(Eric Crump/Democrat-News) [Order this photo]
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.
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.
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