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Thirty Ninth Annual Blues Music Awards

The Blues Foundation host the 39th Annual Blues Music Awards in Memphis, Tennessee on May 10th, 2018.

The BMAs are generally recognized as the highest honor given to blues musicians and are awarded by vote of Blues Foundation members.  

This event brings together Blues performers, industry representatives, and fans from all over the world to celebrate the best in Blues recordings and performances from the previous year.

Check out the Blues Music Hall of Fame inductees

39th Blues Music Awards Nominees: 

Acoustic Album

Catfish Keith – Mississippi River Blues
Doug MacLeod – Break The Chain
Guy Davis & Fabrizio Poggi – Sonny and Brownie’s Last Train
Harrison Kennedy – Who U Tellin’ ?
Mitch Woods – Friends Along The Way
Rory Block – Keepin’ Outta Trouble

Acoustic Artist

Doug MacLeod
Guy Davis
Harrison Kennedy
Taj Mahal
Rory Block

Album of the Year

Don Bryant – Don’t Give Up on Love
Monster Mike Welch and Mike Ledbetter – Right Place, Right Time
Rick Estrin & The Nightcats – Groovin’ In Greaseland
Taj Mahal & Keb’ Mo’ – TajMo
Wee Willie Walker & The Anthony Paule Soul Orchestra – After A While


The Cash Box Kings
Monster Mike Welch and Mike Ledbetter Band
Nick Moss Band
North Mississippi Allstars
Rick Estrin & the Nightcats

B.B. King Entertainer

Bobby Rush
Michael Ledbetter
Rick Estrin
Sugaray Rayford
Taj Mahal

Best Emerging Artist Album

Altered Five Blues Band – Charmed & Dangerous
Larkin Poe – Peach
Miss Freddye – Lady Of The Blues
R.L. Boyce – Roll and Tumble
Southern Avenue – Southern Avenue
Tas Cru – Simmered & Stewed

Contemporary Blues Album

Beth Hart – Fire On The Floor
Corey Dennison Band – Night After Night
Ronnie Baker Brooks – Times Have Changed
Selwyn Birchwood – Pick Your Poison
Taj Mahal & Keb’ Mo’ – TajMo

Contemporary Blues Female Artist

Beth Hart
Karen Lovely
Samantha Fish
Shemekia Copeland
Vanessa Collier

Contemporary Blues Male Artist

Keb’ Mo’
Michael Ledbetter
Ronnie Baker Brooks
Selwyn Birchwood
Toronzo Cannon

Historical Album

Jimmy Reed, Mr Luck: The Complete Vee-Jay Singles, Craft Recordings
John Lee Hooker, King of the Boogie, Craft Recordings
Luther Allison, A Legend Never Dies, Ruf Records
The Paul deLay Band, Live at Notodden ’97, Little Village Foundation
Various, American Epic: The Collection, Sony Legacy

Instrumentalist - Bass

Benny Turner
Bob Stroger
Larry Fulcher
Michael “Mudcat” Ward
Patrick Rynn

Instrumentalist - Drums

Jimi Bott
June Core
Kenny Smith
Tom Hambridge
Tony Braunagel

Instrumentalist - Guitar

Anson Funderburgh
Chris Cain
Christoffer “Kid” Andersen
Monster Mike Welch
Ronnie Earl

Instrumentalist - Harmonica

Billy Branch
Dennis Gruenling
Jason Ricci
Kim Wilson
Rick Estrin

Instrumentalist - Horn

Al Basile
Jimmy Carpenter
Nancy Wright
Trombone Shorty
Vanessa Collier

Instrumentalist - Pinetop Perkins Piano Player

Anthony Geraci
Henry Gray
Jim Pugh
Mitch Woods
Victor Wainwright

Instrumentalist - Vocals

Beth Hart
Don Bryant
John Németh
Michael Ledbetter
Sugaray Rayford
Wee Willie Walker

Koko Taylor Award (Traditional Blues Female)

Annika Chambers
Diunna Greenleaf
Janiva Magness
Miss Freddye
Ruthie Foster

Rock Blues Album

Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band – Lay It On Down
Mike Zito – Make Blues Not War
North Mississippi Allstars – Prayer For Peace
Savoy Brown – Witchy Feelin’
Walter Trout – We’re All In This Together

Rock Blues Artist

Eric Gales
Jason Ricci
Kenny Wayne Shepherd
Mike Zito
Walter Trout


“The Blues Ain’t Going Nowhere” – written by Rick Estrin on Groovin’ In Greaseland
“Don’t Give Up on Love” – written by Don Bryant and Scott Bomar on Don’t Give Up on Love
“Don’t Leave Me Here” – written by Kevin R. Moore, Taj Mahal, and Gary Nicholson on TajMo
“Hate Take A Holiday” – written by Wee Willie Walker, Anthony Paule, and Eugene Williams on After a While
“Prayer For Peace” – written by Luther Dickinson, Cody Dickinson, and Oteil Burbridge on Prayer For Peace

Soul Blues Album

Don Bryant – Don’t Give Up on Love
Johnny Rawls – Waiting For The Train
Robert Cray & Hi Rhythm – Robert Cray & Hi Rhythm
Sugaray Rayford – The World That We Live In
Wee Willie Walker &The Anthony Paule Soul Orchestra – After A While

Soul Blues Female Artist

Bettye LaVette
Denise LaSalle
Mavis Staples
Trudy Lynn
Vaneese Thomas

Soul Blues Male Artist

Curtis Salgado
Don Bryant
Johnny Rawls
Sugaray Rayford
Wee Willie Walker
William Bell

Traditional Blues Album

The Cash Box Kings – Royal Mint
Elvin Bishop’s Big Fun Trio – Elvin Bishop’s Big Fun Trio
Kim Wilson – Blues and Boogie Vol. 1
Monster Mike Welch and Mike Ledbetter – Right Place, Right Time
Rick Estrin & The Nightcats – Groovin’ In Greaseland
Various Artists – Howlin’ At Greaseland

Traditional Blues Male Artist

John Primer
Kim Wilson
Lurrie Bell
Rick Estrin


Visit Blues.org for all the information regarding the upcoming Blues Music Awards