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CHRIS CAIN WINS INTERNATIONAL SONGWRITING COMPETITION IN BLUES FOR I BELIEVE I GOT OFF CHEAP
5/17/2022

World-renowned blues guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and Alligator Records recording artist Chris Cain has won the 2021 International Songwriting Competition in the Blues category for his original song I Believe I Got Off Cheap. The song originally appeared on Cain's 2021 Alligator Records debut album Raisin' Cain. UK tastemaker magazine MOJO named Raisin' Cain the #3 Best Blues Album of 2021. Upon winning the award, Cain said, "I'm just really honored that my tune would even be considered in the running for the Songwriting Competition. It means a lot to me."

CHRIS CAIN WINS INTERNATIONAL SONGWRITING COMPETITION IN BLUES FOR I BELIEVE I GOT OFF CHEAP


Song Appears On Cain's 2021 Alligator Records Debut Album Raisin' Cain
   
    

It’s marvelous. It’s irresistible. Cain brings an indelible touch and resonance...unleashing unadulterated fretboard genius. He is the most important blues player you need to hear.
Vintage Guitar 

One of the most brilliant and vital figures making music of any kind. Raisin' Cain is one of the top releases of the year.
Blues Music Magazine
 

Chris Cain? Now that boy can PLAY the guitar!
B.B. King
 

World-renowned blues guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and Alligator Records recording artist Chris Cain has won the 2021 International Songwriting Competition in the Blues category for his original song I Believe I Got Off Cheap. The song originally appeared on Cain's 2021 Alligator Records debut album Raisin' Cain. UK tastemaker magazine MOJO named Raisin' Cain the #3 Best Blues Album of 2021. Upon winning the award, Cain said, "I'm just really honored that my tune would even be considered in the running for the Songwriting Competition. It means a lot to me."

With more than three decades of worldwide touring and 15 acclaimed albums, Cain has earned his reputation as both a fan favorite and a musician’s musician. Since his first release in 1987, he has created his very own blues sound inspired by his heroes – B.B. King, Albert King, Ray Charles, Albert Collins, Grant Green and Wes Montgomery. His jazz-informed blues guitar playing is fiery, emotional and always unpredictable. His vocals – gruff, lived-in and powerful – add fuel to the fire. His indelible original songs keep one foot in the blues tradition and both eyes on the future. The pure joy Cain brings to his playing and singing is palpable, and draws fans even closer in.
 
Both the media and his fellow musicians rave about Cain. Guitar Player says, “Cain is an impressive, top-notch guitarist. His full-bodied tone and big voice pack a punch that had me reeling.” Guitar icon Robben Ford says, “Chris Cain is for real. He’s a great blues player with an intensity that keeps you on the edge of your seat, wondering what he’s going to do next. Plus he knows how to write a song you haven’t heard before, full of humor and insight. If you like the blues, you’ll like Chris Cain. I am a stone fan."  Blues star Joe Bonamassa says, "Chris Cain is hands down my favorite blues player on the scene today. He’s an absolute blinder of a guitarist, with the voice of B.B. King and the chops of Albert King."
 
“I’m playing and writing better than ever before," Cain says. "I can say more with less,” he adds, referring to his dynamic guitar playing and superb songwriting. “I’m as much a fan as a musician, and I’m as excited to be making music today as I was when I was a teenager. More than ever before, I just play what I feel.”  

 

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ALLIGATOR RECORDS ARTISTS TO PERFORM AT 2022 CHICAGO BLUES FESTIVAL
5/11/2022

On Wednesday, May 11, The City Of Chicago announced the lineup for the 2022 Chicago Blues Festival, taking place Thursday, June 9 (starting on a Thursday for first time in years) through Sunday, June 12 at Millennium Park as well as in other locations throughout the city. This year the the festival will feature four Alligator artists in live performance, including two on Thursday.

ALLIGATOR RECORDS ARTISTS TO PERFORM AT 2022 CHICAGO BLUES FESTIVAL


Label Stars Shemekia Copeland, Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials, Billy Branch and Toronzo Cannon Perform Live At Free World Renowned Event 


On Wednesday, May 11, The City Of Chicago announced the lineup for the 2022 Chicago Blues Festival, taking place Thursday, June 9 (starting on a Thursday for first time in years) through Sunday, June 12 at Millennium Park as well as in other locations throughout the city. This year the the festival will feature four Alligator artists in live performance, including two on Thursday.

The Chicago Blues Festival will be held all four days in Millennium Park with performances at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion (201 E. Randolph Street), the Visit Mississippi Juke Joint Stage (North Promenade) and the Rosa's Lounge Stage (South Promenade). On Saturday, June 11 and Sunday, June 12, the festival adds four additional stages throughout the city: "Taste To Go Featuring Soul City Blues" (5720 West Chicago), "Bronzeville Blues" (Armstrong Park, 3322 S. St. Lawrence), "City Markets" (800 S. Des Plaines), and "Blues On The Riverwalk" (305 West Riverwalk South). Admission is free. Find more information here.

On Thursday, June 9, Chicago Blues ambassador, guitarist and songwriter Toronzo Cannon and singing sensation Shemekia Copeland are the closing acts at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. Harmonica giant Billy Branch headlines the Jay Pritzker Pavilion on Friday, June 10 and will also make a guest appearance as part of "Bronzeville Blues" on Sunday, June 12. Raw and rocking Chicago favorites Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials will perform on Saturday, June 11 as the closing act of "Taste To Go Featuring Soul City Blues."

Daily performances begin at 12:00pm at the Promenade stages and at 2:40pm at The Jay Pritzker Pavilion.

