Vol. 12, No. 2,856W - The American Reporter - March 18, 2006

by Jim Trageser
American Reporter Correspondent
Escondido, Calif.

ESCONDIDO, Calif. -- Nominees were announced last week for the W.C.Handy Awards -- popularly known as the Grammys of the blues world. Among the nominees are both B.B. King, the most popular and well-known blues artist today, and Ike Turner -- who played piano on some of the earliest rock 'n roll recordings and later revolutionized rhythm and blues with hisformer wife, Tina Turner.

The Handys will be presented Thursday, May 23, at the historic Orpheum Theatre in a city known as a birthplace of the blues, Memphis, Tenn. A list of all nominees appears below. A national panel of musicians, record company staff members, andwriters who cover the blues submit nominations and then vote in apreliminary round to narrow down the list for the final ballot, which issent to the roughly 30,000 subscribers of various blues magazines, as wellas the original nominating panel. (Your American Reporter correspondent isa member of the nominating panel.)

"This year's Handy nominations celebrate dynamic new blues artistsalongside great new work by established names," Blues Foundation ExecutiveDirector Howard Stovall said in a press release.

"It's also exciting to seethe Historical Album of the Year category reflect great reissues of recordings from blues pioneers such as Charley Patton and Muddy Waters, whoforged the foundations of blues. Through the broadcast of the Handy Awardson public television across the nation, we look forward to demonstratingthe excitement and influence of the blues as America's indigenous art formto fans young and old around the country." Now in their third decade, the Handy Awards are considered moreprestigious than the Grammys -- where the winner of the blues category isoften a rock musician with a bluesy sound, but little or no following inthe actual blues community. The Blues Foundation, which presents the Handys and maintains theBlues Hall of Fame, is a Federal nonprofit corporation dedicated topreserving blues history. For the latest information on the Handy Awardsand Handy Weekend visit www.handyawards.com or www.blues.org.

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Blues Entertainer of the Year:

B. B. King
Bobby Rush
Ike Turner
Marcia Ball
Rod Piazza
Shemekia Copeland
Blues Band of the Year

Anson Funderburgh & The Rockets featuring Sam Myers
The Holmes Brothers
Lil' Ed & the Blues Imperials
Magic Slim and The Teardrops
Rod Piazza & the Mighty Flyers
Contemporary Blues - Male Artist of the Year

Buddy Guy
Chris Thomas King
Kid Ramos
Kim Wilson
Larry Garner
Rod Piazza
Contemporary Blues - Female Artist of the Year

Debbie Davies
Deborah Coleman
Marcia Ball
Maria Muldaur
Shemekia Copeland
Soul/Blues - Male Artist of the Year

Bobby Rush
Ike Turner
Little Milton Campbell
Mighty Sam McClain
Otis Clay
Soul/Blues - Female Artist of the Year

E. C. Scott
Etta James
Francine Reed
Irma Thomas
Toni Lynn Washington
Traditional Blues - Male Artist of the Year

Henry Gray
James Cotton
Magic Slim
R. L. Burnside
Robert Lockwood, Jr.
Traditional Blues - Female Artist of the Year

Alberta Adams
Ann Rabson
Big Time Sarah
Koko Taylor
Acoustic Blues - Artist of the Year

Corey Harris
Eric Bibb
Honeyboy Edwards
John Hammond
Keb' Mo'
Louisiana Red
Best New Artist Debut

The Crudup Brothers - Franktown Blues
Harry "Big Daddy" Hypolite - Louisiana Country Boy
Otis Taylor - White African
Paul Reddick & The Sidemen - Rattlebag
Rico McFarland - Tired of Being Alone
Blues Instrumentalist - Guitar

Buddy Guy
Duke Robillard
Jimmie Vaughan
Kid Ramos
Ronnie Earl
Blues Instrumentalist - Harmonica

Charlie Musselwhite
James Cotton
Kim Wilson
Rod Piazza
Snooky Pryor
Blues Instrumentalist - Keyboards

Dr. John
Henry Butler
Henry Gray
Honey Piazza
Marcia Ball
Pinetop Perkins
Blues Instrumentalist - Bass

Bill Stuve
Calvin "Fuzz" Jones
Johnny B. Gayden
Larry Taylor
Willie Kent
Blues Instrumentalist - Drums

George Rains
Jimi Bott
Sam Carr
Sam Lay
Willie "Big Eyes" Smith
Blues Instrumentalist - Horns

Eddie Shaw
Kaz Kazanoff
The Memphis Horns
Roomful of Blues Horn Section
Sax Gordon Beadle
Blues Instrumentalist - Other

Boozoo Chavis - accordion
Buckwheat Zydeco - accordion
C.J. Chenier - accordion
Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown - fiddle
Sonny Rhodes - lap steel
Acoustic Blues Album of the Year

Chris Thomas King - The Legend of Tommy Johnson
David "Honeyboy" Edwards - Mississippi Delta Blues Man
John Hammond - Wicked Grin
Maria Muldaur - Richland Woman Blues
Otis Taylor - White African
Comeback Blues Album of the Year

Dick Heckstall Smith - Blues and Beyond
Henry Gray - Plays Chicago Blues
Ike Turner - Here and Now
James Montgomery Blues Band - Bring It On Home
Contemporary Blues Album of the Year

Buddy Guy - Sweet Tea
The Holmes Brothers - Speaking in Tongues
Jimmie Vaughan - Do You Get the Blues
Kim Wilson - Smokin' Joint
Marcia Ball - Presumed Innocent
Soul/Blues Album of the Year

Curtis Salgado - Soul Activated
Ike Turner - Here & Now
Little Milton - Feel It
Mighty Sam McClain - Sweet Dreams
Terry Evans - Mississippi Magic
Traditional Blues Album of the Year

Billy Boy Arnold - Boogie N Shuffle
Henry Gray - Plays Chicago Blues
Kid Ramos - Greasy Kid Stuff
Odetta - Looking for a Home
R. L. Burnside - Burnside on Burnside
Blues Album of the Year

John Hammond - Wicked Grin
Kid Ramos - Greasy Kid Stuff
Kim Wilson - Smokin' Joint
Marcia Ball - Presumed Innocent
Otis Taylor - White African
Historical Album of the Year

Charley Patton - Screamin' and Hollerin' the Blues
Lightnin' Hopkins - Lightnin' and the Blues: The Herald Session
Magic Sam - The Essential Magic Sam: The Cobra and Chief Recordings
Mississippi Fred McDowell - I Do Not Play No Rock 'n' Roll
Muddy Waters - Fathers And Sons
Blues Song of the Year

"Charlie's Old Highway 51 Blues" - Charlie Musselwhite (Kid Ramos - Greasy Kid Stuff)
"Gratitude Is Riches (And Complaint Is Poverty)" - James Harman (Kid Ramos - Greasy Kid Stuff)
"Kokomo" - Eric Bibb (Eric Bibb - Painting Signs)
"My Soul's in Louisiana" - Otis Taylor (Otis Taylor - White African)
"S. U. V." - Mem Shannon (Mem Shannon - Memphis in the Morning)

Jim Trageser is a writer and editor living in Escondido, Calif. Reachhim at jim@trageser.com.

Copyright 2006 Joe Shea The American Reporter. All Rights Reserved.

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