Rick Galusha's Pacific St. Blues and Americana

Since inception (1989), Pacific St. Blues & Americana strives to be a discerning voice helping roots fans sift through the mountains of music released every year. We are not for everyone; we want to engage active, critical listeners that hear beyond d'jour. Interviews include: Johnny Winter, Bill Wyman (Rolling Stones), Jerry Wexler, Tommy Shannon & Chris Layton, B.B. King, Dr. John, Robin Trower, Robben Ford, Mato Nanji, Joe Bonamassa, Harry Manx, Sue Foley, Marshall Chess, Billy Lee Riley, Charlie Louvin, Kim Richey, Radney Foster, Eric Johnson, David Clayton Thomas, Al Kooper, Phil Chen (Wired, Blow By Blow), Ian McLagan, Art Neville, Southside Johnny, Miami Steve Van Zant, Nils Lofgren, Bruce Iglauer, Charlie Musselwhite, Studebaker John, Chris Duarte, Smokin' Joe Kubeck, Hamilton Loomis, Peter Karp, Roomful of Blues, James Harman, Hadden Sayers, Malford Milligan, Melvin Taylor, Otis Taylor, Dave Alvin, Coco Montoya, Jimmy Thackery, Marsha Ball, Maria Muldaur, Shelby Lynne, Magic Dick & J. Geils, Lil' Milton, BuddyGuy, Aynsley Lister, Matt Schofield, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks, Guy Clark, Joe Ely, James Cotton, Robin & Jesse Davey, Hugh Coltman (Hoax), Sean Kelly (Samples), John Entwistle (The Who), Mark Olson (Jayhawks), Walter Wolfman Washington, Anthony Gomes, Bob Malone, Chubby Carrier, Buckwheat Zydeco, Murali Coryell, David Jacob Strain, DeAnna Bogart, Michael Lee Firkins, Guy Davis, Jason Ricci, John Doe, Little Feat, Matt Woods, MikeZito, Peter Buffett, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Corky Siegel, Todd Park Mohr, Watermelon Slim, Magic Slim, Corey Harris,- - - - - - ------------------------Radio archives: http://www.kiwrblues.podomatic.com/. Playlists: http://www.omahablues.com/ Reviews featured in http://www.blueswax.com/. Email: KIWRblues@gmail.com Live online; Sundays 9 a.m. (-6 GMT) http://www.897theriver.com/

Monday, January 21, 2008

W. C. Handy Awards '05

W. C. Handy Awards '05

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

As might be expected the W. C. Handy Awards cause the Grammy Blues nominations to pale by comparison.

When the blues industry (fans, writers, artists, & radio) wants to recognize acts they award them a W.C. Handy Award. Handy was a black jazz musician that is credited with having “discovered” blues music while waiting for a train in the South around the turn of the previous century.

Historically the W.C. Handy awards have been a pretty good indication of where the genre has been. It is also a high ground for blues purists. Historically 'death' has been a pretty good way to clean up Handy Awards. Voters also lean towards highly commercial a/k/a big budget efforts which, more often then not, flop: B.B. King & Eric Clapton’s, Riding with the King, or Peter Green’s (Fleetwood Mac), Robert Johnson Songbook. There is also a strong leaning toward 'name' artists' especially when they near the end of their career.

So here’s my handicap for this year’s awards, I have shaded the titles I think will win the award and I have (rg)’d the ones I think deserve to win. With all due respect for these artists that have taken the risks, done hard time on the road, and worked beer stenched barroom stages for decades, I based my personal choices more about where I feel the art form of American Blues needs to be headed rather than where it has been. Unlike artists, labels, or managers, I have no dog in this fight and hope all artists get recognition and more importantly more album and ticket sales in the coming year!

Always quick to jump in with both feet (and usually landing in my own mouth) I think the W.C. Handy Awards is missing the boat by not having a series of categories that embraces younger, louder, more electric acts that will bring with them youth and a wider audience. I know, I know, I KNOW... you have to draw the line at some point but a quick glance at this list shows us not only great names and great talent but an aging base of performers that are often past their musical prime. Am I advocating throwing them out? NO WAY! I just think we need to widen the circle and try to welcome a new fan base into the fold.

I also think the awards system is failing to recognize the other side of this business which accepts great financial risks: the blues labels. I think the Awards need to recognize labels that assist in making it possible for these artists to reach fans that are unable to see them. I would target the label(s) that are "square dealers" with the artists and fans, using technology to keep the industry competative, as well as, having a marketing cohesiveness that exhibits a commitment to the blues art form.

As with any award process, the Handy’s are homogenized to the point of blandness but it is a wide-net and actually is a pretty good representation of “pure” blues recordings and performances for the year.

