Tag Archives: LA Music Critic Awards

Monday mashup 2018: vol. 7

Mother Nature has made it clear these past few days that she’s not ready for spring yet here in Montana, as we have been bombarded with snow, high winds and sub-zero temperatures.  Regardless of the weather, the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival kicked off last Friday night with a sold-out screening of the film Dark Money, attended by our very own Governor.  Attendance at other screenings on Saturday, Sunday and today have been high, including quite a few sell-outs, including Forever B, the one I attended tonight about kidnap victim Jan Broberg, a child kidnap victim and author of Loss of Innocence.

We have a bit of news for you today, as well as four new singles and three new music videos, so let’s get to it.

DIANA REIN LAUNCHES CROWD-FUNDING CAMPAIGN

Referred to as the “The Six-String Siren,” LA Music Critic Award winner Diana Rein has announced the launch of a crowd-funding campaign for her upcoming album, Queen Of My Castle. The follow-up to her critically-lauded 2016 release Long Road, Queen Of My Castle is being co-produced by Michael Leasure (drummer extraordinaire with the Walter Trout Band).

“The new album is a collection of 15 songs, with one of those songs being a tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan,” says Rein, just back from representing Guitar Girl Magazine at the 2018 NAMM Conference.  Rein is the featured artist for the month of April in their 2018 Calendar.  “There’s a lot of traditional blues, as well as high energy, upbeat, and blues-rock songs that I know you guys will love. This album will be lucky #3 for me and my first full-band album.  I loved making my last record on my own, but I am really looking forward to challenging myself this time around and collaborating with the pros.”

HOLLYWOOD FRINGE FESTIVAL NEWS

The Hollywood Fringe Festival is getting ready for their ninth run June 7-24, and is looking for interns and volunteers, specifically in the areas of Fringe Central Set Design, Events, Volunteer Coordinator and Cabaret.  Interning with the Fringe is the best way to get hands on experience behind the scenes of the largest performing arts festival in the west.  Interns work directly with Fringe staff to help run various aspects of the festival.  Click the link for position details.  If you are interested, please submit a cover letter and resume to internships@hollywoodfringe.org.  Please specify which position you are interested in.  The deadline to apply is April 1.

NEW SINGLES

Here’s the first single from the forthcoming album People Person by Everett Bird.  The single is entitled “Bucket of Dark Meat,” and we think you’ll like it.  It is different from many of the songs featured here, so get ready to try something new.

Next up is “The Monster” from LA based garage rock band Bird Concerns.  This one truly rocks.

Our third single today is from folk singer songwriter Brown Kid.  It is definitely a step down energy wise from the previous song, but it is different enough to pass on to you.  The song is entiled “Sunrise” and we want to hear your feedback.

Our final single today is from another LA Music Critic Award winner, Sleep Machine.  They are releasing their newest album one song at a time.  Here is “Mother.”

NEW MUSIC VIDEOS

Our favorite Italian rock band is back with another hot video.  Check out “Never Obey” from Black Mamba.  We guarantee this one will rock your sock.

Our next video is the latest from Allison Iraheta and Mathew Hager, aka Halo Circus.  It is a video for their single “Narcissist,” which we debuted two weeks ago.  Please let us know what you think.

Blue Élan Records continues to bring back classic bands, and the latest to return is Fanny Walked the Earth.  Here is the video for “Lured Away,” their first single in 34 years.

 

Get it or forget it – Bonsai Universe, New Row, Adrian Underhill, Steven Casper and Cowboy Angst, Fernando Perdomo

Happy Valentine’s Day!  We are proud to share the love of great indie music, and have five more reviews for you today.  We have previously reviewed releases by Adrian Underhill, Steven Casper and Cowboy Angst and Fernando Perdomo, but the other two are new to us.  We hope you enjoy checking them out as much as we have.

Artist NameBonsai Universe

Album NameMoonstream

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Electric Folk

Track Listing:  1.  Moonstream; 2.  Am I Good Enough; 3.  Walking with my Eyes Closed; 4.  Summertime; 5.  Why are my Dreams?; 6.  Sweet Exaggeration; 7.  Should I Believe you; 8.  A lot of Nerve; 9.  Once Upon a Dream; 10.  Too Real; 11.  Everything; 12.  Astrotonic; 13.  Starstream

Publicist:  KG Music Press

Review:  Bonsai Universe is the brainchild and creation of multi-talented musician Woody Aplanalp.  Prior to the creation of his new project, Apanalp spent his time as a recording and touring guitarist with such notable acts as Grammy-winning artist Lauryn Hill, Boby Womak, Aloe Blacc, Trilok Gurtu and Thomas Mapfumo, as well as collaborations with Nels Cline, Banyan with Stephen Perkins and Old Californio.  He had help on this new album from Anthony Logerfo (Neil Young), Paul Lacques (I See Hawks in LA, Jason Chesney and Justin Smith from Old Californio and Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, among others.  This is our first time reviewing electric folk, and we are impressed.  This album seems to take the folk music of the 60’s and infuse it with electric instrumentation, such that it becomes folk music for a new and more sophisticated age.  We think Aplanalp has hit upon a novel idea that should help him find a new niche in today’s indie music marketplace,

Recommendation:  We like the unique sound of Bonsai Universe and are proud to highly recommend this one.  We suggest you go out and get it.

Artist NameNew Row

Album NameWaging War

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Alternative Rock/Pop

Track Listing:  1.  Binary; 2.  Belong; 3.  The Day that Never Ends; 4.  Waging War; 5.  Male Order; 6.  Home; 7.  Sandslide; 8.  Our Song; 9.  Dreamtime; 10.  Falling Forward; 11.  Halflife; 12.  Let Go; 13.  X File 1; 14.  In a Perfect Circle; 15.  The Things you Say; 16.  Stars

Publicist:  Self-promoted

Review:  Toronto, Canada-based alternative rock-pop band New Row have brought us something different.  The message is hook laden with a pop mentality, but with a hard rock edge.  Each song brings a new dynamic to this unique vision, and we can’t stop listening.  These songs are so good, they deserve serious radio airplay.  We think they are heading for the top of the charts, and encourage station managers in the alt rock genre to reach out and add them ASAP.  Sure-fire hits include “The Day that Never Ends,” the title track, “Our Song,” “Dreamtime,” “In a Perfect Circle,” “The Things you Say” and “Stars.”

Recommendation:  Welcome these lads from up north to America.  We believe they are coming to take the country by storm and encourage you to be one of the first to Get their new album and help them in their mission.

Artist Name Adrian Underhill

Album Name C U Again

Label:  Indica Records

Genre:  Electronic Pop

Track Listing:  1.  Not Good Enough; 2.  C U Again; 3.  Holding Out; 4.  Cruel; 5.  I Want it All; 6.  Weather; 7.  As I Think of Something Different; 8.  How to Make a Life Count; 9.  I Could; 10.  Carry On

Publicist:  Auteur Research

Review:  Canadian native Adrian Underhill is no stranger to readers of this blog, as we shared two of his songs with you last year via our Monday Mashup column.  He has finally completed his debut album, and we are proud for the privilege of reviewing it.  His music is smooth, soulful and laden with pop hooks, just the thing for American radio.  From the first song, “Not Good Enough,” to the last one, “Carry On,” Underhill brings us a fresh new sound that is ripe and ready for American ears.  We also love his songs “C U Again,” “Cruel,” “I Want it All,” “As I Think of Something Different,” and “How to Make a Life Count.”

