The Louisville Music Awards are on the horizon, so why not stir the pot and make a few choices for the first ever all-local music awards ceremony?
The following are my nominations:
• Best Live DJ:
Brey McCoy (DJ PhreeyaMined)
Some local DJ’s seem to fear venturing too far away from traditional club tempos of 120-135 beats per minute, forgetting not all of us can fist pump for four hours consecutively.
Most of us enjoy a good groove other than the four-on-the-floor beat.
McCoy has a variety of DJ projects including DJ PhreeyaMined, and he also handles drums and electronic percussion duties for Nerves Junior.
Through PhreeyaMined, McCoy explores a variety of styles including 70’s Funk, 80’s Pop, 90’s R&B, and more.
That alone is enough to merit McCoy above a plethora of local DJ’s dependent on matching the predictable kick drum starting on the one and the snare on the two.
• Cover Band of the Year:
Tony and the Tanlines
I’ve only sat through a few cover acts in Louisville outside of my sister’s wedding back in 2007, but Tony and the Tanlines takes the cake for Louisville’s top cover act.
Whether it is rocking out Gerstle’s in St. Matthews or Churchill Downs Millionaire Row, Tony and the Tanlines is one of the most energetic, fun-filled and ridiculous acts in town.
A “Careless Whisper” cover… classic.
This wild group of yacht-rockers sex it up like no other, and often stick to 80’s covers and dress up as sailors who love to rock a dance-floor.
• Rockers of the Year (Indie/Alternative):
The more I listen to Silver Tongues debut record “Black Kite,” the more I am amazed by the dynamics, engineering and infusion of styles – rock, folk, 80’s metal riffs.
The Cronin brothers know how to effectively experiment with sounds while keeping it in a pocket that most rock-n-roll listeners can enjoy.
The heavy percussion, warm toned guitar-work and sibling harmonies make Silver Tongues one of the fullest sounding bands in town with the occasional sentimental moment.
“Black Kite” delivers a heavy punch of emotion and progressive rock-n-roll, and were one of the best Louisville acts I saw in the past year.
• Metal/Hardcore Band of the Year:
I’ve yet to really dive into Louisville’s hardcore scene, but I couldn’t help but dig a few tracks off of Xerxes newest record “Our Home is a Deathbed“ and be impressed by the band’s bookings overseas.
Judging from some of the online videos, Xerxes knows how to get a crowd rowdy, perhaps even anarchical.
• Engineer/Producer of the Year:
Louisville saw growth in the engineer/producer field, with Deadbird Studios and Goldsmith Studios cranking out some killer albums this past year.
Yet, you got to give it to Kevin Ratterman and his recording mecca La La Land.
Ratterman’s career exploded this past year as he left behind Wax Fang to focus on his production services as well as a touring stint with Jim James where he was in charge of guitar, percussion and triggering samples duties.
This past year’s clients include New Orleans’ triumphant act The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, 23 String Band, Ultra Pulverize, Houndmouth, Nerves Junior, Funny, Bones, Discount Guns, Joan Shelley, Cheyenne Mize, Ranger and more.
He’s handled just about every genre there is to handle, and there will be no shortage of demand in regards to musicians wanting a taste of La La Land and a professional sounding record.
• Hip-Hop Artist of the Year:
Jalin Roze has taken Louisville hip-hop to a whole new level and is perhaps our city’s most entertaining performer. Props to Josh Larock on producing impressive beats for Roze.
His energetic hip-hop sets landed him sets at UofL, Forecastle, Zanzabar and a variety of other venues around town. Including a music video on the Big Four Bridge.
Seemingly everyone wanted a piece of Rose this year, and why? Because the dude is spitting rhymes as good as the Consequence of Sound, Rolling Stone, Paste Magazine favorites flowing out of Chicago, New York and the West Coast.
Sometimes he’s even better.
• Singer/Songwriter of the Year:
Watching Mize in a Cathedral setting down at SXSW in Austin and listening just a few weeks ago to her NPR mini-desk concert was enough to give her the nod in a competitive group.
Mize recently released her newest record “Among the Grey” and went on tour with Bonnie Prince Billy through Alaska.
With positive reviews from major media sources and a trip of lifetime, Mize can feel good about her 2012-13 and focus on the future.
Hats off to a talented poly-instrumentalist and music therapist who has captured the hearts of many in town.
• Song of the Year:
“Penitentiary” by Houndmouth
You knew this band was going up the ladder when you first heard “Penitentiary” blasting through the airwaves. And up the ladder they’ve climbed – to Lollapalooza, Conan O’Brien, Letterman, and live collaborations with acts such as Dawes.
An EP and full-length album “From the Hills Below the City” have made Houndmouth the area’s second biggest band behind Sir Jim and My Morning Jacket. This is the jam that seemed to get the ball rolling, and it’s turned into one beautiful snowball effect of rock-n-roll.
• Roots Award (Country, Blues, Bluegrass, Folk, Americana):
This is the top award as there are too many talented bands encompassed by this broad-reaching category.
We’re in Kentucky, so this really should be two-to-three different categories considering our market, and given the nationwide folk-craze going on right now as the 2012-2013 season was dominated by harmonies.
In addition, somehow, the Discount Guns (Blues) and the Whiskey Bent Valley Boys (Bluegrass) ended up in the same nomination platform, which is worth a chuckle.
Yet, that’s the cards that have been dealt, and while 23 String Band, Whiskey Bent Valley Boys, Discount Guns, Moonlight Peddlers, Appalatin and Billy Goat Strut Revue all should have had a good chance at trophies, you got to give it to Houndmouth.
See above for reasons why.
Needed Categories and their winners:
• Funk/Jam/Reggae Band of the Year:
The Highlands’ rich funk and jam-band scene kind of got the back burner, but it must be mentioned that one of the city’s youngest bands made some serious moves this year in popularity. As the Lazy Sunday boys were able to sell about a 100 CD’s of their initial release Livn’ With It at their CD release show in about ten minutes.
Sunday made it on WFPK, can’t supply enough CD’s and played with the Wailers and Moon Taxi all in one year.
• Band of the Year:
Tie between Houndmouth/Jalin Roze
Why not let the varying genre supporters duke it out for a grand prize? It would be a tie in my books, as Houndmouth would take it for what they did nationally, and Roze would take it for what he did locally.
These two acts are the hottest flag-bearers for the city’s music scene has right now.