Harrison Kennedy
Harrison Kennedy

Harrison Kennedy: Front-Runner In 19th Annual Maple Blues Awards

The Toronto Blues Society has announced nominees vying for honours at the 19th Annual Maple Blues Awards, set to be held at the Royal Conservatory of Music’s Koerner Hall on Monday, January 18th.

Hamilton's Harrison Kennedy is nominated for five Maple Blues Awards, including entertainer of the year and male vocalist of the year. Nominated along with Kennedy for Maple Blues recording of the year is Hamilton's Jesse O'Brien, who co-produced This Is from Here with Kennedy. O'Brien is also nominated for keyboard player of the year for his work on the album.

Ottawa's MonkeyJunk, The 24th Street Wailers, and Toronto's Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar received four nominations apiece. Receiving three nominations each are Montreal's Cécile Doo-Kingué and Steve Hill, John Campbelljohn, of Dartmouth, N.S., David Gogo, of Nanaimo, B.C., and members of Kitchener-Waterloo's Soulstack.




Entertainer Of The Year

The 24th Street Wailers

David Gogo


Steve Hill

Harrison Kennedy


Electric Act Of The Year

The 24th Street Wailers

Anthony Gomes

David Gogo


Steve Hill


Acoustic Act Of The Year

Big Dave McLean

Cécile Doo-Kingué

Harrison Kennedy

Michael Jerome Browne

Ross Neilsen


Male Vocalist Of The Year

Harrison Kennedy

John Mays

Jon Knight (Soulstack)

Kirby Sewell

Matt Andersen


Female Vocalist Of The Year

Angel Forrest

Cécile Doo-Kingué

Cheryl Lescom

Samantha Martin

Shakura S'Aida


New Artist Or Group Of The Year

Cécile Doo-Kingué

Jenie Thai

The Kirby Sewell Band

Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar

Sugar Brown


BB King International Artist Of The Year

Buddy Guy

Elvin Bishop

Eric Bibb

Mavis Staples

Sugaray Rayford


Recording/Producer Of The Year

Faded But Not Gone (Black Hen)

  • Artist: Big Dave McLean
  • Producer: Steve Dawson

Rich In Love (Stony Plain)

  • Artist: Colin Linden
  • Producers: Colin Linden, John Dymond & Gary Craig

This is From Here (Electro-fi)

  • Artist: Harrison Kennedy
  • Producers: Harrison Kennedy & Jesse O'Brien

Chin Up (Nood)

  • Artist: John Campbelljohn
  • Producer: John Campbelljohn

Send the Nightingale (Rench)

  • Artists: Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar
  • Producer: Rench


Blues With A Feeling Award (Lifetime Achievement Award)

Diana Braithwaite

Alec Fraser

Danny Brooks

Ellen McIlwaine

Joe Murphy

Ken Whiteley

Michael Fonfara

Stephen Barry

Tom Lavin

Michael Jerome Browne

Brent Parkin

Theresa Malenfant


Guitar Player Of The Year

Brandon Isaak

David Gogo

John Campbelljohn

Michael Jerome Browne

Steve Hill


Harmonica Player Of The Year

Guy Bélanger

Harpdog Brown

Jerome Godboo

Roly Platt

Steve Marriner (MonkeyJunk)


Piano/Keyboard Player Of The Year

David Vest

Duane Blackburn (Blackburn)

Jesse O'Brien (Colin James, Harrison Kennedy)

Kenny "Blues Boss" Wayne

Mark Wessenger (Soulstack)


Horn Player Of The Year

Al Lerman (Fathead)

Chris Whiteley (Diana Braithwaite & Chris Whiteley)

Frank Thiffault (Ben Racine Band)

Jon Wong (The 24th Street Wailers)

Richard Thornton (Jack de Keyzer)


Drummer Of The Year

Chris Nordquist (Cannery Row)

Dave King (Steve Strongman)

Lindsay Beaver (The 24th Street Wailers)

Matt Sobb (MonkeyJunk)

Tom Bona (Soulstack, Raoul & The Big Time)


Bassist Of The Year

Alan Duffy (Jack de Keyzer)

Alec Fraser (Rick Fines, Fraser/Daley)

Keith Picot (Twisters, Brandon Isaak)

Leigh-Anne Stanton (Wicked Grin)

Owen Owen Owen (Dalannah & Owen)


Songwriter Of The Year

Big Dave McLean

Colin Linden

Harrison Kennedy

John Campbelljohn

Samantha Martin


The Maple Blues Awards is Canada’s national blues awards program. Its goal is to promote blues music across Canada, and to recognize outstanding achievement in the field. 

The awards program is organized by the Toronto Blues Society. 

Steering Committee.  The nominees are selected by a distinguished panel of approximately 50 blues experts who form the MBA Nominating Panel. Co-Chaired by the steering committee consisting of Terry Parsons, Yves Trottier, John Valenteyn and Brant Zwicker, the panel includes radio hosts, journalists, and festival organizers regionally distributed across Canada. Members of the Nominating Panel are not eligible for any of the awards. 

Instrumental Categories.  Winners in all categories, except the instrumental categories, will be selected by blues fans across Canada. Winners in the  guitar, harmonica, piano/keyboards, horn, drum, and bass categories are determined by the Nominating Panel. 


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