Tue, Jan 22, 2013.
For the third year in a row, New Brunswick blues powerhouse Matt Andersen is a big winner at the national Maple Blues Awards. The winners were announced Monday night at a gala in Toronto. Andersen took home the trophy for Male Vocalist of the Year. That's one of the three trophies he took home at the 2012 awards, along with Entertainer, and Acoustic Act of the Year. In 2011, he grabbed two awards, for Acoustic Act and Entertainer.
Andersen managed the win in what was a relatively quiet year for him, at least on the recording front. Last year he was riding high from the success of his Coal Mining Blues album, gaining him the triple win. For the past few months though, he's mostly been on the road, and even out of the country, yet still took the Male Vocalist title. Andersen, who usually attends the event, sent his thanks from the road, where he's currently on a Western U.S. swing, starting a series of dates in Idaho Tuesday.
The 16th annual Maple Blues show featured performances by Matt Minglewood, Nanette Workman, Carlos del Junco, Harrison Kennedy, Suzie Vinnick, Steve Strongman and The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer, in front of a sold-out audience at Toronto's Koerner Hall. The big winners were Hamilton's Steve Strongman, and Ottawa band MonkeyJunk, each taking three. Here's the complete list of winners:
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
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Bob Mersereau has been covering music, and the East Coast Music Scene since 1985 for CBC. He's a veteran scene-maker at the ECMA's, knows where the best shows and right parties are happening, and more importantly, has survived to tell the tales. His weekly East Coast music column is heard on Shift on Radio 1 in New Brunswick each Wednesday at 4'45. He's also the author of two national best-selling books, The Top 100 Canadian Albums (2007) and The Top 100 Canadian Singles (2010).