2005 - 26th W.C. Handy Blues Awards

Acoustic Blues Album of the Year Paul Oscher - "Alone With The Blues"Billy Branch & Kenny Neal - "Double Take" Corey Harris - "Mississippi To Mali" Paul Rishell & Annie Raines - "Goin' Home" (RG) Carey & Lurrie Bell - "Second Nature"

Acoustic Blues-Artist of the Year Paul Oscher Corey Harris David "Honeyboy" Edwards Paul Rishell & Annie Raines (RG) Eric Bibb

New Artist Debut Watermelon Slim - "Up Close & Personal" John Lee Hooker, Jr. - "Blues With A Vengence" (Grammy nomination) Nora Jean Bruso - "Going Back To Mississippi" Michael Powers - "Onyx Root" The Bo-Keys - "The Royal Sessions" (RG)

Blues Album of the Year W.C. Clark - "Deep In The Heart" Mavis Staples - "Have A Little Faith" (RG) The Holmes Brothers - "Simple Truths" Guitar Shorty - "Watch Your Back" Rod Piazza and the Mighty Flyers - "Keepin' It Real"

Blues Band of the Year Little Charlie & The Nightcats Smokin' Joe Kubek Band (RG) Rod Piazza & The Mighty Flyers Magic Slim & The Teardrops (Lincoln resident) Anson Funderburgh & The Rockets The Holmes Brothers

Blues Entertainer of the Year Bobby Rush Kim Wilson B.B. King Pinetop Perkins (Grammy Nomination) Solomon Burke (rg)

Blues Song of the Year "Alone With The Blues" - WRITER Paul Oscher , Performed by Paul Oscher "Have A Little Faith"- WRITER Jim Tullio and Jim Weider, Performed by Mavis Staples "Run Myself Out Of Town"- WRITER Wendell Holmes, Performed by The Holmes Brothers "Piecework Politicians" - WRITER James Harman, Performed by James Harman "Nothin' Ever Hurt Me"- WRITER EG Kight, Performed by EG Kight

Comeback Blues Album of the Year Big Joe Duskin - "Big Joe Jumps Again!" (rg) Gary U.S. Bonds - "Back In 20"

Contemporary Blues Album of the Year Charlie Musselwhite - "Sanctuary" (rg) The Holmes Brothers - "Simple Truths"Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters - "Now My Soul" Guitar Shorty - "Watch Your Back" Michael Powers - "Onyx Root"

Contemporary Blues-Female Artist of the Year Janiva Magness Marcia Ball Shemekia Copeland EG Kight Deborah Coleman (rg) [Playing With Fire Artist]

Contemporary Blues-Male Artist of the Year Kim Wilson Chris Thomas King (rg) Charlie Musselwhite James Harman Robert Randolph

Historical Blues Album of the Year Hound Dog Taylor - "Release The Hound" (Alligator Records)Charles Brown - "A Life In The Blues" (Rounder Records)Muddy Waters - "Hard Again" (Epic/Legacy) Johnny Winter - "Second Winter" (Columbia/Legacy)(rg) Lucille Bogan - "Shave 'em Dry" (Columbia/Legacy)Muddy Waters - "I'm Ready" (Epic/Legacy)

Instrumentalist-Bass Bob Stroger Willie Kent Bill Stuve Calvin "Fuzz" Jones Mookie Brill Sherman Holmes

Instrumentalist-Drums Jimi Bott Popsy Dixon Sam Carr Sam Lay Willie "Big Eyes" Smith

Instrumentalist-Guitar Ronnie Earl Duke Robillard Kirk Fletcher Bob Margolin Roy Rogers

Instrumentalist-Harmonica Kim Wilson Charlie Musselwhite Rod Piazza James Harman Paul Oscher

Instrumentalist-Horns Calvin Owens - Trumpet Mark Kazanoff – Saxophone Roomful of Blues Horns Greg Piccolo - Saxophone Sax Gordon - Saxophone

Instrumentalist-Keyboards Henry Butler (rg) Honey Piazza Dave Maxwell Marcia Ball Jon Cleary

Instrumentalist-Other Robert Randolph - Pedal Steel Guitar (rg) Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown - Fiddle Sonny Rhodes - Lap Steel Guitar Otis Taylor - Banjo Andra Faye - Mandolin

Soul/Blues Album of the Year Mavis Staples - "Have A Little Faith" Bobby Rush - "Folk Funk"W.C. Clark - "Deep In The Heart" Tad Robinson - "Did You Ever Wonder?" (rg) Charles Wilson - "If Heartaches Were Nickels"

Soul/Blues-Female Artist of the Year Mavis Staples (rg) Bettye LaVette Etta James Toni Lynn Washington Barbara Lynn

Soul/Blues-Male Artist of the Year Bobby Rush Tad Robinson (rg) Little Milton Solomon Burke W.C. Clark

Traditional Blues Album of the Year James Cotton - "Baby Don't You Tear My Clothes" Jody Williams - "You Left Me In The Dark" (rg) Duke Robillard - "Blue Mood: The Songs Of T-Bone Walker" Pinetop Perkins - "Ladies Man" (Grammy Nomincation) Sam Myers - "Coming From The Old School"

Traditional Blues-Female Artist of the Year Jessie Mae Hemphill Nora Jean Bruso (rg) Ruth Brown Koko Taylor Maria Muldaur

Traditional Blues-Male Artist of the Year Robert Lockwood Jr. Jody Williams (rg) Sam Myers Hubert Sumlin Pinetop Perkins (Grammy Nomination)

No comments: