If not for COVID, Grand Rapids radio station WYCE, Michigan artists and their fans would be getting ready for the Jammie Awards this week at The Intersection. Instead, let’s revisit last year’s big winners.
SCROLL DOWN TO LISTEN TO LAST YEAR’S AWARD-WINNING TRACKS ON SPOTIFY
Support our coverage of
West Michigan's music scene
With the continuing COVID pandemic and capacity restrictions putting most live music in limbo, WYCE-FM’s traditional mid-February Jammie Awards show honoring the best Michigan-made music of the year won’t take place at The Intersection on Friday. (Read more about that later this week at Local Spins.)
But memories of the 2020 Jammie Awards remain fresh, partly because of the dynamic stage performances by award nominees and partly because their albums and EPs made a lasting impression on fans.
So, this week’s Tuesday Playlist at Local Spins commemorates the West Michigan artists who deservedly brought home hardware last February when the coronavirus was still just a storm cloud on the horizon. And scroll down to see a complete list of 2020 Jammie Award winners.
1. Best Alternative Album: The Go Rounds, “Whatever You May Be” – The Go Rounds, a unique Kalamazoo indie-rock pop outfit led by Graham Parsons, have long reigned as a West Michigan fan favorite.
2. Best Americana/Roots Album: The Bootstrap Boys, “Between the Hat & The Boots” – Big Jake Bootstrap (Jake Stilson) and crew kick up their heels with vintage country charm. The Bootstrap Boys recently unfurled new tunes during a Dogtown Studio session that you can view here.
3. Best Blues/Soul Album: Molly, “Shine” – Whether revving up the bands Blue Molly and Vox Vidorra, or unleashing her solo project, Molly Bouwsma Schultz has long captivated audiences with her dynamic, uncompromising songs and performances.
4. Best Contemporary Folk Album: May Erlewine, “Second Sight” – Little more can be said about northern Michigan’s May Erlewine that hasn’t already been said. She’s prolific and has won multiple Jammie Awards over the years. But this track from the Jammie-winning “Second Sight” may be her most compelling.
5. Best Electronic Album: Pink Sky, “Meditations I & II” – The Grand Rapids duo of Ryan and Angelica Hay, aka Pink Sky, creates synthesizer-based magic that has frequently put their releases at the top of the monthly Local Spins Hot Top 5 Chart. And they continue to regularly release new singles as well as this recent documentary, “Meditations on the Moon.”
6. Best Hip Hop Album, Album of the Year, Local Spins Emerging Artist of the Year: Jordan Hamilton, “My Thoughts Are” – Kalamazoo hip hop cellist Jordan Hamilton not only won three awards last February for his solo project, but he’s a member of the celebrated Last Gasp Collective, too. (Scroll down for more about that group.) Just check out this recent Audiotree Live session to see why he’s attracted so much attention.
7. Best Jazz Album, Critics’ Choice Album of the Year: Earth Radio, “Mother’s Breath” – While jazz certainly weaves its way through many of the songs from this Grand Rapids progressive neosoul band, Earth Radio’s music is truly undefinable. And after winning this award they released yet another studio project, “Reanimate,” that earned lots of radio airplay in 2020.
8. Best Rock/Pop Album: Patty PerShayla, “Oracle Bones” – Oddly, this award-winning solo album doesn’t come close to rocking like this Grand Rapids multi-instrumentalist’s latest band project, Patty PerShayla & The Mayhaps, who released their debut EP in fall 2020.
9. Traditions! Award: The Moxie Strings, “Breathe” – Acknowledging traditional music, this award went to The Moxie Strings, a beloved Michigan string band whose album broke into the Top 10 of Billboard’s Classical Crossover Albums chart.
10. Listeners’ Choice Album of the Year: Desmond Jones, “Hello, Helou” – It’s no surprise that this popular Grand Rapids jam band would get so much love from fans and listeners. Since this win, Desmond Jones has staged regular live-streams, including this one that debuted a brand new song.
11. Listeners’ Choice Best Album by a New Artist: Full Cord, “Choreomania” – Speaking of new music, West Michigan bluegrass band Full Cord has spent the past year creating fresh material for an upcoming new album, “Hindsight.”
12. Best Album by a New Artist, Critics’ Choice Best Album by a New Artist: Last Gasp Collective, “Seen Not Heard” – The 2019 album by Kalamazoo’s Last Gasp Collective melded R&B, hip hop, pop and much more, with individual members of this group — from frontman Jay Jackson to singer Jessica Ivey and others — creating their own impressive solo recordings.
13. Song of the Year: JRob, “Black Super Hero” – It’s another anthem for the times with Grand Rapids’ hip hop artist JRob releasing the track that won this prestigious award last February.
Check out previous Local Spins playlists online here.
TUESDAY PLAYLIST: 2020 Jammie Award Winners
Copyright 2021, Spins on Music LLC