Recommendation:  This one belongs in your music library.  Get it.

Artist Name Steven Casper & Cowboy Angst

Album Name Sometimes Jesse James

Label:  Silent City Records

Genre:  Country/Americana

Track Listing:  1.  Down; 2.  The Best Day of Our Lives; 3.  My Wrecking Ball; 4.  They Call it Love; 5.  Born to Lose Blues; 6.  Mi Sueno, Mi Dolor

Publicist:  KG Music Press

Review:  Since the last time we reviewed Steven Casper and his band, they have gotten tighter with their musicianship and vocal harmonies.  On Sometimes Jesse James, they kick off the six-song EP with some rocking country that will get your toes tapping and compel you out to the dance floor.  We really love the Hammond B3 on the first track, especially because it is not your typical country band instrument.  The second track is a lovely and haunting ballad that features the amazing pedal steel of John McDuffie, who also contributes electric and classical guitar and lap steel.  The band shows their creative prowess on their cover of Ryan Adams’ “My Wrecking Ball,” which also features a couple of other instruments not normally associated with a country band – dulcimer and cittern.   On “They Call it Love” and “Born to Lose Blues,” the band tries their hand at the blues, with amazing results.  They close the EP with an instrumental number, a Casper tradition.  This one has a Spanish flair and feature McDuffie on a nylon string Spanish guitar.

Recommendation:  You simply must add this EP to  your collection.

Artist Name Fernando Perdomo

Album NameOut to Sea

Label:  Forward Motion Records

Genre:  Instrumental Prog Rock

Track Listing:  1.  The Architect (tribute to Peter Banks; 2.  Out to Sea; 3.  De Boerderij (tribute to Focus); 4.  Roses Spread all Over the World; 5.  The Future According to Royce (tribute to Roye Albrighton); 6.  The Dream; 7.  Sonja (tribute to Sonja Kristina and Curved Air); 8.  Dreaming in Stereo Suite

Publicist:  ACR Management

Review:  We were so impressed with Perdomo’s last album, The Golden Hour, that we couldn’t wait for his next project.  His excellent work earned him a nomination for an LA Music Critic Award, as well as our respect.  On Out to Sea, he takes an entirely different musical approach, turning in an impeccable instrumental album in the Prog Rock style.  Perdomo played all the instruments on the album, with the exception of the drum track on “The Dream.”  That alone merits Perdomo respect, as well as the fact that this album simply rocks from start to finish.  It is perfect for a musical background for your end of day chill or your Friday night party.  If you enjoy the beauty and simplicity of great music, then this album is definitely for you.

Recommendation:  Don’t wait or hesitate – Get this album while you can.  It is a must for every serious audiophile.

 

 

Monday mashup 2018: vol. 6

Greeting from the frigid cold of Montana.  Our wonderful spring-like weather evaporated and a cold front set in, with some severe wind chill.  Good thing the music scene is hot.  Here’s the latest.

HEATHER JACKS TO RELEASE NEW BOOK

Author Heather Jacks, one of our panel members on the LA Music Critic Awards committee, is about to release her new memoir, My Headdress is on Fire.  She has previously released a couple of tabletop books, The Noise Beneath the Apple, and The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.  This one is about her time growing up on Indian land, and is a series of essays.  If you would like to be part of her Indiegogo pre-release campaign, just click here.

TRACY BONHAM SIGNS WITH ECR MUSIC GROUP

We had the privilege of reviewing the latest from Tracy Bonham, and were impressed.  She has recently signed with the ECR Music Group and they’re throwing a party in New York City on February 23.  We highly recommend you attend if you’re in the area.

INDIE PERFORMANCES

We love to promote shows for indie artists, so make sure you send the press releases to us for inclusion in this weekly column.  Here’s what we have for this week.

San Diego native Sarah Rogo, who we reviewed back in November, is coming to Los Angeles tomorrow night and playing at Bar Lubitsch at 9 p.m.  If you’re in LA, you should definitely check her out.  She’s been nominated for the latest round of the San Diego Music Awards.

Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen from Alexandria, Virginia are heading west for a gig at Boulevard Music in Culver City, California on February 24 at 8 p.m.  Tickets are $20 and available online at the venue.

NEW SINGLES

First up is the latest from LA Music Critic Award winner Kris Angelis, just in time for Valentine’s Day.  We simply love her new single, “A Billion Hearts,” and think you will too.  Let us know what you think.

Next up is a remake of the old Poco song, “Rose of Cimarron.”  This time is features former lead singer Rusty Young along with LA Music Critic Award winner Chelsea Williams, both artists on Blue Élan Records.  We love it – how about you?

Our final new single today is from Canyon City,  a LA Music Critic Awards nominee.  Check out “Shadows.”

NEW MUSIC VIDEOS

First up today is the latest from rockers Harker for their single, “Plague Your Heart.”  This one should get your heart pumping.

Next up is the debut music video from Susie Q for her single, “Home.”  This one has a powerful message of peace.  Please check it out and share it with your friends.

Our final video today is a lyric video by Michele Vreeland for her single, “Wild Horse.”  We love this song and its message.  Please let us know what you think.

See you tomorrow with a new set of Get it or Forget it reviews.

 

 

Monday mashup 2018: vol. 5

Well, the winners have now been announced for the LA Music Critic Awards for the second half of 2017, and the process starts all over for the first half of 2018.  Any indie artist is eligible to participate as long as they have a single, music video, CD or EP released between December 1, 2017 and May 31, 2018.  We’ll continue our reviews tomorrow with five more artists, but today, we share news from the indie music world, as well as debut new singles and music videos.  Here we go.

EXIT {LIVE} LAUNCHES NEW GLOBAL MUSIC PLATFORM

A few years back we experienced this company when we attended a Peter Frampton concert at the Greek in Los Angeles.  It allows fans to buy a copy of the concert they have just experienced so they can relive that experience.

Exit [Live] has now announced they are making the technology available to all artists, major and indie, to sell their concerts and vintage recordings directly to their fans.  This is a major win for indie artists everywhere who are trying to gain a more global following.  For artists, it is also profitable, with 80% of sales going back to the artist.

The platform will launch in early 2018, but you can check out their Facebook page now.

HOLLYWOOD FRINGE FESTIVAL PREPARES FOR NINTH YEAR

Founded in 2010, the Hollywood Fringe Festival is preparing for their ninth annual festivities.  Registration for participants opened on February 1 and runs through April 1.  Tickets will go on sale on May 1.

