photo Xavier Caupenne
Honorees Include Key Movers
The Blues Foundation will honor 17 individuals and organizations with its 2012 Keeping the Blues Alive (KBA) Award during a recognition brunch Saturday, February 4, 2012, in Memphis, Tennessee. Each year, The Blues Foundation presents the KBA Awards to individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to blues music. The KBA ceremony will be held in conjunction with the 28th International Blues Challenge (IBC), which begins January 31 and features the final rounds of the world’s largest and most prestigious blues music competition, as well as seminars, showcases, and receptions for blues societies, fans, and professionals.
The KBAs are awarded on the basis of merit by a select panel of blues professionals to those working to actively promote and document the music. “This year’s recipients showcase the breadth and diversity of the blues music community. The honorees range from a Mississippi juke joint to a Polish blues festival, from an educator specializing in the diddley bow and the khalam to one of rock’s most legendary guitarists, from a volunteer public radio jock to a television program reaching millions, but they all share a passion to bring the music to the people,” notes Jay Sieleman, Blues Foundation Executive Director.
Media sponsors include Beale Street Caravan, Big City Rhythm and Blues, Blues Festival Guide, Blues Revue, Downtowner, House of Blues Radio Hour, Living Blues, Memphis Flyer, WREG-TV, and Sirius XM Satellite Radio B.B. King’s Bluesville.
The 2012 Keeping the Blues Alive Awards recipients are:
Agent: Rodgers Redding - Macon, Georgia
Club: Red’s Lounge - Clarksdale, Mississippi
Education: Dan Treanor - Arvada, Colorado
Festival-US: White Mountain Boogie ‘N Blues Festival - North Thornton, New Hampshire
Festival-International: Rawa Blues Festival - Katowice, Poland
Film, Television and Video: Treme, David Simon and Eric Overmyer, Executive Producers - New Orleans, Louisiana
International: Mike Lecuyer - Saint Michel de Montaigne, France
Journalism: Scott Barretta - Oxford, Mississippi
Literature: Life by Keith Richards - New York, New York
Manager: Toni Ann Mamary - Totowa, New Jersey
Organization: Blues Society of Western New York - Buffalo, New York
Photography: Aigars Lapsa - Riga, Latvia
Print Media: Soul Bag - Clichy, France
Promoter: George Wein -New York, New York
Radio: Commercial: Ted Todd–KKZX-FM - Spokane, Washington
Radio: Public: Harvey Stauffer–WVPE-FM - Elkhart, Indiana
Record Label: Severn Records - Annapolis, Maryland
Mike Lecuyer - Saint Michel de Montaigne, France
Mike Lecuyer is one of the most important names in French blues. Though he began his love of the blues as a musician, it was his internet creation of La Chaine du Blues (the chain of blues) in 1999 that became his blues calling. This website connects the people of France with the totality of the country’s blues scene. The website, www.bluesfr.net, contains detailed information about clubs and festivals throughout France. It also features a comprehensive listing of French blues websites, web sites from other French-speaking countries, e.g., Belgium, Canada, Switzerland, etc., e-interviews, video, guitar instruction and blues news archives. For 12 years, he has coordinated the Tremplin Blues sur Seine (Challenge). He is the co-founder of W3 Bluesradio, the only French blues web radio playing continuous blues. He is also one of the 14 co-founders of France Blues, the new French association dedicated to promoting blues in France.
Soul Bag - Clichy, France
Elvin Bishop says, “Soul Bag is the best thing to happen to France since Django Reinhardt.” Founded by Jacques Périn in 1968, Soul Bag is the oldest blues magazine in France. Since its founding, over 200 issues have been published, covering mainly blues and also soul, rhythm & blues, gospel, funk and zydeco. Though its title might give the impression the magazine’s content is soul, it truly is a blues lover’s find. Published every three months, Soul Bag reaches 3,500 subscribers by mail and another 11,000 through its newsstand sales. The July-September 2011 issue, for example, featured stories on John Lee Hooker, Jr., Derek Trucks, the myth of Robert Johnson, and 30 pages of CD, DVD, and book reviews. Even though it is published thousands of miles from the Delta and in a foreign language, Soul Bag, like so many foreign publications, keeps American blues history and its modern performers alive throughout France.