Bay Area guitarist Tommy Castro was the big winner at the annual Blues Music Awards, held Thursday night in Memphis.
Castro won three major awards, including the coveted BB King Entertainer of the Year Award and Album of the Year for his LP “A Bluesman Came to Town.” Castro’s band, The Painkillers, also won the band of the year award.
Presented by the Blues Foundation of Memphis, the Blues Music Awards recognize the year’s outstanding achievement in recording, performing and writing blues music.
This year’s ceremonies – the 43rd annual awards – took place at the Renasant Convention Center in downtown Memphis and marked the return of live ceremonies after two years of virtual awards, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. .
New Grammy winner and Clarksdale, Mississippi, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram native Christone “Kingfish” Ingram also walked away with a pair of awards. The 23-year-old sensation picked up wins in the Best Contemporary Blues Album category for his LP, “662,” and as Best Contemporary Blues Artist.
Canadian guitarist Sue Foley also picked up a few victories, winning the Traditional Blues Album trophy for her LP “Pink’s Blues” and the Koko Taylor Award for Best Traditional Blues Female Artist.
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Other notable winners include genre veterans Taj Mahal (Male Traditional Blues Artist), Keb ‘Mo’ (Top Acoustic Blues Artist) and the late Mike Finnigan, who posthumously received the Pinetop Perkins Award as what a better pianist.
A number of artists from Memphis and the Mid-South were recognized, with local guitarist Eric Gales winning Best Guitarist and fellow Bluff City bluesman John Németh winning Best Vocalist.
The award for Best Emerging Artist Album went to Memphis blues scion Rodd Bland and the Members Only Band, for his tribute to his father, R&B legend Bobby “Blue Bland”.
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2022 Blues Music Awards Winners
BB King Artist of the Year: Tom Castro
Album of the Year: “Tommy Castro Presents: A Bluesman Has Come to Town”, Tommy Castro
Group of the year: Tommy Castro and painkillers
Song of the Year: “I’d Climb Mountains”, written and performed by Selwyn Birchwood
Best Emerging Artist Album: “Live On Beale Street: A Tribute To Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland”, Rodd Bland and the members-only band
Acoustic blues album: “Dear America”, Eric Bibb
Blues-Rock Album: “Resurrection”, Mike Zito
Contemporary Blues Album: “662”, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram
Album Soul Blues: “As Long As I Have My Guitar”, Zac Harmon
Traditional blues album: “Pinky’s Blues”, Sue Foley
Acoustic Blues Artist: Keb’Mo’
Blues-rock artist: Albert Castiglia
Female Contemporary Blues Artist: vanessa necklace
Male Contemporary Blues Artist: Christone “Kingfish” Ingram
Female soul blues artist: Annika Rooms
Male soul blues artist: Curtis Salgado
Traditional Blues Female Artist (Koko Taylor Award): Sue Foley
Male Traditional Blues Artist: Taj Mahal
Instrumentalist – Bass: Danielle Nicole
Instrumentalist — Drums: Tom Hambridge
Instrumentalist — Guitar: Eric Gales
Instrumentalist – Harmonica: Jason Rici
Instrumentalist — Horn: jimmy carpenter
Instrumentalist – Piano (Pinetop Perkins Piano Player Award): Mike Finnigan
Instrumentalist – Vocals: Jean Nemeth