Any blues recording released between November 1, 2016 and October 31, 2017 is eligible for 2018 Blues Music Award consideration
The submission process for Blues Music Award consideration begins with artists and record companies submitting entries one of three ways:
• The Blues Foundation accepts CDs through the year and logs them based on their release dates. All recordings sent directly to The Blues Foundation will be put on a master list for future communications regarding our submission process.
• The Blues Foundation opens the formal submission process on July 1st of each year. Musicians and their labels are encouraged to formally submit their recordings via this online application. To submit your recording(s) for 2018 BMA consideration, please click here.
• Musicians and their labels may opt to send hard copies of their release(s) to be distributed to each of our nominators for a fee. This is not required, but encouraged, in order to ensure that each of our nominators has easy access to the music for their own listening and judging.
For the 38th Blues Music Awards, you may formally submit your release by clicking here.
Please choose the “Share with Nominators” option when you submit. You will be required to send 100 copies of your CD to The Blues Foundation and you will be charged a submission fee for this service, based upon when you complete this portion of the submission process:
• August 1, 2017 – August 31, 2017 – $155 per submission
• September 1, 2017 – September 30, 2017 – $180 per submission
• October 1, 2017 – October 24, 2017 – $225 per submission
The submission process officially closes on October 24, 2017. You do not have to have your CDs already manufactured in order to fill out a submission form to submit your music. However, music must arrive in The Blues Foundation offices within two weeks of submission or of album release, whichever comes first, but no later than October 24, 2017. Music which does not arrive within the appropriate time deadlines, may be subject to increased registration fees.
Should you choose not to provide copies of your CDs you may still submit your release via our online service at no charge. Your music will be included in the submission master log but will NOT be directly shared with our nominators.
** We cannot confirm that our nominators will listen to your music if you choose this option.
For each submission, you will be allowed to choose the category in which you feel the majority of the music on your recording falls. These choices include Acoustic Blues, Contemporary Blues, Rock Blues, Soul Blues, and Traditional Blues. All submissions will be considered for Album of the Year. If you feel that your recording represents your work as an Emerging Blues Artist, you may also choose that category for consideration. Furthermore, you will be allowed to list up to three individual songs for consideration as Song of the Year. All music will be screened ahead of ballots going to our nominators to ensure that your music does indeed fall into the category that you have chosen and that at least 51% of your recording constitutes blues music. The Blues Foundation reserves the right to move your music into a different category based upon our definitions, as follows:
Acoustic Album: That album released during the eligibility period that best represents Acoustic Blues, with over 75% of the songs recorded predominantly with acoustic instruments.
Contemporary Blues Album: That album released to the public during the eligibility period that best portrays Blues in which elements other than those traditionally found in Blues are part of the mix, e.g., different rhythms, different harmonies, more elaborate production values, etc. and which may offer a different approach to sounds, lyrics, instrumentation, arrangements, etc.
Rock Blues Album: That album released to the public during the eligibility period that best portrays the Rock Blues genre, that hybrid that combines elements of Blues, with an emphasis on Blues, but also is rock with its heavily-amplified instrumentation and generally driving drum beat.
Soul Blues Album: That album released to the public during the eligibility period that best portrays Southern Soul Blues, a type of soul music that emerged from the Southern United States. The music originates from a combination of styles, including blues (both 12 bar and jump), country, early rock and roll, and a strong gospel influence.
Traditional Blues Album: That album released to the public during eligibility period that best portrays Traditional Electric Blues.
As you release future recordings, we encourage you to send at least one copy of your CD to:
The Blues Foundation, 421 South Main, Memphis, TN 38103-4464. The earlier you do this the better. It informs The Blues Foundation staff that your CD has been released and allows us to log it for future BMA related communications.
The Blues Foundation enlists a group of approximately 100 blues nominators who work extensively in all areas of the blues industry. This includes individuals with blues expertise as producers, engineers, radio DJs, journalists, academics, club owners, promoters and others with a deep knowledge of blues music. The identity of the nominators is not made public in order to protect them from outside influences. Nominators must recuse themselves from any categories in which they have a conflict of interest.
The nominators work through two rounds in order to come up with between four and six final nominees in each category. During the first round, each nominator selects his or her three top nominees for each category. Each first selection is weighted by 3X, second selection is weighted by 2X, and third selection is weighted by 1X. The Blues Foundation Staff Moderator then calculates the number of points for each potential nominee in each category and the top 40% of nominees in each category move into Round 2. This information is not publicized.
The nominators then vote in a second round ballot and those artists and recordings receiving the most votes in each category become the final Nominees for Blues Music Awards.
A Blues Music Awards is given each year to Best Historical CD. The recipient of this category is determined by a special panel of blues experts and is not voted on by the general membership. Announcement of this award will be made during the Blues Music Awards ceremony on May 10, 2018.
All Blues Foundation members in good standing, whose dues are current, will receive a final ballot during the voting period. Any member who renews his or her membership or joins as a new member during the voting period will also receive a ballot. Voting will open in late January and will officially close on March 1, 2018 at which point no additional ballots will be accepted.
Results of members’ voting are not known until the Blues Music Awards presentation ceremony when names of the winners are revealed to the public. Announcements of the winners will be shared on the Blues Foundation website in real time, during the awards ceremony.