The 2013 Hamilton Music Award nominees have been announced, highlighting some of the best music southern Ontario has to offer this year.

Blues giant Harrison Kennedy is leading the way with five nominations, including male artist of the year, blues recording of the year and record of the year for Soulscape.

In 1968, Kennedy joined Detroit pop group The Chairmen of the Board and played big shows like Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show, Soul Train, American Bandstand and Top of the Pops. He’s shared the stage with icons like B.B. King, James Brown, and Stevie Wonder.

He’s currently on tour supporting Soulscape, which is a mix of rootsy, authentic acoustic blues and more contemporary electric sounds. Kennedy is also the recipient of the Mohawk College lifetime achievement award.

Right behind Kennedy is rock stalwart Ian Thomas, who is up for four awards including male artist of the year, adult contemporary recording of the year, and songwriter of the year.

Young Hamilton artists are well represented too: folk duo Dawn and Marra are up for two awards including folk/traditional recording of the year, and the guys from Monster Truck are up for record of the year on the back of their newest effort, Furiosity.

Tom Wilson's acid-folk project LeE HARVeY OsMOND garnered two nods for the album The Folk Sinner, and Wilson himself netted two more including songwriter of the year. Burlington’s Walk Off the Earth (who you may remember from millions of hits on YouTube) were nominated three times for their album R.E.V.O.

Then there’s the Rising Star Search, which showcases up and coming musical talent from around Hamilton. At least half of the members in the acts selected have to be currently enrolled in elementary, secondary or post secondary school to qualify.

This year’s Rising Star Search includes: Abby Rose (St. Paul’s Catholic Elementary School, Stoney Creek), Jessie Bower (Bishop Ryan Secondary School, Hamilton) and Two Peace Extra Spicy (Sherwood Secondary School, Hamilton) alongside a host of other bands.

The HMA’s run at Mohawk College from November 14-17, with festival performances taking place in venues throughout downtown Hamilton. Tickets for all events are on sale now through TicketMaster, Picks and Sticks and Dr. Disc.

Here’s the full list of artist nominees announced Thursday:

1. Female Artist of the Year

  • Buckshot Bebee – Merchants of Youth
  • Jessy Lanza – Pull My Hair Back
  • Diana Panton – Christmas Kiss
  • Rosanna Riverso – The Gift of Christmas
  • Ruth Sutherland – A Canadian Christmas

2. Male Artist of the Year

  • Jack de Keyzer – Electric Love
  • Harrison Kennedy – Soulscape
  • Dave Rave – Memphis Midnight
  • JP Riemens & the Fabulous Barflies – No Filter
  • Bud Roach – Sospiro, Alessandro Grandi Complete Arias, 1626 Ian Thomas – Little Dreams

3. New Artist/Group of the Year

  • Allotrope – Inverted
  • Engine Empire – Frisbee Club
  • Jessy Lanza – Pull My Hair Back
  • Gillian Nicola & the Radio Interference – Chasing the Wind
  • Two Piece Extra Spicy – Sophia

4. Jazz Recording of the Year

  • Brad Cheeseman Group – Brad Cheeseman Group
  • George Rose Big Band – Echoes of Legends
  • Jimmy Stahl Big Band – Swingin In The Pews
  • Robin Lee – I Got A Headache
  • Diana Panton - Christmas Kiss

5. Mohawk College Music Industry Lifetime Achievement Award – Lyman Potts

6. Roots Recording of the Year

  • The Caretakers – Love, War + Propaganda
  • Rob Green – Soul Dancing
  • Andy Griffiths – Mind On Other Things
  • Lee Harvey Osmond – The Folk Sinner
  • Whitehorse – The Road to Massey Hall

7. Alternative Rock Recording of the Year

  • Ascot Royals – Don’t Let It Stop You
  • Engine Empire – Frisbee Club
  • The Reason – Hollow Tree
  • Saint Alvia – Static Psalms
  • Still Life – Lost In Orbit
  • Walk Off The Earth – R.E.V.O

8. Folk/Traditional Recording of the Year

  • The Acoustics – Erie Long
  • Dawn and Marra – Teaspoons and Tablespoons
  • Poor Angus – Gathering
  • Timid, The Brave – Timid, The Brave
  • Michael Vallely – Circus Songs

9. Rock Recording of the Year

  • Lo-Fi – The Green Album
  • Monster Truck – Furiosity
  • Radio Free Universe – Thirteen Day Hangover
  • Tommy Gunn – Unleash The Hounds
  • Weekend Riot Club – Psychotropia

