Best Songwriting Duo (2007)

Graham Wood Drout and Albert Castiglia

This is such a devious award. Drout (famous as frontman of Miami's premier blues-rock band, Iko-Iko) and Castiglia (a local blues vet perhaps best known as a longtime sideman for Junior Wells) have won "Best of Miami" and all sorts of other awards in the past. They're stunning talents to be sure. And when their paths crossed — well, consider the fate of just one of the collaborations from their 2006 album, The Bittersweet Sessions. It's called "The Ghosts of Mississippi." Castiglia recorded another version for his 2006 album, A Stone's Throw. And soon after that, Joey Gilmore cut a treatment of it for his own album, which was itself named for the song. How good is "Ghosts"ç Gilmore won the International Blues Foundation's award for best blues performance with his version. Drout received the Blues Critics' Choice honor for song of the year. Living Blues magazine put Bittersweet in its top twenty CDs of the year, and "Ghosts" went to number one on MusicChoice. So what's so devious about one more award for Mr. Drout and Mr. Castigliaç While we can't imagine musical life without Iko-Iko (currently on a major tour of the Southeast) and Castiglia, we do want to encourage these two super-talented bluesmen to continue their collaborative ways. After all, we'll need a winner for this category next year, too.