Maple Blues Award Nominations Announced

Canadian blues artists from coast to coast have been honoured with nominations for the 20th annual Maple Blues Awards, being held on January 23rd at Koerner Hall in Toronto.

Leading the way with multiple nominations are Quebec’s The Paul DesLauriers Band and its members with five nominations, followed by Angel Forrest with four.  Ontario’s MonkeyJunk and its members also received four nominations while Toronto/Texas-based The 24th Street Wailers, British Columbia’s David Gogo and Harpdog Brown each received three nominations.

There are several first-time nominees including 17-year old newcomer Spencer MacKenzie, Andre Bisson, Blue Moon Marquee, Debra Power, and Mark Crissinger for New Artist of the Year. There are several acts from across the country that each received two nominations. A full list of nominees is below.

The nominees, selected by a panel consisting of industry professionals from across Canada, are recognized both for their talent as well as their contribution to the growing Canadian blues music scene.

The 20th annual Maple Blues Awards will be hosted by award-winning multi-instrumentalist, bandleader, sideman and producer Steve Marriner of MonkeyJunk, and will feature performances by a half dozen nominees from all parts of Canada, all backed by the all-star Maple Blues Band led by Gary Kendall.

Tickets for the Maple Blues Awards, held at the Royal Conservatory’s Koerner Hall in Toronto, are on sale now for $45 – $80 and can be purchased at The Weston Family Box Office, located in The Royal Conservatory building at 273 Bloor Street West, Toronto, by phone at RCM box office (416) 408-0208 or online at TBS Members, Nominees and Blues Summit Eight Delegates can purchase best available seats for $35.

Voting will open November 1 at 11:59pm Newfoundland Daylight Time (10:29pm EST). Blues fans can vote online for their favourite blues musicians in the eligible categories until December 1. Register at

The 20th Annual Maple Blues Award Nominees:

Entertainer of the Year
Angel Forrest
Cécile Doo-Kingué
Matt Andersen
The Paul DesLauriers Band

Electric Act of the Year
David Gogo
The Paul DesLauriers Band
Steve Hill
The 24th Street Wailers

Acoustic Act of the Year
Al Lerman
Big Dave McLean
Harrison Kennedy
Jimmy Bowskill & Carlos del Junco
Tim Williams

Male Vocalist of the Year
Duane Blackburn
Harpdog Brown
Harrison Kennedy
John Mays
Matt Andersen

Female Vocalist of the Year
Angel Forrest
Dawn Tyler Watson
Samantha Martin
Shakura S’Aida
Suzie Vinnick

New Artist of the Year
>Andre Bisson
Blue Moon Marquee
Debra Power
Mark Crissinger
Spencer MacKenzie

Recording/Producer of the Year
Angel Forrest – Angel’s 11 (Morningstar); Producers: Angel Forrest & Denis Coulombe
David Gogo – Vicksburg Call (Cordova Bay); Producer: The Pérignon Partnership
David Vest – Devestatin’ Rhythm (Ark-O-Matic); Producers: David Vest & Gary Kendall
Dawn Tyler Watson – Jawbreaker! (Self); Producers: François Thiffault
Harpdog Brown – Travelin’ with the Blues (Dog House Records); Producer: Little Victor

International Artist of the Year
Beth Hart
Joe Bonamassa
Shemekia Copeland
Tedeschi Trucks Band
Mavis Staples

Guitarist of the Year
Colin James
David Gogo<
Paul DesLauriers
Steve Hill
Tim Williams

Harmonica Player of the Year
Carlos del Junco
Harpdog Brown
Jerome Godboo
Roly Platt
Steve Marriner

Piano/Keyboard Player of the Year
David Vest
Duane Blackburn
Jesse O’Brien<
Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne
Michael Kaeshammer

Horn Player of the Year
Al Lerman
Chris Whiteley
Frankie Thiffault (Ben Racine Band)
Jon Wong (The 24th Street Wailers)
>Mat “Moose” Mousseau (Ben Racine Band)

Drummer of the Year
Chris Nordquist
Lindsay Beaver (The 24th Street Wailers)
Matt Sobb
Sam Harrisson (The Paul DesLauriers Band)
Tom Bona

Bassist of the Year
Alan Duffy
Alec Fraser
Gary Kendall
Greg Morency (The Paul DesLauriers Band)
John Dymond (Colin Linden)

Songwriter of the Year
Angel Forrest & Denis Coulombe
Cécile Doo-Kingué
Paul Reddick & Colin Cripps
Ross Neilsen
Sugar Brown

Blues With A Feeling (lifetime achievement)
Stephen Barry
Diana Braithwaite
Danny Brooks
Michael Jerome Browne
Michael Fonfara
Alec Fraser
Tom Lavin
Ellen McIlwaine
Joe Murphy
Brent Parkin
Ken Whiteley

The Toronto Blues Society is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to the promotion and preservation of the Blues. The Maple Blues Awards is Canada’s national blues awards program. Its goal is to promote blues music across Canada and to recognize outstanding achievement in the field.

Located along the Bloor Street cultural corridor, The Royal Conservatory of Music is one of the largest and most respected music performance and arts education institutions in the world. Its breathtaking Koerner Hall, “the jewel in the crown of Toronto’s Cultural Renaissance,” along with two other concert spaces, presents 70+ concerts annually from acclaimed classical, jazz, pop, and world music and hosts an additional 100+ concerts and events from a wide range of not for profit arts groups, charities, and corporate clients.

*Via Sarah French PR

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