The 37th annual Blues Awards in Memphis, Tennessee on Thursday (5) brought double victories for Buddy Guy, Walter Trout and others, and posthumous awards for Allen Toussaint and Otis Clay.
Guy’s Born To Play Guitar was named both Album and Contemporary Blues Album of the Year, and the night also produced two wins for Victor Wainwright, who won the B.B. King Entertainer of the Year title and, with his band the Wild Roots, Band of the Year; for Walter Trout, the blues guitarist who overcame liver failture and whose Battle Scars was Rock Blues Album, with ‘Gonna Live Again’ Song of the Year.
Cedric Burnside was another artist to take two trophies, winning the Instrumentalist: Drums category for a fifth time, while the Cedric Burnside Project’s Descendants Of Hill Country became Traditional Blues Album of the Year.
Clay, who died in January, was named Soul Blues Male Artist of the Year, with Bettye LaVette winning the female category; Toussaint, who passed away last November, was honoured with the Pinetop Perkins Piano Player award. Clay’s project with Billy Price, This Time for Real, was Soul Blues Album of the Year. Other winners included Joe Louis Walker as Contemporary Blues Male Artist and Shemekia Copeland in the equivalent female category.
The night before the awards saw John Mayall, Elvin Bishop, the Memphis Jug Band, Eddy Clearwater and Jimmy Johnson receive their previously-announced inductions into the Blues Hall of Fame.