Feature

Get to know the musicians nominated for the Maple Blues Awards’ musician categories

Nominees for the Maple Blues Awards were announced on Nov. 3, and each year, several categories are devoted to the mastery of the core blues instruments: guitar, bass, drums, horns, harmonica and keys.

Many of the nominees for these awards spend most of the time in the shadows of the people they play with, backing up acts like Sue Foley and Jack de Keyzer or holding down the rhythm section in Downchild, without ever getting much time in the spotlight.

So this year at Roots Music Canada, we decided to devote a feature just to them.

Here are the nominees for the six musician categories at the Maple Blues Awards with audio or videos that showcase their work.

The Maple Blues Awards will be handed out Jan. 31 at Koerner Hall in Toronto.  We’ll feature more of the nominees later this week.

 

Guitarist of the Year

 David Gogo

 Garrett Mason

 Jack de Keyser

 Sue Foley

 Tony D

Harmonica Player of the Year

 David Rotundo

 Guy Bélanger

 Harpdog Brown

 Roly Platt

 Steve Marriner (performing here with David Gogo)

 

Piano/Keyboard Player of the Year

 David Vest

 Duane Blackburn

 Jesse O’Brien (heard here on Colin James’ new album)

 Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne

 Lance Anderson

 

Horn Player of the Year

 Alison Young

 Chris Whiteley

 Mat “Moose” Mousseau (performing here with Dawn Tyler Watson)

 Mike Clark

 Richard Thornton (seen here performing with Jack de Deyzer)

Drummer of the Year

 Tom Bona (seen performing here with Sue Foley)

 Gary Craig (playing here with Rick Fines)

 Jim Casson (performing here as a member of the Mighty Duck Blues Band)

 Lindsay Beaver 

Lindsay is known for her work with her band the 24th Street Wailers and also as a solo artist.

 Matt Sobb (heard here with Tony D.)

Bassist of the Year

 Alan Duffy of Jack de Keyzer’s band

 Alec Fraser

Alec’s 50-year career has seen him perform with legends like Bo Diddley and Ben. E King and Canadian artists like Jeff Healey, Randy Bachman, Rick Fines, Jimmy Bowskill, Powder Blues Band, Downchild and Newfoundland singer-songwriter Ron Hynes. The video below is from Alec’s recent solo project.

 Alec McElcheran

Alec is a staple of the Quebec blues scene, performing with acts like Paul Deslauriers, Angel Forrest, Bob Walsh, Guy Belanger and Dawn Tyler Watson.

 Gary Kendall of Downchild

 Keith Picot

Keith is known for his work with bands such as the Twisters and Cousin Harley.  This video features an original song performed in the Netherlands with the Roots Brothers.

 

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