Alligator artists' performance information is as follows: 

THURSDAY, JUNE 9, 2022
Millennium Park - Jay Pritzker Pavilion
201 E. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 
6:30pm-7:30pm - Toronzo Cannon
7:45pm-9:00pm - Shemekia Copeland

FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2022
Millennium Park - Jay Pritzker Pavilion
201 E. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 
7:45pm-9:00pm - Billy Branch & The Sons of Blues

SATURDAY, JUNE 11, 2022
Taste To Go Featuring Soul City Blues
5720 W. Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL 
6:40pm-7:55pm - Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials

SUNDAY, JUNE 12, 2022
Bronzeville Blues
Armstrong (Lillian Hardin) Park
4433 S. St. Lawrence Ave.
Chicago, IL 
6:40pm-7:55pm - Mud Morganfield featuring special guests Billy Branch, Freddie Dixon, Big James, Vance Kelly and Melody Angel with backing musicians Bob Stroger, Harmonica Hinds, Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith, Rick Kreher, and Sumito “Ariyo” Ariyoshi

 

SHEMEKIA COPELAND
Shemekia Copeland is the female blues artist of her generation, blessed with a cathartic voice and larger-than-life presence. Shemekia joined the Alligator family when she was only 18. Since then, she’s made nine sensational albums, been nominated for three Grammys, won over a dozen Blues Music Awards, appeared at the White House, opened for the Rolling Stones, and toured worldwide. Over the last decade, she’s been expanding her blues, bringing in strains of Americana and delivering songs with up-to-the-minute, socially conscious lyrics. The Chicago Tribune says, “Shemekia Copeland is the greatest female blues singer working today.” No Depression declares, “Copeland pierces your soul. This is how you do it, and nobody does it better than Shemekia Copeland." 



TORONZO CANNON
Upon release of his Alligator Records debut, The Chicago Way in 2016, Toronzo Cannon burst onto the international stage as one of the most electrifying bluesmen to emerge from Chicago in decades. The Chicago Reader said, “Bluesman Toronzo Cannon is one of Chicago’s finest string-bending storytellers.” He has played major cities all over the U.S., Canada, and Europe, including stops in the UK, Germany, Spain, France, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy, Denmark, Finland, Belgium, Poland and Japan, delighting and surprising audiences with one unforgettable gig after another. He has played the Chicago Blues Festival on ten separate occasions. Blues Music Magazine says, “Cannon has all the fire and spontaneity of the Chicago legends. His songwriting is a timely and original look at the world, and his assertive voice is the perfect vehicle to deliver the message.” 

 
BILLY BRANCH
Since his 1978 debut on Alligator's Living Chicago Blues series, Billy Branch has earned a place among the world’s best blues harp players. He was mentored by Chicago’s harp royalty—James Cotton, Junior Wells and Carey Bell. They all considered him their successor as the Windy City’s next harmonica king. His all-star band, The Sons Of Blues, is among the premier blues bands anywhere. With hundreds of studio sessions and 15 albums of his own, including Alligator's Roots And Branches--The Songs Of Little Walter, Billy Branch is one of the most-recorded blues artists in the world. Living Blues says, "Billy Branch has cemented his place among the kings. Chugging, incessant blues and R&B...greasy, funky, howlin’ harp attack that really burns...wonderful, bold and surprising." 



LIL' ED & THE BLUES IMPERIALS
Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials, more than any other band now on the label, personify Alligator Records' original raw and raucous “Genuine Houserockin’ Music” spirit. Ed and his half-brother, bassist James “Pookie” Young, grew up on Chicago’s tough West Side. They learned the old school sound and style from their beloved uncle, famed Chicago slide guitarist J.B. Hutto, who started recording in the 1950s. Guitarist Michael Garrett and drummer Kelly Littleton, blues pilgrims from Detroit, joined Ed and Pookie almost 35 years ago. They’ve been together ever since, delivering joyful boogies and serious slide-driven Chicago blues. The Chicago Tribune says, “Electrifying, raucous, pure Chicago blues….Lil’ Ed is a guitarist extraordinaire…slashing slide and flamboyant stage persona." 





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CHARLIE MUSSELWHITE SINGLE, BLUES GAVE ME A RIDE, OUT MAY 6, 2022
5/6/2022

Mississippi-born, Memphis-raised, Grammy Award-winning music legend Charlie Musselwhite will release Blues Gave Me A Ride, the first single from his upcoming album, Mississippi Son, on Friday, May 6. “Blues tells the truth in a world that’s full of lies,” Musselwhite sings in the original song -- on which he also plays guitar and harmonica -- and is at once telling his own story and plainly summing up the genre’s timelessness. Blues Gave Me A Ride made its worldwide premier on XM/Sirius Radio's B.B. King's Bluesville station on Friday, April 29. Mississippi Son will be released on Friday, June 3 and available on both CD and translucent blue vinyl LP. 

CHARLIE MUSSELWHITE SINGLE, BLUES GAVE ME A RIDE, OUT MAY 6, 2022


Song Is First Single From New Album Mississippi Son
Available On CD And Translucent Blue Vinyl On June 3

Album Features Musselwhite's guitar work on every track.  
 
    


Charlie Musselwhite breathes passion.
DownBeat

Taste, restraint and power. He’s one of the best, and as a bluesman, he’s as real as they come. 
The San Francisco Chronicle

Superb, original and compelling…Charlie Musselwhite, with unabashed excellence, sets the standard for blues.  
Rolling Stone

Mississippi-born, Memphis-raised, Grammy Award-winning music legend Charlie Musselwhite will release Blues Gave Me A Ride, the first single from his upcoming album, Mississippi Son, on Friday, May 6. “Blues tells the truth in a world that’s full of lies,” Musselwhite sings in the original song -- on which he also plays guitar and harmonica -- and is at once telling his own story and plainly summing up the genre’s timelessness. Blues Gave Me A Ride made its worldwide premier on XM/Sirius Radio's B.B. King's Bluesville station on Friday, April 29. Mississippi Son will be released on Friday, June 3 and available on both CD and translucent blue vinyl LP. 
 
Now, with Mississippi Son, Musselwhite has come full circle, returning home to Mississippi after decades in Memphis, Chicago, San Francisco and points in between. Amalgamating all he’s learned and absorbed throughout his years of worldwide touring, Musselwhite imparts sage wisdom in every song he writes, sings and performs. “Blues tells the truth in a world that’s full of lies,” he intones in Blues Gave Me A Ride, at once telling his own story and plainly summing up the genre’s timelessness. Through his evocative vocals, masterful harmonica playing, and note-perfect Southern country blues guitar, Charlie Musselwhite, on Mississippi Son, leans forward and delivers the blues’ honest truth. 

