The 2021 UKBlues Awards were held this weekend, with Elles Bailey presented with UK Blues Artist of the Year and When Rivers Meet gaining Blues Band of the Year as one of their four awards.
Grace Bond, from When Rivers Meet, told MetalTalk: “We’re totally blown away to have won these awards. We started playing music together over ten years ago, and when we started out, we didn’t really know what direction we were going in until two years ago when we realised that Blues Rock was not only the music we listen to the most, but it’s also the music we love the most.”
As well as Blues Band of the Year, When Rivers Meet were also awarded Emerging Blues Artist of the Year, Blues Album of the Year and Most Inspirational Online Performance of the Year for Rock the Lockdown.
Aaron Bond told us: “Playing a gig every Saturday night to an amazing audience of people who have been so supportive over this last year, we just can’t even put it into words. To win the ‘Most Inspirational Online Performance Of The Year’ award is a thank you to all the people who have supported us every single week.
“They not only got us through a hard year, but it also showed us that during the hardest times, people can come together and even just for an hour a week can enjoy themselves. We feel eternally grateful for the love and support that we have been shown on so many levels.”
Ashwyn Smyth (Founder & Chair of the UKBlues Federation) said: “Our congratulations go to all the winners, but also we want to take this opportunity to recognise and pay tribute, not just to the winners and the finalists in each category, but also to everybody involved in and with the blues in the UK, who have done what they can to keep music alive throughout this ongoing pandemic.
“Huge thanks go to Paul Long, who laboured long and hard putting the event together and producing it, as well as creating the final jam.
“Thanks too to Kev Hickman for his work creating the video. Also, thank-you to all the musicians who joined in and took part in the final jam, which you can also watch on our YouTube channel. And thank- you to the Board of the UKBlues Federation for all that they do every day to ensure that events like this can, and do, happen and are successful.
“The UKBlues Awards would not, however, happen without the very generous support of those firms, organisations and individuals who agreed to provide sponsorship both for the event and for the Awards themselves so, once again, we send them our thanks.”