Monday, November 2, 2020

GOOD LUCK! 2021 Maple Blues Award Nominees

Local artists are once again well-represented among the nominees for the 2021 Maple Blues Awards. The virtual ceremony will be held on February 1, 2021 and hopefully, our talented musicians will win a few.

Hamilton's Jack de Keyzer is for a whopping five awards. Two of his bandmates (Richard Thornton and Alan Duffy) were nominated for one a piece. 

Links: Jack de KeyzerMore Jack de Keyzer StoriesVideo above courtesy of Jack de Keyzer


Also from the Hammer are Smoke Wagon Blues Band (2 nods) as well as their horn player Gordon Achiele (1). 

Links: Smoke Wagon Blues BandMore Smoke Wagon Blues Band Stories, Video above courtesy of Corey Lueck


Hamilton Blues legend Harrison Kennedy (2) and Jesse O'Brien (1) round out the list from Steeltown.

Links: Harrison Kennedy, More Harrison Kennedy Stories, Video above courtesy of Harrison Kennedy - Topic


The Legendary Downchild Blues Band (with members from the Niagara region and Brantford) is in the running for Entertainer of the Year. Band member Chuck Jackson and Gary Kendall are also up for one apiece.

Links: Downchild, More Downchild Stories, Video above courtesy of Anthony Bernstein


Kitchener's Matt Weidinger was also nominated for New Artist of the Year.

Links: Matt WeidingerMore Matt Weidinger Stories, Video above courtesy of Matt Weidinger - Topic


Crystal Shawanda's Church House Blues album from Waterdown's True North Records was also given the nod for Recording of the Year

Links: Crystal ShawandaMore Crystal Shawanda StoriesVideo above courtesy of Crystal Shawanda


Below is a complete list of nominees. Local artists are bolded.


Electric Act

  • Jack de Keyzer
  • Dawn Tyler Watson and Ben Racine Band
  • JW-Jones
  • Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar
  • Sue Foley

Acoustic Act

Male Vocalist

New Artist


Female Vocalist

  • Crystal Shawanda
  • Angel Forrest
  • Dawn Tyler Watson
  • Dione Taylor
  • Samantha Martin



  • Jesse O'Brien
  • David Vest
  • Duane Blackburn
  • Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne
  • Michael Kaeshammer

Horn Player


B.B. King International Artist

  • Christone “Kingfish” Ingram
  • Ghost Town Blues Band
  • Larkin Poe
  • Rick Estrin and The Nightcats
  • Victor Wainwright


  • Crystal Shawanda/Dewayne Strobel
  • Colin Linden
  • Dione Taylor
  • Kevin Harvey (Durham County Poets)
  • Paul Reddick

Blues With A Feeling Award (Lifetime Achievement Award)

  • Alec Fraser
  • Brent Parkin
  • Danny Brooks
  • Joe Murphy
  • Ken Whiteley
  • Michael Fonfara
  • Tom Lavin

Harmonica Player

  • Guy BĂ©langer
  • Harpdog Brown
  • Paul Reddick
  • Roly Platt
  • Steve Marriner


  • Cory Blackburn
  • Dani Nash (Samantha Martin and Delta Sugar)
  • Gary Craig (Colin Linden, Steve Dawson)
  • Lindsay Beaver
  • Matt Sobb (Monkeyjunk)

Blast from the Past: Last Years's Winners

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