In order to foster artist and audience diversity, the Fringe initiated a scholarship program in 2016 to allow more participation by artists facing challenges that might prevent them from being a part of the Festival.  Each scholarship takes care of the registration costs, provides a $550 stipend towards their production and venue costs, and gives them a Fringe mentor, as well as marketing and networking opportunities as a member of the Fringe community.  The winners of the 2018 Fringe Scholarships are: 

  • Baba, Jee (Father, Yes): Maria, the daughter of a Pakistani father and an American mother, lives in New York City with her boyfriend Dave. On the eve of Hurricane Sandy, her father (Baba) comes to visit from Pakistan for the first time in years. Trapped inside while the storm rages on, Maria, Dave, and Baba must all confront their differing views on culture, love, and expectations.
  • Unapologetically Black: Unapologetically Black is a true story about Misty Monroe trying to fit in as a black woman (with a white name) who grew up in both South Central Los Angeles (predominately black) and the naval bases of Northern California (predominately “other”). The desire to “fit in” is universal and Unapologetically Black takes you on the journey of a black woman who gains the courage to stand out, unapologetically.
  • Trafficked 2.0: Trafficked 2.0 tells a story that occurs much too often and told not nearly enough. On her 13th birthday, a young girl is kidnapped and sold into the horrors of sex trafficking. The show uses the expressive movements of the body to represent a story that forces audiences to acknowledge the awful operations that are going on right under their noses, in their countries, in their neighborhoods, by people that they know.
  • Paisajes Marinos Con Tiburones y bailarines: “Seascape with Sharks and Dancer” is a 1974 play by Don Nigro. The story focuses on a young man, Ben, who saves a young woman named Tracy from the ocean outside his beach house. The production will be in Spanish, focused on attracting the latin community to the theater.
  • Love, Locs & Liberation: Blending poetry, song and humor, Ella unlocks the history of locs experienced by Black women, revealing many mishaps and triumphs. Through the eyes of 21 different characters, a 5th grade bully to Madam CJ Walker, she exposes the hair connection – to politics, identity and culture, illustrating why hair is an intimate and essential part of Black life.
  • I Came To Make Noise: I Came To Make Noise breaks the stereotype that women are expected to be quiet and agreeable. This groundbreaking work of theatre engages audiences with its use of dance, spoken word, and beatbox. This piece explores the inner most thoughts of a woman. The issues of race, politics, and sexual assault are presented through the lens of self-awareness.
  • Liao Zhai: Tale of Extraordinary: China is a two-syllable word with extreme complexity. History, philosophy, ideology, politics — we would be stuck having these intense and serious conversation for years. Even though we are Chinese, believe me, we don’t like that either. As an young ensemble theater company mostly consists of Native Chinese, we would like to share with you some mythical and fantastical stories that have been with us for centuries.
  • A Mile in My Shoes: “A Mile in My Shoes” is a solo show written and performed by veteran actor Kathryn Taylor Smith. In this 90 minute Poetic Dramedy (clever mix of poetry, drama & comedy) Kathryn depicts 12 characters based on research and personal interviews with past and present members of the homeless community (real & created) as well as those who advocate for them.
  • Gay Men Like Young Boys: Part adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest” part social satire. The dark side of desire, gender roles, and the youth obsessed image-based gay community clash in this dark tale of love and revenge.
  • The Goddesses Guide: Adura for the Women of African Diaspora: Follow the revealing journey of three Yoruba goddesses as they grapple with the responsibility of creating a guide for black women trying to survive in a world that doesn’t always allow them to thrive.
  • Land of No Shadows: Combining the Japanese dance art of Butoh with experimental animation and puppetry, “Land of No Shadows” uses stark, striking visuals to portray a fluid relationship between puppet and puppeteer, reflecting our unstable, fluctuating social and emotional status as humans.

NEW SINGLES

Our first new single this week comes from a band we have loved from the beginning.  Founded by former American Idol contestant Allison Iraheta and her husband, Matthew Hager, Halo Circus has reinvented itself as an electronic duo and has released “Narcissist,” the first single from their upcoming project.  Check out the new sound of the band, and let us know what you think.

Next up is Aja Warren, a new artist from the same management company that gave us Wendy Sweetlove.  Here’s her new single, “Show me the Magic.”  We think you’ll love it as much as we do.

Kim DiVine is a past LA Music Critic Award winner who has consistently delivered outstanding music.  Klvr Grl has done a remix of one of her songs, and we wanted to share it with you.  Please check out “Broken Bird (Klvr Grl remix).”

Our final single today comes from Gundelach for their breakout single, “Duck Hunting.”  Please let us know what you think.

NEW MUSIC VIDEOS

Our first video today comes from Kris Angelis, another past LA Music Critic Award winner.  Here’s her video for “Please Come Back Home,” filmed on a family trip to Carmel, California.

Next up is a video from one of the most recent LA Music Critic Award winners, Jason Hawk Harris, formerly of The Stone Ponies.  This is an acoustic video for his single, “Phantom Limb.”

For all you Tesla fans out there, here is the latest video from guitarist Frank Hannon from his solo acoustic project.  This is a cover of the Allman Brothers Band classic song, “Blue Sky.”  We dig it.

Last but not least, here’s the latest provacotive video from The Scared Crows about the Harvey Weinstein controversy.  Check out “Harvey Talk.”

We’ll be back tomorrow with our next round of reviews in Get it or Forget it.  See you then.

Winners of LA Music Critic Awards for second half of 2017

Thank you for your enthusiastic response to this round of nominations for the LA Music Critic Awards.  Last July, when we announced the winners for the first half of 2017, we thought we had reached a pinnacle in fan support, but you blew that away this time around.  In a two week period, there were 5,725 views of the nominations article on our blog and 7,996 total views from 59 countries.  You left a mindboggling 864 comments that included the nomination of 30 artists for the Fan Favorite Award.  Thank you for your support of indie music.

The second annual Winners Showcase will take place in June in Los Angeles.  Watch for more details.

Before we get started with the announcement of the winners, we wanted to add in a couple of special awards.  It has become more and more obvious of the value of promotion for an indie artist.  They can either do it all themselves or hire a professional publicist.  We wanted to give some credit and recognition to those who promote.

LA MUSIC CRITIC PUBLICISTS “SEAL OF APPROVAL”  – We have worked with a lot of publicists this year, and are happy to give our “Seal of Approval” to two of them who have truly stepped up for their clients – ABIK Promotions and Frank Roszak Promotions.  They now join the previous recipients of this award, including Doug Deutsch Publicity Services, Red Boot PR, Noisy Ghost PR, MAD Ink PR and KG Music Press.

BEST SELF-PROMOTION – We received a lot of submissions from artists doing their own promotion, and we were impressed by the quality of their work.  Among those we noticed were Ben Anderson, Andrea Harsell & Luna Roja, and Kate Steinway, but the award this year goes to The Khourys.

Without further ado, here are the results for the second half of 2017.  Winners are indicated with BOLD type.

BEST EP (Male)Ryan Sims, My Side of the Story; Sam Marine, Big Dark City; Ben Anderson, YouTopia; Matt Westerman, Life Out Loud; Vinnie Paolizzi, Kids

BEST EP (Female) – Jacquie, The Only One; Katie Costello, New World; Cara Frew, Dance; Helen Culver, Seven Year Glitch; Libbie Schrader, Red Thread

BEST EP (Group) – Mare Island, Eponymous; TYA, No Money, More Love; RVBY My Dear, Cycles; Social Repose, Empress; Surf Rock is Dead, We Have No Friends?

