Relative newcomer Watermelon Slim might have been the story coming into the 2007 Blues Music Awards, but when the dust settled the story of the night in Memphis was veteran harp master Charlie Musselwhite. Musselwhite took home four of the five awards he was nominated for, including Album of the Year for Delta Hardware.
In addition to winning for Album of the Year, Musselwhite won for Traditional Blues Album of the Year, and Instrumentalist of the Year among harmonica players. “Church is Out,” the lead track from Delta Hardware, won Song of the Year. Only the late Robert Lockwood Jr. stood between Musselwhite and a sweep. Lockwood edged him out in the Traditional Blues Male Artist of the Year category.
If Musselwhite's dominance was the lead story of the evening, Watermelon Slim getting Mimi'd has to be a close second – which, when you think of it keeps with the overall theme of the evening. Slim's six nominations led all nominees, but he was shut out and left empty handed. Also shut out was Nick Moss & The Flip Tops, nominated for four awards.
The only artist besides Musselwhite to win multiple awards was Irma Thomas, who won two. Thomas won for Soul Blues Album of the Year, After the Rain, and Female Soul Blues Artist of the year.
If there is a trend to be found in the winners' list, it would seem to be that it's good to be a veteran on the blues circuit. Musselwhite, Thomas, and Lockwood Jr., were joined by veterans “Honeyboy” Edwards, Etta James, and Willie “Big Eyes” Smith as winners.
Comeback Album of the Year: Jerry Lee Lewis – Last Man Standing
Traditional Blues Male Artist of the Year: Robert Lockwood, Jr.
Traditional Blues Female Artist of the Year: Etta James
Acoustic Artist of the Year: David "Honeyboy" Edwards
Acoustic Album of the Year: Rory Block – The Lady and Mr. Johnson
Pinetop Perkins Piano Player of the Year: Marcia Ball
Instrumentalist-Guitar: Hubert Sumlin
Soul Blues Male Artist of the Year: Bobby Rush
Soul Blues Female Artist of the Year: Irma Thomas
Soul Blues Album of the Year: Irma Thomas – After the Rain
Historical Album of the Year: Shout! Factory – Hooker – John Lee Hooker
Contemporary Blues Album of the Year: Guitar Shorty – We the People
Contemporary Blues Female Artist of the Year: Janiva Magness
Contemporary Blues Male Artist of the Year: Tab Benoit
Instrumentalist-Harmonica: Charlie Musselwhite
Instrumentalist-Bass: Mookie Brill
Instrumentalist-Drums: Willie "Big Eyes" Smith
Instrumentalist-Horn: Eddie Shaw
Instrumentalist-Other: Robert Randolph
Best New Artist Debut: Slick Ballinger- Mississippi Soul
Song of the Year: "Church is Out" – Charlie Musselwhite
Traditional Blues Album of the Year: Charlie Musselwhite – Delta Hardware
Album of the Year: Charlie Musselwhite – Delta Hardware
Band of the Year: Lil' Ed & the Blues Imperials
B.B. King Entertainer of the Year: Tab Benoit
If you're wondering who these winners had to edge out for their awards, here is a complete list of nominees.