Last week we saw the results of The Age Music Victoria Genre Awards. The Age Music Victoria Awards are the largest publicly voted music awards in Australia.
There are eleven categories covering a range of music genres, from heavy metal through to the blues. Nominees in each category were chosen by a panel of music industry professionals and media, with eligibility restricted to Victorian releases and performances between October 1, 2013 and September 30, 2014.
The award for the Best Blues Album is presented by Melbourne Blues Appreciation Society. This year there was a field of very strong contenders: Dreamboogie – Ain’t Nobody’s Business; Greg Dodd and the Hoodoo Men – 3am Blues Live; Ian Collard – Swamp Stomp and Boogie; Kerri Simpson – 4am; and Shaun Kirk – Steer the Wheel.
Dreamboogie was formed early in 2010 and named after vintage American jazz/blues writer Langston Hughes’ famed poem Dream Boogie. The band is a four-piece comprising Rebecca Davey on vocals, Sam Buckley on guitar, Connor O’Neill on bass and Robert B. Dillon on drums.
Greg Dodd and the Hoodoo Men are Greg Dodd on guitar, Dan Dinnen on vocals and harmonica, Clint Healy on bass guitar and Rob O’Toole on drums – an electric blues combo with a Chicago-influenced sound.
Ian Collard is one of the stalwarts of the blues scene, a virtuoso harmonica player and vocalist who has played with many artists, including the Australian Ballet on their 50th anniversary.
Kerri Simpson spent her formative years as a musician playing and writing in the US and Europe. Her blues albums are showcased on Chicago radio and receive regular airplay there. She was dubbed “Australia’s own Blues diva” by Bruce Elder of the Sydney Morning Herald. A very strong contender for the award.
Shaun Kirk has come a long way since his debut release in 2010, earning him accolades such as “one of the most explosive solo acts Australia has to offer” and “one of the finest blues voices this country has ever heard”. The journey began with his maiden record Cruisin’ being awarded Best Debut Album at the 2010 VIC/TAS Blues Music Awards, whilst his second album, Thank You for Giving Me the Blues, shot to number 1 on the Australian Blues/Roots Airplay Charts in early 2012. Steer the Wheel is his first recording with a band.
As you can see this was a very strong line-up. After the nomination, the voting took place and I am extremely pleased to report that Greg Dodd and the Hoodoo Men won with their CD 3am Blues Live.
This is an example of that old saying that nice things happen to nice people. You may remember that Greg was the driving force in Blues for Lost Souls, which raised over $19k for The Big Umbrella. We wish them all the best.
The polls are now open for the best male nominees Chet Faker, Dan Sultan, Mikelangelo, Rob Snarski and Vance Joy. The best female nominees are Courtney Barnett, Jess Cornelius, Laura Jean, Jen Cloher and Missy Higgins.
Time to vote! facebook.com/theagemusicvictoriaawards
By John (Dr John) Lamp