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2012 Living Blues Awards Winners

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Living Blues magazine #220

Living Blues magazine #220

Photo courtesy Living Blues magazine

With issue #220, now on the newsstand or available through their website, Living Blues magazine has announced the winners of its 19th annual Living Blues Awards. The publication offers readers the results of two different votes, the first being its critics' poll and the second being a poll of the magazine's readers. Here is the list of this year's critics' poll award winners:

Blues Artist of the Year (Male)
Lurrie Bell

Blues Artist of the Year (Female)
Etta James

Best Live Performer
Bobby Rush

Artist Deserving More Attention
Blind Boy Paxton

Most Outstanding Blues Singer
Shemekia Copeland

Comeback Artist of the Year
Ironing Board Sam

Most Outstanding Musician (Guitar)
Buddy Guy

Most Outstanding Musician (Keyboard)
Kenny "Blues Boss" Wayne

Most Outstanding Musician (Harmonica)
Lazy Lester

Most Outstanding Musician (Bass)
Lee Allen Zeno

Most Outstanding Musician (Drums)
Kenny Smith

Most Outstanding Musician (Horns)
Terry Hanck

Most Outstanding Musician (Other)
Otis Taylor (banjo)

Album of the Year
Various Artists – Chicago Blues: A Living History – The (R)evolution Continues (Raisin Music)
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Best New Recordings - Southern Soul
Johnny Rawls – Memphis Still Got Soul (Catfood Records)
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New Recordings - Best Debut
Little Joe Ayers – Backatchya (Devil Down Records)
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Best New Recording - Traditional & Acoustic Blues
Rev. John Wilkins – You Can't Hurry God (Big Legal Mess Records)
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Best New Recording - Contemporary Blues
Kenny "Blues Boss" Wayne – An Old Rock on a Roll (Delmark Records)
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Best Historical Reissue (Pre-War)
Various Artists – Barbecue Any Old Time: Blues From The Pit (Old Hat Records)
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Best Historical Reissue (Post-War)
Howlin' Wolf – Smokestack Lightnin': The Complete Chess Masters 1951-1960 (Hip-O Records)
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Producer of the Year – New Recording
Scott Bomar/The Bo-Keys – Got To Get Back (Electraphonic Recordings)

Producer of the Year – New Recording
Andy McKaie/Howlin' Wolf – Smokestack Lightnin': The Complete Chess Masters 1951-1960 (Hip-O Records)

Blues Book of the Year
Preston Lauterbach – The Chitlin' Circuit and the Road To Rock 'n' Roll (Norton)
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The Living Blues Readers' Poll

Blues legend Buddy Guy was a winner in Living Blues' annual Readers' Poll again this year, picking up the "Blues Artist of the Year (Male)" award as voted on by the magazine's readers. Fan favorite Marcia Ball took her second straight "Blues Artist of the Year (Female)" award, as well as her second "Most Outstanding Musician (Piano)" award. Ball's Roadside Attractions album was also named "Best Blues Album of 2011 (New Release)."

The great Mavis Staples was named "Most Outstanding Blues Singer" and Lil' Ed & the Blues Imperials were honored with the "Best Live Performer" award. Robert Cray was named "Most Outstanding Musician (Guitar)" and Bob Corritore took the "Most Outstanding Musician (Harmonica)" award.

Living Blues readers agreed with the critics on "Best Blues Album of 20122 (Historical Recording)," choosing Howlin' Wolf's Smokestack Lightnin' collection while "Best Blues DVD of 2011" was awarded to Maxwell Street Blues, a 1981 film reissued on DVD by Facets Video that features such Chicago blues stalwarts as Blind Arvella Grey, Coot Venson, Floyd Jones, John Henry David, and Carrie Robinson.

Pick up Living Blues magazine on your local newsstand, or check out the magazine's website to find details about subscribing or back issues.

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