BEST EP (International) – House Hounds, Saturate; Wolf & Moon, Frames; HUNDREDS, Wilderness; The Raft; Orion; The Raft, A Lullaby

BEST CD (Male) – Canyon City, Constellation; Chuck McDermott, Gin & Rosewater; Case Garrett, Aurora; Rusty Young, Waitin’ for the Sun; Bryan Stephens, Village of Dreams

BEST CD (Female) – Monica Chapman, Small World; Chelsea Williams, Boomerang; Cindy Alexander, Deep Waters; Marina V, Born to the Stars; Katie Costello, Twice the Love; Amilia K. Spicer, Wow and Flutter

BEST CD (Group) – The Commotions, Vol 2; Great Willow, Find Yourself in Los Angeles; Andrea Harsell and Luna Roja, Something for the Pain; FreeWorld, What it Is; Chris Daniels and the Kings, Blues with Horns

BEST HOLIDAY ALBUM – Katie Garibaldi, Home Sweet Christmas; Balsam Range, It’s Christmas Time; Jennifer Hanson, Under the Tree; Beth Marie Anderson, Christmas with You; Bloodshot Records, 13 Days of Xmas; Blue Elan Records, A Blue Elan Christmas

BEST VIDEO (OFFICIAL) (Male)Matt Hawkins, Steel Ya Blues; Brandon Bonine, Remember my Name; Canyon City, Midnight Flight; Josh Johnstone, Just What it is; Rod Melancon, Dwayne & Me

BEST VIDEO (OFFICIAL) (Female) – Janey Street, Undone; Dree Mon, Rebel Soul; Lexie Rose, Wrong; Katie Costello, Hearts on Fire; Rachel Ariana, Imperfect; Suzanne Santos, Ghost in my Bed

BEST VIDEO (OFFICIAL) (Group) – FlecHaus, Tell me Something; Satellite Citi, Undead; Elizabeth and the Catapult, Ambrosia; Oh Geronomo, No More Stones; Pet Fangs, Gold Coast Dreaming; The Flatlines, Indoors

BEST VIDEO (LIVE) – Sierra Blanca, Paint the Road; Bernie Faulkner, Potbelly Stove; CALICO the Band, The Leaving Kind; Rosi Golan, Underneath; Chelsea Williams, Anything Worth Saving

BEST VIDEO (LYRIC) – Mellott, Shooting Stars; Rachel Price, Love is War; The Rebel Light, Where did all the Love Go; Chris Chilton, Adonai; Jared Finck, New Kids

BEST VIDEO (HOLIDAY) – Redhead Express, Love is Christmas; Chelsea Williams, Peppermints and Mistletoe; Kate Steinway, White Christmas; Pam Taylor, Let’s Get it on for Christmas

BEST VIDEO (INTERNATIONAL)Straw, Bang Bang; Straw, 1965; Captive (ft. Hannah Trigwell), I Could be the One

BEST VIDEO (COLLABORATION)Blue Elan Artists, Shine Down on Us; David Garfield and J. Paris, I Lied; Beckett and Claire Ridgely, Butterflies

BEST SINGLE (Male)Mikey Wax, “Spaceman;” Zvchvivh, “Think of Me;” Tim Maiden, “So Far Gone;” Matt Zambon, “Blue and Yellow;” Jason Crosby, “Final Step”

BEST SINGLE (Female) – Hannah Lucia, “Your Love;” Heather Bonds, “Keep it Quiet;” Ashleigh Watson, “Little Love;” Liz Kennedy (ft. Taj Mahal), “Everyone Knows how it Goes”

BEST SINGLE (Group) – Featurette, “Upside Down;” Delsinki, “Wishing Upon a Star;” Echo City, “Burn Me;” Astral Queen, “Take it all the Way;” The Sound of Ghosts, “Train to Nowhere”

BEST INTERNATIONAL ARTIST/BAND – The Fisherman and the Sea, Belle Miners, The Raft, HUNDREDS, Wolf & Moon

BEST COUNTRY ARTISTCase Garrett, Tim Bennett, Whitney Lusk, Kaylee Keller, Ryan Sims

BEST COUNTRY BANDCALICO the Band, Steve Azar and the Kings Men, Honey County

BEST BLUES ARTISTPam Taylor, John Verity, Stacy Jones, Alastair Greene, R. D. Olson, Dave Hunt

BEST BLUES BAND – Paradise Kings, FreeWorld, Andrea Harsell and Luna Roja, BB and the Blues Shacks, Chris Daniels and the Kings, The McKee Brothers

BEST POP ARTIST (FEMALE) – Marina V, Cindy Alexander, Katie Costello, Alex Mabey, Maggie McClure, Rosi Golan

BEST POP ARTIST (MALE)Curtis Peoples, Fernando Perdomo, Matt Westerman, Bryan Stephens, Ben Anderson, LeRiche

BEST POP BAND – Flood Coats, Seasonal Beast, Elizabeth and the Catapult, Warbly Jets, High Dive Heart, Laini and the Wildfire

BEST ROCK ARTIST – Billy Burnette, Rusty Young, Ben Lorentzen, Russ Carrick, Robert Francis, Peter Simpson

BEST ROCK BANDThe Khourys, Surf Rock is Dead, Social Repose, The Slants, Xs and Arrows, Dopapod

BEST R&B/SOUL ARTISTRay Goren, Leslie Clio, Zoey Clarke, Louise Lemon

BEST R&B/SOUL/RETRO BANDThe Marias, The Commotions, Burgess Meredith

BEST ROOTS/AMERICANA ARTIST (FEMALE) – Lydia Loveless, Shannon McNally, Liz Kennedy, Chelsea Williams, Amilia K. Spicer, Suzanne Santos

BEST ROOTS/AMERICANA ARTIST (MALE) – Rich McCulley, Marc Berger, Chuck McDermott, Jason Hawk Harris, Sam Marine, Vinnie Paolizzi

BEST ROOTS/AMERICANA BANDGreat Willow, The County Liners, JD and the Straight Shot, The Empty Pockets, Dead Rock West

BEST BLUEGRASS ARTIST/BAND – The Jerry Douglas Band, The Grascals, My Girl My Whiskey and Me, Tommy Emmanuel and David Grisman

BEST JAZZ/INSTRUMENTAL ARTIST/BAND – Tout, Noon, Monica Chapman, John McLaughlin, KRON

BEST DANCE ARTIST/BAND – The Innocent Bystanders, TYA, Elephant Stone, Niteshifters, Cara Frew

BEST REGGAE ARTIST/BANDNever Ending Fall

BEST PUNK BAND – Franks and Deans, Emmer Effer, Hang Tight, The Paranoid Style

BEST HARD ROCK/METAL BAND – SBK, Vacant Home, Aviator, The Black Hand, Downfall 2012

BEST FOLK ARTIST – Ben Bostick, Canyon City, Garrison Starr, Fred Smith, Sierra Blanca, Brandon Luedtke

BEST FOLK BANDTony Lovato and MEST, Fire Chief Charlie, Amber Run, Nescora, FXRRVST

BEST TRADITIONAL FOLK BANDStorywrens, The East Pointers

BEST PROG ROCK ARTIST/BANDOrissa, Dave Kerzner

RISING STAR – Ray Goren, Kaylee Keller, Rachel Arianna, Gina Sicilia, Chelsea Williams

FAN FAVORITE:   This year’s competition was fierce, with 30 artists nominated.  However, it came down to a battle between two artists, and went neck and neck until the final day.  In fifth place was Flechaus.  Kate Steinway took fourth place by a slim margin to third place finisher Andrea Harsell & Luna Roja.  Second place goes to The Khourys.  This year’s winner is RACHEL ARIANNA.

Thank you all for voting and for your support of indie music.  We’ll be back on Monday with our next edition of Monday Mashup.  Have a great weekend.

Get it or forget it – Tommy Emmanuel, Maria Schafer, Carolyn Gaines, Lex Grey and the Urban Pioneers, Frank Hannon

Since the winners of the LA Music Critic Awards for the second half of 2017 will be announced tomorrow at 6 p.m. MST, today will be our final Get it or Forget it for the week.  We have five more reviews today and then we’ll be back next Tuesday.

Artist NameTommy Emmanuel

Album Name Accomplice One

Label:  CGP Sounds

Genre:  Americana/Bluegrassd

Track Listing:  1.  Deep River Blues (w/Jason Isbell); 2.  Song and Dance Man (w/Ricky Skaggs); 3.  Saturday Night Shuffle (w/Jorma Kaukonen & Pat Bergeson); 4.  Wheelin’ & Dealin’ (w/J.D. Simo & Charlie Cushman); 5.  C-Jam Blues (w/David Grisman & Bryan Sutton); 6.  (Sittin’ On) the Dock of the Bay (w/J.D. Simo); 7.  Borderline (w/Amanda Shires); 8.  You Don’t Want to get you one of Those (w/Mark Knopfler); 9.  Keepin’ it Reel (w/Clive Carrol); 10.  Looking Forward to the Past (w/Rodney Crowell); 11.  Purple Haze (w/Jerry Douglas); 12.  Rachel’s Lullaby (w/Jake Shimabukuro); 13. Djangology (w/Frank Vignola & Vinny Ranioio); 14.  Watson Blues (w/David Grisman & Bryan Sutton); 15.  Tittle Tattle (w/Jack Pearson); 16.  The Duke’s Message (w/Suzy Bogguss)

Publicist:  MSO PR

Review:  Tommy Emmanuel is a one of a kind musician who has consistently received critical praise.  We just reviewed his last CD with David Grisman last December, which earned him an LA Music Critic Award nomination.  He’s back already with an incredible album of duets with some of the elite members of the Bluegrass and Americana community.  From Jason Isbell to Rodney Crowell, Emmanuel plays with the best because he is the best.  This is an album you put on and just sit back and relax.  You cannot go wrong with this set of 16 amazing genre spanning songs.  Especially impressive are the covers of some very well known songs, like “(Sittin’ On) the Dock of the Bay,” the amazing fiddle and vocals of Amanda Shires on Madonna’s “Borderline,” and Jimi Hendrix’ “Purple Haze” with the one and only Jerry Douglas, another nominee for an LA Music Critic Award and a recent Grammy nominee.

Recommendation:  This one belongs in the music library of every music lover.  Get it now!

Artist NameMaria Schafer

Album NameTo Know Love

Label:  Marsch Music

Genre:  Jazz

Track Listing:  1.  You Don’t Know What Love Is; 2.  The More I see You; 3.  Estrada Branca; 4.  I Fall in Love too Easily; 5.  Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered; 6.  In Summer (Estate); 7.  You’d be so Nice to Come Home to/Alone Together; 8.  Body and Soul; 9.  It Could Happen to You; 10.  Almost Like Being in Love; 11.  Lush Life; 12.  S’ Wonderful/They Can’t Take That Away From Me

Publicist:  Self-promoted

Review:  This unbelievable debut album shows so much maturity for a young vocalist.  To tackle these jazz standards and deliver says a lot about her talent and potential.  This is the sound you would expect from a seasonal veteran, not someone just releasing their first album.  As an avid jazz lover, this album will definitely go into our top tier of jazz greats.  We love the concept of an entire album full of love songs, just before Valentine’s Day.  This album will make a great soundtrack for your celebration, especially her rendition of the Loewe and Lerner classic “Almost Like Being in Love.”

Recommendation:  Don’t hesitate – Get it now!

Artist NameCarolyn Gaines

Album NameBeware of my Dog

Label:  Polka Dot Records

Genre:  Blues

Track Listing:  1.  Beware of my Dog; 2.  I’m Your Cat, Baby; 3.  Stone out Your Raggly Mind; 4.  Catch That Train; 5.  Hoochie Coochie Woman; 6.  Done got Old; 7.  I Want Your Money, Honey; 8.  Mr. Dill Pickle; 9.  Jerry Rice “Busy Man;” 10.  Charlie Mae & Chicago; 11.  Something on Your Mind

Publicist:  Blind Raccoon

Review:  Another amazing debut album and it quickly becomes apparent that this lady can definitely sing the blues.  Her husky register is custom built for the blues, and floats effortlessly on the incredible musical accompaniment, highlighted by bursts of incredible tenor sax, harmonica, organ and guitar.  Check out her sexy raspy voice on “I’m Your Cat, Baby” and even though her voice is unique, her style shows that she has spent considerable time studying the blues vocalist that have come before her.  This is down and dirty blues, and we couldn’t be happier.  This album will make all the traditional blues lovers feel the same.  Put this on as a musical backdrop for your weekend celebration.

Recommendation:  Don’t think twice – just Get up and Get it!

Artist NameLex Grey & the Urban Pioneers

Album NameUsual Suspects

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Blues Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Usual Suspects; 2.  Chow Down; 3.  Dirty Secret; 4.  Srv; 5.  Warrior Squaw; 6.  Sunshine and Blue; 7.  Cheap Thrills; 8.  My Jelly Roll; 9.  Renegade Heart

Publicist:  Frank Roszak Promotions

Review:  Listening to Lex Grey is almost like listening to Janis Joplin playing the 1960’s style of Rolling Stones, with a healthy mix of rock, jazz, and blues, and those smoky vocals that grab your attention and never let go.  From the first notes of the title track until the final note of the album, Grey gives notice that she has come to rock the blues.  Quite frankly, we can’t get enough of this artist, and can’t wait for the opportunity to see her and her amazing band perform live.  Our favorite cuts were “Usual Suspects, “Chow Down,” “Srv” (her rocking homage to Stevie Ray Vaughan),  “Warrior Squaw” (because it’s just so different from everything else on the album), “Cheap Thrills,” “My Jelly Roll,” and “Renegade Heart.” (I know – basically everything.)

Recommendation:  If you love the blues, you definitely need this one in your collection.  Get It.

Artist NameFrank Hannon

Album NameFrom One Place . . . to Another Vol 1

Label:  Red Hawk Records

Genre:  Americana/Roots Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Blue Sky; 2.  Call me the Breeze; 3.  Under the Milky Way; 4.  Jim Dandy to the Rescue; 5.  You’re my Best Friend; 6.  Garden Party; 7.  Sunrise in Texas; 8.  I Hear you Knockin’; 9.  Joy to the World; 10.  Four Letter Word

Publicist:  The Syndicate

Review:  This is the first of three albums to be released in 2018 by Tesla guitarist Frank Hannon, consisting of cover songs that have influenced his life.  His guests on this album include Paul Jackson (Blackberry Smoke), Duane Betts (son of The Allman Brothers Band member Dickey Betts, Matthew and Gunnar Nelson (sons of Ricky Nelson and Roger Fisher (Heart), among others.  It is only fitting that The Allman Brothers Band’s classic “Blue Sky” be the first song on this album, which captures the essence of what made them so great.  The artists covered on this album include JJ Cale, The Church, Black Oak Arkansas, Queen, Ricky Nelson, Blackberry Smoke, Fats Domino, Three Dog Night and Lukas Nelson.  Every song brings back memories, and we love Hannon’s arrangements.

Recommendation:  Make sure you Get this one and the other two as soon as they come out.

 

Get it or forget it – Ghalia and Mama’s Boys, Modesta, New York Electric Piano, Noah Aire, U-N-T

OMG – It took us 825 days to reach 40,000 views, but due to the popularity of the LA Music Critic Awards (over 255 views per day), we have already reached 50,000 views in only 51 days.  Thank you for your response to our blog.  We love bringing you the best in indie music, and shining the spotlight on the worthy, hard-working indie artists around the world.  Speaking of which, here are reviews of five more artists.

Artist Name Ghalia and Mama’s Boys

Album Name Let the Demons Out

Label:  Ruf Records

Genre:  Blues/Rock

Track Listing:  1,  4 am Fried Chicken; 2.  Let the Demons Out; 3.  Press That Trigger; 4.  Have you Seen my Woman; 5.  Hoodoo Evil Man; 6.  Addiction; 7.  All the Good Things; 8.  I’m Shakin’; 9.  Waiting; 10.  See That man Alone; 11.  Hey Little Baby; 12.  Hiccup Boogie

Publicist:  Frank Roszak Promotions

Review:  This young lady and her band have truly captured the spirit of the blues.  From her home in Belgium, she has relocated to New Orleans and added her talents to the existing sound of Mama’s Boys.  She has been a part of the blues scene across the South since her arrival in 2013.  She met the band in 2016 and they began collaborating, resulting in them being signed to Ruf Records.  Thus began a partnership which has resulted in this amazing album, which fuses together traditional and progressive blues to create a sound that will have you rocking from the first note.  Ghalia’s voice is perfectly suited to the blues, with all the passion and grit of every great blues singer before her.  We love every song on this album – it’s going on repeat!

Recommendation:  We are sure that this band and this album will quickly become one of your favorites.  Get it now and spread the word.

Artist NameModesta

Album Name VHS

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Indie Pop-Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Broadway to Bombay; 2.  VHS; 3.  Walking Through the Moon; 4.  All That Shines (is Golden)

Publicist:  Self-promoted

Review:  As a huge fan of 80’s pop music, it is so awesome to hear this new duo pay homage to that music, while at the same time adding in contemporary electronica to the mix.  This four-song EP is simply not long enough to whet our appetite for the amazing sound of Modesta.  i\It’s easy to understand why they have almost half a million spins on Spotify.  The groove starts with “Broadway to Bombay,” slows down to a cool vibe on the title track before stepping it back upbeat with “Walking Through the Moon.”  They close their EP with the upbeat and fun “All That Shines (is Golden).”  What a fun EP!

Recommendation:  Jump onboard the train – Get your copy today!

Artist NameNew York Electric Piano

Album NameState of the Art

Label:  Fervor Records

Genre:  Jazz

Track Listing:  1.  Road to Joy; 2.  State of the Art; 3.  Wish for a Thousand Wishes; 4.  Ignite It; 5.  Reverence; 6.  Mama Bear Love Army; 7.  Dig the Whole; 8.  Reggie ‘n Rex Express

Publicist:  Noisy Ghost PR

Review:  It’s been a while since I heard great jazz music, and New York Electric Piano is being added to my list of great jazz artists.  In Los Angeles, we had a piano bar called Howl at the moon that featured dueling pianos playing cover songs.  This album is even better than that because there are three electric pianos collaborating with their amazing drummer to create beautiful original jazz music.

Recommendation:  If you love jazz music, then this is a must-have for your collection.  Get it.

Artist NameNoah Airé

Album NameI Shine Brightest in the Dark

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Pop

Track Listing:  1.  It’s Dark out Here; 2.  U Don’t Know my Story; 3.  We are not the Same; 4.  #IPray4DBest; 5.  Thank GOD I’m up Today; 6.  Hey! I’m the North Star; 7.  U Know I Need U; 8.  It’s a Miracle (13 Clouds); 9.  I Wrote a Love Song; 10.  . . . and Then There was LIGHT; 11.  I Shine Brightest in the Dark; 12.  Call me Sometime (ft. Chain TraQ) (with Wonderboy)

Publicist:  Self-promoted

Review:  Nigerian singer-songwriter Noah Airé is a true gift to the pool of talent comprises international artists.  His beat heavy pop is positive and upbeat, telling the stories of triumph over adversity, and should serve as a lesson to those who have it easy.  Several of the songs would do quite well as placements in film and television, while several more would be worthy additions to the playlists of radio stations across America.  These songs would also work well for DJs preparing their dance mix for the next dance.  Our favorites include “U Don’t Know my Story,” “We are not the Same,” “#IPray4DBest,” “U Know I Need U,” “It’s a Miracle (13 Clouds),” “I Wrote a Love Song,” “. . . and Then There was LIGHT,” and the title track.

Recommendation:  Grab this treat now.  He belongs in every American music library.

Artist NameU-N-T

Album NameY.Ni.Te.

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Ne Plus Me Voir; 2.  Présent Passé; 3.  Superhéro; 4.  Je M’enfuis; 5.  Again and Again

Publicist:  Presstown Media

Review:  U-N-T hails from Toronto and is composed of Michel Scotta Delorme, Rick Smith and Marc-L Porter.  Although most of their songs are in French, the music comes through in any language, with screaming guitar riffs and vocals that proclaim their chosen message.  The band has been recommended for lovers of Black Sabbath, Queen, Rush and Yes, and we could not agree more.  This is their debut EP, and we can hardly wait for the next installment.  They close the EP with “Again and Again,” written in English.  It confirms our suspicion that their lyrics are wonderful in any language.

Recommendation:  Take a chance on this foreign language rock band.  Even if you can’t understand the words, the music is worth it.

 

Monday mashup 2018 – vol. 4

Hope you all got to watch the Grammy Awards last night.  That was an impressive show, especially the performance by Kesha, Cindy Lauper, et al. of her song “Praying.”  It really brought tears to my eyes with its sheer beauty and power.  Let’s all try to honor the message that came through loud and clear – no more harassment and discrimination – just work together in unity.  Here’s our column today.

