31st Blues Music Awards is a Wrap



Marathon Party Featured Lifetime Achievement Award Winner Buddy Guy, and Performances by Tommy Castro, Eden Brent & Monkey Junk And Others

The Blues Foundation has done it again. The party of the year for Blues music has once again left its mark on Memphis with a two-day marathon event, kicking off on Wednesday with this year’s induction ceremony for the Blues Hall of Fame, and culminating last night with a seven plus hour celebration of the Blues Music Awards. Presented by The Gibson Foundation, the Blues Music Awards are universally recognized as the highest honor given to Blues artists, and are voted on by fellow performers, industry representatives, and fans from around the globe who are members of The Blues Foundation.

This year, the awards ceremony honored winners in 26 categories, presented by some of the most influential members of the Blues community, including artist Mickey Thomas, Washington Blues Society President Eric Steiner, Blues Foundation board member Steve Bryson, and Nashville Blues Society charter member Kathy Bolmer.

This year’s big winner was Tommy Castro, named the B.B. King Entertainer of the Year and collecting a total of four awards, in all four categories in which he was nominated including Band of the Year, Contemporary Blues Album of the Year, and Contemporary Blues Male Artist of the Year. Bonnie Raitt – an inductee in this year’s Blues Hall of Fame – presented Buddy Guy with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Also presenting at last night’s ceremony was Koko Taylor’s daughter, Cookie Taylor, to present the renamed Koko Taylor Award (formerly Best Traditional Female Artist) to its first-ever recipient, Blues guitarist Debbie Davies, whose album Holdin’ Court was released last fall.

Blues pianist Pinetop Perkins was on hand to present his namesake Piano Player Award to this year’s winner Eden Brent, recipient of two 2009 Blues Music Awards and winner of the 2006 Blues Foundation International Blues Challenge.

Joe Louis Walker, who received the most nominations this year with a total of five, received one for Album of the Year for his Between a Rock and the Blues album release.

Of this year’s event, The Blues Foundation Executive Director Jay Sieleman said, “There is a great vibe to this event but the real secret is not a secret at all-great music by performer after performer.”

Kicking off the two-day event on Wednesday night, a committee of scholars, record producers, radio programmers, and historians inducted the following performers into the Blues Hall of Fame: Louisiana-born, Chicago-based bluesman Lonnie Brooks, highly-esteemed blues singer and harpist Charlie Musselwhite and singer, songwriter, guitarist and social activist Bonnie Raitt. The Blues Hall of Fame committee is chaired by Jim O’Neal, founding editor of Living Blues.

The Blues Music Awards brings together Blues performers, industry representatives and fans from all over the world to celebrate the best in Blues recordings and performances from the previous year. The presenting sponsor is The Gibson Foundation and the sustaining sponsor is BMI. Additional 2010 BMA sponsors include ArtsMemphis, band Village, Casey Family Programs, Eagle Rock Entertainment, FedEx, Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise, Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, I55 Productions, and the Tennessee Arts Commission.

For those who were unable to attend this epic event in Memphis, The Blues Foundation will make The Blues Music Awards ceremony available on DVD later this year. As with the DVD releases of the 2007, 2008, and 2009 ceremonies, the 2010 edition will include all the evening’s winners and performances on one memorable disc. For more information, visit http://www.blues.org.


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