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The following article was posted on September 4th, 2013, in the New Times - Volume 28, Issue 6 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from New Times [newtimesslo.com] - Volume 28, Issue 6

The Monroe and Vincent Bernardy were big winners at the Fifth Annual NTMAs

In this fierce competition, the real winner is the audience!

BY GLEN STARKEY


AND THE WINNER IS …
Morgan Monroe of The Monroe reacts to winning Best Live Performance.
PHOTO BY STEVE E. MILLER

View the list of winners from the Fifth Annual New Times Music Awards

View additional photos from the August 29th show at SLO Brew

 

It’s Thursday, Aug. 29, and there’s a line down the block of people waiting to get into the Fifth Annual New Times Music Awards. Inside SLO Brew, the place is abuzz with energy, and when Fialta hits the stage a little after 7 p.m., they set the bar high for Best Live Performance.

With simplified instrumentation (Xylophone? Why not? Floor tom for percussion? Yep! Keyboards? Uh-huh!) and soaring harmony vocals, Fialta oozes sunny California fun. Their music is loaded with diverse textures, and their whole vibe is hipsterrific! Could the first band out of the gate win? It sure feels like it.


FIALTA!
Members of the sunny Cali quartet Fialta, which won first place in the open category, work the merch table after opening the show.
PHOTO BY STEVE E. MILLER

Next up, Taktical takes the stage. He’s got a DJ spinning tracks off to the side, so it’s just Cassidy Wright up there, moving around the stage and laying down rhymes. I can’t help but think he’s at a bit of a disadvantage since his whole performance rests on him. Even though his energy is high and his tracks are phat, he doesn’t seem to be able to eclipse Fialta’s performance.

The third act of the night is The Monroe, featuring Atascadero singer Morgan Monroe—a sprite, a pixie, but with a voice so lush, so gorgeous, it flattens the crowd! Her band is tight and lively, and she has total command on stage. Who is this woman and where did she come from? When her set’s over, I can’t help but think, “Well, that’s that. Best Live Performance for sure.”


TAKTICAL!
First place hip-hop winner Taktical heaps some peace on the crowd.
PHOTO BY STEVE E. MILLER

Of course, you can never discount Travis Warren, and when he gets up on stage, he rocks the house! His voice is a banshee in the best traditions of hard rock, and his time as front man for Blind Melon has given him the rock gestures, the style, and the confidence to perform before huge crowds. He’s awfully good, but at this point, my money’s still on The Monroe.

Then comes Vincent Bernardy, who frequently performs under the name St. Vincent Folk. His recordings—which, I should note, took home four Newties this year!—featured collaborations with a number of great female vocalists, including Jade Jackson, Emily Wryn, Rumer, and even Morgan Monroe—but none were available to perform with him tonight, and as good as he is and his songs are, I can’t help but feel he’s at a slight disadvantage. He’s rocking it—hell, every act on stage tonight is incredible—but I still have my money on The Monroe.


TRAVIS WARREN!
Rock/alternative winner and Blind Melon front man Travis Warren lays down some rock star moves.
PHOTO BY STEVE E. MILLER

As the judges deliberate, Songwriter of the Year Dulcie Taylor serenades the crowd with her beautiful songs and lilting voice. What a night!

Finally, the judges speak, and they confirm my feelings: The Best Live Performance goes to Morgan Monroe! This young woman and this band, they’re going places!

The standing-room-only crowd goes nuts! They clearly agree! Thanks, Central Coast, for another great year of music. Can’t wait until the Sixth Annual New Times Music Awards!

 

Glen Starkey takes a beating and keeps on bleating. Keep up with him via twitter at twitter.com/glenstarkey, friend him at facebook.com/glenstarkey or myspace.com/glenstarkey, or contact him at gstarkey@newtimesslo.com.

 

And the winners are …

Album of the Year

Vincent Bernardy, Moon Light Dream Bed

The Tipsy Gypsies, Little Victories

(tie) Jimmy Riggs Band, Addicted to You; Klockwyze, California Smile

 

Country/Americana/Folk

Vincent Bernardy, “Rodeo Clown”

The Mother Corn Shuckers, “Reasonably Deranged”

Cheyenne McDonald, “Catskills”

 

Hip-Hop

Taktical, “Seen a Lot”

Group Home Music, “12 Rounds”

MC Risk, “Walk With Me”

 

R&B/Blues

The Monroe, “I’m Waiting On You to Say”

Smokin’ Joe Pilloud, “Blink of an Eye”

James Kaye, “Memories Are Gone”

 

Rock/Alternative

Travis Warren, “Golden Lives”

Vincent Bernardy, “Sweet It Is”

We Were Superheroes, “Triple”

 

Open

Fialta, “Greek Pretender”

We Were Superheroes, “You May Go”

MD2020, “Dance of the Wild Things”

 

Songwriter

Dulcie Taylor, “Cigarette Smoke”

Erin Inglish, “American Dream”

Vincent Bernardy, “Hollywood”

 

Readers’ Choice

Erin English, “American Dream”

 

Best Live Performance

The Monroe

 

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PHOTOS BY STEVE E. MILLER

 

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