Congratulations go out to Hudson Valley blues bruisers the Chris O’Leary Band, who found themselves nominated as Best New Artist Debut for their album, “Mr. Used to Be,” when the Blues Foundation in Memphis announced the nominees for the annual Blues Music Awards this week.
Led by singer-harmonicat Chris O’Leary – who was the longtime frontman for Levon Helm & the Barnburners – the band has been regulars at Saratoga Springs’ Caroline Street Arts & Blues Festival for the past several years, and they’re already booked for a once-a-month residency at Gaffney’s in Saratoga Springs this upcoming summer.
And if you don’t think that Nippertown is a hotbed of blues, well then consider this: guitarslinger Buddy Guy and harmonica master Charlie Musselwhite lead the pack with five nominations each. And both of them have upcoming tour stops in the Capital Region, too – Guy at The Egg in Albany on Thursday, March 31; and Musselwhite at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield with Hot Tuna and Jim Lauderdale on Wednesday, February 9.
The Blues Foundation will announce the winners of the 32nd annual Blues Music Awards during ceremonies at the Memphis Cook Convention Center on Thursday, May 5.