19th Annual W. C. Handy Nominations Announced

The Blues Foundation has announced the nominees for the 19th Annual W. C. Handy Blues Awards.

The Blues Foundation will present the awards ceremony on Thursday, April 30 in Memphis, Tennessee at The Orpheum Theatre on Historic Beale St. Awarded in 23 categories, the Handy Award is the highest honor given to artists in the Blues industry.

Luther Allison garnered the most W. C. Handy nominations. Allison, a favorite performer and multiple Handy winner, died last August. A special tribute honoring him and other influential Blues stars who passed away in 1997 will also be presented during the ceremony.

Joe Louis Walker, Corey Harris, Rod Piazza and Bobby Rush were among artist to receive multiple nominations this year. Ruth Brown, who was named in three Handy categories, will return to host the awards show and concert with a star-studded line-up of performers and presenters as her supporting cast. A list of performers for the ceremony will be announced at a later date.


1. Blues Entertainer of the Year:

Luther Allison; Ruth Brown; B. B. King; Rod Piazza; Bobby Rush

2. Blues Band of the Year:

B. B. King Orchestra; Joe Louis Walker & The Bosstalkers; Luther Allison & the James Solberg Band; Rod Piazza & the Mighty Flyers; Roomful of Blues; The Holmes Brothers

3. Contemporary Blues-Male Artist of the Year:

Luther Allison; Charlie Musselwhite; Rod Piazza; Joe Louis Walker; Smokey Wilson

4. Contemporary Blues-Female Artist of the Year:

Marcia Ball; Deborah Coleman; Debbie Davies; Sista Monica; Koko Taylor; Toni Lynn Washington

5. Soul/Blues-Male Artist of the Year Johnny Adams; Mighty Sam McClain; Little Milton; Bobby Rush; Johnny Taylor

6. Soul/Blues-Female Artist of the Year:

Ruth Brown; Denise LaSalle; Ann Peebles; Irma Thomas; Lavelle White

7. Traditional Blues-Male Artist of the Year:

Carey Bell; R. L. Burnside; David "Honeyboy" Edwards; Corey Harris; Snooky Pryor

8. Traditional Blues-Female Artist of the Year:

Rory Block; Tracy Nelson; Ann Rabson; Annie Raines; Sheila Wilcoxon

9. Acoustic Blues-Artist of the Year:

Corey Harris; Alvin Youngblood Hart; Keb' Mo'; Kelly Joe Phelps; Philadelphia Jerry Ricks

10. Best New Blues Artist:

Chico Banks; Chris Beard; Super Chikan; Andrew "Jr. Boy" Jones; Johnny "Yard Dog" Jones

11. Blues Instrumentalist-Guitar:

Luther Allison; Ronnie Earl; Anson Funderburgh; Big Jack Johnson; Duke Robillard; Joe Louis Walker

12. Blues Instrumentalist-Harmonica:

Carey Bell; James Cotton; Sam Myers; Charlie Musselwhite; Rod Piazza

13. BIues Instrumentalist-Keyboards:

Marcia Ball; Charles Brown; Floyd Dixon; Johnnie Johnson; David Maxwell

14. Blues Instrumentalist-Bass:

Sister Sarah Brown; Aaron Burton; Johnny B. Gayden; Calvin "Fuzz" Jones; Willie Kent

15. Blues Instrumentalist-Drums:

Ray "Killer" Allison; Jimi Bott; Sam Carr; Sam Lay; Willie "Big Eyes" Smith

16. Blues Instrumentalist-Other:

Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown - violin; Kaz Kazanof - saxophone; Sonny Rhodes - lapsteel guitar; Roomful of Blues - horn section; Eddie Shaw - saxophone

17. Contemporary Blues Album of the Year:

Luther Allison: Reckless Alligator; Long John Hunter: Swinging From The Rafters Alligator; Rod Piazza & The Mighty Flyers: Tough & Tender Tone-Cool; Joe Louis Walker: Great Guitars Verve; Smokey Wilson: The Man From Mars Bullseye

18. Soul/Blues Album of the Year:

Johnny Adams: One Foot in the Blues Rounder; Ruth Brown: R + B = Ruth Brown Bullseye; Solomon Burke: The Definition of Soul Pointblank

King Ernest: King of Hearts Evidence; Bobby Rush: Lovin' A Big Fat Woman Waldoxy; Mighty Joe Young: Mighty Man Blind Pig; The Holmes Brothers: Promised Land Rounder;

19. Traditional Blues Album of the Year:

Carey Bell: Good Luck Man Alligator; Corey Harris: Fish Ain't Bitin' Alligator; Jellyroll Kings: Off Yonder Wall Fat Possum; Snooky Pryor: Mind Your Own Business Antone's; Ann Rabson: Music Makin' Mama Alligator

20. Comeback Blues Album of the Year:

Jimmy Burns: Leavin' Here Walkin' Delmark; King Ernest: King of Hearts Evidence; Eddie King: Another Cow Is Dead Roesch; Jelly Roll Kings: Off Yonder Wall Fat Possum; Philadelphia Jerry Ricks: Deep In The Well Rooster; Freddie Roulette: Back In Chicago Hi Horse

21. Acoustic Blues Album of the Year:

Ann Rabson: Music Makin' Mama Alligator; Corey Harris: Fish Ain't Bitin' Alligator: John Mooney: Dealin' With The Devil Ruf Records; Kelly Joe Phelps: Roll Away The Stone Burnside; Philadelphia Jerry Ricks: Deep In The Well Rooster

22. Reissue Blues Album of the Year:

R. L. Burnside: Acoustic Stories MC Records; James Harman: Extra Napkins Cannonball Records; Jessie Mae Hemphill: Feelin' Good High Water; Mississippi Fred McDowell: The First Recordings Rounder Records; Jimmy Rogers: The. Complete Chess Recordings MCA / Chess Records

23. Blues Song of the Year: Song Title ­Composer (Artist/Album Title)

"Don't Take My Blues" Eddie Clearwater Bullseye (Eddie Clearwater / Mean Case Of The Blues)

"Leavin' Here Walkin'" Jimmy Burns Delmark (Jimmy Burns / Leavin' Here Walkin )

"Low Down Dirty Blues" Joe Louis Walker Verve (Joe Louis Walker / Great Guitars)

"Living In The House Of The Blues" Luther Allison Alligator (Jerry Lynn Williams/Reckless)

"The Man From Mars" Smokey Wilson Bullseye (Smokey Wilson The Man From Mars)