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  • Writer's pictureThe Sound Cafe

Blues & Roots Radio Worldwide Announce Their 7th Annual Album Of The Year Nominees

By Stevie Connor.

The Sound Cafe, once again this year, is proud to sponsor the 7th Annual Blues & Roots Radio Album Of The Year Award. The nominees list was released from the multi award-winning platform today, Thursday, November 9th for the coveted 2023 award.

The mix is eclectic, as you would expect from such a global, multi genre station, with nominees in a wide variety of genres, from Americana, Roots, Funk, Soul, Blues, Bluegrass, Rock, Contemporary Folk, Traditional Folk, through to Celtic music with artists from Canada, the USA, UK, Estonia, Sweden and Ireland.

We thought we would give you an insight of what lies ahead for the Juror panel, it's not going to be an easy task, as in our opinion, any one of the nominees is a very strong candidate to take home the award.

Here is the list in no particular order of artists nominated, and we've chosen a track from each artists album to feature their superb releases.


The entertainment world is filled with extraordinary stories of musical power-couples, but few match the beguiling true-life tale of Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy. Known as Canada’s reigning stars of Celtic music, the two musicians’ combined album sales exceed one million; they sell out performing arts centres across North America, and their enthusiastic traditional folk music loving fan base (which boasts Shania Twain and The Chieftains) stretches from Sydney, Nova Scotia to Sydney, Australia.


Rising Swedish pop act, Shy Martin's debut album 'Late Night Thoughts' is her boldest, most openly emotional, brave and beautiful work to date. An album dealing with topics including mental health, recovery, and the search for happiness, late night thoughts presents Shy as she’s always wanted to be heard.

Shy has an esteemed career as a songwriter, having previously written tracks for the likes of The Chainsmokers, Ellie Goulding, Jess Glyne and Astrid S.


The Mae Simpson Band blurs the lines between a wide range of influences. From the depth and energy of funk and rock, down the the melodic edge of R&B and folk. Led by Mae Simpson, who's voice is larger than life — but not as large as her uncontainable energy that radiates from the stage.

Mae Simpson is firing on all cylinders with the release of her much anticipated first full-length album "Chandelier & Bloom''


The Turning Of The Tide’ is taken from ‘Behind Every Door’, Matt McGinn’s sixth and arguably finest album to date. A dynamic ten-track collection of beautiful songs and outstanding songwriting that blend folk, alt-country and soul, it traverses uplifting, driving melodies, rollicking fiddle-led Celtic folk and introspective, reflective pieces. Throughout, McGinn’s emotive, personal songwriting shines, matched by the warmth and passion of his voice.


Canadian Singer-Songwriter, Kae Shelby's sophomore album 'Unbroken' is the 2nd in a trilogy of albums and is the story of our capacity to heal our own hearts, forgive ourselves, and let beauty, love and grace, in again. For one’s self first, for that is the only space in which, beauty, love and grace can find you. This album is in its own way, a teacher, reminding us to always be curious about how good life and love can be. That when we live from that place, of curiosity, our capacity to become unbroken is infinite.


'Bring It On' is the exciting new album from Trad.Attack!, featuring a thunderous mix of Estonian folklore with electronica, drums, programmed beats, fiddle, the Estonian bagpipe, soaring electric guitar solos and pumping pop-folk.

'Bring It On' is equally blessed with sensitively produced folk songs, perfect layered harmonies sprinkled with atmospheric brass instrumentation and dulcet vocals.


Get ready to blow out your speakers with the powerful single from Ghost Hounds, 'Last Train To Nowhere.' The rock and blues-fuelled track comes from the band’s fourth studio album, 'First Last Time.'

'First Last Time', the 10-track album is a masterclass in blues rock, with the band feeling invigorated after touring with The Rolling Stones in 2022.


Terra Lightfoot's new album, 'Healing Power', delivers the peerless pop-rock album that fans have long known that she always had in her. The set captures the crackling chemistry of the core live trio — most of the album finds Lightfoot backed by bassist Elijah Abrams and Blue Rodeo’s Glenn Milchem on drums. This compact and capable team of players reinforces the strengths of Lightfoot's remarkable material.


After 12 years, 6 albums and hundreds of gigs English Folk-Rock Band, Merry Hell, have taken a little time to look back on all that has passed. The result of this reflection is a 28 track, double CD covering tracks from all their releases, a history of the band if you like, or maybe an introduction for those who have recently climbed aboard their unstoppable folk-rock charabanc of joy.

The album name refers to a track that is frequently played at gigs but also describes their approach to what they do.


Acclaimed Uilleann piper and flautist Calum Stewart has released his highly anticipated new album 'True North.'

