Blues Underground Network

Blues Underground Network's Year End Review 2012

Releases Picked From CD's/DVD's Submitted   To The Blues Underground Network
January 1, 2012 - December 15, 2012

CD's Received After December 15th Are Carried Over To The Following Year... 

Also View My Blues Underground Network's Top 10 Albums 2012 Here

Congratulations to all the Artists and Bands I have picked this year for the following categories... Your faith and dedication to your Art is not only an inspiration to your fellow peers, but also a immense source of joy for all your fans.

Best Canadian Blues Album
Paul Reddick "Wishbone"


Best USA Blues Album
Heritage Blues Orchestra "And Still I Rise" 


Best UK Blues Album 
Ian Siegal "Candy Store Kid"


Best European Blues Album 
L.R. Phoenix "Live At Blues Rules" (Finland)


Best Australian Blues Album 
Dukesy & The Hazzards "Ain't Coming Back To You"


Best New Zealand Blues Album 
The Flaming Mudcats "Gave You What You Wanted"


Best Debut Album (Artist) (Canada) 
Al Lerman "Crowe River Blues"


Best Debut Album (Band) (Canada) Tie
Ben Racine Band "One of A Kind" & Hillbilly Burlesque "Crazy Life"


Best Debut Album (Artist) (USA) 
Brad Hatfield "Uphill From Anywhere" (USA)


Best Debut Album (Band) (USA) Tie 
Interstate Buffalo "One Step Away" & Joel DaSilva & The Midnight Howl (Self Titled) 


Best Debut Album (Artists) (Europe)
Smiling Jack Smith & David Gwynn "Now That Truth Was Gone" (Spain)


Best Debut Album (Band) (Europe) 
Patrik Jansson Band "Patrik Jansson Band" (Sweden)

Best Debut Album (Band) (UK)  
The Russ Tippins Electric Band "Electrickery"

Best Canadian Blues/Rock Album 
Anthony Gomes "Up 2 Zero" (Canada)


Best European Blues/Rock Album 
Julian Sas "Bound To Roll" (Netherlands)


Best UK Blues/Rock Album 
The Mustangs "Shaman & The Monkey"

Best USA Blues/Rock Album
Bobby Messano "That's Why I Don't Sing The Blues"


Best Canadian Live Blues Album
Bill Durst "Live"


Best USA Live Blues Album
Bernie Pearl - Sittin’ On The Right Side Of The Blues


Best Blues Tribute Album
First Came Memphis Minnie "A Loving Tribute" (USA)


Best Blues Harmonica Album 
Scottyboy Daniel Blues Band "Mercy! A Tribute To William Clarke" (USA)


Best Gospel/Christian Blues Album
Lurrie Bell "The Devil Ain't Got No Music" (USA)


Best Blues Compilation Album
Grand River Blues "Got Mojo 2" (Canada)


Best Blues EP
Craig Hughes "Hard Times Volume 1" (UK)


Best Not Necessarily The Blues EP
Matthew Davidson "Step Up" (USA)


Best Not Necessarily The Blues Album
Peter Doran "Overhead The Stars" (UK)


Best Roots/Rock Album
Don Ray Band "Full Throttle" (USA)


Best Folk Album 
Sarah Beatty "Black Gramophone" (Canada)


Scissormen And Robert Mugge's "Big Shoes: Walking And Talking The Blues"


Best Original Cover Art - Soulstack "Big Red"


Favorite Song - "Drinking Hard And Steady", from the Album (Corey Lueck And The Smoke Wagon Blues Band "It Ain't Easy")


Editors Choice Award 2012
(Most Unique & Original Sounding Album Of The Year)

Some X 6 "The Hoodoo Shake" (Canada)

If you would have told me that this kind of music still existed, I would not have believed you, but exists it does, and wow what a amazing treat. Now of course some will say that it certainly crosses into more other styles then Blues or even Blues Rock, but never the less, this stuff is the real deal.
With "The Hoodoo Shake", Some X 6 have taken an extraordinary leap forward and have firmly placed themselves in a league all their own, with their totally refreshing and dynamically unique music. Great Music, Really Great Music, From Beginning To End...
Read my full review of this amazing album here...


Canadian Fan Favorite 2012 (Tie)

 The Ben Racine Band & Corey Lueck And The Smoke Wagon Blues Band


Future Of The Blues Award 2012

Ben Racine Of The Ben Racine Band

Ben’s soulful voice is reminiscent of the greatest Rhythm and Blues vocalists of the ‘50s and ‘60s. Inspired by artists such as Junior Walker, Bill Withers, Stevie Wonder and Clarence Carter, he will take you back to the days when vocals were the center point of music.

He is also a lot more than just a voice. His guitar playing covers a wide range of styles – pleasing blues and funk fans alike. From the moment he hits the stage, his contagious energy and charisma combine for a sound that is truly original. You’ll be tapping your feet within the first few notes.

Click here for my review and Ben and his bands amazing Debut release "One Of A Kind".


Marshall Lawrence Ambassador Of The Blues Award 2012

The Marshall Lawrence Ambassador Of The Blues Award category, is awarded each year to an individual whoms cornerstones of dedication, love, enthusiasm, and respect for the blues goes far beyond your typical Blues Artists. It is with absolute honor that I pick Steve Kozak as this years recepient.

Congratulations Steve, I hope this nicely tops off the amazing year you had.
About Steve Kozak

Steve Kozak was born in Vancouver BC Canada in 1956 and since the mid eighties has been a mainstay on the Vancouver scene as a guitarist, band leader, singer, songwriter, and tireless cheerleader and promoter of Blues and Roots music. Backed by some of Vancouver’s top musicians, Steve has built a reputation as one of the premier Blues acts in western Canada.

Steve began playing guitar and singing at age sixteen and took to the Blues like a duck to water. His passion for the Blues flourished after meeting and hanging out for a few memorable nights with the legendary Muddy Waters in May of 1977. Muddy encouraged Steve and set him straight on a few things. After that Steve was ‘on a mission’-- his musical future as a Bluesman was sealed.

Throughout his career Steve has shared the stage, and played with many Blues greats including; Pee Wee Crayton, Big Joe Duskin, Sonny Rhodes, Eddie ‘The Chief’ Clearwater, ‘Ice Pick’ James Harman, Duke Robillard, Rod Piazza, Rick Estrin, Mark Hummel, Lee Oskar, Nick Curran, Big Joe Louis, ‘The Shuffle King’ Tom Holland, Kenny Blues Boss Wayne, and Rockabilly guitar legend Evan Johns.

Over the past few years Steve and his All-Star band have been booked to back several international recording artists who came to Canada to perform. One artist who works with Steve whenever he performs in western Canada is Blues Harmonica legend singer/songwriter from Anniston Alabama, James Harman. Steve and his band backed James Harman at the 2010 Labatt International Blues Festival in Edmonton. Steve and his band have also worked with London’s Big Joe Louis (a two time winner of the best male Blues vocalist in the UK) and, from Chicago, ‘The Shuffle King’ Tom Holland the lead guitarist/singer for The James Cotton Band and Blues singer Robin Banks from Toronto.

For more information on Steve Kozak, visit

This year saw the release of Steve's Critically Acclaimed Album, "Lookin' At Lucky". My review of that release can be read here...