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2020 Blues Music Awards

Nominees Announced For The 2020 Blues Music Awards

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (CelebrityAccess) — The full list of nominees has been announced for the 41st annual Blues Music Awards, with Billy Branch, Rick Estrin, Sugaray Rayford, Bobby Rush and Mavis Staples all in the running for Entertainer of the Year.

Topping the list of nominees for 2020 is Rick Estrin and his band The Nightcats, who picked up eight nominations, including Band of the Year and Contemporary Blues Album of the Year. Additionally, Estrin has earned B.B. King Entertainer of the Year and Instrumentalist: Harmonica nominations, while guitarist Christoffer “Kid” Andersen and drummer Derrick D’Mar Martin are in the running for their respective instrumental categories.

The Cash Box Kings and Christone “Kingfish” Ingram both earned multiple nominations as well. Ingram, a rising star in the blues scene, was nominated for Best Album from an Emerging Artist, while Kingfish picked up nods for Contemporary Blues Male Artist and Instrumentalist: Guitar, as well as Traditional Blues Album and Album of the Year.

The Cash Box Kings are also competing for Album of the Year and Traditional Blues Album (for Hail to the Kings!), as well as Band of the Year. Their recorded song “The Wine Talkin’,” written by Joe Nosek, John Hahn, and Oscar Wilson, is up for Song of the Year honors, while bandmember Kenny “Beedy Eyes”Smith is among the contenders for Instrumentalist: Drums.

Presented by The Blues Foundation, the BMAs honor artists working to keep blues alive, as well as supporting the genre’s history and cultural traditions.

The winners will be named during the annual Blues Music Awards ceremony, which will take place at Memphis’ Cannon Center for the Performing Arts (255 North Main Street), on Wednesday, May 6th.

The awards gala will be followed by a post-show afterparty in the newly renovated Grand Lobby of the Renasant Convention Center, which will feature additional live performances by nominees, buffet dinner, cash bars, and more festivities.

41st Blues Music Award Nominees

Acoustic Blues Album, Sponsored by Newman, DeCoster

Catfish Crawl– Catfish Keith

Confessin’ My Dues –Terry Robb

Good as Your Last Dollar– Fruteland Jackson

Solo Ride – Bruce Katz

This Guitar and Tonight – Bob Margolin

Acoustic Blues Artist, Sponsored by Folk Alliance International

Eric Bibb

Guy Davis

Rhiannon Giddens

Fruteland Jackson

Doug MacLeod

Album of the Year, Sponsored by Rum Boogie Café and Blues Hall

Church of the Blues – Watermelon Slim

Hail to The Kings! – The Cash Box Kings

Kingfish – Christone “Kingfish” Ingram

The Preacher, The Politician or The Pimp – Toronzo Cannon

Roots and Branches: The Songs of Little Walter– Billy Branch & the Sons of Blues

B.B. King Entertainer of the Year, Sponsored by B.B. King’s Blues Club

Billy Branch

Rick Estrin

Sugaray Rayford

Bobby Rush

Mavis Staples

Band of the Year

The Cash Box Kings

The Nick Moss Band featuring Dennis Gruenling

Rick Estrin and the Nightcats

Southern Avenue

Sugaray Rayford Band

Best Emerging Artist Album

Before Me – Ben Levin    

Folie a deux – Hudspeth & Taylor

Kingfish – Christone “Kingfish” Ingram

Spectacular Class – Jontavious Willis

Through My Eyes – John “Blues” Boyd

Blues Rock Album, 

Killin’ It Live – Tommy Castro & The Painkillers

Masterpiece– Albert Castiglia

Reckless Heart– Joanne Shaw Taylor

Survivor Blues – Walter Trout

Up and Rolling – North Mississippi Allstars


Blues Rock Artist, Sponsored by Landmark Band

Albert Castiglia

Tommy Castro

Tinsley Ellis

Eric Gales

Walter Trout

Contemporary Blues Album

Contemporary – Rick Estrin and The Nightcats

Don’t Pass Me By: A Tribute to Sean Costello – Various Artists

Kingfish – Christone “Kingfish” Ingram

The Preacher, The Politician or The Pimp – Toronzo Cannon

Venom & Faith – Larkin Poe

Contemporary Blues Female Artist

Diane Blue

Vanessa Collier

Shemekia Copeland

Samantha Fish

Janiva Magness

Contemporary Blues Male Artist

Toronzo Cannon

Gary Clark Jr

Luther Dickinson

Rick Estrin

Christone “Kingfish” Ingram

Instrumentalist Bass

Willie J. Campbell

Patrick Rynn

Bill Stuve

Larry Taylor

Michael “Mudcat” Ward

Instrumentalist Drums

Tony Braunagel

Cedric Burnside

June Core

Derrick D’Mar Martin

Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith

Instrumentalist Guitar

Christoffer “Kid” Andersen

Laura Chavez

Christone “Kingfish” Ingram

Junior Watson

“Monster” Mike Welch

Instrumentalist Harmonica, Sponsored by Hohner Harmonica

Billy Branch

Rick Estrin

Dennis Gruenling

Brandon Santini

Kim Wilson

Instrumentalist Horn

Mindi Abair

Jimmy Carpenter

Vanessa Collier

Trombone Shorty

Nancy Wright

Instrumentalist Piano (Pinetop Perkins Piano Player)

Anthony Geraci

Bruce Katz

Dave Keyes

Jim Pugh

Victor Wainwright

Instrumentalist Vocals

Shemekia Copeland

Sugaray Rayford

Curtis Salgado

Mavis Staples

Dawn Tyler Watson

Song of the Year

“Bleach Blonde Bottle Blues,” written by Rebecca Lovell

“Lucky Guy,” written by Nick Moss

“Resentment File,” written by Rick Estrin, Joe Louis Walker, and JoJo Russo

“Time To Get Movin’,” written by Eric Corne

“The Wine Talkin’,” written by Joe Nosek, John Hahn, and Oscar Wilson

Soul Blues Album

Dog Eat Dog – Billy Price

Keep On– Southern Avenue

Real Street – Tad Robinson

Sitting on Top of the Blues– Bobby Rush

Somebody Save Me– Sugaray Rayford

Soul Blues Female Artist

Annika Chambers

Thornetta Davis

Bettye LaVette

Terrie Odabi

Vaneese Thomas

Soul Blues Male Artist

Billy Price

Sugaray Rayford

Tad Robinson

Curtis Salgado

Wee Willie Walker

Traditional Blues Album

Church of the Blues– Watermelon Slim

Hail to the Kings! – The Cash Box Kings

Lucky Guy! – The Nick Moss Band Featuring Dennis Gruenling

Roots and Branches: The Songs of Little Walter– Billy Branch & the Sons of Blues

Spectacular Class – Jontavious Willis

Traditional Blues Female Artist  (Koko Taylor Award)

Rory Block

Sue Foley

Mary Lane

Trudy Lynn

Teeny Tucker

Traditional Blues Male Artist

Lurrie Bell

Billy Branch

John Primer

Jimmie Vaughan

Jontavious Willis

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