Charlie Musselwhite is renowned worldwide as a master harmonica player, a seasoned, truth-telling vocalist and an original songwriter rooted deep within the blues tradition. As many of his fans know, he’s also a country blues guitarist of great depth, warmth and subtlety. On each of Mississippi Son’s 14 songs, including eight powerfully stark originals, Musselwhite’s straight-from-the-soul vocals and deep blues harmonica playing are the perfect foil to his deceptively simple, hypnotic guitar work, which he features on every track.

Having recently moved back to Mississippi from northern California, Musselwhite recorded Mississippi Son in Clarksdale, right in the heart of the Delta. His honest, soulful vocals, like his every-note-matters harmonica playing and idiosyncratic guitar work, overflow with hard-earned authenticity and lasting emotional intensity. Musselwhite calls his blues, “secular spiritual music,” a sound he’s been perfecting since he, as a young teenager, played his first E7 chord on his Supertone acoustic guitar. Upon hearing and feeling the chord’s blue note, the future blues master thought, “I have to have more of that.”

Charlie Musselwhite doesn’t just sing and play the blues; he is, in every sense of the word, a bluesman. Growing up, he not only learned the music first-hand from many of the genre’s most influential artists, he also absorbed the lifestyle. “It’s an attitude,” Musselwhite says of playing the blues. “A way of living life.” Musselwhite's life story reads like a classic blues song: born in Mississippi, raised in Memphis and schooled on the South Side of Chicago. A groundbreaking recording artist since the 1960s, Musselwhite has never stopped creating trailblazing music while remaining firmly rooted in the blues.

Over the years, Charlie has released nearly 40 albums on a variety of labels, his exploratory recordings including straight blues but often mixing in elements of jazz, gospel, Tex-Mex, Cuban and other world musics. Four of those albums—1990’s Ace Of Harps, 1991’s Signature, 1994’s In My Time, and 2010’s The Well—were released on Alligator Records and remain among his best-selling titles.

In 2020, Musselwhite joined up with his friend Elvin Bishop and released the Grammy-nominated, Blues Music Award-winning 100 Years Of Blues on Alligator. The album debuted at #1 on the Billboard Blues Chart. DownBeat named it the Best Blues Album Of The Year. It was named the #3 Best Blues Album of 2021 by UK tastemaker magazine MOJO, who declared, “These are exquisite harmonica-guitar duets like Muddy Waters and Little Walter, or Johnny Shines and Big Walter Horton…mature, masterly, endlessly rewarding.”

In addition to his own albums, Musselwhite has been featured on recordings by Tom Waits, Eddie Vedder, Ben Harper, John Lee Hooker, Bonnie Raitt, The Blind Boys of Alabama, INXS, Cyndi Lauper, and many others. He was inducted into the Blues Foundation’s Blues Hall Of Fame in 2010, has been nominated for twelve Grammy Awards (winning one) and has won numerous Living Blues Awards and Blues Music Awards. The Chicago Tribune says his music is “imaginative and stunning…utterly convincing.”
 
Now, with Mississippi Son, Musselwhite has come full circle, returning home to Mississippi after decades in Memphis, Chicago, San Francisco and points in between. Amalgamating all he’s learned and absorbed throughout his years of worldwide touring, Musselwhite imparts sage wisdom in every song he writes, sings and performs. Through his evocative vocals, masterful harmonica playing, and note-perfect Southern country blues guitar, Charlie Musselwhite, on Mississippi Son, leans forward and delivers the blues’ honest truth. 

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FOUR ALLIGATOR ARTISTS RECEIVE SEVEN BLUES MUSIC AWARDS
5/6/2022

On Thursday, May 5, 2022, the Blues Foundation announced the winners of the 43rd Annual Blues Music Awards. A total of four Alligator Records artists received seven awards. Leading all artists with three wins is guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Tommy Castro, who takes home (for the third time in his career) the coveted B.B. King Entertainer Of The Year Award, the Album Of The Year Award (for Tommy Castro Presents A Bluesman Came To Town) and Blues Band Of The Year for Tommy Castro & The Painkillers.

FOUR ALLIGATOR ARTISTS RECEIVE SEVEN BLUES MUSIC AWARDS

Tommy Castro Leads All Artists With Three Wins:
B.B. King Entertainer Of The Year, Album Of The Year and Band Of The Year

Christone "Kingfish" Ingram  Wins Two Awards:
Contemporary Male Blues Artist And Contemporary Blues Album

Selwyn Birchwood Wins Song Of The Year

Curtis Salgado Wins Soul Blues Male Artist


On Thursday, May 5, 2022, the Blues Foundation announced the winners of the 43rd Annual Blues Music Awards. A total of four Alligator Records artists received seven awards. Leading all artists with three wins is guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Tommy Castro, who takes home (for the third time in his career) the coveted B.B. King Entertainer Of The Year Award, the Album Of The Year Award (for Tommy Castro Presents A Bluesman Came To Town) and Blues Band Of The Year for Tommy Castro & The Painkillers.

Young blues guitar phenomenon and Grammy Award-winner Christone "Kingfish" Ingram won the awards for Contemporary Male Blues Artist Of The Year and Contemporary Blues Album Of The Year for 662. In his short career, Ingram has been nominated for nine Blues Music Awards and has won them all.

Guitarist/lap-steel master Selwyn Birchwood won the highly-competitive award for Song Of The Year for his original I'd Climb Mountains from his Alligator album, Living In A Burning House.

Soul/blues vocalist Curtis Salgado won, for the second consecutive year, the award for Soul Blues Male Artist Of The Year.

The awards ceremony was held in Memphis, Tennessee at the Renasant Convention Center. The full list of winners can be found here. Alligator artists and their awards follow:

 

B.B. King Entertainer Of The Year

Album Of The Year: Tommy Castro Presents A Bluesman Came To Town

Band Of The Year: Tommy Castro & The Painkillers 



Contemporary Blues Album Of The Year: 662

Contemporary Blues Male Artist Of The Year 





Song Of The Year: I'd Climb Mountains (written by Selwyn Birchwood) 







Soul Blues Male Artist Of The Year 





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TEN ALLIGATOR ARTISTS RECEIVE 16 LIVING BLUES READERS' POLL AWARD NOMINATIONS
5/2/2022

Living Blues magazine, in its May 2022 issue, announced the nominees for the 2021 Living Blues Readers' Poll Awards. This year, ten Alligator artists received a total of 16 nominations.

