18th Annual Maple Blues Awards Nominees have been announced

The Maple Blues Awards is Canada’s national blues awards program, whose goal is to promote blues music across Canada, and to recognize outstanding achievement in the field.

The awards program is proudly organized by the Toronto Blues Society, and the nominees are selected by a distinguished panel of approximately 50 blues experts who form the MBA Nominating Panel. Co-Chaired by the steering committee consisting of Terry Parsons, Yves Trottier, John Valenteyn and Brant Zwicker, the panel includes radio hosts, journalists, and festival organizers regionally distributed across Canada.

Winners in all categories, except the instrumental categories, will be selected by blues fans across Canada. Winners in the guitar, harmonica, piano/keyboards, horn, drum, and bass categories will be determined by the Nominating Panel.

The 18th Annual Maple Blues Awards will be held at the Royal Conservatory of Music’s Koerner Hall on Monday, January 19th, 2015 in Toronto.

Entertainer of the Year
The 24th Street Wailers
MonkeyJunk
Raoul & The Big Time
Steve Hill
Steve Strongman

Electric Act of the Year
Downchild
Jack de Keyzer
MonkeyJunk
Steve Hill
Steve Strongman

Acoustic Act of the Year
Adam Karch
Big Dave McLean
Brandon Isaak
Harrison Kennedy
Michael Jerome Browne

Male Vocalist of the Year
Chuck Jackson
Harrison Kennedy
Jon Knight
Matt Andersen
Steve Marriner

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

New Artist or Group of the Year
Irene Torres & The Sugar Devils
Joel Johnson Band
Jordan Officer
Sean Pinchin
Wicked Grin

B.B. King International Artist of the Year
Beth Hart
Elvin Bishop
Janiva Magness
Johnny Winter
Mavis Staples

Recording/Producer of the Year
Brandon Isaak Here On Earth Self; Producer: Chris Isaak
Downchild Can You Hear the Music Linus; Producer: Don Walsh
JW-Jones Belmont Boulevard Blind Pig; Producer: Tom Hambridge
Raoul and the Big Time Hollywood Blvd.; Big Time Producer: Raoul Bhaneja
Steve Hill Solo Recordings Vol. 2 No Label; Producer: Steve Hill

Guitar Player of the Year
JW-Jones
Paul DesLauriers
Steve Dawson
Steve Hill
Steve Strongman

Harmonica Player of the Year
Dave “Hurricane” Hoerl
Guy Bélanger
Harpdog Brown
Jerome Godboo
Steve Marriner

Piano or Keyboard Player of the Year
David “The Groove Doctor” McMorrow (Jack de Keyzer)
David Vest
Julian Fauth
Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne
Lance Anderson

Horn Player of the Year
Al Lerman
Chris Whiteley
Jon Wong
Pat Carey
Richard Thornton

Drummer of the Year
Bucky Berger (Fathead)
Lindsay Beaver (The 24th Street Wailers)
Matt Sobb (MonkeyJunk)
Sam Harrisson (Paul DesLauriers Band)
Tom Bona (Soulstack; Raoul & The Big Time)

Bassist of the Year
Alan Duffy (Jack de Keyzer)
Alec Fraser
Greg Morency (Paul DesLauriers Band)
Keith Picot (Brandon Isaak)
Omar Tunnoch (Fathead)

Songwriter of the Year
Angel Forrest
Brandon Isaak
Harrison Kennedy
Raoul Bhaneja
Ray Bonneville

Blues with a Feeling Award (Lifetime Achievement Award)
Diana Braithwaite
Alec Fraser
Danny Brooks
Ellen McIlwaine
Joe Murphy
Ken Whiteley
Michael Fonfara
Stephen Barry
Tom Lavin
Michael Jerome Browne
Brent Parkin
Nannette Workman
Theresa Malenfant