What are the BMAs?

The Blues Music Awards 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.

To become a Blues Foundation voting member, join here.

The 43rd Blues Music Awards were held at the Renasant Convention Center in Downtown Memphis on Thursday, May 5, 2022. Congratulations to all winners and nominees!

What are the BMAs?

The Blues Music Awards 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.

To become a Blues Foundation voting member, join here.

The 43rd Blues Music Awards were held at the Renasant Convention Center in Downtown Memphis on Thursday, May 5, 2022. Congratulations to all winners and nominees!

Photos ©Joseph A. Rosen

2022 Blues Music Awards Nominees & Winners:

Tommy Castro 
Eric Gales 
Mr. Sipp (Castro Coleman) 
J.P. Soars 
Sugaray Rayford

Holler If You Hear Me, Altered Five Blues Band 
Not In My LifetimeWee Willie Walker & The Anthony Paule Soul Orchestra 
Pinky’s Blues, Sue Foley 
Raisin’ Cain, Chris Cain 
Tommy Castro Presents A Bluesman Came To Town, Tommy Castro

Listen to nominees on Spotify

Anthony Paule Soul Orchestra 
J.P. Soars and the Red Hots 
Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials 
Sugaray Rayford Band 
Tommy Castro & The Painkillers

“Fragile Peace and Certain War”, written and performed by Carolyn Wonderland
“Holler If You Hear Me”, written by Jeff Schroedl & Mark Solveson
(performed by Altered Five Blues Band)
“I’d Climb Mountains”, written and performed by Selwyn Birchwood
“Real Good Lie”, written by Christine Vitale, Larry Batiste, & Anthony Paule
(performed by Wee Willie Walker & The Anthony Paule Soul Orchestra)
“Somewhere”, written by Tommy Castro & Tom Hambridge
(performed by Tommy Castro)
 

Listen to nominees on Spotify

GA-20 Does Hound Dog Taylor: Try It… You Might Like It!, GA-20 
Just Say The WordGabe Stillman 
Live On Beale Street: A Tribute To Bobby “Blue” BlandRodd Bland and the Members Only Band 
Welcome To The LandMemphissippi Sounds 
You Ain’t UnluckyVeronica Lewis

Listen to nominees on Spotify

Dear AmericaEric Bibb 
Land of the SkyCatfish Keith 
Let’s Get Happy TogetherMaria Muldaur 
Let Loose Those ChainsHector Anchondo 
The Trio SessionsEG Kight

Listen to nominees on Spotify

Alafia Moon, Damon Fowler 
Dance Songs For Hard Times, The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band 
Resurrection, Mike Zito 
Tinfoil Hat, Popa Chubby 
Unemployed Highly AnnoyedJeremiah Johnson

Listen to nominees on Spotify

662, Kingfish 
Damage Control, Curtis Salgado 
Holler If You Hear Me, Altered Five Blues Band 
Raisin’ Cain, Chris Cain 
Tommy Castro Presents A Bluesman Came To Town, Tommy Castro

Listen to nominees on Spotify

Let’s Have A Party, Gerald McClendon 
Long As I Got My GuitarZac Harmon 
Not In My Lifetime, Wee Willie Walker & The Anthony Paule Soul Orchestra 
You Get What You Give: Duets, Dave Keller 
You Gotta Have It, Tia Carroll

Listen to nominees on Spotify

Be Ready When I Call You, Guy Davis 
Bob Corritore & Friends: Spider In My Stew, Bob Corritore 
Boogie w/ R.L. Boyce (Live)R.L. Boyce 
Little Black FliesEddie 9V 
Pinky’s BluesSue Foley

Listen to nominees on Spotify

Eric Bibb 
Kevin Burt 
Guy Davis 
Doug MacLeod 
Keb’ Mo’

Albert Castiglia 
Tommy Castro 
Tinsley Ellis 
Ana Popovic 
Joanne Shaw Taylor

Vanessa Collier 
Thornetta Davis 
Ruthie Foster 
Danielle Nicole 
Carolyn Wonderland

Selwyn Birchwood 
Chris Cain 
Christone “Kingfish” Ingram 
Kenny Neal 
Mr. Sipp (Castro Coleman)

Annika Chambers 
Trudy Lynn 
Terrie Odabi 
Kat Riggins 
Vaneese Thomas 

William Bell 
Don Bryant 
John Nemeth 
Johnny Rawls 
Curtis Salgado

Rory Block 
Sue Foley 
Rhiannon Giddens 
Diunna Greenleaf 
EG Kight

Cedric Burnside 
Super Chikan 
Taj Mahal 
Sugar Ray Norcia 
Jontavious Willis

Willie J. Campbell
Larry Fulcher
Jerry Jemmott
Danielle Nicole
Scot Sutherland

Danny Banks 
June Core 
Tom Hambridge 
Derrick D’Mar Martin 
Chris Peet

Christoffer “Kid” Andersen
Chris Cain
Laura Chavez
Anson Funderburgh
Eric Gales
J.P. Soars