TEN ALLIGATOR ARTISTS RECEIVE 16 LIVING BLUES READERS' POLL AWARD NOMINATIONS

Christone "Kingfish" Ingram Leads All Artists With Four Nominations,
Followed By Shemekia Copeland With Three and Chris Cain With Two

Tommy Castro, Tinsley Ellis, Selwyn Birchwood, Marcia Ball, Billy Branch,
Rick Estrin And Charlie Musselwhite Each Receive One Nomination


Living Blues magazine, in its May 2022 issue, announced the nominees for the 2021 Living Blues Readers' Poll Awards. This year, ten Alligator artists received a total of 16 nominations. Leading all artists with four nominations is Grammy Award-winning guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Christone "Kingfish" Ingram. He is nominated for Blues Artist Of The Year (Male), Best Live Performer, Most Outstanding Musician - Guitar, and Best Blues Album for 662. Award-winning vocalist Shemekia Copeland received nominations for Blues Artist Of The Year (Female), Most Outstanding Blues Singer and Best Live Performer. West Coast guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Chris Cain received nominations for Blues Artist Of The Year (Male) and Best Blues Album for Raisin' Cain.

Guitarist/lap-steel master Selwyn Birchwood, Southern blues rocker Tinsley Ellis, roots rock guitarist Tommy Castro, Texas pianist/vocalist Marcia Ball, and harmonica masters Charlie Musselwhite, Rick Estrin and Billy Branch each received one nomination.

Living Blues fans may vote at www.livingblues.com before June 15, 2022. Alligator artists and their nominations follow:

Blues Artist Of The Year (Male)
Best Blues Album: 662
Best Live Performer
Most Outstanding Musician - Guitar





Blues Artist Of The Year (Female)
Most Outstanding Blues Singer
Best Live Performer 





Blues Artist Of The Year (Male)
Best Blues Album: Raisin' Cain 




 

Blues Artist Of The Year (Male) 








Most Outstanding Musician - Guitar 








Best Blues Album: Living In A Burning House 








Most Outstanding Musician - Keyboards 








Most Outstanding Musician - Harmonica 








Most Outstanding Musician - Harmonica








Most Outstanding Musician - Harmonica

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SHEMEKIA COPELAND TO PERFORM FROM THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY HALL TO CELEBRATE INTERNATIONAL JAZZ DAY ON APRIL 30, 2022
4/26/2022

Celebrated blues and roots singer and Alligator Records recording artist Shemekia Copeland, backed by jazz giants Marcus Miller, Mark Whitfield, Brian Blade, Leonard Brown and John Beasley, will perform two songs as part of the Global Concert for International Jazz Day to be broadcast on April 30, 2022.

SHEMEKIA COPELAND TO PERFORM FROM THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY HALL TO CELEBRATE INTERNATIONAL JAZZ DAY ON APRIL 30, 2022


Copeland Joins Jazz Giants Marcus Miller, Mark Whitfield And Others For
One-Of-A-Kind Performance To Stream Worldwide
  

    


“Shemekia Copeland is the greatest blues singer of her generation.”

The Washington Post

"Shemekia Copeland has established herself as one of the leading blues artists of our time."

NPR Music

“Copeland provides a soundtrack for contemporary America...powerful, ferocious, clear-eyed and hopeful...She’s in such control of her voice that she can scream at injustices before she soothes with loving hope. It sends shivers up your spine.”

Living Blues

Shemekia Copeland is an antidote to artifice. She is a commanding presence, a powerhouse vocalist delivering the truth.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer


Celebrated blues and roots singer and Alligator Records recording artist Shemekia Copeland, backed by jazz giants Marcus Miller, Mark Whitfield, Brian Blade, Leonard Brown and John Beasley, will perform two songs as part of the Global Concert for International Jazz Day to be broadcast on April 30, 2022. Copeland, singing from the United Nations General Assembly Hall, will perform Walk Until I Ride,  from her Grammy-nominated 2020 album Uncivil War, and Ain't Got Time For Hate from 2018's groundbreaking America's Child. The concert, featuring artists from around the globe, will stream to a worldwide audience via UNTV, UNESCO, US State Department, on Facebook and on YouTube. The event will be broadcast on PBS Television in 2023.


The 2022 Global Concert will take place at United Nations Headquarters in New York and is scheduled to worldwide webcast at 5:00pm Easter time. With Herbie Hancock serving as host and Artistic Director and John Beasley as Musical Director, the program is set to showcase the extraordinary potential of jazz as a medium for peaceful collaboration and constructive dialogue. Participating artists will include vocalists Shemekia CopelandJosé JamesYoun Sun Nah (Republic of Korea), Gregory PorterAlune Wade (Senegal) and Lizz Wright; pianists Joey Alexander (Indonesia), Helio Alves (Brazil), Laurent de Wilde (France), Hiromi (Japan), Ray Lema (Democratic Republic of Congo), and Tarek Yamani (Lebanon); drummers Terri Lyne Carrington and Brian Blade; bassists James GenusMarcus Miller and Linda May Han Oh (Australia); saxophonists Ravi ColtraneDavid Sanborn and Erena Terakubo (Japan); guitarist Mark Whitfield and trumpeters Randy Brecker and Jeremy Pelt, among others. Also joining the global ensemble will be harmonicist Grégoire Maret (Switzerland), harpist Edmar Castañeda (Colombia), percussionist Pedrito Martínez(Cuba) and clarinetist Kinan Azmeh (Syria).

According to Copeland, "Blues played an enormously big part in the creation of jazz from the beginning. I’m just happy that my blues gets to play a small part in celebrating International Jazz Day. And I am personally jazzed to be doing it at the UN.”

When Copeland first broke on the scene in 1998 with her Alligator Records debut Turn The Heat Up, she instantly became a blues and R&B force to be reckoned with. With each subsequent release, her music has evolved. She continues to broaden her musical vision, melding blues with more rootsy, Americana sounds, and singing about the world around her, shining light in dark places with confidence and well-timed humor.

