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Marshall blues bassist up for BMA award

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Willie J. Campbell talks about the memories provoked by his family's Wall of Fame, a display of photos and other memorabilia from his career as a blues musician. Campbell has been nominated for bass player of the year by the Blues Music Assocation.
(Eric Crump/Democrat-News) [Order this photo]
A contingent of about 20 people from the Marshall area will be headed for Memphis, Tenn., in May to cheer on a local musician.

For the second time in three years, a Marshall man is among the nominees for the annual Blues Music Awards.

Willie J. Campbell has been nominated before as a member of The Mannish Boys, a traditional blues band that received four nominations last year and three this year.

Willie J. Campbell of Marshall will be headed for the 34th Annual Blues Music Award ceremony in Memphis, Tenn., to vie for Instrumental of the Year-Bass honors. Campbell is a member of The Mannish Boys. The band is also up for three awards.
(File photo)
But this is the first time Campbell has received an individual nomination. He's up for the blues bass player of the year award.

What really brought home the magnitude of the nomination, he said, was when he reviewed the nomination process, which involves blues experts from around the world and involves a three-stage review process.

"What an honor," he said. "Not only do I get the rush of entertainment, but I have been nominated by a group of my peers."

He found out about the nomination by accident. Although he received a notification letter later, he first learned of it from a record label official.

He had called to check on the health of Mannish Boys vocalist Finis Tasby, who had suffered a stroke. After talking about Tasby, the woman said, "Congratulations."

"I was speechless," he said. "It never entered my mind. It's almost surreal still."

As a part of the band's rhythm section, his focus is not on drawing attention to his own playing.

"Our goal is to make the band sound good," he said.

The band apparently sounds pretty good, too. The Mannish Boys' latest album, "Double Dynamite," has been nominated for Album of the Year and Traditional Album of the Year.

The band's drummer, Jimi Bott, is also up for an instrumentalist award.

The band didn't win any awards in 2011, but it was selected to perform during the awards ceremony.

The 34th Blues Music Awards will be Thursday, May 9, 2013, at the Cook Convention Center in Memphis, Tenn.

"The Blues Music Awards are universally recognized as the highest accolade afforded musicians and songwriters in blues music," according to The Blues Foundation's website. "The annual Blues Music Awards ceremony is the premier event for Blues professionals, musicians and fans from all over the world.

Although he has enjoyed the event for the past few years, Campbell acknowledged that this year will be special.

"I'm just going to try to relish it," he said.

Fortunately, the Wall of Fame in his basement -- a display of photos, instruments and other memorabilia from his music career -- has some space available. Surrounded by friends, family and great music, he is confident new memories will be made for the Wall.

Contact Eric Crump at ecrump@marshallnews.com

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Marshall musician to perform at Blues Music Award show
Marshall man reports back from the 2011 Blues Music Awards show


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-- Posted by bonedaddy on Fri, Dec 14, 2012, at 2:54 PM

WooHoo! Great job sir!

-- Posted by pitbull on Fri, Dec 14, 2012, at 1:46 PM

Marshall IS music! So many fine musicians from such a small town. Hallelujah! Come on back Willie J!

-- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Dec 13, 2012, at 11:25 PM

Excellent Achievement Sir!!

-- Posted by news across on Thu, Dec 13, 2012, at 8:56 PM

WTG Willie J!!

-- Posted by Proudsportsmom on Thu, Dec 13, 2012, at 4:53 PM

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