It seems as though it was another case of "round up the usual suspects," as veteran blues performers, garnered most of the hardware: Shemekia Copeland, Elvin Bishop, Charlie Musselwhite, Walter Trout, Bobby Rush, Mike Zito, Robert Cray, Keb' Mo', Bettye LaVette, Curtis Salgado, Rory Block, Ruthie Foster, and others. Not that these well-weathered stars don't deserve the accolades, because they surely do.
But it's also good to hear the new, young artists who carry on the blues tradition, while bringing a pleasing freshness and originality to the genre. Folks like Clarksdale phenom Christone "Kingfish" Ingram, who won awards both last year and this year and Emerging Artist Album of the Year ("Harlem") vocalist and guitarist King Solomon Hicks, both authentic talents who have great presence and bright futures as blues stars and influencers for many years to come. Welcome!