In addition to her Grammy Award nomination (her fourth), Copeland's groundbreaking 2020 release Uncivil War was named the 2020 Blues Album Of The Year by both DownBeat and MOJO magazines. Copeland received three 2020 Blues Music Awards, including the B.B. King Entertainer Of The Year and Contemporary Blues Album Of The Year for Uncivil War. Additionally, she won both Living Blues magazine's Critics' and Readers' Awards for Album Of The Year and Blues Artist Of The Year (Female). Internationally, she won the UK Blues Award for International Blues Artist Of The Year. 

Since the release of Uncivil War, Copeland's profile has continued to grow. She was the subject of a Washington Post Sunday magazine story and appeared on both NPR's Weekend Edition and Here And Now. She has previously performed on PBS’s Austin City Limits and was the subject of a six-minute feature on the PBS News Hour. And NPR's Jazz Night In America aired an hour-long program featuring interviews with Copeland and others, along with music recorded at Dizzy's Club in New York City and at the 2021 Exit Zero Jazz Festival. Currently, Copeland can be heard hosting her own popular daily blues radio show on SiriusXM’s Bluesville.

The Chicago Tribune’s famed jazz critic Howard Reich says, “Shemekia Copeland is the greatest female blues vocalist working today. She pushes the genre forward, confronting racism, hate, xenophobia and other perils of our time. Regardless of subject matter, though, there’s no mistaking the majesty of Copeland’s instrument, nor the ferocity of her delivery. In effect, Copeland reaffirms the relevance of the blues.” 

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BLUESMAN DAVID "GUITAR SHORTY" KEARNEY SEPTEMBER 8, 1934 - APRIL 20, 2022
4/21/2022

Award-winning master bluesman David Kearney — known and beloved by fans worldwide as Guitar Shorty — died on Wednesday, April 20, 2022 in Los Angeles, California, of natural causes. He was 87.

BLUESMAN DAVID "GUITAR SHORTY" KEARNEY SEPTEMBER 8, 1934 - APRIL 20, 2022


Internationally Touring Artist Recorded Eleven Solo Albums
Over Seven Decade Career
Toured With Ray Charles, Guitar Slim and Sam Cooke  
    

Award-winning master bluesman David Kearney — known and beloved by fans worldwide as Guitar Shorty — died on Wednesday, April 20, 2022 in Los Angeles, California, of natural causes. He was 87. Credited with influencing both Jimi Hendrix and Buddy Guy, Shorty electrified audiences worldwide with his unpredictable, slashing guitar playing, gruff vocals and supercharged live shows, where he would often do back flips and somersaults while playing. The Chicago Reader said, "Guitar Shorty is a battle-scarred hard-ass. He is among the highest-energy blues entertainers on the scene." Billboard said he played "blistering, modern blues-rock, bristling with galvanizing guitar and forceful vocals."

While still in his early 20s, Shorty toured with blues and R&B luminaries including Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, B.B. King, Guitar Slim and T-Bone Walker. Over the first 30 years of his career, he recorded only a handful of singles for a variety of labels and an LP for a small British label. He released ten full-length solo recordings since then, many of which received massive critical and popular acclaim. His renowned live performances kept him constantly in demand all over the world. MOJO magazine noted his "hard-hitting, unrelenting intensity" and "incendiary guitar playing." Paste said, "He's a guitar god, and he simply unleashes one great solo after another."

Guitar Shorty was born David William Kearney on September 8, 1934 in Houston, Texas and raised in Kissimmee, Florida by his grandmother. He began playing guitar as a young boy, excited by the sounds of B.B. King, Guitar Slim, T-Bone Walker and John Lee Hooker. After a move to Tampa when he was 17, the young Kearney won a slot as a featured guitarist and vocalist in the locally popular 18-piece orchestra led by Walter Johnson. Being younger—and shorter—than the rest of the band, a club owner bestowed the name Guitar Shorty on him, and it stuck. After a particularly strong performance in Florida, the great Willie Dixon, who was in the audience, approached Shorty.  A few weeks later Shorty was in Chicago and, backed by Otis Rush on second guitar, he cut his first single for Chicago’s famed Cobra Records in 1957.
 
Shorty’s fortunes continued to rise when the legendary Ray Charles hired him as a featured member of his road band. While touring Florida with Ray, Shorty connected with guitarist/vocalist Guitar Slim, famous for his hit Things That I Used To Do as well as for his wild stage antics. Shorty was offered the opening slot on Slim's upcoming tour, and Shorty jumped at the chance. Inspired by Slim, Shorty began incorporating some of the older artist’s athletic showmanship into his own performances. Before long, Guitar Shorty was doing somersaults and flips on stage. He next joined Sam Cooke’s touring band and eventually settled in Los Angeles. He gigged locally and recorded three 45s for the Los Angeles-based Pull Records label in 1959.
 
Shorty moved to Seattle in 1960 and eventually met Jimi Hendrix through mutual friends. Hendrix loved Shorty’s playing, and confessed that in 1961 and 1962 he would go AWOL from his Army base in order to catch Shorty’s area performances, and to pick up licks and ideas. According to Shorty, “Jimi told me the reason he started setting his guitar on fire was because he couldn’t do the back flips like I did.”
 
Moving  to Los Angeles in 1971, Shorty opened for all the great blues stars who passed through town, including Little Milton, B.B. King, Lowell Fulson, Johnny Copeland and T-Bone Walker. In 1978 he even performed on (and won) The Gong Show, playing guitar while standing on his head. He appeared, playing himself, in the 1990 Tommy Chong film Far Out Man. A major story in Living Blues magazine brought him even more attention and led to his first British tour in 1991. While there, he cut his first full-length album.
 
Guitar Shorty made three albums for New Orleans-based Black Top label during the 1990s, followed by one for for Evidence Records. The success of the albums led Shorty on multiple barnstorming tours across the U.S. and around the world, including the UK, Europe and Japan. Appearances at major festivals like The Monterey Bay Blues Festival, The San Francisco Blues Festival, The Chicago Blues Festival and The King Biscuit Blues Festival brought him to larger and larger audiences.
 
