British Columbia-based Blue Moon Marquee rocked the Maple Blues Awards in a stunning four-award sweep, winning the coveted categories of Entertainer of the Year, Acoustic Act of the Year, Songwriter of the Year, and Record/Producer of the Year for their fifth album, Scream, Holler & Howl.
It’s the first time in the 26-year history of the awards that one artist has swept in these specific categories. A.W. Cardinal, one half of the duo, is also the first Indigenous artist to win the big four categories.
Blue Moon Marquee have worked diligently over the past decade, touring throughout North America and Europe. They have put out a total of five albums, as well as band member A.W. Cardinal’s second solo project Stainless Steel Heart (2012).
“The best part of these awards is that they came from the people. All those long years on the road crisscrossing the country, sleeping in alleys with our instruments and performing anywhere we could,” Blue Moon Marquee said. “It was predominantly fan voting, and that feels special. It is spark and spur for inspiration and encouragement to keep going.”
“A deep thank you and bow of gratitude to everyone who took the time to vote for us, come out to a show, buy a record and support us along the way,” the band said, adding that they will soon announce plenty of new tour dates, including for their very first tour of Australia.
Blue Moon Marquee writes and performs original compositions influenced by anything that swings, jumps or grooves. A.W. Cardinal (vocals/guitar) and Jasmine Colette a.k.a. Badlands Jass (vocals/bass/drums) have played for a vast gamut of crowds at jazz clubs, Lindy Hop dance halls, folk venues, blues haunts, hospitals, prisons, markets, motorcycle joints, dive bars and prestigious festival stages.
Colette not only commands the upright bass but also brings the rhythm with her feet on a custom foot drum kit, all while singing in her signature honey-dipped tone. Cardinal’s distinctive and soulful vocals barrel out like a raging bull while his guitar crackles with the swinging energy of jazz-tinged blues.
With their highly anticipated fifth album Scream, Holler & Howl, Blue Moon Marquee have captured their most sophisticated collection of songs yet. Co-produced by Duke Robillard (Fabulous Thunderbirds, Roomful of Blues) and Erik Nielsen (City & Colour) and recorded live to tape, SHH blazes forward with a full band featuring some of Canada’s finest veteran players. While they have primarily performed as a duo since 2013, over the last couple of years Blue Moon Marquee have been performing often as a trio or quartet featuring Darcy Phillips (Jann Arden) on piano and Jerry Cook (Colin James) on tenor and baritone saxophone.
In addition to sweeping the Maple Blues Awards, the album was also honoured this year with the Blues Foundation’s Blues Music Award nomination for Emerging Artist of the Year. The album has topped the charts in the United States and Canada, achieving No. 1 on the !Earshot National Folk/Roots/Blues chart and No. 3 on their National Top 10 Chart for all genres, No. 1 on Canada’s Top 50 Chart by Roots Music Report, No. 6 on the International NACC Radio Chart and No. 8 on the coveted Living Blues Radio Chart. In a rare feat, it also reached No. 9 on the !Earshot National Jazz Chart.