After listening to the feedback, the British Blues Awards 2012 have been done slightly differently.
A Panel of influential Blues enthusiasts from all corners of the UK (Broadcasters, publications, writers, festival organisers, venue owners etc.) were asked to nominate 3 candidates in each of 16 categories as follows:
Male Vocals, Female Vocals, Band, Acoustic, Guitar, Harmonica, Keyboards, Bass, Drums, Instrument (other), Young Artist (25 or under), Festival, Overseas Artist, Independent Blues Broadcast, Album.
The highest scoring 6 from each category go through to the finals for the public to vote on.
There is also the Kevin Thorpe Memorial Award Award for Songwriter of the Year.
Kevin Thorpe was a singer/songwriter from the Nottingham area. With many years experience he was very well liked and an excellent musician. Originally from the band 'Out of the Blue', his latest band was 'Tipping Point', who were making a name for themselves on the British Blues Scene. Sadly Kevin died at the Newark Blues Festival 2010, suffering a heart attack just after a storming performance by Tipping Point.
The Award for the Kevin Thorpe Memorial for Songwriter of the Year is chosen by several Independent Blues Broadcasters who each select 4 songs from the previous year which they think is worthy of the prize. Their listeners are invited to vote for their favourites across a number of shows and the top scoring nominee from each show goes forward to the final. A wildcard entry for the highest scoring runner up makes the total of 14 songs this year.
Sneak previews of the nominations are now being announced in several Blues media outlets, and the full list will be displayed on the website prior to the public vote which will begin on May 31st 2012.
The public are encouraged to listen to all the nominees before voting for their favourites. This year the standard is even higher if that's possible, and making choices will be difficult.
Good Luck to all the finalists