The winners of the 35th Blues Music Awards were announced in Memphis on May 8, with “Soul Queen of New Orleans” Irma Thomas winning for best Soul Blues Female Artist and Royal Southern Brotherhood taking home the prize for best DVD for Songs from the Road.
A perennial fixture on the New Orleans music scene, Thomas has graced the cover of OffBeat three times over the years, and she was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in 2007. Helmed by Cyril Neville, Royal Southern Brotherhood developed a strong following playing to huge crowds coast to coast for the past few years.
In an award season filled with familiar faces, Bobby Rush won for best Soul Blues Album for Down in Louisiana, the Tedeschi Trucks Band took home the award for top band, Remembering Little Walter by Billy Boy Arnold, Charlie Musselwhite, Mark Hummel, Sugar Ray Norcia, and James Harman won for best album and best Traditional Blues Album, and Buddy Guy took home the B.B. King Entertainer Award.
The Best New Artist Debut award went to Shawn Holt & the Teardrops for Daddy Told Me, while Susan Tedeschi and Gary Clark Jr. won for Contemporary Blues Female and Male Artists, respectively.