Billy Branch 
Bob Corritore 
Jason Ricci 
Brandon Santini 
Kim Wilson

Mindi Abair 
Jimmy Carpenter 
Marc Franklin 
Regi Oliver 
Nancy Wright

Eden Brent 
Mike Finnigan 
Dave Keyes 
Veronica Lewis 
Jim Pugh

Thornetta Davis 
Ruthie Foster 
John Németh 
Sugaray Rayford 
Curtis Salgado

THANK YOU to our 2022 BMA Sponsors and Partners

                                             

Blues Music Awards Categories and Definitions:

That performer who has best represented and promoted the blues through recordings and performances 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 group, recording and/or performing as a unit, which best exemplifies blues ensemble playing 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 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 up and coming within the blues/music scene and is at the “jumping off” point of his or her career. An artist’s album may not be considered in this category if that artist has already had a professional release of more than three prior albums or EPs. (Albums submitted for this category may also be submitted in other appropriate categories.)

That album released during the eligibility period that best represents acoustic blues, in which non-electric/amplified instruments are prominently featured on at least 75% of the tracks.

That album released to the public during the eligibility period with a majority of songs that best portrays the Blues Rock genre, that hybrid that combines elements of blues with elements of rock, generally employing heavy amplification and driving rhythms, and which may employ non-traditional blues song structures.

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 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) with a strong gospel influence.

That album released to the public during the eligibility period with a majority of songs that best portrays Traditional Electric Blues employing traditional blues song structures, harmonic structures and rhythms, and which may also employ instruments such as electric guitar, piano, organ, amplified harmonica, electric bass and drums. This category includes subgenres such as jump/swing blues and Chicago blues.

That performer, whether male or female, whose recordings and/or performance during the eligibility period best represent Acoustic Blues.

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

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

That male performer whose recordings and/or performances during the eligibility period best portray Contemporary Blues.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That blues album or collection released during the eligibility period, with all recordings at least five years or older, which serves to preserve historical blues recording and/or performance. In addition to recording and performance content, liner notes and general packaging of the content will be taken into consideration. Submissions for this category are reviewed by a special committee of blues historians, journalists, and ethnomusicologists. This category is not included as part of the nominations announcement or the BMA ballot.

Blues Music Awards Process

The 44th Blues Music Awards submission process opened on July 11, 2022 at https://blues.awardsplatform.com/.

The submission process is open. Deadline for submitting recording is October 18th, 2022.

 

Any blues recording released between November 1, 2021 and October 31, 2022 is eligible for 2023 Blues Music Award consideration.

The submission process for Blues Music Award consideration begins with artists and record companies submitting entries in the following 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 after July 4th of each year. The Blues Foundation has moved to a digital platform for recording submissions. Your complete album or minimum 6-song EP music must be uploaded as a WAV file with album artwork uploaded as either JPEG or PDF files. We will no longer accept hard copy CDs for the purposes of BMA submission review.

Artists may submit a single for Song of the Year consideration that has been professionally released to the public between November 1, 2021 – October 31, 2022, and is not part of a larger EP or full album release.

Submission fees and deadlines (based on dates):

  • August 1 ,2022 – August 31, 2022

$155 per album or EP submission / $55 per song submission

  • September 1, 2022 – September 30, 2022

$180 per album or EP submission / $80 per song submission

  • October 1, 2022 – October 18, 2022

$225 per album or EP submission / $125 per song submission

The submission process will close on October 18, 2022.

You must upload your music and artwork and complete payment for your submission transaction no later than OCTOBER 18TH to be considered for a Blues Music Award nomination. All music must be uploaded as a WAV file with album artwork uploaded as a JPEG or PDF file. If you need assistance with uploading your music, contact Joe Whitmer at [email protected] will be available to help you and walk you through the process. The submission process officially closes on October 18, 2022 at 8:00am CST. You must upload your music and artwork and complete payment for your submission transaction no later than OCTOBER 18 to be considered for a Blues Music Award.

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 distributes 6 total points to their top choices within each category, with no more than 2 total points given to any single entry. The top entries in each category move into Round 2. The Blues Foundation does not publicize which recordings and/or artists move to Round 2. The nominators then repeat the point distribution for each category in a second round ballot and those artists and recordings receiving the most total points in each category become the final Nominees for Blues Music Awards.

Final nominees will be announced in early January 2023.

All Blues Foundation members in good standing, whose dues are current, may access one online ballot via the Membership portal at blues.org. Membership Login credentials and password required to gain access to the ballot. Any member who renews his or her membership or joins as a new member during the voting period will also receive a ballot.
Results of members’ voting are not known until the Blues Music Awards presentation ceremony when names of the winners are revealed to the public.

Winners will be announced during the 44th Blues Music Awards in Memphis, TN

Nominees and winners of the Blues Music Awards must be in keeping with The Blues Foundation’s values as a welcoming and inclusive organization,
as reflected in our Statement Against Racism.