On the regional music scene, no night compares to the Jammies.
Community radio station WYCE-FM’s annual celebration of local/regional songs and albums at The Intersection in Grand Rapids was once again a Tuesday night in musical paradise – especially for Michigan musicians and bands who got a chance to pat each other on the back and show off their wares on stage.
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For Americana/roots band The Crane Wives it was a special night indeed: The up-and-coming fivesome was the night’s big winner, snagging four Jammie awards, including the coveted Jammie of the Year for their debut album, “Safe Ship, Harbored.” These engaging musicians just added to their stash of awards (including my Local Spin of the Year) and I have a hunch there are more to come.
Several hundred fans and musicians packed the nightclub for what’s become a time-honored tradition in West Michigan: Regaling the best recordings from the past year with award presentations and performances by more than two dozen artists.
While WYCE station manager Kevin Murphy fretted early in the evening that things had fallen behind schedule, the truth is, it really doesn’t matter.
Pretty much everybody in the house just wanted to rub elbows with fellow musicians and cheer on those lucky enough to grace the main showroom and front lounge stages:
Ghost Heart, Chain of Lakes, Creolization, Steve Talaga, The Fainting Generals, Four Finger Five, Grupo Aye, Orpheum Bell, Joshua Davis, Greg Nagy, Valentiger, An Dro, The Crane Wives, The Fuzzrites, Alexis, The Wealthy Orphans, The Willeys, Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys, Dave Hardin, Fiona Dickinson, Jes Kramer, Gifts or Creatures, Who Hit John?, Red Tail Ring, Midnight Cattle Callers and Afterhours Experience.
Here’s the full list of Jammie winners and you can watch some video highlights below.
WYCE Album of the Year & Special Jury Prize Winner: The Crane Wives – “Safe Ship, Harbored”
Song of the Year: “Safe Ship, Harbored” – The Crane Wives
Best Funk/Jam: Ultraviolet Hippopotamus – “Square Pegs Round Holes”
Best Blues Album: Root Doctor featuring Freddie Cunningham – “Joy”
Best Jazz Album: Grupo Ayé – “Guajiro Del Corazón”
Best Rock/Pop Album: Valentiger – “Oh, to Know!
Best Roots Album: The Red Sea Pedestrians – “The Electromagnetic Escape”
Best Americana Album: Joshua Davis – “Magnolia Belles”
Best Alternative Album: The Go Rounds – “The Go Rounds”
The “Traditions!” Award: An Dro – “Tribe”
Outstanding Male Artist: David Molinari
Outstanding Female Artist: Jes Kramer
Best Album by a New Artist: Alexis – “The Night”
Legacy Award – Music: The Willeys
Listener Choice: Best New Artist of 2011 – Red Tail Ring
Listener Choice: Best Album of 2011 – The Crane Wives – “Safe Ship, Harbored”
Best Short Form: Chain of Lakes – “Kind of Quiet”
Best Production / Engineering: Ian Gorman
Legacy Award – Community Partner: John Sinkevics
(I’m so humbled by the completely unexpected honor of receiving one of WYCE’s first-ever Legacy Awards. It means so much to me to be recognized by an organization for which I have so much respect and admiration. The West Michigan music scene is as vibrant as any anywhere and I hope I can continue to provide the coverage and support it richly deserves. Kevin, you did indeed have me completely hoodwinked when you sent me that email listing someone else as a recipient of the award. But I forgive you. And thank you, thank you, thank you.)