Blues News: BMA Nominations, Blues Foundation on the Move, Allstars Ready New Record



Blues Music Award Nominations: Nominations for the 32nd Blues Music Awards, which will be held at the Cook Convention Center on May 5th, were announced yesterday.

Charlie Musselwhite: Leading the way with five Blues Music Award Nominations.
  • Charlie Musselwhite: Leading the way with five Blues Music Award Nominations.
Leading the nominations are a couple of the genre's living legends: Chicago blues standard-bearer Buddy Guy and Memphis bred harmonica master Charlie Musselwhite, who scored five nominations each, including for Album of the Year (Guy's Living Proof and Musselwhite's The Well) and Song of the Year. Guy is also competing for the B.B. King Entertainer of the Year award. Reigning Entertainer of the Year winner Janiva Magness is close behind with four nominations.

In addition to Musselwhite, who is also competing for Instrumentalist — Harmonica, Traditional Blues Album, and Traditional Blues Male Artist, Memphis-connected nominations are plentiful.

Greenville-based Eden Brent, who records for the local Yellow Dog Records and plays in Memphis regularly, is up for Album of the Year for her terrific Ain't Got No Troubles and is also competing for the Pinetop Perkins Piano Player award and Traditional Blues Female. In the later category, she'll be competing with Memphis mainstay Reba Russell.

The South Memphis String Band — a group made up of Alvin Youngblood Hart, Jimbo Mathus, and the North Mississippi Allstars' Luther Dickinson — are up for Acoustic Album for their debut Home Sweet Home. The Juke Joint Duo's Cedric Burnside is up for Instrumentalist — Drummer. And the late Solomon Burke is up for Soul Blues Album for his swan song, Nothing's Impossible, the final production from late Memphis legend Willie Mitchell.

Tickets for the May 5th awards show go on sale today, with a DVD memorializing the 2010 Blues Music Awards also available for purchase. Online voting by Blues Foundation members also kicks off today. See here for the full slate of nominees.

Blues Foundation on the Move: When the Memphis-based Blues Foundation hosts the BMAs next May, they will likely do so from a new home. The organization has approved a move from its current offices on Union and Front to a new headquarters in the South Main Arts District, with a prospective March 2011 move date.

"In order to expose blues music to even more people, we need a place that's open to the public and encourages visitors," Executive Director Jay Sieleman said in a press release announcing the move.

The North Mississippi Allstars: Plotting their return.
  • The North Mississippi Allstars: Plotting their return.
The new location, at 421 South Main Street, will feature 4000 square feet of public space, which, in addition to staff space will include exhibits and audio-visual presentations and a retail store. The Blues Foundation will add to an increasingly bustling arts and cultural district that includes the International Folk Alliance, the Memphis Music Foundation, the Memphis chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, and the National Civil Rights Museum.

Allstars Return: It's been nearly three years since the North Mississippi Allstars have released an album. In the interim, guitarist Luther Dickinson joined the Black Crowes and started the now Blues Music Award-nominated South Memphis String Band while drummer brother Cody launched a new band, the heavier Hill Country Revue.

Now, the brothers Dickinson and bassist buddy Chris Chew are returning with Keys to the Kingdom, which will be released on February 1st, 2011. The album was recorded at the Dickinson family's Zebra Ranch Studio, in Coldwater, Mississippi, and features guests such as Mavis Staples, Ry Cooder, Spooner Oldham, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Gordie Johnson, and Jack Ashford.

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