Nominees for the 2011 Blues Music Awards were announced Dec. 15 and, as always, many of them have performed on the Midcoast at the North Atlantic Blues Festival, Time Out Pub’s Monday Night Blues series or at other performance venues such as the Camden Opera House and the Strand Theatre.

This year’s nominees include Eric Bibb, who has performed at the Strand and is scheduled to perform Sunday afternoon, July 17 at the North Atlantic Blues Festival in Rockland’s Harbor Park. Bibb is up for Acoustic Artist and Acoustic Album awards, the latter for “Booker’s Guitar.”

Other locally familiar performers nominated include Lucky Peterson, The Nighthawks, Charlie Musselwhite, Eden Brent, Janiva Magness, Joe Louis Walker, Kenny Neal, Super Chikan, Magic Slim & the Teardrops, Nick Moss Band, Rick Estrin & the Nightcats, John Nemeth, Smokin’ Joe Kubek & Bnois King, Candye Kane, Robin Rogers, Shemekia Copeland, James Cotton, Kim Wilson, Eddie Shaw, Walter Trout, the late Solomon Burke, Bobby Rush, Curtis Salgado and Ruthie Foster.

The Blues Foundation will present the 32nd annual Blues Music Awards at the Cook Convention Center on May 5. A complete nominee list, as well as information on Blues Foundation membership, DVD sales, voting, ticket and host hotel information can be online at The BMA ceremony will be broadcast live in their entirety on Sirius XM’s B.B. King’s Bluesville and subsequently broadcast on public television in the fall.

Paul Benjamin of Rockland, co-founder and –producer of the North Atlantic Blues Festival, recently finished a term as president of the Blues Foundation. He is producing his annual New Year’s Eve Blues event Friday, Dec. 31 the Trade Winds Motor Inn, 2 Park Drive, Rockland featuring Johnny Rawls, 2010 winner of the Best Soul Blues  Album Blues Music Award. Cost is $199 plus tax per couple and includes room, dinner, dance, party favors, champagne toast, breakfast and use of the pool and hot tub. There also are some dance-only tickets for $25. Space is limited; for more information or to sign up, contact Benjamin at 596-6055.

For tickets and lineup information for the 2011 North Atlantic Blues Festival, visit

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail to