The 20th Jammie Awards show on Friday evening at The Intersection drew lively crowds for award presentations and 30-plus performances. See the full winners’ list and photo gallery at Local Spins.
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For the second year in a row, Albion’s soulful The War and Treaty proved to be the big winner at WYCE’s Jammie Awards, landing honors for album of the year, song of the year and best blues/soul album for its Nashville-produced, full-length debut, “Healing Tide.”
Pop group Michigander, led by Kalamazoo-based singer-songwriter Jason Singer, matched The War & Treaty as a triple winner on Friday evening, with three separate honors for best album by a new artist for the “Midland” EP. Tunde Olaniran and Earth Radio each picked up two awards.
The 20th annual regional music awards show – the biggest in WYCE-FM’s history with hundreds of revelers packing all four venues inside Grand Rapids’ The Intersection on Friday night for performances by 30-plus acts – proved to be a wondrous flurry of musical contrasts, with hip hop artists following rock acts, and roots music singers preceding electronic projects.
“I’m really enjoying the selection of different bands on different stages simultaneously,” said fan Drake Harver, who was attending his first Jammies show. “The live music is awesome.”
Blizzard-like conditions which followed a cataclysmic week of wintry West Michigan weather likely affected turnout on Friday, but the annual celebration of Michigan’s music scene still drew a hefty, enthusiastic audience of musicians and music lovers. Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalyn Bliss even proclaimed Friday as “WYCE Day” in honor of the occasion.
“The weather hasn’t dampened the rabid music community in West Michigan tonight,” said WYCE station manager Hayes Griffin. “The energy and sense of community in The Intersection exceeds all expectations.”
As always, the mood was upbeat, the camaraderie between musicians cheerful, and with four venues on tap, the elbow room plentiful.
Michael and Tanya Trotter of The War and Treaty, who electrified the crowded showroom with guitarist Max Brown and fill-in musicians Justin Avdek on bass, Madison George on drums and Dutcher Snedeker on keyboards (members of Earth Radio), made a special trip to Grand Rapids to attend the Jammie Awards before traveling Saturday to Florida.
“I’m dancing around the dressing room,” Tanya Trotter exclaimed after learning the band had won song of the year honors.
“We wouldn’t be where we are without Michigan. Michigan believed in us. Folks would call their family and friends in different states to tell them about us. Everywhere we go, people tell us this person or that person from Michigan told the to get our music.”
The band — which has earned widespread national acclaim over the past year and recorded its winning album in Nashville with producer Buddy Miller — was a multiple award winner last year, too, snagging two awards for best album by a a new artist and best blues album.
Those eager for an extended performance by The War and Treaty can catch the award-winners when they return to Grand Rapids on Feb. 24 to play a full-band concert at St. Cecilia Music Center as part of the Acoustic Cafe Folk Series. Get details and tickets online here.
And one of their favorite artists, Earthwork Music star May Erlewine, also won the award for best contemporary folk album for the second year in a row, this time for Erlewine & The Motivations’ “In the Night” EP.
Flint’s Tunde Olaniran, meanwhile, earned kudos for his latest album, “Stranger,” earning the critics’ choice award for album of the year and best rock/pop album.
Grand Rapids’ eclectic Earth Radio snagged the award for best jazz album and won Local Spins’ Emerging Artist of the Year honors.
Members of the band that launched the evening on the Main Showroom stage, Roosevelt Diggs, were all smiles after learning they had won the listeners’ choice album of the year for “Better Days.”
“I couldn’t believe it,” said drummer John Ellworth. “It was shock,” gushed guitarist and singer Logan Duddles.
More Local Spins Jammie Awards coverage to come.
PHOTO GALLERY: Jammie Awards XX
Photos by Anthony Norkus
The Feb. 8 edition of Local Spins on WYCE – which showcases regional music at 11 a.m. every Friday on 88.1 FM – featured an in-studio performance by the Jammie-nominated North Country Rounders, plus tracks by Jammies performers The Skinny Limbs, Roosevelt Diggs, Fyrrh, Conrad Shock + The Noise, J. Rob and The Hacky Turtles (who finished out the evening for the Jammies after-party).
The radio show also debuted new tracks by Jack Droppers & The Best Intentions and The Aquaerials.
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