Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Shannon Curfman follow right behind.
Soulful singer takes home prestigious citations; other top honors go to B.B. King, Albert King, Stevie Ray Vaughan.
Christine Lavin, Judith Edelman, Cowboy Nation offer new albums, too.
The blues made mainstream inroads this year thanks to B.B., Clapton and Vaughan but the most stimulating sounds came from unexpected sources.
Besides new emphasis on songwriting, guitarist adds loops, samples to new album.
Singer/guitarist closing in on all-star album's #1 Gavin slot; Stevie Ray Vaughan maintains hold on Billboard chart.