As the summer starts, so does the music festival circuit. That's the primetime for many bands and solo artists to release new music, giving them a little something extra to promote while on tour. Here's a look at some of the big releases—and a few smaller ones that I'm looking forward to—for the coming weeks.
The Blues Foundation has released the list of winners for this year's Blues Music Awards following its 37th annual award ceremony, which took place at the Cook Convention Center in Memphis, Tenn., on May 5.
Even casual blues fans will recognize many of the musicians honored that night. The list includes Grammy Award nominee Cedric Burnside, who won both Best Traditional Blues Album and Best Instrumentalist-Drummer; Buddy Guy, who won Best Album and Best Contemporary Blues Album for "Born to Play Guitar," the release that also won him a Grammy this year; and Allen Toussaint, who earned the highly coveted title of the Pinetop Perkins Piano Player of the Year.
At the same time, there are plenty of blues musicians that listeners may not be as familiar with among the winners, emphasizing just how much diverse talent exists within the genre, let alone the entire field of music.
Here is the full list of winners. Be sure to check out any you don't know!
Acoustic Album - "The Acoustic Blues & Roots of Duke Robillard" by Duke Robillard
Acoustic Artist - Doug MacLeod
Album - "Born to Play Guitar" by Buddy Guy
B.B. King Entertainer - Victor Wainwright
Band - Victor Wainwright & the Wild Roots
Best New Artist Album - "The Mississippi Blues Child" by Mr. Sipp
Contemporary Blues Album - "Born to Play Guitar" by Buddy Guy
Contemporary Blues Female Artist - Shemekia Copeland
Contemporary Blues Male Artist - Joe Louis Walker
Historical - "Soul & Swagger: Buzzin' the Blues" by Slim Harpo (Bear Family Records)
Instrumentalist-Bass - Lisa Mann
Instrumentalist-Drums - Cedric Burnside
Instrumentalist-Guitar - Sonny Landreth
Instrumentalist-Harmonica - Kim Wilson
Instrumentalist-Horn - Terry Hanck
Koko Taylor Award - Ruthie Foster
Pinetop Perkins Piano Player - Allen Toussaint
Rock Blues Album - "Battle Scars" by Walter Trout
Song - "Gonna Live Again" written and performed by Walter Trout
Soul Blues Album - "This Time for Real" by Billy Price & Otis Clay
Soul Blues Female Artist - Bettye LaVette
Soul Blues Male Artist - Otis Clay
Traditional Blues Album - "Descendants of Hill Country" by Cedric Burnside Project
Traditional Blues Male Artist - John Primer