Foto Column | Mike Zito Talkin' Blues: Blues Music Awards 2017

Exclusief voor Blues Magazine, praat Mike Zito ons iedere maand bij over zijn kijk op de wereld van de blues. Deze maand: de Blues Music Awards 2017.

Blues Music Awards 2017

Well it is that time of year when the Blues are in full force here in the USA. Festivals have begun and voting has begun fro the 2017 Blues Music Awards. Formerly the W.C. Handy Awards, nominations have taken place and voting continues until March 1st. The Award ceremony is held in Memphis, Tn. on May 11th.

The BMA’s are considered the highest honor given to Blues Musicians. I have been very fortunate to win two myself. One for the “Song of the Year” in 2010 for “Pearl River” which I co-wrote with Cyril Neville. I was also very lucky to win “Best DVD” with my group, Royal Southern Brotherhood. I have also been nominated 10 times.

It is a thrilling experience to be nominated and of course winning is over the moon. I am not telling you this to brag, just to let you know I have a bit of experience in the process. Some folks may ask why we have awards at all, music is not a competition. I agree it is not, and taste is opinion. But… is nice to be recognized for your hard work and for music that exceeds the expectations of the norm. Some people feel discouraged with the process. They seem to think that it is too much business and not enough music. Might I remind those that Blues is Music, and when sales are involved, it is a business. If we were just making music for our own enjoyment and giving it away for free, none of this would really matter. But most of us are working as well, we need sales to survive.

When we can be rewarded with a nomination or winning an award, it helps our business. I am personally a big fan of the BMA’s and the process and the Blues Foundation. The award ceremony itself is very exciting. All of your favorite artists are in attendance and they feature fantastic performances all evening. To have your name read aloud for a chance to win is a crazy fun feeling and to hear your name win…..oh my. It is just awesome. If I never win again, I will be happy to know that feeling in heart that my music matters.

I mostly believe this award ceremony to be for the families of the artists. I have a beautiful wife and 5 great kids that have to deal with me not being home near enough. They miss me, but support me and my music. I feel like being nominated or winning one of these prestigious awards is for the family. It really means the most to my wife. For her it is a sign that this is all worth something more than lost time.
The family is proud to be recognized.

The life of a Blues musician is on the road working. Blues is the working mans music. We don’t get rich and famous on the radio or on Youtube, we have to hit the road and earn the fans one at a time. It takes a lifetime for this to all add up and any recognition along the way only makes the work easier.

I am proud to be nominated for 2 BMA’s this year – Contemporary Blues Male Artist and Rock Blues Album. My only hope is to be able to continue the work I love so much, making music and learning to play the Blues with more feeling everyday.
Peace, Love, Zito


Mike Zito is gitarist en frontman van The Wheel en een van de oprichters van de Royal Southern Brotherhood. Daarnaast is hij ook een veelgevraagd producer. Zijn liefde voor het leven en het nastreven van geluk is voelbaar in elke noot die hij zingt en speelt. Check alles over hem op zijn website Mike Zito

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