Written by: Darren Johnson
With a vigorous crowd, a multitude of SLO County’s superb musicians, and trophies made to look like awesome 1950s vintage microphones, the New Times Music Awards kicked off their fifth annual event with a combination that can’t go wrong. Taking place at SLO Brew on August 29th, The New Times Music Awards, or NTMAs, is a music competition that recognizes local artists for songs in six genre categories; Country/Americana/Folk, Hip-Hop, R&B/Blues, Rock/Alternative, Open, and Songwriter.
The NTMAs not only gives an award out to the top three placing artists of each category, but also allows all of the first place winners to perform at the live show for a chance at the award for “Best Live Performance.” A handpicked panel of judges chooses the winners of the event.
Additionally, there is the “Readers’ Choice” award, where the fate of the candidates is put into the hands of online voters. Of course, there is also the most sought-after trophy of the night: Album of the Year.
For anyone feeling left out of all of the awards being given out, this may relieve youruneasiness: the event also throws a raffle for the audience… this year giving away an Ernie Ball guitar!
There were many notable musicians to place at the awards, such as We Were Superheroes, Cheyenne McDonald, and James Kaye. The category winners all presented stellar performances at the show, including live music from Fialta, Taktical, and Travis Warren. The award for best live performance was presented to the tasty grooves and powerful vocals of R&B group, The Monroe.
The winner of this year’s Album of the Year award was Rock/Country artist Vincent Bernardy, who also walked away with a first place trophy in the Country/Americana/Folk category and second place in the Rock/Alternative category.
There is something to admire about an event that pays tribute to SLO County’s musicians. While it does give respect and support to local artists, what may be just as important is that The New Times Music Awards helps to spread and create a vibrant music scene that our community benefits from.
If you want more information regarding the NTMAs, you can check out their website here: http://www.newtimesslo.com/ntma.php. For those interested in hearing any of the winning artists, you can buy a copy of this year’s CD for $5 at their offices, located at 1010 Marsh Street in San Luis Obispo.