The Blues Foundation hosted the 39th annual Blues Music Awards last night in Memphis, TN, and among the night’s winners were TajMo collaborators Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’, who garnered seven awards collectively (in five categories), along with Mavis Staples, Trombone Shorty and more.
Mahal won the Acoustic Artist and B.B. King Entertainer awards, while Keb’ Mo’ took home the award for Contemporary Blues Male Artist, with the duo’s TajMo winning Album of the Year and Best Contemporary Blues Album.
Other winners from last night include Samantha Fish for Contemporary Blues Female Artist, Rick Estrin & the Nightcats for Band of the Year (Estrin also won for Song of the Year with “The Blues Ain’t Going Nowhere” and Traditional Blues Male Artist), Southern Avenue for Best Emerging Artist Album with their self-titled debut, Trombone Shorty for Instrumentalist-Horn, Mavis Staples for Soul Blues Female Artist, Mike Zito for Rock Blues Artist, Ronnie Earl for Instrumentalist-Guitar and many more. See the full list of winners below.
The night also featured performances from many of the nominees plus North Mississippi Allstars, Guy Davis, Vanessa Collier, Larkin Poe and The Anthony Paule Soul Orchestra.
2018 Blues Music Awards Winners
1. Acoustic Album: Break the Chain – Doug MacLeod
2. Acoustic Artist: Taj Mahal
3. Album of the Year: TajMo – Taj Mahal & Keb’ Mo’
4. B.B. King Entertainer: Taj Mahal
5. Band of the Year: Rick Estrin & the Nightcats
6. Best Emerging Artist Album: Southern Avenue – Southern Avenue
7. Contemporary Blues Album: TajMo – Taj Mahal & Keb’ Mo’
8. Contemporary Blues Female Artist: Samantha Fish
9. Contemporary Blues Male Artist: Keb’ Mo’
10. Historical: A Legend Never Dies, Essential Recordings 1976-1997 – Luther Allison (Ruf Recordings)
11. Instrumentalist-Vocalist: Beth Hart
12. Instrumentalist-Bass: Michael “Mudcat” Ward
13. Instrumentalist-Drums: Tony Braunagel
14. Instrumentalist-Guitar: Ronnie Earl
15. Instrumentalist-Harmonica: Jason Ricci
16. Instrumentalist-Horn: Trombone Shorty
17. Pinetop Perkins Piano Player (Instrumentalist – Piano): Victor Wainwright
18. Koko Taylor Award (Traditional Blues Female): Ruthie Foster
19. Rock Blues Album: We’re All In This Together – Walter Trout
20. Rock Blues Artist: Mike Zito
21. Song: “The Blues Ain’t Going Nowhere” written by Rick Estrin and performed by Rick Estrin
22. Soul Blues Album: Robert Cray & Hi Rhythm – Robert Cray & Hi Rhythm
23. Soul Blues Female Artist: Mavis Staples
24. Soul Blues Male Artist: Curtis Salgado
25. Traditional Blues Album: Right Place, Right Time – Mike Welch and Mike Ledbetter
26. Traditional Blues Male Artist: Rick Estrin