2012 Maple Blues Awards Nominees

Internationally Renowned Canadian  Blues Artists Honoured with Maple Blues Awards

Ottawa’s MonkeyJunk, Toronto’s Suzie Vinnick and Hamilton’s Steve Strongman Win Multiple Awards

(January 21, 2013) Toronto, ON – Internationally renowned Canadian Blues Artist from Coast-to-Coast were honoured by their peers at the 16th Annual Maple Blues Awards gala in Toronto last night as a sold out crowd of blues lovers gathered to celebrate Canadian blues at Koerner Hall.

Ottawa’s MonkeyJunk and its members took home three awards, including, Electric Act of the Year, Harmonic Player of the Year (Steve Marriner) and Drummer of the Year (Matt Sobb).  Hamilton guitar slinger Steve Strongman also received three awards including Songwriter of the Year, Recording of the Year for his recent release “A Natural Fact” and Guitar Player of the Year. Now based in Toronto, Saskatoon native Suzie Vinnick won awards for Acoustic Act of the Year and Female Vocalist of the Year.

Nova Scotia’s Matt Minglewood was honoured with the Blues With a Feeling (Lifetime Achievement Award). Minglewood’s extensive career as a blues performer, spanning nearly four decades, makes him widely considered to be a Canadian music icon. John Valenteyn, a founding member and tireless volunteer of the Toronto Blues Society received the Blues Booster of the Year award, a very special Maple Blues Award honouring outstanding contribution to the Canadian blues music industry, presented by internationally recognized blues artist and Maple Blues Award winner Shakura S’aida and former Toronto Blues society vice president, “Blues Doctor” Julie Hill. Mrs. Laureen Harper wife of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, alongside blues guitarist Jack de Keyzer, presented the awards for Harmonica Player of the Year to Steve Marriner and Horn Player of the Year to Jon Wong.

Hosted by Raoul Bhaneja, a Toronto actor and musician most noted for his work performing Shakespeare’s Hamlet solo and his blues band Raoul and the Big Time, the Maple Blues Awards included outstanding performances from Maple Blues Award nominees past and present, including Matt Minglewood, Nanette Workman, Carlos del Junco, Harrison Kennedy, Suzie Vinnick, Steve Strongman and The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer, all backed by gala house band, The Maple Blues Band.

Winners of the 16th Annual Maple Blues Awards

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR
Colin James

ELECTRIC ACT OF THE YEAR
MonkeyJunk

ACOUSTIC ACT OF THE YEAR
Suzie Vinnick

MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
Matt Andersen

FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
Suzie Vinnick

NEW ARTIST OR GROUP OF THE YEAR
Steve Kozak

RECORDING OF THE YEAR
“A Natural Fact” Steve Strongman, Producer Rob Szabo

BLUES WITH A FEELING (Lifetime Achievement)
Matt Minglewood

BB KING INTERNATIONAL ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Tedeschi Trucks Band

GUITAR PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Steve Strongman

HARMONICA PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Steve Marriner

PIANO/KEYBOARD PLAYER OF THE YEAR
David Vest

HORN PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Jon Wong

DRUMMER OF THE YEAR
Matt Sobb

BASSIST OF THE YEAR
Gary Kendall

SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR
Steve Strongman

BLUES BOOSTER OF THE YEAR
John Valenteyn

NOMINEES

Entertainer of the Year

Colin James

Matt Andersen

MonkeyJunk

Shakura S’Aida

Steve Strongman

 

Electric Act of the Year

Anthony Gomes

JW-Jones

MonkeyJunk

Paul Reddick

Steve Strongman

 

Acoustic Act of the Year

Harrison Kennedy

Michael Jerome Browne

Ray Bonneville

Steve Strongman

Suzie Vinnick

 

Male Vocalist of the Year

Chuck Jackson

Harrison Kennedy

Matt Andersen

Paul Reddick

Steve Marriner

 

Female Vocalist of the Year

Dawn Tyler Watson

Nanette Workman

Shakura S’Aida

Suzie Vinnick

Treasa Levasseur

 

New Artist or Group of the Year

Ben Racine

Boogie Patrol

Conor Gains Band

Steve Kozak

The Harpoonist & the Axe Murderer

 

B.B. King International Artist of the Year

Tedeschi Trucks Band

Michael Burks

Dr. John

Curtis Salgado

Joe Louis Walker

 

Guitar Player of the Year

David Gogo

Garrett Mason

Kevin Breit

Steve Strongman

Teddy Leonard

 

Harmonica Player of the Year

Carlos del Junco

David Hoerl

Guy Bélanger

Paul Reddick

Steve Marriner

 

Piano/Keyboard Player of the Year

David Vest

Julian Fauth

Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne

Lance Anderson

Michael Fonfara

 

Horn Player of the Year

Al Lerman

Chris Whiteley

Frank Thiffault

Jon Wong

Pat Carey

 

Drummer of the Year

Bucky Berger

Chris Nordquist

Matt Sobb

Sam Harrisson

Tom Bona

 

Bassist of the Year

Alec Fraser

Gary Kendall

Omar Tunnoch

Stephen Barry

Terry Wilkins

 

Songwriter of the Year

Julian Fauth

Paul Reddick

Shakura S’Aida & Donna Grantis

Steve Strongman

Treasa Levasseur

 

Recording of the Year

“A Natural Fact” Steve Strongman (Independent) Producer – Rob Szabo

“Checkered Past” The Harpoonist & the Axe Murderer (Independent) Producers – Matthew Rogers & Shawn Hall

“Time” Shakura S’Aida (Electro-Fi) Producers – Shakura S’Aida & Howard Ayee

“Broad” Treasa Levasseur (Slim Chicken) Producers – Treasa Levasseur, Ken Whiteley, Steve Marriner, Terry Wilkins and David Baxter

“Wishbone” Paul Reddick (Independent) Producer – Colin Cripps

 

Blues With A Feeling (Lifetime Achievement Award)

Alec Fraser

Danny Brooks

Ellen McIlwaine

Joe Murphy

Ken Whiteley

Michael Fonfara

Stephen Barry

Tom Lavin

Michael Jerome Browne

Matt Minglewood

Brent Parkin

Bob Walsh

Jim Zeller

Nanette Workman

Theresa Malenfant

John Dickie

 

Blues Booster: John Valenteyn