28th Annual Living Blues Awards (2021)


Critics’ Poll

Blues Artist of the Year (Male)         

Jimmy Johnson

Blues Artist of the Year (Female)

Shemekia Copeland

Most Outstanding Blues Singer

Bettye LaVette

Most Outstanding Musician (Guitar)

Christone “Kingfish” Ingram 

Most Outstanding Musician (Harmonica) 

Billy Branch

Most Outstanding Musician (Keyboard) 

Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne 

Most Outstanding Musician (Bass) 

Benny Turner

Most Outstanding Musician (Drums) 

Cedric Burnside

Most Outstanding Musician (Horns) 

Maceo Parker

Most Outstanding Musician (Other) 

Leyla McCalla (Cello) 

Best Live Performer

Bobby Rush

Comeback Artist of the Year

Tutu Jones

Artist Deserving More Attention

Andrew Alli


Best Blues Albums of 2020

Album of the Year

Shemekia Copeland – Uncivil War (Alligator)

New Recordings / Contemporary Blues

John Primer & Bob Corritore – The Gypsy Woman Told Me (SWMAF)

New Recordings / Southern Soul

Sonny Green – Found! One Soul Singer (Little Village Foundation)              

New Recordings / Best Debut

Steve Washington – Just a Matter of Time (JSP)                                       

New Recordings / Traditional & Acoustic

Bobby Rush – Rawer than Raw (Deep Rush)

Historical / Pre-war

Various Artists – The Harry Smith B-Sides (Dust-to-Digital)               

Historical / Postwar

Rev. Gary Davis – See What the Lord Has Done for Me (Stefan Grossman’s Guitar Workshop)

Blues Book of the Year

Brother Robert: Growing Up with Robert Johnson
By Annye C. Anderson with Preston Lauterbach, published by Hachette Books

Producer of the Year, New Recording

Steve Jordan – Bettye Lavette – Blackbirds (Verve) 

Producer of the Year, Historical Recording

John Stedman – Various Artists – Barrelhousin’ Around Chicago – The Legendary George Paulus 1970s Blues Recordings (JSP Records)


Readers’ Poll

Blues Artist of the Year (Male)

Taj Mahal

Blues Artist of the Year (Female)

Shemekia Copeland

Most Outstanding Musician (Guitar)

Buddy Guy

Most Outstanding Musician (Harmonica)

Charlie Musselwhite

Most Outstanding Musician (Keyboard)

Marcia Ball

Best Live Performer

Buddy Guy

Most Outstanding Blues Singer

Buddy Guy

Best Blues Album of 2020 (New Release)

Shemekia Copeland – Uncivil War (Alligator)

Best Blues Album of 2020 (Historical Recording)

John Lee Hooker – Documenting the Sensation Recordings, 1948–52 (Ace Records)

Best Blues Book of 2020

Brother Robert: Growing Up with Robert Johnson
By Annye C. Anderson with Preston Lauterbach, published by Hachette Books