The national Blues Music Awards were announced Thursday, May 9, in Memphis, Tenn. Awarded annually based on votes by Blues Foundation members, the event honors excellence in blues music. Oregon’s Curtis Salgado, a local favorite with many ties to Omaha, took home the prestigious B.B. King Entertainer of the Year Award. Salgado also received the Soul Blues Male Artist of the Year award and the Soul Blues Album of the Year for Soul Shot (Alligator).
Other notable honors included the late Magic Slim’s recognition with the Traditional Blues Male Artist award. Tedeschi Trucks Band was honored with the Rock Blues Album of the Year, Band of the Year and Gibson Guitar Award to Derek Trucks.
Janiva Magness was named Contemporary Blues Female Artist and took the Song of the Year award for “I Won’t Cry,” co-written with Dave Darling. Ruthie Foster, who will appear at the Zoo Bar’s 40th Anniversary launch Monday, July 1, was given the Koko Taylor Award (Traditional Blues Female). Tab Benoit was awarded Contemporary Blues Male Artist honors and the late Michael Burks was recognized for Album of the Year for Show of Strength (Alligator). See blues.org for a full listing of the 34th Annual Blues Music Award Winners.
Nebraska Blues Challenge Finals
The Blues Society of Omaha’s Nebraska Blues Challenge Finals are this Sunday, May 19, at The 21st Saloon, 5 p.m. The three bands receiving the most votes from judges in the three preliminary rounds play for the opportunity to represent the Blues Society of Omaha in Memphis for the Blues Foundation’s 2014 International Blues Challenge. The finalists performing at The 21st Saloon are Hector Anchondo Band (5 p.m.), Josh Hoyer & The Shadowboxers (6:10 p.m.) and Back Alley Blues Band (7:20 p.m.). (Full disclosure: I am an advisor to the BSO board and the event.)
The Waiting Room hosts a benefit for the survivors of the West, Texas, plant explosions Thursday, May 16, 8 p.m. See waitingroomlounge.com.
The city of Omaha kicks off a seven-week Friday night concert series at the Omaha base of the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge. Sioux City’s Mike Langley performs Friday, May 17, 7 p.m. See bridgebeats.com.
Josh Hoyer & the Shadowboxers and The 9’s play Lincoln’s Zoo Bar Friday, May 17, 9 p.m.
Cassie Taylor returns to The 21st Saloon Thursday, May 16, 5:30-8:30 p.m. Coco Montoya plays The 21st Saloon Tuesday, May 21, 6 p.m. and Lincoln’s Zoo Bar Wednesday, May 22, 6-9 p.m.