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Blind Pig Records wins KBA award

The Blues Foundation has announced that Blind Pig Records will receive the 2005 Keeping the Blues Alive Award in the record label category. The Keeping the Blues Alive (KBA) awards honor the men, women and organizations who preserve, celebrate and support blues music. Presented in 17 categories, the KBAs are awarded to non-performers strictly on the basis of merit by a select panel of Blues professionals. Noted educator, author, journalist, and KBA Chairman Art Tipaldi notes, "The KBA is awarded for the recipient's lifetime body of work; we don't view the recipient as the winner of a "best of the year" category."

Blind Pig Records, one of the leading independent blues labels in the world, got its start in 1977 in the basement blues club of the Blind Pig Cafe in Ann Arbor, Michigan that had been established several years earlier by label co-founder Jerry Del Giudice. Today, with its home office in San Francisco and offices and a warehouse in Chicago, Blind Pig is recognized worldwide as one of the premier purveyors of American roots music.

In addition to preserving the music of the genre's grand masters such as Muddy Waters, Otis Rush, and Pinetop Perkins, the label has been highly influential in establishing the careers of the next generation of blues performers such as Tommy Castro, Deborah Coleman, and Roy Rogers. Blind Pig has also shown a dedication to discovering and exposing the talents of the newest wave of blues and roots artists such as Nick Curran, Renee Austin, and Big Bill Morganfield. With a philosophy of going beyond any strict adherence to the traditional blues idiom, Blind Pig's repertoire also encompasses the freshest forms of contemporary blues, roots rock, gospel, zydeco, R&B, and soul music styles. In the words of Billboard magazine, "Blind Pig can rightfully lay claim to representing the state of the art in blues."

Attesting to the label's reputation for excellence, the Blues Foundation said in its announcement of the award, "What co-founders Edward Chmelewski and Jerry Del Giudice began in 1977 has grown into one of the most well known blues labels in the world. From the very first Blind Pig artist, Boogie Woogie Red, to first generation blues men like Johnny Shines and Jimmy Rogers to the most recent recordings by Rod Piazza and Magic Slim, consumers will never go wrong with any Blind Pig product."

The Keeping the Blues Alive (KBA) Awards ceremony will take place Saturday, February 5 in Memphis, Tennessee, held in conjunction with the International Blues Challenge (IBC).

The Blues Foundation, whose mission is to preserve Blues history, celebrate Blues excellence and support Blues education, is a nonprofit corporation headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, the home of the Blues. With more than 100 affiliated Blues organizations, and membership spanning some twenty countries, the Foundation is perhaps best known for annually bestowing the W.C. Handy Awards, considered the "Grammy" of the blues field.

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