INDIE ARTISTS WIN GRAMMY AWARDS

While most of these indie artists didn’t get credit, several of them were instrumental in helping someone else get a Grammy win.  Kyler England co-wrote five of the songs on Lisa Loeb’s winning Best Children’s Album, while Ross Hogarth was part of the production team that worked on Taj Mahal and Keb Mo’s winning Best Contemporary Blues album.  Great work indies!

In addition, LA Music Critic Award nominee The Jerry Douglas Band lost their Grammy bid for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album to Jeff Lorber, while fellow LA Music Critic Award nominee John McLaughlin won his Grammy bid for Best Improvised Jazz Solo for “Miles Beyond” from the album Live at Ronnie Scott’s, which we previously reviewed in December.

The winners for the LA Music Critic Awards will be announced at 6 p.m. on Friday, February 2, 2018.

LYNN CAREY SAYLOR WINS SONGWRITING COMPETITION

Congratulations to indie songwriter Lynn Carey Saylor, who recently won the Song Door International Songwriting Competition in the Hard Rock/Alt Rock category for her song, “Tidal Wave.”  Saylor has been a hit songwriter for many years,

NEW SINGLES

It’s been a busy week for indie artists, including several past and present nominees for the LA Music Critic Awards.  Here are a few of the latest singles to be released.

The first one is from former nominee Crimson Calamity, which released their latest single, “Fool’s Gold.”  We love their sound and think you will too.

Next up is past LA Music Critic Award and Grammy nominee and Blue Élan Records artist Janiva Magness with her new single, “Down Below.”  We expect this one will qualify her for additional nominations.

Next is the latest from Austin band Signy, featuring Delaney Gibson, with their single, “Human.”  We love how different this is from her solo material, and think you will too.

Multiple LA Music Critic Award winner and nominee Katie Costello has lent her voice to the new single “Bon Air” by Hardsoul.  This one is an amazing dance track that will have you on the floor in no time.

Last but not least this week is the latest single from another multiple winner of the LA Music Critic Awards, Keaton Simons.  His new EP 1-2-3 Go will be released on March 9, and he is whetting our appetite with “Crane City.”

MUSIC VIDEOS

Our first video this week comes from Italian rock goddesses Black Mamba, who we reviewed last week.  This video is for their single, “Loop.”  Get ready to rock out.

Next up is the latest from the songwriting guru, Kari Kimmel of her song, “Voices.”  Check out the amazing cinematography of this one.

Our third video this week is from former San Diego Music Award winner Gayle Skidmore for her song “Pale Ghosts.”  Once again, the cinematography is first-rate.

Our next video comes from first-time LA Music Critic Award nominee Ryan Sims, who we also reviewed earlier this month.  Here is his vision of his song, “Black and Blue.”

Last but not least is the new video from Lucy Levinsohn, former lead singer for Lily’s Siren and Waiting 4 Wyatt.  She has returned to a solo career and brings us “Dear God.”

Thanks for joining us today.  We’ll be back tomorrow with five more Get it or Forget it reviews.

Suzanne Santo at the Top Hat – live performance review

Last night we attended the solo show for Suzanne Santo of honeyhoney, who performed to a packed house at the Top Hat Lounge in Missoula, Montana.  Mapache opened the night for her.  They are a duo of acoustic musicians on guitar and dobro who possess some of the best harmonies we have ever heard.  They just released their debut album in October, and we will be reviewing it next week.  These guys were so good that Santo brought them up during her set to do a trio with them that was breathtaking as they did a cover of “Helplessly Hoping” by Crosby, Stills & Nash.  We highly recommend you check them out.

Santo took the stage about 10:35 p.m., along with Blaine on rhythm guitar and foot bass and Paul on drums.  Santo used three different guitars and her fiddle during her nearly 90 min set, which included a two-song encore.

Santo previously released her debut solo album Ruby Red back in August, and we reviewed it here on our blog on August 23.  She released a music video for the lead single, “Ghost in my Bed,” which garnered a nomination for the LA Music Critic Awards for Best Video Official (Female), while Santo was nominated for Best Roots/Americana Artist (Female).

Santo and her band played nearly all of the songs on her album, as well as an amazing cover of Johnny Cash’s “Give my Love to Rose,” and a medley of honeyhoney songs, including “I Don’t Want to Fight,” “All on You,” and “Burned me Out,” which she performed solo.

She apologized for her late start, and explained that they had played the Tractor Tavern in Seattle on Thursday night and had a hard commute over, arriving after their scheduled sound check.

Among the highlights were performances of “Ghost in my Bed” (featuring some outstanding fiddle), “Blood on Your Knees,” “Bullets,” and “Yours or Mine.”  Blaine was also amazing on guitar and playing bass with his footboard.

Santo talked about her performances last year with honeyhoney, including stops at the Top Hat Lounge and a performance at the Bob Marshall Festival in Seeley Lake.  In fact, there was a large group from Seeley Lake at the show that had gotten hooked on her sound when she performed there.

Santo also informed the crowd that Ben Jaffe, her partner in honeyhoney, would be releasing his solo project soon, and encouraged everyone to check it out.

It was an amazing evening of music.  We strongly encourage you to check out both Santo and Mapache the next time they stop in Missoula.

Announcement of LA Music Critic Award nominations for second half of 2017

We think that 2017 will go down as one of the most prolific years in outstanding music being released by indie artists.  We received and reviewed so many that we had to change the review period.  Consequently, we considered more than 235 albums and EPs that were released between July 1 and November 30, 2017, in compiling our nominations for the LA Music Critic Awards.  Albums and EPs released from December 1, 2017 through May 31, 2018 will be considered for the first half awards of 2018.

Fans are encouraged to vote for the Fan Favorite Award.  To vote for your favorite,  simply leave a comment below in the following format:  “I vote for (name of artist) for Fan Favorite.”  No other comments will be counted toward the Fan Favorite Award, and each reader may only vote once.   Comments made on other social media sites will not count.

Fans are also encouraged to comment on other award nominations, and those comments will be reviewed by the Awards committee.  However, they will not count for the Fan Favorite Award unless the comment specifically says that the artist is being nominated for the Fan Favorite Award. 

The deadline for voting for the Fan Favorite Award is Wednesday, January 31, 2018, at midnight MST.  The full list of winners will be announced at 6 p.m. MST on Friday, February 2, 2018.

Without further delay, here are the nominations.

BEST EP (Male) – Ryan Sims, My Side of the Story; Sam Marine, Big Dark City; Ben Anderson, YouTopia; Matt Westerman, Life Out Loud; Vinnie Paolizzi, Kids

BEST EP (Female) – Jacquie, The Only One; Katie Costello, New World; Cara Frew, Dance; Helen Culver, Seven Year Glitch; Libbie Schrader, Red Thread

BEST EP (Group) – Mare Island, Eponymous; TYA, No Money, More Love; RVBY My Dear, Cycles; Social Repose, Empress; Surf Rock is Dead, We Have No Friends?

