Columnist dusts off crystal ball to make annual ECMA award predictions
Ihave never seen so many nominations as there are for this year’s East Coast Music Awards. Some of the music categories have nine and 10 nominees, making things very difficult to handicap. Even so, I’m going to give it a go, so let’s get started.
Let’s begin with the industry awards.
While I would love to see Cape Breton Christmas Daddies win for broadcast of the year, I expect this prize will go to either Atlantic Airwaves or East Coast Countdown, while the award for media person should go to either Doug Gallant or Jimmie Inch.
The Celtic Colours International Festival should take event of the year although the Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival is also a contender. The Membertou Trade & Convention Centre should take the venue award with the Fredericton Playhouse being its main competition.
Sonic Entertainment Group will likely repeat as independent company of the year but I wouldn’t rule out either of the Cape Breton nominees, Marcato Digital Solutions or The Joseph Scott Entertainment Agency. And the award for record company/distributor/independent label of theyear is likely between Sonic Records and Warner Music Canada.
Our own Darren Gallop may take the industry professional award but he’ll face stiff competition from veteran Bruce Morel, who is also likely to get manager of the year.
There are four Cape Bretoners in the running for studio engineer: Jamie Foulds, Jon Matthews, Mike (Sheppy) Shepherd and Scott Ferguson with either Jamie or Sheppy the likely winner. Meanwhile, the battle for studio of the year should be between Lakewind Sound Studios, Soundpark Studios and The Sonic Temple.
Finally, the award for visual artist is likely between Kelly Clark and Chr!s Sm!th but things could be split up enough to allow either Jessica Rhaye Design or Port Hawkesbury’s Cheryl Smith to sneak through for the win.
Looking at the music side of things, I think that either Kim Wempe or Caledonia will take the rising star award.
Forever is the front-runner for aboriginal recording of the year but I wouldn’t rule out Richard Poulette as both Cape Breton acts are previous winners.
Meanwhile, the francophone award should go to BLOU or Pascal Lejeune; Easley Stevenson Arsenault should take the award for blues recording, and the bluegrass award should go to either The Grass Mountain Hobos or The Spinney Brothers.
The gospel category has a lot of new faces this year but I believe that Elizabeth and Scott Rhyno or The Ascensions have the best shot.
George Canyon is the obvious main contender for the country award but if the voting is tight, I wouldn’t rule out The Divorcees or JD Clarke.
It should be either JP Cormier or Joey Kitson for folk recording of the year while Gypsophilia should get the jazz award. Meanwhile, Darren McMullen or our own Andrea Beaton should take the instrumental recording award in a category that has four Newfoundland acts also nominated.
Things will be interesting in the roots/traditional categories. Gillian Boucher is apt to take the solo award but it could just as easily go to Lennie Gallant or Samantha Robichaud. In the group division Shanneyganock would normally be considered the main choice but having three strong nominees from Newfoundland will divide the vote and could leave it open for Dawn and Margie Beaton to pick up the win.
That’s it for now, but more in the weeks ahead.
*** Don’t forget the Hugs for Haiti concert, taking place at the Savoy this evening. Great lineup of talent, a silent auction, and lots of information, all for a very worthy cause.
Saturday night Mike Hall and Hilda Chiasson-Cormier are playing for the dance at the Cedars Club in Sydney. RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — “Mr. Las Vegas” Wayne Newton is asking legislators in his home state of Virginia to grant state recognition to his Indian tribe.
The entertainer appealed to the House Rules Committee to officially recognize the Patawomeck, or Potomac, tribe, of which he is a member.
Committee members voted unanimously in favour of the recognition, which has been given to eight Virginia tribes.
The recognition allows the group to be known as a tribe but does not grant sovereignty.
Newton and Patawomeck Chief Robert Green said it would validate their identity and help them protect sacred burial grounds.
Outside the meeting, women lined up to get autographs and kisses from Newton, who began performing as a child in Virginia.