achievement)

Stephen Barry

Diana Braithwaite

Danny Brooks

Michael Jerome Browne

Michael Fonfara

Alec Fraser

Tom Lavin

Ellen McIlwaine

Joe Murphy

Brent Parkin

Ken Whiteley

The Toronto Blues Society is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to the promotion and preservation of the Blues. The Maple Blues Awards is Canada’s national blues awards program. Its goal is to promote blues music across Canada and to recognize outstanding achievement in the field.

Located along the Bloor Street cultural corridor, The Royal Conservatory of Music is one of the largest and most respected music performance and arts education institutions in the world. Its breathtaking Koerner Hall, “the jewel in the crown of Toronto’s Cultural Renaissance,” along with two other concert spaces, presents 70+ concerts annually from acclaimed classical, jazz, pop, and world music and hosts an additional 100+ concerts and events from a wide range of not for profit arts groups, charities, and corporate clients.



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