BLUES MUSIC AWARDS 

Photo by Laura Carbone

What are the BMAs?

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

The 39th Blues Music Awards are coming in 2018!

May 10 2018 - Cook Convention Center - Memphis, TN
39th Blues Music Awards
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Blues Music Awards Voting Process

All Blues Musicians are invited to submit their recordings for 2018 Blues Music Award consideration.

CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT YOUR RECORDING(S)

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:

• July 1, 2017 – July 31, 2017 – $135 per submission

• 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. Your discs MUST be received by The Blues Foundation no later than OCTOBER 24TH to be forwarded to the BMA nominators.

Should you choose not to provide copies of your CDs you may still submit your release when the submission process opens on July 1st 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.


Category Selection

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.

2018 Blues Music Awards Categories and Definitions:

That album released during the eligibility period that best represents acoustic blues, with over 75% of the songs recorded predominantly with acoustic instruments.

That artist (whether solo, duo, or group) whose recordings and/or performances best represent acoustic blues during the eligibility period.

The best Blues album in any style released to the public during the eligibility period. (May be an album nominated in another category)

That performer who has best represented and promoted the blues through recordings and performances during the eligibility period.

That group, recording and/or performing as a unit, which best exemplifies blues ensemble playing during the eligibility period.

That blues recording that was released during the eligibility period for an act that has not received a prior Blues Music Award or GRAMMY® award nomination. The age of the artist is not of significance, but this award is intended for an artist who is relatively new to the blues/music scene and is at the “jumping off” point of his or her career.

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.

That female performer whose recordings and/or performances during the eligibility period best portray 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.

That male performer whose recordings and/or performances 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.

Any blues material released within the eligibility period that includes recorded music that is five years or older. This can be collections of re-released material or never before released material that is older than five years. This award is not voted upon by the membership but selected by a small committee of blues academics and experts.

That musician whose skills on the bass, in performance and/or on recordings, best portray the blues during eligibility period.

That musician whose skills on the drums, in performance and/or on recordings, best portray the blues during eligibility period.

That musician whose skills on the guitar, in performance and/or on recordings, best portrays the blues during eligibility period.

That musician whose skills on the harmonica, in performance and/or on recordings, best portray the blues during eligibility period.

That individual whose skills on any horn (including brass and woodwind instruments) in performance and/or on recordings best portray the blues during eligibility period.

That musician whose vocal skills, in performance and/or on recordings, best portrays the blues during the eligibility period. This category is open to all vocalists on recordings and stage as well as to vocalists who also play an instrument.

That female artist whose recordings and/or performance best portray traditional electric blues during the eligibility period.

That musician whose skills on the keyboards, in performance and/or on recordings, best portray the blues during the eligibility period.

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 rock with its heavily-amplified instrumentation and generally driving drum beat.

That performer whose recordings and/or performance best portray Rock Blues during the eligibility period.

This award is presented to the songwriter for a first-ever recording of a song initially released to the public during the eligibility period which best portrays the blues by means of theme, structure, and overall feeling.

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.

That female performer whose recordings and/or performance best portray Southern soul blues during the eligibility period.

That male performer whose recordings and/or performance best portray Southern soul blues during the eligibility period.

That album released to the public during eligibility period that best portrays traditional electric blues.

That male artist whose recordings and/or performance best portray traditional electric blues during eligibility period.

2017 Blues Music Awards Winners and Nominees

Eric Bibb – The Happiest Man in the World
Fiona Boyes – Professin’ the Blues
Jimmy “Duck” Holmes – Live at Briggs Farm
John Long – Stand Your Ground
Luther Dickinson – Blues and Ballads (A Folksinger’s Songbook) Vol I and II

Doug MacLeod
Eric Bibb
Fiona Boyes
Jimmy “Duck” Holmes
Luther Dickinson

Bobby Rush – Porcupine Meat
Kenny Neal – Bloodline
Nick Moss Band – From the Root to the Fruit
Sugar Ray & the Bluetones – Seeing is Believing
Toronzo Cannon – The Chicago Way
William Bell – This Is Where I Live

Golden State Lone Star Blues Revue
Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials
Nick Moss Band
Sugar Ray and the Bluetones
Tedeschi Trucks Band