In 2004, Guitar Shorty joined Alligator Records, releasing three of his best-selling records: 2004's Watch Your Back, 2006's We The People and 2010's Bare Knuckle. Fans, radio programmers and critics shouted their support. Living Blues called Shorty “a blues rock original [who plays] screaming, empowered guitar and sings with streetwise defiance.” Texas Music Magazine said, “Axebuster extraordinaire Guitar Shorty is an old-school guitar showman. He plays with technique and flash, without ever sacrificing the passion. He’s a blues-rock hero.”

Shorty continued to tour and perform well into his 80s. His most recent album was 2019's Trying To Find My Way Back, produced by legendary musician Jerry "Swamp Dogg" Williams.

Guitar Shorty is survived by his sister Gertrude Kearney Williams, his four children: Sean Kearney, Edmond Kearney, Tamara Kearney and Rodney Kearney, and nieces Sheena Kearney and Estalita Williams.

Funeral  arrangements are pending. 

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CHRISTONE "KINGFISH" INGRAM TO MAKE NATIONAL TELEVISION PERFORMANCE DEBUT ON CBS SATURDAY MORNING ON APRIL 16
4/12/2022

Grammy Award-winning young blues sensation Christone "Kingfish" Ingram will make his national television performance debut on CBS Saturday Morning on Saturday, April 16. He will perform three songs, two of which will be broadcast nationwide. The third will air in 40% of markets and will join the other two online at the CBS Saturday Sessions website. Additionally, Ingram opens up to host Michelle Miller in an in-depth, personal one-on-one interview.

CHRISTONE "KINGFISH" INGRAM TO MAKE NATIONAL TELEVISION PERFORMANCE DEBUT ON CBS SATURDAY MORNING ON APRIL 16


In Addition To Performing Three Songs,
Kingfish Will Be Featured In An In-depth Interview Segment
 

    

Grammy Award Winner:
Best Contemporary Blues Album: 662

“Exceptional album...astonishing creativity.” 662 #1 Blues Album Of 2021   —MOJO

“Ingram plays guitar with dramatic, searing tone and sure-handed authority. And that's just in the studio; he's even scarier live.”
—NPR Music 

Christone "Kingfish" Ingram has already made his mark as one of the best, and undoubtedly most exciting, blues guitarists in the world.
—Guitar World
 


Grammy Award-winning young blues sensation Christone "Kingfish" Ingram will make his national television performance debut on CBS Saturday Morning on Saturday, April 16. He will perform three songs, two of which will be broadcast nationwide. The third will air in 40% of markets and will join the other two online at the CBS Saturday Sessions website. Additionally, Ingram opens up to host Michelle Miller in an in-depth, personal one-on-one interview.

"I’m thrilled to make my network television debut on CBS Saturday Morning," said Ingram. “Between this national TV opportunity and winning my first Grammy, April has been a really exciting month for me and my music.”

CBS Saturday Morning caught up with Kingfish as he entered New York's legendary Apollo Theater, signed the famous "signature wall," and made his headlining debut at the historic venue. Ingram, whose current Alligator Records release, 662, just received the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album, is currently headlining a nationwide theater tour, entitled 662: Juke Joint Live. He'll appear next at the massive Byron Bay Bluesfest in Australia, followed by more concerts in the U.S. in April and May. He then heads to the UK and Europe, with dates in England, Scotland, the Netherlands, France and Italy in June and July.

The media has embraced Ingram, hailing him for his incendiary guitar playing, soulful vocals and memorable songwriting. Rolling Stone declared, “Kingfish is one of the most exciting young guitarists in years, with a sound that encompasses B.B. King, Jimi Hendrix and Prince.” Living Blues said, "Ingram crafts solos that reflect a mind as quick as his fingers—each note sounds right, each string-bend and grunge-flecked wail appropriate in its place. He sings in as soulful and resonant a voice as he’s ever summoned, and he shows himself to be a lyric craftsman of depth and substance." The album made its world debut on XM/Sirius Radio's B.B. King's Bluesville. Living Blues' annual Radio Airplay Chart named 662 as the most-played record on blues radio during 2021.

According to Ingram, "662 is an ode to my roots, a nod to the area where I was born and raised. The title track, 662, encompasses how a small corner of the earth influenced my view of life and music. It also points to the growth I have had since my debut album. As much as I have been fortunate to get 'Outside Of This Town' (the title of his breakout single from his 2019 Grammy-nominated debut album, Kingfish), I do want people to know that 'The 662' will always be a major part of who I am."

On 662, Ingram creates contemporary blues that speaks to his generation and beyond, delivering the full healing power of the music. No Depression calls Ingram, “a young bluesman with an ancient soul and a large presence in the here-and-now.” Relix calls Kingfish "a truly new voice in blues music ."

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BLUES ICON CHARLIE MUSSELWHITE TO RELEASE MISSISSIPPI SON ON JUNE 3
4/7/2022

Mississippi-born, Memphis-raised, Grammy Award-winning music legend Charlie Musselwhite will release Mississippi Son, his new Alligator Records CD and LP, on Friday, June 3.

BLUES ICON CHARLIE MUSSELWHITE TO RELEASE MISSISSIPPI SON ON JUNE 3


Album Features Musselwhite's Guitar Playing On Every Song
First Single, Blues Gave Me A Ride, Out On May 6 
 
    


Charlie Musselwhite breathes passion.
DownBeat

Taste, restraint and power. He’s one of the best, and as a bluesman, he’s as real as they come. 
The San Francisco Chronicle

Superb, original and compelling…Charlie Musselwhite, with unabashed excellence, sets the standard for blues.  
Rolling Stone

Mississippi-born, Memphis-raised, Grammy Award-winning music legend Charlie Musselwhite will release Mississippi Son, his new Alligator Records CD and LP, on Friday, June 3. Musselwhite is renowned worldwide as a master harmonica player, a seasoned, truth-telling vocalist and an original songwriter rooted deep within the blues tradition. As many of his fans know, he’s also a country blues guitarist of great depth, warmth and subtlety. On each of Mississippi Son’s 14 songs, including eight powerfully stark originals, Musselwhite’s straight-from-the-soul vocals and deep blues harmonica playing are the perfect foil to his deceptively simple, hypnotic guitar work, which he features on every track. Mississippi Son's first single, the autobiographical original Blues Gave Me A Ride, will be released on Friday, May 6.

