The First Annual Hammer Blues Awards (organized by the Hamilton Blues Society) were held at Jett Hall on April 25, 2015. The awards portion of the show ended with a wonderful surprise: Hamilton City Hall's official recognition of Hamilton as the Blues Capital of Canada! We all knew this in our hearts but now its all nice and legal!
The night was a celebration of the local talent that we are blessed to have in this area. Winners had nothing but praise for this incredible city. In her acceptance speech, Canada's Queen of the Blues Rita Chiarelli proclaimed, "We don't just play the Blues, we identify with the Blues." "Hamilton is Bluestown," she added enthusiastically.
The Jack de Keyzer Band were the big winners of the night with the man himself winning for Electric Act of the Year and the band got 3 awards (bass, keyboard, sax).
Links: Jack de Keyzer, More Jack De Keyzer Stories, Video above courtesy of Mako Funasaka
Also, three music legends were added to the Hamilton Blues Society Wall of Fame that night as well. Veteran Sonny Del-Rio was inducted along with King Biscuit Boy and Jackie Washington.
Links: Sonny Del Rio, More Sonny Del Rio Stories, Video above courtesy of James Goodrick
Here is a complete list of winners:
- Recording: Steve Strongman: Let Me Prove it To You
- Live Recording: Smoke Wagon Blues Band - Live in Hamilton
- Female Vocalist: Rita Chiarelli
- Male Vocalist: Andre Bisson
- Emerging Artist: Joel Johnson
- Ensemble: Mighty Duck Blues Band
- Electric Act: Jack de Keyzer
- Acoustic Act: Alfie Smith
- Guitar Player: Brant Parker
- Bass Player: Al Duffy (Jack de Keyzer Band)
- Harmonica Player: Sam De Rosa (Hammer Blues Band)
- Keyboard Player: Dave "Groove Dr." McMorrow (Jack de Keyzer Band)
- Sax/Horn Player (Tie): John Godek/Richard Thornton (Jack de Keyzer Band)
- Blues Supporter; Judy Marsales
- Induction into Wall of Fame: Sonny Del-Rio, King Biscuit Boy, Jackie Washington
Links: Joel Johnson, More Joel Johnson Stories, The Mighty Duck Blues Band, More MDBB Stories, Video above courtesy of TheLoinTavern
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