The Blues Music Awards have announced their 2019 nominees and set a date for the 40th annual gathering. Leading this year with the most nominations is keyboardist Anthony Geraci, who is in the running in six categories.
The Boston musician is up for consideration for Song of the Year (“Angelina, Angelina”); Album of the Year and Traditional Blues Album (Why Did You Have To Go); Traditional Blues Male Artist; Pinetop Perkins Piano Player Award, and, with his group, the Boston Blues All-Stars, Band of the Year. Geraci also is a part of the band The Proven Ones, which garnered a Contemporary Blues Album nod for Wild Again. His fellow Proven Ones mates, Jimi Bott and Willie J. Campbell, are up for best drummer and bassist honors, respectively.
Shemekia Copeland and Chicago-based bluesman Nick Moss were each are nominated in four categories. They both are battling Geraci in the Album of the Year category; Copeland for America’s Child and Moss for The High Cost of Low Living, the Nick Moss Band effort featuring Dennis Gruenling. Additionally, Copeland is up for consideration for the Contemporary Blues Album, Vocalist of the Year, and Contemporary Blues Female Artist honors. Copeland's single, “Ain’t Got Time For Hate,” is a Song of the Year candidate for its songwriters John Hahn and Will Kimbrough.
Nick Moss’ other three nominations are for Traditional Blues Album, Traditional Blues Male Artist, and Band of the Year (for the Nick Moss Band). Gruenling, meanwhile, nabbed his own nomination in the Harmonica instrumentalist category.
More Props For Women
This year’s crop of nominees holds a significant increase of recognition for female instrumentalists, which reflects The Blues Foundation’s continuing work of diversifying its large group of BMA nominators. Laura Chavez is among the Instrumentalist: Guitar contenders, while Marcia Ball is up for the Pinetop Perkins Piano Player Award (a title she has won several times before). Instrumentalist: Bass is one of Danielle Nicole’s three nominations; she is also among the four women (out of five) in the Instrumentalist: Vocals category. Meanwhile, Mindi Abair, Nancy Wright, and Vanessa Collier represent three of the six Instrumentalist: Horn nominees.
Hoping for repeats are Ruthie Foster, who hopes to reclaim the Koko Taylor Award for Traditional Blues Female Artist, and Beth Hart may hold onto the top honors for Vocals while she also is a nominee in the B.B. King Entertainer and Contemporary Blues Female Artist categories.
This year’s sisterhood of nominees also includes two pairs of actual sisters. Samantha Fish, who is on the ballot for Contemporary Blues Album and Contemporary Blues Female Artist (which she won last year), is joined by her sister Amanda Fish, a contender for Best Emerging Artist Album. Larkin Poe, fronted by sisters Rebecca Lovell and Megan Lovell, was an Emerging Artist Album nominee last year, and is up for Band of the Year this year. Notable too in the Emerging Artist category where Lindsay Beaver is a Koko Taylor – Traditional Blues Female Artist nominee.
Hall Of Famers Still In The Game
A trio of Blues Hall of Famers — Bobby Rush, Joe Louis Walker, and Buddy Guy— could add a 2019 BMA award to their trophy cases. Rush is nominated for the B.B. King Entertainer Award (an honor he won in 2015). Walker’s collaboration with Bruce Katz and Giles Robson,Journeys to the Heart of the Blues, is a contender for both best Acoustic Album and Album of the Year. Guy garnered nods for Traditional Blues Album for The Blues Is Alive and Well and Song of the Year for “Cognac,” which he co-wrote with Tom Hambridge and Richard Fleming. Hambridge, Guy’s producer, is among the contenders in the Drums Instrumentalist category.
Full List & VotingT
The complete list of 40th Blues Music Award nominees can be found below as well as on The Blues Foundation’s website, www.blues.org. A ballot will be sent soon to all Blues Foundation members, who have the privilege of deciding which artists will go home with a Blues Music Award in May. Blues Foundation membership remains open through the entire voting period, which ends at 11:59 p.m. CT on February 28. Ballots are sent to all current members and to new members after they join the organization, which can be done easily by clicking on the “Join Now” button found at www.blues.org.
Details & More
The Blues Foundation will host its historic 40th Annual Blues Music Awards on Thursday, May 9 at 7 p.m. at Memphis’ Cook Convention Center. Individual tickets are $150 per person; Regular Tables for 10 are $1,500; while Premium Tables for 10 are $1,800 each. All tickets can be purchased at www.blues.org beginning January 9. The Blues Foundation’s block of rooms at the Sheraton Memphis Downtown Hotel will be open for reservations January 9 as well; and Sheraton reservation links will be up on www.blues.org that day too.
The Blues Music Award nominations are just the start of a big January for The Blues Foundation. They will close the month with another signature event: the 35th Annual International Blues Challenge will take over Memphis January 22-26. This big week of blues, which is packed with performances, panel discussions, meet & greets, film screenings and exhibits, is highlighted by honoring of 2019’s Keeping the Blues Alive Award recipients (January 25) and the IBC Finals competition concert (January 26). To purchase an International Blues Challenge Pass and final seating upgrades, along with tickets to the Keeping the Blues Alive Awards Brunch and Ceremony, please visit this link: http://bit.ly/2scWEhP