Arts: Golden Sound

NorBays readers’ poll honors top talent

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The results from our annual NorBays Music Awards readers’ poll illustrate the wide variety of musical talent right at our fingertips.

By Charlie Swanson

Our annual NorBays Music Awards beefed up this year with a staggering 21 categories, including new spots for venues, festivals and more. The readers have spoken and the winners are:

Blues: The Dylan Black Project—Soulful band of veteran musicians gets the crowds moving with up-tempo rhythms and scorching solos; thedylanblackproject.com.

Country: Ammo Box—Southern rock and country outfit featuring members of Bay Area party band Notorious is new and already making noise in the scene; ammoboxband.com.

Americana: The Rhythm Rangers—Led by songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Kevin Russell, the Rhythm Rangers perform timeless and laid-back Americana musings that never fail to please; kevinrussellmusic.com.

Folk: Oddjob Ensemble —Accordionist Kalei Yamanoha leads this Vaudevillian string band and produces an eclectic array of traditional folk; oddjobensemble.com.

Rock: Charley Peach—Vocalist Kaylene Harry’s powerful pipes front this hard-hitting and recently revamped power rock outfit out of Santa Rosa; charleypeachband.com.

Hip-Hop: Above Average—Young and high-rising MC writes, raps and plays video games, matching his lightning quick hand-eye coordination with a silver tongue that’s steadily maturing; soundcloud.com/aboveraps.

R&B: The Soul Section—The eight-piece rhythm and blues revue band boasts a veteran core of players who draw from influences like Otis Redding and the Meters; thesoulsection.com.

Jazz: Cabbagehead—This improvisational sextet exudes spontaneous energy and advanced musicianship; cabbageheadmusic.com.

Indie: The Highway Poets—The North Bay’s longtime favorite DIY band has been hard at work on their new album, Chasing Youth; highwaypoetsmusic.com.

Reggae: Sol Horizon—North Bay purveyors of roots reggae and world music are favorites at local festivals and beyond; solhorizon.com.

Punk: One Armed Joey—There’s a melodic quality to One Armed Joey that calls to mind ’80s bands like NOFX in the best way; fun, fast, catchy and cool; onearmedjoey.bandcamp.com.

Metal: 2 Minutes to Midnight—This Iron Maiden tribute act has the chops it takes to rock like the British metal heads they emulate; facebook.com/pg/norcalmaiden707.

Electronica: Eki Shola—Solo pianist and performer Eki Shola is influenced by her world travels and shares a spiritually connected message; ekishola.com.

Acoustic: Nate Lopez—The instrumental solo guitarist makes the most of his eight-string guitar for dynamic melodies and inviting atmospheres; natelopez.com.

Singer/songwriter: Dave Hamilton—Hamilton has been perfecting an award-winning mix of folk and Americana for 40 years; davehamiltonfolkamericana.com.

DJ (Live): Joshua Bluegreen-Cripps—Musician, event producer and DJ, Joshua Bluegreen-Cripps does it all; and does it with a passion for local projects; partyevententertainment.com.

DJ (Radio): Bill Bowker—Longtime North Bay Krush radio host is a champion of the arts, co-organizing the Sonoma County Blues Festival on August 19; Krsh.com.

Open Mic: Tuesday Open Mic at Brew—The weekly gathering of musicians, poets, comedians and others that join in the open mic at Brew is quickly gaining momentum; brewcoffeeandbeer.com.

Venue or Club: HopMonk Tavern—With three North Bay locations, the HopMonk Tavern’s family of venues can’t be beat for outdoor entertainment; Hopmonk.com.

Promoter: Josh Windmiller—The founder of North Bay Hootenanny produces events that showcase local music; northbayhootenanny.com.

Music Festival: Railroad Square Music Festival—Not even a downpour of hail (in June!) could dampen the spirits of this popular summer event in Santa Rosa’s famed Railroad Square; railroadsquaremusicfestival.com.

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