Beautiful Lowdown: Curtis Salgado takes three BMAs

Curtis Salgado
Curtis Salgado won three 2017 Blues Music Awards.
Photo by Paul Natkin, provided by Alligator Records.

Here’s the Beautiful Lowdown: Nine weeks after quadruple bypass heart surgery, Curtis Salgado won three Blues Music Awards.

The Portland, Oregon, singer won Soul Album Of The Year for “The Beautiful Lowdown,” Soul Blues Artist Of The Year, and Song Of The Year for “Walk A Mile In My Blues” tonight in Memphis at the Blues Foundation’s annual event. “Walk A Mile In My Blues” was written by Salgado, David Duncan and Mike Finigan.

Salgado, 64, suffered a heart attack on March 7 and a cardio catheterization revealed arterial blockage. Three days later, he had quadruple bypass surgery at a Lebanon, New Hampshire, area hospital.Curtis Salgado The Beautiful Lowdown

Salgado survived liver cancer in 2006 and lung cancer reappeared in 2012, and part of his lung was taken out.

In 2013, he also won the coveted BMA for B.B. King Entertainer Of The Year — the highest honor the blues world has to offer — and took the statue for Soul Blues Album Of The Year for his Alligator Records debut, “Soul Shot.”

Salgado had been scheduled to perform at the BMAs. Instead, he appeared in a video displayed at the ceremony in the Cook Convention Center, Blues Festival Guide Publisher Kaati Gaffney said. He looked to be in good health and he thanked people who made donations to help pay for his medical expenses.

After his March 7 heart attack, a cardio catheterization revealed arterial blockage. Three days later, he had quadruple bypass surgery at a Lebanon, New Hampshire, area hospital.

Salgado is a native of Eugene, Oregon, where the 1977 movie “Animal House” was filmed. Actor John Belushi saw Salgado perform and befriended him. He later modeled his character Joliet Jake in the movie “The Blues Brothers” after Salgado.

“It’s gonna take a while,” he said on Facebook post on April 8. “It’s gonna take months. And all I want to do is get onstage. That’s where I belong. I am dying to get up and play music and hopefully play for you folks again. Your outpouring of love is unbelievable. It hits me. It’s tough to take because you don’t know how to pay it back.”

Salgado played harmonica on Robert Cray’s first album, “Look Who’s Talkin’,” before becoming the frontman for Roomful of Blues. He then went on to record numerous solo albums.

Locally, Salgado has performed in recent years at the Crystal Bay Casino, Squaw Valley’s Bluesdays and the Coloma Blues Festival.

Salgado reacts to winning three BMAs.

Tahoe Onstage album review of “Beautiful Lowdown”

