Tommy Castro Top Prize – Billboard

Tommy Castro Top Prize – Billboard


Tommy Castro won the B.B. King entertainer of the year award for the second year in a row at the 44th Annual Blues Music Awards, which were held at the Renasant Convention Center in Memphis on Thursday May 11.

The evening’s other top award winners were Buddy Guy, Albert Castiglia and John Németh, with two awards each. Guy’s The Blues Don’t Lie picked up album of the year and contemporary blues album. Castiglia won blues rock album (I Got Love) as well as blues rock artist. Németh won traditional blues album (May Be the Last Time) as well as instrumentalist harmonica.

The double wins for Guy’s album make up for its Grammy loss in February. The album was nominated for best traditional blues album but lost to Taj Mahal & Ry Cooder’s Get on Board: The Songs of Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee. Likewise, Charlie Musselwhite’s Mississippi Son won here for acoustic blues album after losing at the Grammys for best traditional blues album.

For the fourth consecutive year, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram took home contemporary blues male artist. Other artists who held on to their crowns for a second year in a row were Castiglia – blues rock artist; Danielle Nicole – instrumentalist bass, Curtis Salgado – soul blues male artist; and Sue Foley – traditional blues female artist (Koko Taylor award).

First-time winners were Laura Chavez – instrumentalist guitar; Thornetta Davis – soul blues female; and Dylan Triplett – best emerging artist album for Who is He?.

Tedeschi Trucks Band won band of the year for the third time.

In a nice touch, three awards are named after late blues legends. The entertainer of the year award is named after B.B. King, who died in 2015. The award for traditional blues female artist is named after Koko Taylor, who died in 2009. The award for instrumentalist – piano is named after Pinetop Perkins, who died in 2011.

Here’s a complete list of winners for the 2023 Blues Music Awards.

B.B. King entertainer of the year 

Sugaray Rayford

WINNER: Tommy Castro

Eric Gales

Bobby Rush

Mr. Sipp (Castro Coleman)

Band of the year 

Anthony Geraci & The Boton Blues Allstars

John Németh and the Blue Dreamers

Rick Estrin and the Nightcats

Southern Avenue

WINNER: Tedeschi Trucks Band

Song of the year

Altered Five Blues Band “Great Minds Drink Alike” (Jeff Schroedl)

WINNER: Buddy Guy “The Blues Don’t Lie” (Tom Hambridge)

Eric Gales “I Want My Crown” (Eric Gales, Joe Bonamassa)

John Németh “The Last Time” (John Németh)

Shemekia Copeland “Too Far to Be Gone” (John Hahn/Will Kimbrough)

Best emerging artist album

Blue Moon Marquee / Scream, Holler & Howl

DaShawn Hickman / Drums, Roots & Steel

WINNER: Dylan Triplett / Who Is He?

Jose Ramirez / Major League Blues

Yates McKendree / Buchanan Lane

Acoustic blues album

WINNER: Charlie Musselwhite / Mississippi Son

Corey Harris / The Insurrection Blues

Duwayne Burnside / Acoustic Burnside

Harrison Kennedy / Thanks for Tomorrow

Rory Block / Ain’t Nobody Worried

Blues rock album

WINNER: Albert Castiglia / I Got Love

Bernard Allison / Highs & Lows

Colin James / Open Road

Eric Gales / Crown

Tinsley Ellis / Devil May Care

Contemporary blues album

WINNER: Buddy Guy / The Blues Don’t Lie

Diunna Greenleaf / I Ain’t Playin’

Janiva Magness / Hard to Kill

Larry McCray / Blues Without You

Shemekia Copeland / Done Come Too Far

Soul blues album

Kat Riggins / Progeny

Kirk Fletcher / Heartache by the Pound

WINNER: Sugaray Rayford / In Too Deep

The Love Light Orchestra / Leave the Light On

Trudy Lynn / Golden Girl

Traditional blues album

Kenny Neal / Straight From the Heart

Bob Corritore / Bob Borritore & Friends: You Shocked Me

Duke Robillard / They Called it Rhythm & Blues

WINNER: John Németh / May Be the Last Time

John Primer / Hard Times

Acoustic blues artist

WINNER: Doug MacLeod

Guy Davis

Harrison Kennedy

Rhiannon Giddens

Rory Block

Blues rock artist

Walter Trout

WINNER: Albert Castiglia

Tommy Castro

Joanne Shaw Taylor

Tinsley Ellis

Contemporary blues female artist

WINNER: Ruthie Foster

Beth Hart

Janiva Magness

Teresa James

Vanessa Collier

Contemporary blues male artist

Selwyn Birchwood

Chris Cain

WINNER: Christone “Kingfish” Ingram

Ronnie Baker Brooks

Mr. Sipp (Castro Coleman)

Soul blues female artist

Annika Chambers

Trudy Lynn

WINNER: Thornetta Davis

Kat Riggins

Vaneese Thomas

Soul blues male artist

John Németh

Johnny Rawls

WINNER: Curtis Salgado

Don Bryant

Billy Price

Traditional blues female artist (Koko Taylor award)

Dietra Farr

Diunna Greenleaf

Rhiannon Giddens

Rory Block

WINNER: Sue Foley

Traditional blues male artist

Billy Branch

Duke Robillard

WINNER: John Primer

Johnny Burgin

Sugar Ray Norcia

Instrumentalist – bass

Bob Stronger

WINNER: Danielle Nicole

Larry Fulcher

Michael “Mudcat” Ward

Willie J. Campbell

Instrumentalist – drums

Chris Layton

Cody Dickinson

Derric D’Mar Martin

WINNER: Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith

Tony Braunagel

Instrumentalist – guitar

Chris Cain

Christoffer “Kid” Andersen

Joanna Connor

Kirk Fletcher

WINNER: Laura Chavez

Instrumentalist – harmonica

Billy Branch

Bob Corritore

Jason Ricci

WINNER: John Németh

Dennis Gruenling

Instrumentalist – horn

WINNER: Deanna Bogart

Gregg Piccolo

Jimmy Carpenter

Mark Kaz Kazanoff

Sax Gordon Beadle

Instrumentalist – piano (Pinetop Perkins piano player award)

WINNER: Anthony Geraci

Ben Levin

Dave Keyes

Jim Pugh

Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne

Instrumentalist – vocals

Curtis Salgado

Danielle Nicole

Diunna Greenleaf

John Németh

WINNER: Shemekia Copeland


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