The Cascade Blues Association held its 31st annual Muddy Awards in high fashion, returning for the second straight year to the Alberta Rose Theatre. Twenty-two awards were handed out honoring our members’ selections for their favorite musicians, recordings, venues and events from this past year. Mixed with multiple musical performances, starting with this year’s Journey To Memphis winning band Johnny Wheels & The Swamp Donkeys, followed in order by Rich Layton & Tough Town, Tevis Hodge Jr, Vintage Soul, Terry Robb, and ending the night with a Muddy All Star jam led by Ben Rice & Lisa Mann with Dave Fleschner, Dave Melyan, Doug Rowell, Jason “JT” Thomas, Kim Field, Louis Pain, Rae Gordon, and Timmer Blakely.
It was no surprise that the big winner of the night was Ben Rice, as he had been nominated more than anyone else with six nods, taking home four. First time recipients included Rich Layton and Kim Field, and the Norman Sylvester Band was inducted into the Muddy Hall of Fame for the “Lloyd Jones” R&B Act.
It was an emotional night as Portland’s beloved DJ Steve Pringle had passed away just a few days earlier, and keyboardist Frankie Redding Jr a few weeks prior. Both were honored with Lifetime Achievement Awards, which had been determined before either had passed when Louis Pain requested to bow out and suggested that we give the award to both; the Board discussed this consideration and agreed.
The Cascade Blues Association would like to thank our sponsors for the event: BluesgirlPDX, A+ Carpentry (Mike Todd) and Wastexpress (Arthur Marx). Thanks to the Alberta Rose Theatre and Cedar House Media.
But it takes a number of hard working people behind the scenes, too. Our amazing volunteer staff was led by Belinda Clark, Jeanette Aglipay and Richard LaChapelle. This year’s volunteers were: Ben Rice, Bobby Kovacich, Brad Bleidt, Brenda Docken, Carol Alcon, Cherie Johnson, Cristina Walker, Cynthia Colombo, Don Geren, Jamey Winchester, Jane Manning, Jon Pierce, Katie Ugolini, Kenney Schulz, Marlena Masterson, Merry Larson, Nancy Lisac, Ron Johnson, Shelley Garrett, Susan Dishaw and Wendy Schumer. Apologies if I missed anybody. And if they weren’t mentioned in the volunteer staff, hats off to our CBA board for all their efforts making this event come off without a glitch this year!!
This year’s winners were:
Contemporary Blues Act – Ben Rice Trio
“Lloyd Jones” R&B Act – Normand Sylvester
Traditional Blues Act – Ben Rice Band
Regional Blues Act – Johnny Wheels & The Swamp Donkeys
New Blues Act – Kim Field & The Perfect Gentlemen
“Curtis Salgado” Male Vocalist – Ben Rice
“Duffy Bishop” Female Vocalist – LaRhonda Steele
Electric Guitar – Ben Rice
“Terry Robb” Acoustic Guitar – Mary Flower
Bass – Lisa Mann
“Jimi Bott” Drums – Brian Foxworth
Keyboards – Steve Kerin
Harmonica – Rich Layton
Horns – Pete Moss
Venue – The Blue Diamond
Northwest Event of the Year – Jim Mesi Memorial Concert at The Elks Lodge
“The Hurley Award” – Terry Currier
Northwest Recording of the Year – Terry Robb “Confessin’ My Dues”
National Recording of the Year – Sugaray Rayford “Somebody Save Me”
Performance of the Year – Sugaray Rayford at the Waterfront Blues Festival
“George Page” Back What You Believe In – Julie Amici & Dean Mueller
“Paul deLay” Lifetime Acivement – (two winners) Steve Pringle & Frankie Redding Jr.