MusicNL Award Winners Revealed

Photo by Steve Mugford (cropped)
Repartee, Cabbages and Kings, and Duane Andrews are 2016's big winners.

MusicNL’s awards celebrate the musicians and industry professionals of Newfoundland and Labrador. “The awards recognize accomplishments and promote careers in the music industry, and are important in building the resumes of music professionals.”

Repartee Take Home Four Trophies Including Album & Group of the Year

Of their 6 nominations, Repartee took home a whopping foursome of trophies for their mantlepiece in recognition of their sensational indie pop album All Lit Up — a remarkably hook-heavy, fabulously polished record that has been doing NL proud on the national scene all year long. They won in three categories — Pop/Rock Recording of the Year, Album of the Year, Group of the Year — and co-won Music Video of the Year award (for “Dukes”) with Cabbages and Kings.

Cabbages and Kings Take Home Two Trophies

No stranger to media attention in 2016, Cabbages and Kings took home trophies for both Alternative Album of the Year, and a co-win of Music Video of the Year (for “Earth”). This marks a second year Cabbages and Kings won at the MusicNL Awards, and they’ve also been ECMA nominees, so the recognition ain’t a fluke. But to quote them from a 2016 article in The Overcast, ““It does feel great to get a bit of recognition for the work we’ve been putting into this, but at the same time … we see this as fuel for the fire and we keep asking ourselves what the next step is.”

Duane Andrews Takes Home Two Trophies

For his remarkable album Conception Bay, Guitar God Duane Andrews was awarded both Male Artist of the Year and Jazz/Blues Album of the Year. When you’re as good as the internationally renowned Duane Andrews, you can’t get any better, but you can certainly still grow, experiment, and love what you do. And that’s exactly what he did on Conception Bay. Duane has told The Overcast the album has “3 pillars” that reflect and blend three diverse inspirations and influences: Django-inspired jazz from the 30s and 40s, traditional NL music, and some of his latest interest: classical.

Female Artist of the Year: Rozalind MacPhail

Rozalind MacPhail is a classically trained flutist who “fled the boundaries of classical music to create unique fabrics of sound, blending flute, voice, omnichord, and electronics, and has created music for film and live performance as well as releasing several albums of original work.” Which is to say she fills a unique, distinct, and all-her-own niche in the local music scene. MacPhail’s  audio-visual project, From the River to the Ocean premiered at Gros Morne Summer Music this summer.

Rising Star of the Year: Waterfront Fire

An odd category for such a broken-out media favourite to win in, Waterfront Fire took home Rising Star of the Year honours. They have shared the stage with bands like Said The Whale, Alvvays, and Blue Rodeo to name a few Canadian Favourites, and just last year, they won a MusicNL award for Alternative Recording of the Year; and were nominated for Group of the Year and Entertainer of the Year.

Songwriter of the Year: Chris Kirby

Chris is a multi-award winning songwriter, artist, and producer with 5 full length solo albums to his credit, 50-ish co-writes, and nearly 10 TV/movie placements. He’s a 10-time ECMA nominee and this is his 5th award from MusicNL.

Folk-Roots Album of the Year: Rum Ragged

Rum Ragged’s self-titled Album won Folk-Roots honours. The folk duo Mark Manning and Aaron Collis’s spirited performances have captivated audiences across the island. “The members of Rum Ragged draw on their collective influences from life in rural Newfoundland to create a dynamic rendering of the province’s music, infusing traditional songs and more contemporary local compositions with energetic jigs and reels to create a sound all their own.”

Instrumental Album of the Year:  Ewan Dobson

Dobson is a regular winner of guitar competitions worldwide, including the Burlington Rotary Fall Music Festival and the Pickering Rotary Music Festival.  In the summer of 2009, Dobson was crowned the Canadian Fingerstyle Guitar Champion at the 5th annual Canadian Fingerstyle Guitar Competition. Over the years he has played everything from metal to bluegrass. He released 3 albums in 2016 alone.

Country Recording of the Year: Peter Willie Youngtree

If we’re talking country, actual country – before the genre was inundated with made-for-radio, formulaic singles – then Peter Willie Youngtree’s Country Hymns might be the best thing in local country since the disappearance of Joe Belly or emergence of Sherry Ryan. What makes the album shine is its originality: Youngtree is an authentic country musician, but he’s not just rehashing his genre, he’s reinventing it, to suit his songwriting style.

Entertainer of the Year: Everglow

Local pop favourites Everglow took home the big honours of Entertainer of the Year for their “but have you seen them live?” reputation. The duo also won a Fan’s Choice 2016 ECMA this year, for their music video, “Feel Your Heart” which has nearly 50,000 views on Youtube. Everglow spent eight months touring across Canada with the charitable org Live Different, performing in high schools nationwide in the fall of 2015 and spring of 2016.

Electronic Album of the Year: It Could be Franky

It Could be Franky is new project for Land of Lakes’ Danielle R. Hamel, and on All Your Friends Don’t Buy It, her brand of indie-pop gold would stand up to much of what you’d hear on CBC’s R3-30. It’s a solid pop album: fun, inventive, playful, catchy, distinct, and professionally produced.

Lifetime Achievement Award Winner: Sandy Morris

The man, the legend, the honourary doctor from MUN is MusicNL’s latest Lifetime Achievement Award winner. And proper thing: he’s second only to the late Ron Hynes as the name and face many people think of now when they discuss legendary local musicians. After 50 years in the business, he’s as active as ever, having just released a new album, with his new band Fretboard Journey, Friday evening.

2016 Industry Award Winners: 

Industry Professional of the Year: Dean Stairs
Media Person of the Year: Greg Smith
Music Educator of the Year: Adam Baxter
Volunteer of the Year: Glenn Pardy
Side Musician of the Year: Andrew McCarthy
Graphic Designer of the Year: Tara Thompson
Outstanding Company of the Year: Citadel House
Industry Builder: Eleanor Dawson

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