Having recently moved back to Mississippi from northern California, Musselwhite recorded Mississippi Son in Clarksdale, right in the heart of the Delta. His honest, soulful vocals, like his every-note-matters harmonica playing and idiosyncratic guitar work, overflow with hard-earned authenticity and lasting emotional intensity. Musselwhite calls his blues, “secular spiritual music,” a sound he’s been perfecting since he, as a young teenager, played his first E7 chord on his Supertone acoustic guitar. Upon hearing and feeling the chord’s blue note, the future blues master thought, “I have to have more of that.”

Charlie Musselwhite doesn’t just sing and play the blues; he is, in every sense of the word, a bluesman. Growing up, he not only learned the music first-hand from many of the genre’s most influential artists, he also absorbed the lifestyle. “It’s an attitude,” Musselwhite says of playing the blues. “A way of living life.” Musselwhite's life story reads like a classic blues song: born in Mississippi, raised in Memphis and schooled on the South Side of Chicago. A groundbreaking recording artist since the 1960s, Musselwhite has never stopped creating trailblazing music while remaining firmly rooted in the blues.

Over the years, Charlie has released nearly 40 albums on a variety of labels, his exploratory recordings including straight blues but often mixing in elements of jazz, gospel, Tex-Mex, Cuban and other world musics. Four of those albums—1990’s Ace Of Harps, 1991’s Signature, 1994’s In My Time, and 2010’s The Well—were released on Alligator Records and remain among his best-selling titles.

In 2020, Musselwhite joined up with his friend Elvin Bishop and released the Grammy-nominated, Blues Music Award-winning 100 Years Of Blues on Alligator. The album debuted at #1 on the Billboard Blues Chart. DownBeat named it the Best Blues Album Of The Year. It was named the #3 Best Blues Album of 2021 by UK tastemaker magazine MOJO, who declared, “These are exquisite harmonica-guitar duets like Muddy Waters and Little Walter, or Johnny Shines and Big Walter Horton…mature, masterly, endlessly rewarding.”

In addition to his own albums, Musselwhite has been featured on recordings by Tom Waits, Eddie Vedder, Ben Harper, John Lee Hooker, Bonnie Raitt, The Blind Boys of Alabama, INXS, Cyndi Lauper, and many others. He was inducted into the Blues Foundation’s Blues Hall Of Fame in 2010, has been nominated for twelve Grammy Awards (winning one) and has won numerous Living Blues Awards and Blues Music Awards. The Chicago Tribune says his music is “imaginative and stunning…utterly convincing.”
 
Now, with Mississippi Son, Musselwhite has come full circle, returning home to Mississippi after decades in Memphis, Chicago, San Francisco and points in between. Amalgamating all he’s learned and absorbed throughout his years of worldwide touring, Musselwhite imparts sage wisdom in every song he writes, sings and performs. “Blues tells the truth in a world that’s full of lies,” he intones in Blues Gave Me A Ride, at once telling his own story and plainly summing up the genre’s timelessness. Through his evocative vocals, masterful harmonica playing, and note-perfect Southern country blues guitar, Charlie Musselwhite, on Mississippi Son, leans forward and delivers the blues’ honest truth. 

 

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CHRISTONE "KINGFISH" INGRAM'S 662 WINS GRAMMY AWARD FOR BEST CONTEMPORARY BLUES ALBUM
4/4/2022

Christone "Kingfish" Ingram, 23, the rising-star blues guitarist, songwriter and vocalist from Clarksdale, Mississippi, won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album for his sophomore release, 662.

CHRISTONE "KINGFISH" INGRAM'S 662 WINS GRAMMY AWARD FOR BEST CONTEMPORARY BLUES ALBUM


This Is Ingram's First Grammy Win And His Second Nomination 
    


Christone "Kingfish" Ingram represents the next generation of great American blues artists.
—PBS NewsHour

Christone "Kingfish" Ingram has already made his mark as one of the best, and undoubtedly most exciting, blues guitarists in the world.
—Guitar World
 

#1 Blues Blues Album of 2021  —MOJO

Christone "Kingfish" Ingram, 23, the rising-star blues guitarist, songwriter and vocalist from Clarksdale, Mississippi, won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album for his sophomore release, 662. The award, Ingram’s first-ever Grammy, was presented at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards in Las Vegas, Nevada on Sunday, April 3. Ingram’s debut album, 2019’s Kingfish, had previously received a Grammy Award nomination.

According to Ingram, “This a ‘wow’ moment. I didn’t expect to hear my name called, so I’m truly grateful that the recording academy honored me and my 662 album. I truly appreciate my family, my manager Ric Whitney, my co-writer and producer Tom Hambridge, my label Alligator Records, and a whole host of folks who helped not only make my sophomore album possible, but also made my Grammy Sunday a dream come true. As much as this is for me, it’s also for my late mom, Princess Pride, and for Mississippi.”

Ingram has just completed the first half of his nationwide 662 Juke Joint Live Tour, headlining at major theaters, including his debut at New York's famed Apollo Theater. He'll perform at the massive Byron Bay Bluesfest in Australia in early April, followed by more concerts in the U.S. in April and May. He then heads to the UK and Europe, with dates in England, Scotland, the Netherlands, France and Italy in June and July.
 
The media has embraced Ingram, hailing him for his incendiary guitar playing, soulful vocals and memorable songwriting. Rolling Stone declared, “Kingfish is one of the most exciting young guitarists in years, with a sound that encompasses B.B. King, Jimi Hendrix and Prince.” Living Blues said, "Ingram crafts solos that reflect a mind as quick as his fingers—each note sounds right, each string-bend and grunge-flecked wail appropriate in its place. He sings in as soulful and resonant a voice as he’s ever summoned, and he shows himself to be a lyric craftsman of depth and substance." The album made its world debut on XM/Sirius Radio's B.B. King's Bluesville. Living Blues' annual Radio Airplay Chart named 662 as the most-played record on blues radio during 2021. 

