What is the Best Self-Produced CD Award?

In 2005, The Blues Foundation established an award for the Best Self-Produced CD, given out at the International Blues Challenge, as part of our mission to celebrate blues recording and to ensure the future of this uniquely American art form. Unlike our celebration of blues recordings and performances at the Blues Music Awards, or our recognition of up-and-coming musician performance via The International Blues Challenge, this award was created to recognize excellence in independent Blues recordings.

2023 Best Self-Produced CD WINNER

Green Light
Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal
( Blues Society of Omaha, Inc.)

2023 Best Self-Produced CD Finalists

Green Light
Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal
(Blues Society of Omaha, Inc.)

I’m Not From Chicago
Debra Power
(Calgary Blues Association)

Strange Times Blues
Howell Devine
(The Golden Gate Blues Society)

Keep On Pushin’
Johnny Wheels & The Swamp Donkeys
(Cascade Blues Association)

Goin’ Back
Pierce Dipner
(Blues Society of Western PA)

Best Self-Produced Official Rules:

  • Entries for the Best Self-Produced CD are permitted by Blues Foundation Affiliated Organizations only.
  • Each Affiliate is permitted one entry.
  • The CD entered may be recorded and performed by an act other than is entered in the current year’s International Blues Challenge.
  • Compilations are not eligible.
  • Only CDs released between November 1, 2022 and October 31, 2023 are eligible for consideration as the 2024 Best Self-Produced CD.
  • While we encourage a competition at the Affiliate level to determine the CD it will sponsor for Best Self-Produced CD, we do not require one. If an Affiliate does not conduct a competition to determine who it will sponsor but instead appoints a CD, that CD may not include a board member or officer of the sponsoring Affiliated organization.
  • A performer who has previously been nominated for a Blues Music Award (formerly the W.C. Handy Blues Award) shall not be eligible for this competition. A CD issued in the name of an otherwise eligible performer which also includes the contributions of a Blues Music Award nominee may be ineligible, depending on the extent of the contribution. Please contact The Blues Foundation directly to confirm eligibility.
  • A CD on a record label that has been previously nominated for a Blues Music Award (formerly the W.C. Handy Blues Award) shall not be eligible for this competition.
  • Judging will take place in three rounds. Judges will remain anonymous in order to protect them from outside influences and represent a cross-section of professionals from the blues radio and print industry. The final results will be announced at the finals of the 39th International Blues Challenge on Saturday, January 20, 2024 held at the historic Orpheum Theatre in Memphis, TN.

How to Submit: 

Affiliated Organizations must send a letter of support and 4 copies of the disc to:

The Blues Foundation – BSPCD
421 S. Main Street
Memphis, TN 38103

Deadline for submitting is November 1, 2023

For questions regarding IBC and BSPCD, please email Joe Whitmer at

Evaluation Criteria:

Judges will evaluate each submitted CD on the following characteristics. The criteria considered are listed in order of importance.

(1) Blues Content
(2) Musical Performance
(3) Audio Quality and Production Value of the Recording
(4) Professionalism and Visual Appearance of Cover Art and Design
(5) Credits and Liner Note Information.

CDs must be submitted directly by current Blues Foundation Affiliated organizations only. Affiliates must submit 4 copies of their selection to The Blues Foundation offices by the publicized deadline. In order for a CD to be considered for this award, the submission package must include a note on Affiliate letterhead stating the name of the artist and title of the CD being submitted for consideration.

Best Produced CD Award Winners: 

2005Crazy, Cryin’ Blues by Robin Rogers (Tie)
2005Silver Bird by Collard Greens & Gravy (Tie)
2006Back in Bluesville by Roxy Perry
2007We are Mighty Lester by Mighty Lester Band
2008Sophisticated Ladies by Sue Palmer & Her Motel Swing Orchestra
2009Hollerin’ by Nathan James & Ben Hernandez
2010Crime Scene Queen by The Informants (Tie)
2010Fire it Up! by Laurie Morvan Band (Tie)
2011Get Inside This House by Joe McMurrian, Cascade Blues Association
2012Where I’m Coming From… by Dave Keller, Rhode Island Rhythm and Blues Preservation Society
2013Solo Recordings by Steve Hill, Montreal Blues Society
2014Account to Me, by Hank Mowery, West Michigan Blues Society
2015Cryin’ Mercy, by Altered Five Blues Band, Grafton Blues Association
2016Blues in a Bottle by Rob Lumbard, Central Iowa Blues Society
2017High Temperature by J.W. Jones, Ottawa Blues Society
2018Blue Metamorphosis by Jontavious Willis, Atlanta Blues Society
2019 Lock Up The Liquor by The Little Red Rooster Blues Band, Central Delaware Blues Society
2020Sweet Thing by Moonshine Society, River City Blues Society (VA)
2022 – Borrowed Time by Memphis Lightning, Suncoast Blues Society 2023Green Light by Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal, Blues Society of Omaha

THANK YOU to our IBC 2023 Sponsors and Partners