The Blues Foundation purchased has selected its first permanent home in downtown Memphis earlier this week, just in time to announce the nominees for the 32nd Blues Music Awards.
Artists and albums are nominated in 26 categories. This year's nominees include 12 first-time nominees and they will be competing with a pair of legends as Blues Hall of Famers Buddy Guy and Charlie Musselwhite tied for the most nominations with five apiece. BMA-winner Janiva Magness received four nods and Derek Trucks, Eden Brent, Joe Louis Walker, James Cotton, Nick Moss, Paul Oscher and The Mannish Boys pulled three nominations apiece. Soul legend Solomon Burke, who passed away earlier this year at age 70, is nominated twice.
Among the marquee awards are Album Of The Year, Entertainer Of The Year, and Band Of The Year. Album of The Year nominees include Guy's Living Proof, Musselwhite's The Well, Eden Brent's AIn't Got No Troubles, Janiva Magness' The Devil Is An Angel Too, and The Mannish Boys' Shake For Me. Entertainer of The Year nominees include Guy, Magness, Joe Louis Walker, Kenny Neal, and Super Chikan. There are seven Band Of The Year nominees this year: Derek Trucks Band, Magic Slim & The Teardrops, Nick Moss & The Flip Tops, Rick Estrin & The Nightcats, The Holmes Brothers, Kilborn Alley Blues Band, and Mannish Boys.
Presumably among those first-time nominees are those up for the Best New Artist Debut, which includes Chris O'Leary Band, Claudette King, Matt Hill, Peter Parcek 3, and Vincent Hayes Project.
A panel selected by the Blues Foundation chooses nominees in 26 categories and winners are selected by Blues Foundation members, who can begin voting tomorrow. Tickets for the ceremony and the DVD of last year's award ceremony – highlighted by Buddy Guy's acceptance of a Lifetime Achievement Award and performance – will also go on sale tomorrow.
The 32nd Blues Music Awards will be presented in Memphis May 5, 2011. The show will once again be broadcast live on XM Radio. My analysis of the nominees and categories will follow in a separate article. You can begin having your say in the comments below. Here is the full list of nominees: