It’s Award Season

The New Year always brings out a bushel of awards and they’re of great interest to

Canadian blues fans and listeners of Blues and Roots Radio.

The International Blues Challenge Jan 28- Feb 1

Held every year in Memphis, this terrific blues gathering featured over 260 bands from around the world vying for ‘best of’ honours in different categories.  Held on Beale Street, it’s a rockin’ good time for artists and fans alike.  It’s the brain child of the Blues Foundation and hats off to them for organized such a world-class event.

Canada was well represented, and Hamilton’s Steve Strongman competed in the in the finals and won the best guitarist award in the single/duo category and was presented with a wonderful cigar box guitar crafted by none other than Matt Isbell of the Ghost Town Blues Band.

Also of note, Canada’s publicist extraordinaire, Sarah French received the Keeping The Blues Alive Award


The Maple Blues Awards  - February 4


This year’s version was the 22nd Annual Awards Presentation.   The MBAs as they’re know, are organized by the Toronto Blues Society.  A panel of 50 blues experts form the nominating committee, and then most of the awards are voted upon online by blues fans. Instrumental awards are selected by the nominating committee.

In a star-studded ceremony at Koerner Hall in Toronto, 17 awards were handed out.  The evening was hosted by actor/musician Raoul Bheneja.

The big winner of night was Colin James who snagged five awards including Entertainer of the Year, Electric Act of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, Recording/Producer of the Year and Songwriter of the Year.  

Angel Forrest made it a six-peat as she won female vocalist of the year for the sixth straight time, which is a remarkable accomplishment.  Grab her latest release, Electric Love, an live double cd, and you’ll why she’s such a dynamo/

Sue Foley, fresh off her latest release, The Ice Queen was voted Guitarist of the Year                 

And Acoustic Act of the Year went to Big Dave McLean

And New Artist of the Year honours were taken by   Emily Burgess

The instrumental awards went to David Vest as Keyboardist, Shirley Jackson for horn player of the year,

Lindsay Beaver was selected as drummer of the year, Laura Greenberg of JW Jones'’ Band was deemed bassist of the year and Buddy Guy received the BB King International Award.

The Grammy Awards – Feb 10

Canada’s neighbour to the south held the 6ist Annual Grammy Awards on February 10th.

Buddy Guy won the traditional Blues Album of the year for his release The Blues Is Alive and Well – and that title says it all as long as Buddy’s cranking out the tunes.

And Fantastic Negrito won the contemporary blues album of the year for his album Please Don’t Be Dead.

And coming soon – the JUNO AWARDS March 17

Canada’s version of the Grammys will take place about a month from now. 


The Juno nominees for blues album of the year are:

Colin James – Miles To Go

Jack de Keyzer – Checkmate

Myles Goodwyn- Myles Goodwyn and Friends of the Blues

Samantha Martin and Delta Sugar – Run To Me

Sue Foley – The Ice Queen

And a few events coming up soon


Keep enjoying the blues!

Keep enjoying the blues !