The winners of the Fourth Annual 2013 British Blues Awards were recently announced, and this year's honorees are a truly talented and deserving group of artists. Ian Siegal took the award for best "British Male Vocalist" as well as "British Blues Album" for his stunning Candy Store Kid, recorded with the Mississippi Mudbloods (comprised of Cody Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars, guitarists Robert Kimbrough and Alvin Youngblood Hart, and bassist Garry Burnside).
The talented Chantel McGregor took the awards for "British Female Vocalist" and best "British Blues Guitarist," beating out heavyweights like Alan Nimmo and Ben Poole in the latter category. Nimmo's band King King took the award for best "British Blues Band" while singer, songwriter, and guitarist Marcus Bonfanti was honored with the "British Acoustic Act" award. In the individual awards, British blues veteran Paul Lamb earned the "British Harmonica Award" and Becky Tate was named the best "British Instrumentalist." Every year the British Blues Awards also honor a non-native artist with its best "Overseas Artist" award, this year given to the great Walter Trout.
Producer Mike Vernon and promoter Barry Middleton were both honored with Lifetime Achievement Awards. Throughout his lengthy career, Vernon has worked with just about everybody who was anybody on the British blues scene, producing albums from John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, Savoy Brown, Eric Clapton, Fleetwood Mac, and Oli Brown, among many others. Middleton is well-known for promoting live blues music in a number of venues from 1974 until the early 2000s, and is one of the founders of the Nottingham Blues Society and the British Blues Awards.
Sponsored by the Nottingham Blues Society and voted on by blues fans across the U.K. through the organization's website, the British Blues Awards were launched in 2010 to recognize the contribution of British blues artists and musicians to the evolution and longevity of the blues. Check out the British Blues Awards website for a full list of 2013 award winners.
Walter Trout photo by Austin Hargrave, courtesy Provogue Records