The Blues Foundation

The Blues Foundation
30th Blues Music Awards

By Art Tipaldi
June 2010

By all accounts, the 30th Blues Music Award show was the finest ever. For any blues fan who could not attend, the Blues Foundation has released a DVD of that night’s honors and performances.

For one evening, blues was the king of the city. The film beautifully captures every magical moment--it was the night that B.B. King and Bonnie Raitt joined forces to present an appreciative Janava Magness her Entertainer of the Year award. It was the year that King then added his signature vibrato to Curtis Salgado’s showstopping performance of Song of the Year nominee “Twenty Years of B.B. King.” It was the year that Taj Mahal and Maria Muldaur took front porch blues down home with their ghostly “Soul of a Man.” It was the year that Bettye LaVette ignited the show with “Joy.” It was the year that Marcia Ball and her band anchored songs by Elvin Bishop and Irma Thomas. It was the year when the Queen, Koko Taylor, joined the Mannish Boys for a magnificent performance of her “Wang Dang Doodle.”

Koko passed away one month after the show, so the DVD captures her final performance for all time.

Other performing blues acts included Band of the Year Lil Ed and the Blues Imperials, Kenny Neal, Johnny Rawls, Paul Rishell, Annie Raines, Steve Guyger, Kirk Fletcher, Bob Brozman, Watermelon Slim, and Michael Burks grinding through eight heavenly minutes of slow blues. At the same time there are first rate songs by a host of newcomers like Albert Castiglia, Robin Rogers, Cedric Burnside and Lightnin’ Malcolm and Billy Gibson, the night’s most surprised award winner.

The DVD is divided into four sections: 20 minutes of the pre-party which features songs by Chris James and Patrick Rynn, Delta Highway, Doug MacLeod, and Homemade Jamz; 85 minutes of performances by award winners, 70 minutes of performances by other nominees and a two minute slide show featuring all of the categories and winners. This DVD is a fine way to experience the heart and musical excitement this event generates each year. It is available at

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