Joe Bonamassa
John Nemeth
Lil’ Ed Williams
Sugar Ray Norcia
Sugaray Rayford

Corey Dennison Band – Corey Dennison Band
Guy King – Truth
Jonn Del Toro Richardson – Tengo Blues
Terrie Odabi – My Blue Soul
Thornetta Davis – Honest Woman

Al Basile – Mid Century Modern
Kenny Neal – Bloodline
Nick Moss Band – From the Root to the Fruit
The Record Company – Give It Back To You
Toronzo Cannon – The Chicago Way

Alexis P Suter
Ana Popovic
Janiva Magness
Shemekia Copeland
Susan Tedeschi

Albert Castiglia
Kenny Neal
Mike Zito
Sugaray Rayford
Toronzo Cannon

Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup, A Music Man Like Nobody Ever Saw, Bear Family Records
B.B. King, More B.B. King: Here’s One You Haven’t Heard, Ace Records
Bobby Rush, Chicken Heads: A 50-Year History of Bobby Rush, Omnivore Recordings
Doug MacLeod – Live in Europe, Under the Radar and Doug MacLeod
Michael Burks, I’m A Bluesman, Iron Man Records
Pinetop Perkins & Jimmy Rogers, Genuine Blues Legends, Elrob Records

Biscuit Miller
Bob Stroger
Michael “Mudcat” Ward
Patrick Rynn
R W Grigsby

Cedric Burnside
Jimi Bott
June Core
Tom Hambridge
Tony Braunagel

Bob Margolin
Joe Bonamassa
Kid Andersen
Monster Mike Welch
Ronnie Earl

Dennis Gruenling
Jason Ricci
Kim Wilson
Mark Hummel
Sugar Ray Norcia
Al Basile
Nancy Wright
Sax Gordon Beadle
Terry Hanck
Vanessa Collier

Annika Chambers
Diunna Greenleaf
Inetta Visor
Shaun Murphy
Trudy Lynn

Anthony Geraci
Barrelhouse Chuck
Henry Gray
Jim Pugh
Victor Wainwright

Albert Castiglia – Big Dog
Mike Zito – Keep Coming Back
Moreland & Arbuckle – Promised Land or Bust
Tedeschi Trucks Band – Let Me Get By
Walter Trout – Alive in Amsterdam
“Blues Immigrant” written by Matthew Skoller & Vincent Bucher and performed by Matthew Skoller on Blues Immigrant
“I Gotta Sang The Blues” written and performed by Thornetta Davis on Honest Woman
“Seeing Is Believing” written by Ray Norcia and performed by Sugar Ray & The Bluetones on Seeing Is Believing
“Walk A Mile In My Blues” written by David Duncan, Curtis Salgado & Mike Finnigan and performed by Curtis Salgado on The Beautiful Lowdown
“Walk it Off” written and performed by Toronzo Cannon on The Chicago Way
Bobby Rush – Porcupine Meat
Curtis Salgado – The Beautiful Lowdown
Johnny Rawls – Tiger in a Cage
Wee Willie Walker – Live! Notodden Blues Festival
William Bell – This Is Where I Live
Bettye LaVette
Lara Price
Mavis Staples
Terrie Odabi
Vaneese Thomas
Curtis Salgado
Johnny Rawls
Wee Willie Walker
William Bell
Big Jon Atkinson & Bob Corritore – House Party at Big Jon’s
Bob Margolin – My Road
Golden State Lone Star Blues Revue – Golden State Lone Star Blues Revue
Lurrie Bell – Can’t Shake This Feeling
Sugar Ray & the Bluetones – Seeing is Believing

Bob Margolin
John Primer
Lil’ Ed Williams
Lurrie Bell
Sugar Ray Norcia

OFFICIAL 2017 BMA T-SHIRT

The Official 2017 Blues Music Awards T-shirt is available in unisex sizes of grey or blue.
Pre-order now!

 

PURCHASE THE 2017 BMA T-SHIRT

2016 BMA CD/DVD Now Available

With live performances by
Guy Davis, Brandon Santini, Frank Bey, Ruthie Foster, James Harmon, Gaye Adegbalola, Billy Price, Tinsley Ellis, Beth Hart, Dave Alvin & Phil Alvin, Wee Willie Walker, Victor Wainwright,
Mr. Sipp, Duke Robillard, Henry Gray, and more!

PURCHASE THE 2016 BMA CD/DVD

Our Blues Music Awards Sponsors