The 2021 UKBlues Awards ceremony will take place on May 9th, hosted— once again – by blues legend Paul Jones.
As for this year’s shortlisted talent: newcomers to the scene, When Rivers Meet, have been nominated for 4 awards, whilst Catfish, Dom Martin, Elles Bailey, Connor Selby have each been nominated for three. It is also great to see more new names to these awards with Errol Linton picking up two award nominations for Artist of the Year and Album of the Year; also, Alice Armstrong and Emma Wilson picking up nominations in the Emerging Artists Category.
In light of the changed musical landscape over the last year, with very few gigs and festivals and a lot more online content, this year’s awards will reflect the changes.
Ashwyn Smyth (Founder & Chair of the UKBlues Federation) puts this year’s awards in context: “It does not need me to tell you that 2020 was a year like no other. However, as a Federation, we are determined that what people have done to support, promote and play the blues in this incredibly difficult time should not go unmarked.
“We have had to make a few changes to some of the categories and, in particular recognition of the originality and creativity people have shown, we have introduced two new categories: Most Inspirational Online Performance of the Year and Most Innovative Use of Virtual Media of the Year.
“We look forward to announcing the results of the 2021 UKBlues Awards at a dedicated event on Saturday 9th May 2021, more details of which will be released soon.”
Voting for this year’s awards is now open. You can find links to all of the finalists’ websites — also, to video footage for all the musicians — at https://www.ukbluesawards.com/finalists. The Federation urges would-be voters to visit this page to get to know something about those finalists with whom they may not be familiar, or simply to refresh their memories, before casting their votes. The Federation also urge voters to acquaint themselves with the rules, which can be found at https://www.ukbluesawards.com/rules.
BLUES ARTIST OF THE YEAR
BLUES INSTRUMENTALIST OF THE YEAR
EMERGING BLUES ARTIST OF THE YEAR
WHEN RIVERS MEET
BLUES BAND OF THE YEAR
CHRIS BEVINGTON ORGANISATION
THE STEVIE WATTS ORGAN TRIO FEAT. ALICE ARMSTRONG
THE CINELLI BROTHERS
WHEN RIVERS MEET
ACOUSTIC BLUES ARTIST OF THE YEAR
HALF DEAF CLATCH
TREVOR BABAJACK STEGER
JULES FOTHERGILL YOUNG BLUES ARTIST OF THE YEAR
BLUES-BASED FESTIVAL OR EVENT OF THE YEAR – LIVE OR VIRTUAL
BROADSTAIRS BLUES BASH
GREAT BRITISH ROCK & BLUES FESTIVAL, SKEGNESS
ISOLATION FESTIVAL – NICK GARNER
LOCKDOWN MUSIC FESTIVAL – JASON ELLIOTT & PADDY MAGUIRE
SWANAGE BLUES FESTIVAL
DAVE RAVEN UK BLUES-BASED BROADCASTER OF THE YEAR
BLUES ALBUM OF THE YEAR
AIN’T NOTHIN’ BUT – ELLES BAILEY
EXILE LIVE IN LOCKDOWN – CATFISH
NO ENTRY – ERROL LINTON
SAND & STONE – CHRIS BEVINGTON ORGANISATION
WE FLY FREE – WHEN RIVERS MEET
MOST INSPIRATIONAL ONLINE PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR
CATFISH – EXILE – LIVE IN LOCKDOWN
ELLES BAILEY – AIN’T NOTHIN’ BUT LIVESTREAM SERIES
KYLA BROX – LIVE AT THE ROYAL EXCHANGE THEATRE
SOUL SHINE JAM BAND
WHEN RIVERS MEET – ROCK THE LOCKDOWN – LIVE STREAMS
MOST INNOVATIVE USE OF VIRTUAL MEDIA OF THE YEAR
JAMES OLIVER’S TWANG TUESDAYS
RUFUS FRY HARMONICA FITNESS PROGRAMME SERIES
TOMMY ALLEN – LIVE IN THE CHAIR
TUESDAY NIGHT MUSIC CLUB – ZOOM GIGS
WHITE NOISE STUDIOS – ONLINE SESSIONS
Spotlight on last year’s event: Due to COVID-19 lockdown and social distancing restrictions, the 2020 UKBlues Awards had to take place online, rather than amidst the glitz of the iconic Dingwalls venue in London, as planned, However, the virtual nature of the ceremony in no way detracted from the real prestige of the awards. The event was compèred by British Blues legend and broadcaster Paul Jones, with a cavalcade of guest presenters including ‘Whispering Bob’ Harris, Bernie Marsden (Whitesnake), Blues royalty Walter Trout, and Larkin Poe – the reigning monarchs of Blues, Rock, and Roots music!