A testament to the Speyside native’s exceptional talent and strong connection to his heritage in the north of Scotland, the record intertwines traditional Celtic influences with self-penned, heartfelt compositions, delivering an authentic musical experience which is sure to resonate with audiences worldwide.


The group’s second album, FRÄNDER II, is like nothing else heard on the folk or world music scene, pushing stylistic boundaries and proving FRÄNDER to be among today’s most trendsetting Scandinavian bands. They make a personal imprint on the nordic sound of folk music and their music is hauntingly evocative, with subtle echoes of Led Zeppelin, Jethro Tull and even the Beatles blending seamlessly with sounds from both Swedish and Estonian trad music.


The Infamous Stringdusters have dug deep into their bluegrass roots for ‘A Tribute to Flatt & Scruggs’, which was released on 21st April on their own Americana Vibes label. The thirteenth record by the US quintet who formed in 2006, it is a homage to the esteemed duo of singer/guitarist Lester Flatt and banjo player Earl Scruggs and acknowledges their key influence on American music.


Toronto-based singer-songwriter Julian Taylor has released 'Anthology Vol. 1,' his first career spanning collection of songs which reflect on his decades as an artist, fronting Staggered Crossing and the Julian Taylor Band, as well as developing a celebrated solo career.

In addition to the 15 vintage tracks which feature on Anthology Vol. 1, Taylor has added a trio of all-new songs exclusive to the release, which serve to bridge the gap between those historical roots of yore and the forward-leaning songwriting template he forged.


Nashville Americana singer-songwriter and virtuosic guitarist Jax Hollow manages to refine the heavier, rock ‘n’ roll machismo of previous work with producer Michael Wagener (Metallica, Skid Row, Motley Crew), distilling a more distinctive sound that yields progressive Southern rock and country twang, as well as expert songwriting on her sophomore album 'Only the Wild Ones.'


Oceans flow through the centre of Cinder Well’s music. 'Cadence,' the new album from Amelia Baker’s experimental folk project, drifts between two far-flung seas: the hazy California coast where she grew up, and the wind-torn swells of Western Ireland that she’s come to love. Due out April 21, 2023 on Free Dirt Records, the album’s name refers to the cycles of our turbulent lives, to the uncertain tides that push us forward and back.


From their humble beginnings as street performers on Tejon Street in Colorado Springs, marked by a legendary "corner-stealing" rivalry with fellow buskers, Tejon Street Corner Thieves have come a long way. 'Juxtaposition' adds to their impressive discography. Their unique blend of songwriting finesse, musical prowess, relentless touring, and charismatic stage presence has garnered them a devoted global following known affectionately as "Tejomies."


Nova Scotia native, award-winning songwriter and storyteller, Andrea England, has released a brand new body of work, 'Evidence Of Love,' her first release since 2012's Hope And Other Sins.

'Evidence Of Love' contains co-writes with internationally renowned artists, Tenille Townes, Liz Rodriguez and James Bryan McCollum, and the musicians contributing include Liz Rodriguez, Carleton Stone, Hill Kourkoutis, Christine Bougie, Lyle Molzan, Stuart Cameron and John Whynot.


'Toughen Up' is a soundtrack for road trips with the radio cranked high, the FM dial caught somewhere between the country and classic rock stations, the sounds from both channels bleeding together into some new frequency. It's a sound rooted in California cool and old-school southern stomp, like a velour tracksuit with a cowboy hat. Some people call it Americana. Others call it country rock. Leroy From The North just calls it music.


'Double You,' Catrin and Aoife's debut album as a duo, features an exquisite collection of new compositions that draw inspiration from various genres, taking listeners on a captivating journey on the wings of the bees across the Irish Sea and inspired by the cultures of their home countries. Running through their stories – as individual creatives, remarkable women, and now as an inspirational duo – are universal themes of identity, self-belief and the courage to find yourself and follow your own path.


There are moments in music when your sensibilities are arrested by the sweeping beauty of instruments, voices, and songs. You find yourself caught up in a certain sonic rapture that leads to deep catharsis. It’s as if you’ve been bathed by healing waters and emerged enlightened.

That is the experience of Heather Lynne Horton’s third studio album, 'Get Me to a Nunnery,' released on Pauper Sky Records.

We hope you can visit these fabulous artists platforms, and find out more about them. We wish all nominees the best of luck for the forthcoming announcement.

About Blues & Roots Radio Worldwide

Established in 2013 by professional musicians and music lovers, an independent global online platform was created for artists to be heard by as wide an audience as possible.

From their headquarters in Ontario, Canada and office in Victoria, Australia they broadcast over forty radio shows most of which are exclusively produced for their network from around the world. Blues & Roots Radio continues to expand, evolve and maintain the highest standards of artistic content.

They have developed a unique network of media partners, affiliations and friends around the world who share their passion and values, and work together to advance opportunities for artists to be heard and read about globally. ​

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