Click the image to see Christone "Kingfish" Ingram's acceptance speech

 

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CAROLYN WONDERLAND WINS TWO AUSTIN MUSIC AWARDS
3/9/2022

Texas guitar slinger, singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Carolyn Wonderland won two top 2021/2022 Austin Music Awards.

CAROLYN WONDERLAND WINS TWO AUSTIN MUSIC AWARDS


Takes Awards For Best Blues Artist And Best Guitarist


Every song showcases Wonderland’s never-waste-a-note guitar work and warm, soaring vocals. There may not be a better album this season.
—Living Blues

Wonderland's astonishing playing and soulful, sophisticated singing place this record above all others in her catalog.
AllMusic.com

Rich, bluesy, raspy, lush-toned vocals…soulful, skillful guitar playing...down-and-dirty, gospel-infused [and] rollicking.
Guitar World

#7 Best Blues Album Of 2021— MOJO


On Tuesday, March 8, Texas guitar slinger, singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Carolyn Wonderland won two top 2021/2022 Austin Music Awards. In addition to winning for Best Blues Artist, Wonderland took home the award for Best Guitarist. Wonderland is thrilled with the recognition, saying, "Thank you for the supreme honor of winning both Best Blues Artist and Best Guitarist in a city that is full of players who could easily wipe the floor with my ass without breaking a sweat."

The ceremony was held at Emo's in Austin, and was presented by the Society for the Preservation of Texas Music, The Austin Chronicle, and Capital Metro. The show raised funds for the artist-serving nonprofit, the SIMS Foundation. Full list of winners can be found here.

Master musician Dave Alvin, who produced Wonderland's Alligator Records 2021 debut Tempting Fate, says he is "extremely happy for her wins.... I'm very proud and honored to have produced Tempting Fate, and I hope that fate allows us to continue working together in the future. She's a joyous inspiration!"

The Austin American-Statesman says, "Tempting Fate is arguably the best of her dozen releases. Wonderland traverses from blues to country to rock & roll and beyond...fiery [and] deeply soulful."

AllMusic declares, "Tempting Fate is a roof-rattling, take-no-prisoners soulful shout-out rooted in the past that still shines brightly into the future."

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12 ALLIGATOR ARTISTS RECEIVE 25 BLUES MUSIC AWARD NOMINATIONS
2/11/2022

On Thursday, February 10, 2022, the Blues Foundation announced the nominees for the 43rd Annual Blues Music Awards. A total of 12 Alligator Records artists received an astounding 25 nominations.

12 ALLIGATOR ARTISTS RECEIVE 25 BLUES MUSIC AWARD NOMINATIONS

 

Tommy Castro Leads All Artists With Six Nominations, Including B.B. King Entertainer Of The Year, Album Of The Year and Song Of The Year.Chris Cain Follows With Four Nominations, Curtis Salgado With Three.Christone "Kingfish" Ingram, Carolyn Wonderland, Selwyn Birchwood Receive Two Nominations Each.Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials, Tinsley Ellis, Billy Branch, Derrick "D'mar" Martin and Christoffer "Kid" Andersen (of Rick Estrin & The NIghtcats) and Regi Oliver (of The Selwyn Birchwood Band) Receive One Nomination Each.

 

On Thursday, February 10, 2022, the Blues Foundation announced the nominees for the 43rd Annual Blues Music Awards. A total of 12 Alligator Records artists received an astounding 25 nominations. Leading all artists with six is guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Tommy Castro. His nominations include the coveted B.B. King Entertainer Of The Year, Album Of The Year (for Tommy Castro Presents A Bluesman Came To Town) and Song Of The Year (for Somewhere). Additionally, Tommy Castro & The Painkillers were nominated for Blues Band Of The Year. West Coast guitar master Chris Cain followed close behind Castro with four nominations, including Album Of The Year (for Raisin' Cain) and Best Instrumentalist -- Guitar.Soul blues vocalist Curtis Salgado received three nominations. Young blues guitar phenomenon Christone "Kingfish" Ingram, guitarist/lap-steel master Selwyn Birchwood and Texas guitarist/vocalist Carolyn Wonderland received two each. Chicago's world-famous Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials, Southern blues rocker Tinsley Ellis and harmonica giant Billy Branch each received one nomination.Saxophonist Regi Oliver (of The Selwyn Birchwood Band), guitarist Christoffer "Kid" Andersen and drummer Derrick "D'mar" Martin (both of Rick Estrin & The Nightcats) also received one nomination each.The awards ceremony will be held in Memphis, Tennessee on Thursday, May 5 at the Renasant Convention Center. The full list of nominees can be found here. Alligator artists and their nominations follow:

 

B.B. King Entertainer Of The Year
Album Of The Year: Tommy Castro Presents A Bluesman Came To Town
Band Of The Year: Tommy Castro & The Painkillers
Song Of The Year: Somewhere (written by Tommy Castro and Tom Hambridge)
Contemporary Blues Album Of The Year: Tommy Castro Presents A Bluesman Came To Town
Blues Rock Artist Of The Year




Album Of The Year: Raisin' Cain
Contemporary Blues Album Of The Year: Raisin' Cain
Contemporary Blues Male Artist Of The Year

Chris Cain:
Best Instrumentalist - Guitar




Contemporary Blues Album Of The Year: Damage ControlSoul Blues Male Artist Of The YearCurtis Salgado:Best Instrumentalist - Vocals




Contemporary Blues Album Of The Year: 662Contemporary Blues Male Artist Of The Year 







Contemporary Blues Female Artist Of The YearSong Of The Year:Fragile Peace And Certain War (written by Carolyn Wonderland)





Contemporary Blues Male Artist Of The YearSong Of The Year:I'd Climb Mountains (written by Selwyn Birchwood)Regi Oliver:Best Instrumentalist - Horn


Band Of The Year









Blues Rock Artist Of The Year








Billy Branch:Best Instrumentalist - Harmonica








Christoffer "Kid" Andersen:Best Instrumentalist - GuitarDerrick "D'mar" Martin:Best Instrumentalist - Drums

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