There is an old saying in the entertainment world…the show must go on!

In these days of Covid, that means online presentations via live streaming.

The Blues Foundation will present the 42nd annual Blues Music Awards on June 6 via a virtual ceremony on Facebook and YouTube. 

Rick Estrin and the Nightcats and Sugar Ray and the Bluetones top the list of nominees with five each.  Shemekia Copeland has also garnered multiple nominations.

Dion, Robert Cray, Samantha Fish, Bettye LaVette, William Bell, Bobby Rush, and Christone “Kingfish” Ingram are all among this year’s nominees.

The Blues Music Awards celebrates the world of Blues music by honouring it artists and songwriters.

The 2021 Blues Music Awards nominees are:
Entertainer of the Year:
Shemekia Copeland
Rick Estrin
John Németh
Sugaray Rayford
Lil’ Ed Williams

Album of the Year:
“100 Years of Blues” by Elvin Bishop and Charlie Musselwhite
“Rawer Than Raw” by Bobby Rush
“Rise Up” by Ronnie Earl & The Broadcaster
“Too Far from the Bar” by Sugar Ray & The Bluetones with Little Charlie
“Uncivil War” by Shemekia Copeland

Band of the Year:
Anthony Geraci & The Boston Blues Allstars
John Németh & The Blue Dreamers
Rick Estrin & The Nightcats
Southern Avenue
Sugar Ray & The Bluetones

Song of the Year:
“All My Dues Are Paid” written by Kathy Murray, Rick Estrin, Frank Bey, Kid Andersen
“All Out of Tears” written by Walter Trout
“Blues Comin’ On” written by Dion DiMucci and Mike Aquilina
“Is It Over” written by Don Bryant and Scott Bomar “Uncivil War” written by John Hahn and Will Kimbrough

Best Emerging Artist Album:
Andrew Alli for “Hard Workin’ Man”
King Solomon Hicks for “Harlem”
Jose Ramirez for “Here I Come”
Ryan Perry for “High Risk Low Reward”
“Betty Fox Band for “Peace in Pieces”

Acoustic Blues Album:

’Dustin Arbuckle & Matt Woods” by Dustin Arbuckle and Matt Woods
”Prove It On Me” by Rory Block
“Rawer Than Raw” by Bobby Rush
“Three Pints of Gin” by Richard Ray Farrell
“Traveling Man – Live” by Watermelon Slim

Blues Rock Album:
“Ain’t Done Yet” by Savoy Brown
“Ice Cream In Hell” by Tinsley Ellis
“Mike Zito and Friends – Rock ‘n’ Roll: A Tribute to Chuck Berry” by  Mike Zito
“Mississippi Suitcase” by Peter Parcek
“Ordinary Madness” by Walter Trout

Contemporary Blues Album
“Cry Out” by Kat Riggins
“My Blues Pathway” by Kirk Fletcher
“Self-Made Man” by Larkin Poe
“Stronger Than Strong” by John Németh
“Uncivil War” by Shemekia Copeland

Soul Blues Album:
“All My Dues Are Paid” by Frank Bey
“Found! One Soul Singer” by Sonny Green
“That’s What I Heard” by Robert Cray Band
“Where Have All The Soul Men Gone” by Johnny Rawls
“You Make Me Feel” by Don Bryant

Traditional Blues Album
“100 Years of Blues” by Elvin Bishop and Charlie Musselwhite
“Blueswoman” by Nora Jean Wallace
“Every Day of Your Life” by Jimmy Johnson
“Rise Up” by Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters
“Too Far From the Bar” by Sugar Ray & The Bluetones with Little Charlie

Acoustic Blues Artist:
Dom Flemons
Catfish Keith
Harrison Kennedy
Doug MacLeod
Keb’ Mo’

Blues Rock Artist:
Tinsley Ellis
Reverend Peyton
Ana Popovic
Kenny Wayne Shepherd
Mike Zito

Contemporary Blues Female Artist:
Shemekia Copeland
Samantha Fish
Sue Foley
Ruthie Foster
Shaun Murphy

Contemporary Blues Male Artist:
Selwyn Birchwood
Chris Cain
Rick Estrin
Christone “Kingfish” Ingram
J.P. Soars

Soul Blues Female Artist:
Annika Chambers
Thornetta Davis
Bettye LaVette
Dorothy Moore
Terrie Odabi

Soul Blues Male Artist:
William Bell
Don Bryant
John Németh
Johnny Rawls
Curtis Salgado

Traditional Blues Female Artist:
Rory Block
Rhiannon Giddens
Diunna Greenleaf
Trudy Lynn
Teeny Tucker

Traditional Blues Male Artist:
Billy Branch
Sugar Ray Norcia
John Primer
Jontavious Willis
Kim Wilson

Instrumentalist Bass:
Willie J. Campbell
Larry Fulcher
Danielle Nicole
Patrick Rynn
Michael “Mudcat” Ward

Instrumentalist Drums:
Tony Braunagel
June Core
Derrick “D’Mar” Martin
Bernard Purdie
Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith

Instrumentalist Guitar:
Christoffer “Kid” Andersen
Chris Cain
Laura Chavez
Kirk Fletcher
Christone “Kingfish” Ingram

Instrumentalist Harmonica:
Billy Branch
Rick Estrin
Dennis Gruenling
Jason Ricci
Kim Wilson

Instrumentalist Horn:
Mindi Abair
Jimmy Carpenter
Doug James
Mark “Kaz” Kazanoff
Nancy Wright

Instrumentalist Piano:
Mike Finnigan
Anthony Geraci
Johnny Iguana
Bruce Katz
Jim Pugh

Instrumentalist Vocals:
Thornetta Davis
Ruthie Foster
John Németh
Sugar Ray Norica
Sugaray Rayford

feature photo credit: The Blues Foundation Facebook page