Gregg Allman named international artist of year; see complete list of Maple Blues Awards winners

Gregg Allman was named international artist of the year, while New Brunswick bluesman Matt Andersen was named the year’s top acoustic act, male vocalist and entertainer at Canada’s 15th Maple Blues Awards ceremonies overnight.

Ottawa’s MonkeyJunk earned awards for best electric act, best recording and best drummer. Saskatoon native Suzie Vinnick won the best songwriter and best female vocalist awards.

Nominees for the annual Maple Blues Awards are chosen by a panel of more than 50 experts; winners are then selected by blues fans across the country. The full list of winners is below.

Here’s a look at our review of Gregg Allman’s standout 2011 blues release ‘Low Country Blues.’ Click through the title for more …

GREGG ALLMAN – LOW COUNTRY BLUES (2011): This record’s hat-tips to blues, R&B, gospel and jazz only underscore how each provided uniquely American spices in the Allman Brothers Band’s bubbling Southern-rock synthesis. Even so, it could have been recipe for a snoozy conversation piece if not for Allman — the archetypical risktaker. Check out the appropriately fidgety edge he adds to Muddy Waters’ “I Can’t Be Satisfied,” as Allman dirties up a Chess-era groove. Other highlights include a devastatingly frank update of Sleepy John Estes’ “Floating Bridge,” with a surging assist at the piano from Dr. John; Junior Wells’ “Little by Little,” transformed into something resembling a lost soul side from the 1950s; Skip James’ “Devil Got My Woman,” which again reveals the lively intellect of guitarist Doyle Bramhall II; and Amos Milburn’s hardy R&B classic “Tears, Tears, Tears,” where Allman — belying a series of serious health problems — howls with a shanty-shaking, soul-rending power. He’s still got it. Every bit of it.

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The full list of winners from the 15th annual Maple Blues Awards:

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR
Matt Andersen

ELECTRIC ACT OF THE YEAR
Monkey Junk

ACOUSTIC ACT OF THE YEAR
Matt Andersen

MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
Matt Andersen

FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
Suzie Vinnick

NEW ARTIST OR GROUP OF THE YEAR
Sabrina Weeks & Swing Cat Bounce

RECORDING OF THE YEAR
To Behold, by Monkey Junk

Blues With A Feeling Award (Lifetime Achievement)
Paul James

BB KING INTERNATIONAL ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Gregg Allman

GUITAR PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Steve Strongman

HARMONICA PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Carlos del Junco

PIANO/KEYBOARD PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Kenny (Blues Boss) Wayne

HORN PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Chris Whiteley

DRUMMER OF THE YEAR
Matt Sobb (of Monkey Junk)

BASSIST OF THE YEAR
Alec Fraser

SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR
Suzie Vinnick

BLUES BOOSTER OF THE YEAR
Liz Sykes (President of the Ottawa Blues Society)

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