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Ottawa's MonkeyJunk trio wins at Maple Blues Awards

Colin James and the Jeff Healey's band play in concert as part of the Jeff Healey Tribute that takes place in the Sound Academy at Polson Pier in Toronto on May 3, 2008.

Arantxa Cedillo/The Globe and Mail

Ottawa's MonkeyJunk trio continued its run of success at the Maple Blues Awards, winning three trophies for the second consecutive year. Sharing the national blues-music spotlight at a gala held at Toronto's Koerner Hall was Hamilton guitarist Steve Strongman, who was judged as having the year's top recording for his album A Natural Fact. He also won prizes for song-writing and instrumentation. While Colin James gained the nod as the year's top entertainer, Saskatoon native Suzie Vinnick gave multiple acceptance speeches, one each for best acoustic act and best female vocalist.

Winners of the 16th annual Maple Blues Awards

Entertainer: Colin James

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Electric act:MonkeyJunk

Acoustic act: Suzie Vinnick

Male vocalist: Matt Andersen

Female vocalist: Suzie Vinnick

New artist or group: Steve Kozak

Recording: A Natural Fact, Steve StrongmanLifetime achievement: Matt Minglewood

International artist: Tedeschi Trucks Band

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Guitar: Steve Strongman

Harmonica: Steve Marriner (of MonkeyJunk)

Piano/keyboard: David Vest

Horn: Jon Wong (of the 24th Street Wailers)

Drummer: Matt Sobb (of MonkeyJunk)

Bassist: Gary Kendall (of Downchild Blues Band and the Gary Kendall Band)

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Songwriter:Steve Strongman

Blues booster: John Valenteyn

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About the Author

Brad Wheeler is an arts reporter with The Globe and Mail. More

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