The Toronto Blues Society has announced the nominees for the 2018 Maple Blues Awards. Three Alligator artists -- Rick Estrin and Shemekia Copeland, and Halifax native Lindsay Beaver -- were all recognized. Estrin and Copeland were nominated for the coveted B.B. King International Artist Of The Year Award. Beaver was nominated for the Drummer Of The Year Award.
The Maple Blues Awards are Canada’s National Blues Awards Program. The program promotes blues music across the country, and recognizes outstanding achievement in the field. Nominees are selected by a panel of 45 blues experts. The panel includes radio hosts, journalists, and festival organizers regionally distributed across Canada.Winners in instrumental categories — guitar, harmonica, piano/keyboards, horn, drum, and bass — will be determined by the Nominating Panel. Winners in all other categories will be selected by blues fans across Canada. Winners will be announced in a ceremony at Koerner Hall in Toronto on February 4, 2019.
Harmonicist/vocalist/songwriter Rick Estrin is leader of 2018's Blues Music Award-wi nning band Rick Estrin & The Nightcats. Their latest album is Groovin' In Greaseland. Blues Music Magazine says, "Rick Estrin is not like anyone else on the planet. He is a talented singer, a harmonica player and band leader, as well as one of the more resourceful and intriguing songwriters the blues has ever produced."
NPR Music called award-winning vocalist Shemekia Copeland's latest album, America's Child, "Head-turning and outspoken, America’s Child is a true hybrid of simmering, real-talking spirit and emphatic, folkie-and soul-style statement-making. Copeland sings slow-burning soul and rollicking country-blues with growling vigor and potent conviction."
Vocalist/drummer/songwriter Lindsay Beaver's Alligator Records debut , Tough As Love (released October 12, 2018), debuted at #1 on the Living Blues Radio Chart. Elmore says, "Lindsay Beaver stands apart. The fiery album brings gutsy, vintage rock n’ roll, rockabilly, punk blues, and straight ahead blues. Beaver’s emotive vocals soar."