By Charlie Swanson
The polls have closed and the readers have spoken. Here’s the full list of the 2016 NorBays winners. See these bands collect their gold records live onstage on Sunday, Aug. 14, at our free outdoor awards party and concert at Juilliard Park in Santa Rosa, featuring The Rhythm Rangers and a duo performance by The Crux.
Reggae: Ridgway We recently fawned over Novato-based Ridgway, who blend hot guitar licks and laid-back grooves on their new album, Brighter Days.
Blues/R&B: Twice As Good The father/son duo pulls from two lifetimes of music when they play in their weekly residency at Graton Resort & Casino in Rohnert Park and throughout the North Bay.
Country/Americana: The Rhythm Rangers Led by songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Kevin Russell, The Rhythm Rangers play timeless Americana.
Rock: Derek Irving and His Combo If you’re looking for retro rockabilly, look no further than Irving’s swinging band, who expertly steep themselves in the aesthetics of 1950s rock ’n’ roll nostalgia.
Indie/Punk: The Highway Poets A staple at local music festivals and the go-to choice to perform with many touring bands, the Petaluma-based Highway Poets are currently working on a new album, set for release next year.
Jazz: Lost Dog Found This last spring, Lost Dog Found frontman Chris Hudlow suffered a stroke, a scare for fans of the wailing jive-swing jazz band he formed in 2010. But you can’t keep a good dog down, and the band is back on the road, performing around Northern California.
Hip-Hop/Electronic: Pure Powers Sonoma County’s Pure Powers performs an awesome exhibition of fast rhymes, fat beats and positive energy. He recently worked with Rockwell Foundation and the Vans Warped Tour on the H2FLOW project aiming to provide clean water to those in need.
DJ (live): DJ Beset Holding down the turntables at nightclubs near and far, DJ Beset is one of the most in-demand DJs in the North Bay today.
DJ (Radio): Bill Bowker The beloved KRSH personality just curated the Sonoma County Blues Festival and continues to host the best new music during his weekly Blues with Bowker radio show.
Folk/Acoustic: The Crux Led by Josh Windmiller, the chain-rattling folk revivalists celebrate their new release this week.
Promoter: Josh Windmiller Aside from his work with The Crux, Windmiller is dedicated to putting The North Bay on many musical maps, and has made his mark as the founder of the North Bay Hootenanny and the organizer of the Railroad Square Music Festival in Santa Rosa.