Top o’ th’ blues to ya!

Charlie Musselwhite and Kid Anderson

2014 Grammy Award Winner Charlie Musselwhite and guitarist Kid Anderson hook up with some fine tunes at the Blues Music Awards in Memphis. Musselwhite recently earned the Grammy for Best blues Album with Ben Harper for their “Get Up!” collection. He also won the  “Instrumentalist, Harmonica” award at this event.

The 2014 / 35th Annual Blues Music Awards

James Cotton and Elvin Bishop

Click on Elvin Bishop and James Cotton to see more blues pix

I recently made my annual pilgrimage to photograph the Blues Music Awards in good ol’ Memphis, Tennessee. The awards are kinda “the academy awards of blues,” in theory. In practice, the event, while recognizing the best of the best in blues has none of the tinsel-town plasticity associated with the “other one.” The menu is liberally laced with soul-food and I guess the social status is “uptown – down home or the reciprocal thereof,” whatever to heck that is.

The event was May 8, 2014. You will want to see some additional event pictures on the Corndancer Photo of the Week page. We’ll wait here while you look.

The Hound KIngs

The Hound KIngs turned out traditional blues that is a balm to the troubled soul. From left, Anthony Paule, guitar; Michael Benjamin, vocals; Scott Brenton, harp.

Suffice to say that a blues concert is an event photographer’s dream assignment. There are no prima donna performers who give you the snub job. The performers sit among the other attendees, eat the same food and wait their turn just like everyone else. The first year I attended, we sat next to the Steve Miller Band, and we never knew it until they were called to the stage. They were all personable and friendly folks.

Aurora "Rory" Black

Guitarist Aurora “Rory” Black, has just hit the final lick of her tune with a flourish of her talented hands. I call this the highly coveted “last lick” shot.

Adriana Marie and L. A. Jones

Band leader Adriana Marie and L. A. Jones, lead guitarist of the Adriana and Her Groove Cutters band cozy up during their opening act performance at the 2014 Blues Music awards. The band far exceeded what one would expect from an opening act.

Blues musicians are for the most part, very talented, humble and gentle souls. The top performers can be amongst you like the Steve Miller Band. Unless you recognized them, you probably would not know they were there. Once the music starts, the 180 kicks in. Their aggression pops out of its shell only when they perform. They dive into their music with ferocity.  Then their emotions are tantamount to a mother Tyrannosaurus Rex protecting her eggs — and their music reflects their feelings. And one other thing,  there is a decided lack of muscle-bound security guards with 28 inch necks at this event. With blues fans, these individuals are not necessary.

It’s nice to know that this American / Delta art form is populated by folks who realize the source of their stuff — and, that the truly great practitioners never forget it.

Be sure and see our Blues Music Awards galleries:

2014 Blues Music Awards Gallery One / 27 pictures

2014 Blues Music Awards Gallery One / 30 pictures


Thanks for dropping by,

Joe Dempsey
Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind


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