BEST EP (International) – House Hounds, Saturate; Wolf & Moon, Frames; HUNDREDS, Wilderness; The Raft; Orion; The Raft, A Lullaby

BEST CD (Male) – Canyon City, Constellation; Chuck McDermott, Gin & Rosewater; Case Garrett, Aurora; Rusty Young, Waitin’ for the Sun; Bryan Stephens, Village of Dreams

BEST CD (Female) – Monica Chapman, Small World; Chelsea Williams, Boomerang; Cindy Alexander, Deep Waters; Marina V, Born to the Stars; Katie Costello, Twice the Love; Amilia K. Spicer, Wow and Flutter

BEST CD (Group) – The Commotions, Vol 2; Great Willow, Find Yourself in Los Angeles; Andrea Harsell and Luna Roja, Something for the Pain; FreeWorld, What it Is; Chris Daniels and the Kings, Blues with Horns

BEST HOLIDAY ALBUM – Katie Garibaldi, Home Sweet Christmas; Balsam Range, It’s Christmas Time; Jennifer Hanson, Under the Tree; Beth Marie Anderson, Christmas with You; Bloodshot Records, 13 Days of Xmas; Blue Elan Records, A Blue Elan Christmas

BEST VIDEO (OFFICIAL) (Male) – Matt Hawkins, Steel Ya Blues; Brandon Bonine, Remember my Name; Canyon City, Midnight Flight; Josh Johnstone, Just What it is; Rod Melancon, Dwayne & Me

BEST VIDEO (OFFICIAL) (Female) – Janey Street, Undone; Dree Mon, Rebel Soul; Lexie Rose, Wrong; Katie Costello, Hearts on Fire; Rachel Ariana, Imperfect; Suzanne Santo, Ghost in my Bed

BEST VIDEO (OFFICIAL) (Group) – FlecHaus, Tell me Something; Satellite Citi, Undead; Elizabeth and the Catapult, Ambrosia; Oh Geronomo, No More Stones; Pet Fangs, Gold Coast Dreaming; The Flatliners, Indoors

BEST VIDEO (LIVE) – Sierra Blanca, Paint the Road; Bernie Faulkner, Potbelly Stove; Calico the Band, The Leaving Kind; Rosi Golan, Underneath; Chelsea Williams, Anything Worth Saving

BEST VIDEO (LYRIC) – Mellott, Shooting Stars; Rachel Price, Love is War; The Rebel Light, Where did all the Love Go; Chris Chilton, Adonai; Jared Finck, New Kids

BEST VIDEO (HOLIDAY) – Redhead Express, Love is Christmas; Chelsea Williams, Peppermints and Mistletoe; Kate Steinway, White Christmas; Pam Taylor, Let’s Get it on for Christmas

BEST VIDEO (INTERNATIONAL) – Straw, Bang Bang; Straw, 1965; Captive (ft. Hannah Trigwell), I Could be the One

BEST VIDEO (COLLABORATION) – Blue Elan Artists, Shine Down on Us; David Garfield and J. Paris, I Lied; Beckett and Claire Ridgely, Butterflies

BEST SINGLE (Male) – Mikey Wax, “Spaceman;” Zvchvivh, “Think of Me;” Tim Maiden, “So Far Gone;” Matt Zambon, “Blue and Yellow;” Jason Crosby, “Final Step”

BEST SINGLE (Female) – Hannah Lucia, “Your Love;” Heather Bond, “Keep it Quiet;” Ashleigh Watson, “Little Love;” Liz Kennedy (ft. Taj Mahal), “Everyone Knows how it Goes”

BEST SINGLE (Group) –   Featurette, “Upside Down;” Delsinki, “Wishing Upon a Star;” Echo City, “Burn Me;” Astral Queen, “Take it all the Way;” The Sound of Ghosts, “Train to Nowhere”

BEST INTERNATIONAL ARTIST/BAND – The Fisherman and the Sea, Belle Miners, The Raft, HUNDREDS, Wolf & Moon

BEST COUNTRY ARTIST – Case Garrett, Tim Bennett, Whitney Lusk, Kaylee Keller, Ryan Sims

BEST COUNTRY BAND – CALICO the Band, Steve Azar and the Kings Men, Honey County

BEST BLUES ARTIST – Pam Taylor, John Verity, Stacy Jones, Alastair Greene, R. D. Olson, Dave Hunt

BEST BLUES BAND – Paradise Kings, FreeWorld, Andrea Harsell and Luna Roja, BB and the Blues Shacks, Chris Daniels and the Kings, The McKee Brothers

BEST POP ARTIST (Female) – Marina V, Cindy Alexander, Katie Costello, Alex Mabey, Maggie McClure, Rosi Golan

BEST POP ARTIST (Male) – Curtis Peoples, Fernando Perdomo, Matt Westerman, Bryan Stephens, Ben Anderson, LeRiche

BEST POP BAND – Flood Coats, Seasonal Beast, Elizabeth and the Catapult, Warbly Jets, High Dive Heart, Laini and the Wildfire

BEST ROCK ARTIST – Billy Burnette, Rusty Young, Ben Lorentzen, Russ Carrick, Robert Francis, Peter Simpson

BEST ROCK BAND – The Khourys, Surf Rock is Dead, Social Repose, The Slants, Xs and Arrows, Dopapod

BEST R&B/SOUL ARTIST – Ray Goren, Leslie Clio, Zoey Clarke, Louise Lemon

BEST R&B/SOUL/RETRO BAND – The Marias, The Commotions, Burgess Meredith

BEST ROOTS/AMERICANA ARTIST (Female) – Lydia Loveless, Shannon McNally, Liz Kennedy, Chelsea Williams, Amilia K. Spicer, Suzanne Santo

BEST ROOTS/AMERICANA ARTIST (Male) – Rich McCulley, Marc Berger, Chuck McDermott, Jason Hawk Harris, Sam Marine, Vinnie Paolizzi

BEST ROOTS/AMERICANA BAND – Great Willow, The County Liners, JD and the Straight Shot, The Empty Pockets, Dead Rock West

BEST BLUEGRASS ARTIST/BAND – The Jerry Douglas Band, The Grascals, My Girl My Whiskey and Me, Tommy Emmanuel and David Grisman

BEST JAZZ/INSTRUMENTAL ARTIST/BAND – Tout, Noon, Monica Chapman, John McLaughlin, KRON, Dave Yaden

BEST DANCE ARTIST/BAND – The Innocent Bystanders, TYA, Elephant Stone, Niteshifters, Cara Frew

BEST REGGAE ARTIST/BAND – Never Ending Fall

BEST PUNK BAND – Franks and Deans, Emmer Effer, Hang Tight, The Paranoid Style

BEST HARD ROCK/METAL BAND – SBK, Vacant Home, Aviator, The Black Hand, Downfall 2012

BEST FOLK ARTIST – Ben Bostick, Canyon City, Garrison Starr, Fred Smith, Sierra Blanca, Brandon Luedtke

BEST FOLK BAND – Tony Lovato and MEST, Fire Chief Charlie, Amber Run, Nescora, FXRRVST

BEST TRADITIONAL FOLK BAND – Storywrens, The East Pointers

BEST PROG ROCK ARTIST/BAND – Orissa, Dave Kerzner

RISING STAR – Ray Goren, Kaylee Keller, Rachel Ariana, Gina Sicilia, Chelsea Williams

We encourage to subscribe so you can keep up with the Awards and with our blog year-round.  We’ll be back tomorrow with the first reviews for the next cycle.