W.C. Handy Awards Line Up Top Blues Talent
Blues legends Taj Mahal, Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater, and Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown are confirmed to perform at the 22nd annual W.C. Handy Blues Awards ceremony. Hosted by Dr. John, the May 24 affairBlues legends Taj Mahal, Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater, and Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown are confirmed to perform at the 22nd annual W.C. Handy Blues Awards ceremony. Hosted by Dr. John, the May 24 affair will be held at the Orpheum Theatre in Memphis, Tenn., and taped for future broadcast on PBS stations nationally (check local listings).
Four-time nominee Big Jack Johnson will perform with blues harmonica player Kim Wilson and drummer Sammy Karr. Other collaborations will come from triple nominee Bobby Rush with the Kentucky Headhunters' Greg Martin, and from Corey Harris and Henry Butler, who are nominated for their album "VuDu Menz" (Alligator).
The Handy All-Star Band will be led by "Steady Rollin'" Bob Margolin, and will feature Duke Robillard on guitar, Willie Kent on bass, pianist Pinetop Perkins, Levon Helm on drums, and Wilson on harmonica.
In related news, MusicBlitz will on July 10 release "The Blues Foundation Presents the 2001 W.C. Handy Blues Award Nominees" compilation disc. Proceeds from the release will benefit charities supported by the Blues Foundation.
As previously reported, Rod Piazza and the Mighty Flyers share five nominations for this year's W.C. Handy Blues Awards, including entertainer of the year. Also up for that honor is Shemekia Copeland, who follows Piazza with four nominations. Others vying for the prized title are Taj Mahal, Bobby Rush, Little Milton, and B.B. King.