Eric Bibb, Bobby Rush, William Bell and Joe Bonamassa are among the artists in the newly-announced 38th Blues Music Award Nominees. There are also posthumous nods for B.B. King, Arthur 'Big Boy' Crudup and Pinetop Perkins, among others. The awards will take place at the Cook Convention Centre in Memphis on 11 May.
The awards extend across no fewer than 24 categories, sub-divided into “rock blues,” “soul blues,” “contemporary,” “traditional” and so on. Among the most notable distinctions, the B.B. King Entertainer category will be between Bonamassa, John Nemeth, Lil' Ed Williams, Sugar Ray Norcia and Sugaray Rayford.
Soul Blues Female nominees are Bettye Lavette, Lara Price, Mavis Staples, Terrie Odabi and Vaneese Thomas; in the Soul Blues Male category, the shortlist includes Bell, Rush, Curtis Salgado, Johnny Rawls and Wee Willie Walker. Bonamassa is also nominated in the Instrumentalist-Guitar section, along with Bob Margolin, Kid Andersen, Monster Mike Welch and Ronnie Earl.
In the Historical Album category, featuring repackaged or previously unreleased material by blues greats, the list includes Crudup's A Music Man Like Nobody Ever Saw on Bear Family Records; More B.B. King: Here’s One You Haven’t Heard on Ace; Chicken Heads: A 50-Year History of Bobby Rush on Omnivore; Michael Burks' I’m A Bluesman on Iron Man and Pinetop Perkins & Jimmy Rogers' Genuine Blues Legends on Elrob.
The awards ballot will be released on 23 January to Blues Foundation members only. Purchase tickets for the Blues Awards ceremony here.