10. Loud/Metal Recording of the Year

  • Laid To Rest – Laid To Rest
  • John Mamone – Order and Chaos
  • Men To Wolves – Men To Wolves
  • Shattered Remains – Shattered Remains
  • Top Dead Centre – Take Another Breath

11. Punk Recording of the Year

  • Adelleda – Distress
  • Born Wrong – Born Wrong
  • Loaded Dice – Songs In The Key Of Drunk
  • Nothing Helper – Eat It Up
  • TV Freaks – Two

12. Adult Alternative Recording of the Year

  • Buckshot Bebee & the Secret Boyfriends – Merchants of Youth
  • Cowlick – Night Vision
  • Killin Time Band – One Set To Freedom
  • Meme – Meme
  • Marcio Novelli – It’s Not An Excuse, It’s A Reason
  • Perennials – This Is Tomorrow

13. Blues Recording of the Year

  • Andre Bisson – Bad Scene
  • Jack de Keyzer – Electric Love
  • Sonny Del-Rio – Blow Your Horn Man
  • Jerry Johnson – Barber’s Chair
  • Harrison Kennedy – Soulscape
  • The Smoke Wagon Blues Band – Live In Hamilton

14. Classical Recording of the Year

  • Bud Roach – Sospiro, Alessandro Grandi Complete Arias, 1626
  • Sandi Stirling – Before It All Fades Away

15. Mohawk College Music Lifetime Achievement Award – Boris Brott

16. Alt/Country Recording of the Year

  • 1220 Blast – Home
  • The Barn Katz – Roadkill Grill
  • Tia McGraff – Break These Chains
  • Gillian Nicola & the Radio Interference – Chasing the Wind
  • JP Riemens & the Fabulous Barflies – No Filter

17. Rap/Hip Hop Recording of the Year

  • D-Toxx – Tha Hangova
  • The Emsee – Empty Promises
  • The Hi-Cats – High Def
  • P.O.E. – The Poetically Organized Entity Presents “Self Titled”
  • Mitchel Heaton and Dose – Bicstape
  • Lee Reed & John P – Written Large

18. Electronic Recording of the Year

  • Emorie – Never Goes Away
  • Daphnii – Jiaolong
  • Jessy Lanza – Pull My Hair Back
  • LPP – Hello krz04
  • Motem – The Insider Outsider Mixtape

19. Adult Contemporary Recording of the Year

  • Garth Baker – That Could Be Everything
  • Jamie Barnes – Coming Home
  • Paul Federici – Now And Then
  • Ghosts of Memphis – The Devil and the Details
  • Dave Rave –Memphis Midnight
  • Ian Thomas – Little Dreams

20. Religious Recording of the Year

  • Rosanna Riverso – The Gift of Christmas
  • The Jimmy Stahl Big Band – Swingin In The Pews

21. Ethnic/World Recording of the Year

  • Yiannis Kapoulas – Mystic Journey
  • Loril Shannik – The Vagabond Harp
  • Ruth Sutherland – A Canadian Christmas
  • Steel City Rovers – Steel City Rovers
  • John Gora and Gorale – Butterfly

22. Mohawk College Artist Lifetime Achievement Award – Harrison Kennedy

23. Instrumental Recording of the Year

  • Brad Cheeseman Group – Brad Cheesman Group
  • Yiannis Kapoulas – Mystic Journey
  • Loril Shannik – The Vagabond Harp
  • George Rose Big Band – Echoes of Legends

24. Songwriter of the Year

  • Harrison Kennedy
  • Dawn Larsh – Dawn and Marra
  • Ian Thomas
  • Walk Off The Earth
  • Tom Wilson - Lee Harvey Osmond

25. Female Vocalist of the Year

  • Sarah Blackwood – Walk Off The Earth
  • Melissa McClelland – Whitehorse
  • Diana Panton
  • Rosanna Riverso
  • Ruth Sutherland

26. Mohawk College Lifetime Achievement Music Award – Harrison Kennedy

27. Male Vocalist of the Year

  • Jon Harvey
  • Harrison Kennedy
  • Bud Roach
  • Ian Thomas
  • Tom Wilson

28. Record of the Year

  • Harrison Kennedy – Soulscape
  • Jessy Lanza – Pull My Hair Back
  • Lee Harvey Osmond – The Folk Sinner
  • Monster Truck - Furiosity
  • Walk Off the Earth – R.E.V.O.