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January 20, 2009

Maple Blues Award Winners Announced

Written by
cindy mcleod

blues music awards, Canada

Maple Blues Awards logo

Maple Blues Award Winners

Jeff Healey’s Legacy Earns 7 Awards

This year’s Maple Blues Award winners were announced at the annual 12th Annual Maple Blues Awards Gala, on Monday, January 19 at the Pheonix in Toronto.

Jeff Healey’s legacy received recognition for his posthumously released album Mess of Blues, Healey and his bandmates captured seven Maple Blues awards, with the virtuoso winning prizes for the year’s Best Entertainer, Electric Act and Guitarist.

Other awards went to west coast bluesman Harry Manx (acoustic artist), Toronto’s Paul Reddick (songwriting) and Saskatchewan-native Suzie Vinnick (female vocalist). Veteran guitarist Amos Garrett was recognized for his lifetime achievement, as was Healey, who died of cancer on March 2, 2008, at the age of 41.

The Gala was hosted by radio personality Garvia Bailey, while guest performers included Canada’s roaming blues poet and one-man band Ray Bonneville (2005 Electric Act of the Year Award winner), guitar-driven JW Jones and Treasa Levasseur, velvety-voiced Juno Award nominee Harrison Kennedy, Vancouver’s The Sojourners, and powerhouse singing sensation Shakura S’Aida, who was also a nominee for the Female Vocalist of the Year Award (2008).

Backing the guest performers were the Maple Blues Band, with Gary Kendall, Michael Fonfara, Tom Bona, Teddy Leonard, Pat Carey, Al Lerman, Chris Murphy and Chris Whiteley.

2008 Maple Blues Awards Winners

Entertainer Of The Year

Jeff Healey

Electric Act Of The Year

Jeff Healey

Acoustic Act Of The Year
Harry Manx

Male Vocalist Of The Year

John Mays (Fathead)

Female Vocalist Of The Year

Suzie Vinnick

New Artist/Group Of The Year

Daddy Long Legs

BB King International Artist Of The Year

Taj Mahal

Recording Of The Year

Mess of Blues (Stony Plain)
Jeff Healey
Producers: Jeff Healey & Alec Fraser

Blues With A Feeling Award

Amos Garrett

Blues Booster Of The Year

Rob Bowman

Guitarist Of The Year

Jeff Healey

Harmonica Player Of The Year

Steve Marriner (Monkey Junk)

Piano/Keyboard Player Of The Year

Dave Murphy (Jeff Healey Band)

Horn Player Of The Year

Pat Carey (Downchild)

Drummer Of The Year

Al Webster (Jeff Healey Blues Band)

Bassist Of The Year

Alec Fraser (Jeff Healey Blues Band & Broken Joe)

Songwriter Of The Year

Paul Reddick

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