  • 38th Blues Foundation Blues Music Awards
    May, 11, 2017
    Cook Convention Center, Memphis
  • Song: “Walk A Mile In My Blues” written by David Duncan, Curtis Salgado & Mike Finnigan and performed by Curtis Salgado on The Beautiful Lowdown
    “Blues Immigrant” written by Matthew Skoller & Vincent Bucher and performed by Matthew Skoller on Blues Immigrant
    “I Gotta Sang The Blues” written and performed by Thornetta Davis on Honest Woman
    “Seeing Is Believing” written by Ray Norcia and performed by Sugar Ray & The Bluetones on Seeing Is Believing
    “Walk it Off” written and performed by Toronzo Cannon on The Chicago Way
  • Band: Tedeschi Trucks Band
    Golden State Lone Star Blues Revue
    Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials
    Nick Moss Band
    Sugar Ray and the Bluetones
  • B.B. King Entertainer: Joe Bonamassa
    John Nemeth
    Lil’ Ed Williams
    Sugar Ray Norcia
    Sugaray Rayford
  • Koko Taylor Award (Traditional Blues Female Artist): Diunna Greenleaf
    Annika Chambers
    Inetta Visor
    Shaun Murphy
    Trudy Lynn
  • Traditional Blues Male Artist: Bob Margolin
    John Primer
    Lil’ Ed Williams
    Lurrie Bell
    Sugar Ray Norcia
  • Contemporary Blues Female Artist: Susan Tedeschi
    Alexis P Suter
    Ana Popovic
    Janiva Magness
    Shemekia Copeland
  • Contemporary Blues Male Artist: Kenny Neal
    Albert Castiglia
    Mike Zito
    Sugaray Rayford
    Toronzo Cannon
  • Soul Blues Female Artist: Mavis Staples
    Bettye Lavette
    Lara Price
    Terrie Odabi
    Vaneese Thomas
  • Soul Blues Male Artist: Curtis Salgado
    Johnny Rawls
    Wee Willie Walker
    William Bell
  • Acoustic Artist: Doug MacLeod
    Eric Bibb
    Fiona Boyes
    Jimmy “Duck” Holmes
    Luther Dickinson
  • Album: Bobby Rush – Porcupine Meat
    Kenny Neal – Bloodline
    Nick Moss Band – From the Root to the Fruit
    Sugar Ray & the Bluetones – Seeing is Believing
    Toronzo Cannon – The Chicago Way
    William Bell – This Is Where I Live
  • Contemporary Blues Album: Kenny Neal – Bloodline
    Al Basile – Mid Century Modern
    Nick Moss Band – From the Root to the Fruit
    The Record Company – Give It Back To You
    Toronzo Cannon – The Chicago Way
  • Rock Blues Album: Tedeschi Trucks Band – Let Me Get By
    Albert Castiglia – Big Dog
    Mike Zito – Keep Coming Back
    Moreland & Arbuckle – Promised Land or Bust
    Walter Trout – Alive in Amsterdam
  • Soul Blues Album: Curtis Salgado – The Beautiful Lowdown
    Bobby Rush – Porcupine Meat
    Johnny Rawls – Tiger in a Cage
    Wee Willie Walker – Live! Notodden Blues Festival
    William Bell – This Is Where I Live
  • Traditional Blues Album: Lurrie Bell – Can’t Shake This Feeling
    Big Jon Atkinson & Bob Corritore – House Party at Big Jon’s
    Bob Margolin – My Road
    Golden State Lone Star Blues Revue – Golden State Lone Star Blues Revue
    Sugar Ray & the Bluetones – Seeing is Believing
  • Acoustic Album: Eric Bibb – The Happiest Man in the World
    Fiona Boyes – Professin’ the Blues
    Jimmy “Duck” Holmes – Live at Briggs Farm
    John Long – Stand Your Ground
    Luther Dickinson – Blues and Ballads (A Folksinger’s Songbook) Vol I and II
  • Best Emerging Artist Album: Jonn Del Toro Richardson – Tengo Blues
    Corey Dennison Band – Corey Dennison Band
    Guy King – Truth
    Terrie Odabi – My Blue Soul
    Thornetta Davis – Honest Woman
  • Historical Album: Bobby Rush, Chicken Heads: A 50-Year History of Bobby Rush, Omnivore Recordings
    Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup, A Music Man Like Nobody Ever Saw, Bear Family Records
    B.B. King, More B.B. King: Here’s One You Haven’t Heard, Ace Records
    Doug MacLeod – Live in Europe, Under the Radar and Doug MacLeod
    Michael Burks, I’m A Bluesman, Iron Man Records
    Pinetop Perkins & Jimmy Rogers, Genuine Blues Legends, Elrob Records
  • Instrumentalist
    Horn: Terry Hanck

    Al Basile
    Nancy Wright
    Sax Gordon Beadle
    Vanessa Collier
  • Bass: Biscuit Miller
    Bob Stroger
    Michael “Mudcat” Ward
    Patrick Rynn
    R W Grigsby
  • Drums: Cedric Burnside
    Jimi Bott
    June Core
    Tom Hambridge
    Tony Braunagel
  • Guitar: Joe Bonamassa
    Bob Margolin
    Kid Andersen
    Monster Mike Welch
    Ronnie Earl
  • Harmonica: Kim Wilson
    Dennis Gruenling
    Jason Ricci
    Mark Hummel
    Sugar Ray Norcia
  • Pinetop Perkins Piano Player: Victor Wainwright
    Anthony Geraci
    Barrelhouse Chuck
    Henry Gray
    Jim Pugh

ABOUT Tim Parsons

Tim Parsons
Tim Parsons is the editor of Tahoe Onstage who first moved to Lake Tahoe in 1992. Before starting Tahoe Onstage in 2013, he worked for 29 years at newspapers, including the Tahoe Daily Tribune, Eureka Times-Standard and Contra Costa Times. He was the recipient of the 2011 Keeping the Blues Alive award for Journalism.


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