A Defining Celebration • Review Music Awards 2018

Winners of the 32nd Annual Review Music Awards Celebration

    icon May 03, 2018
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REVIEW Magazine presented its 32nd Annual Music Awards Celebration at Lumber Baron's Genevieve Ballroom in Bay City the evening of April 22nd and honored 61 different artists that have enriched the cultural climate throughout the Great Lakes Bay Region. With a total of 7,388 votes cast by the general public between January & March of this year and a total 1025 artists nominated from the region (nearly double than the 526 nominations submitted last year) the top five nominees in each division moved to a final round of voting and the winners were honored at this special annual celebration.

Because of the freakish and unpredictable Ice Storm that blew through the region on April 15th, the Review Awards had to be re-scheduled, which was the first time this has happened in its 32 year-history; but thanks to the attributes of Social Media and the strong musical community that our region is blessed with, attendance was only slightly down, while the mood of nominees, patrons, and fans was at a definitive high.

With an evening full of unexpected surprises and standout guest performances, big winners of the evening included new faces such as Here After Six, who secured five honors including Best Rock Band, Best Rock Songwriter, Rock Drummer and Rock Guitarist honors; Barbarossa Brothers, who also got a big thumbs-up in five categories Best Concert, Album or Project, Best CD Release of the Year, Blues Vocalist, Best Blues Songwriter  and Best Blues Band; Marsupial Creampie who secured the honors of Best Alternative Band, Best Variety Band and Best Male Vocalist for Andy Hahn.  Additionally, Donald Benjamin walked away with four awards in the twelve categories he was nominated in: Best Music Video, Best Band Website, Best Country Video, and Country Songwriter. Newcomer Jennifer Naegele also received praise as Best Solo Artist and Female Rock Vocalist.

As Plato once wrote: “Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.”  Our region has withstood many difficult changes over the expanse of the three decades that this annual celebration encompasses; but one thing that remains constant is the creativity of on-going generations of musical talent to give our region its own distinct and incomparably unique voice, character, and definition.

And now, without further ado, here is a breakdown of the winners in all categories ranging from Jazz, Blues, Country, Rock, and numerous Miscellaneous categories.

We hope you enjoy the profile features included in this special Music Awards Edition on some of the top winners; and next issue look for more winner profiles on Here After Six, Donald Benjamin, and Carrie Westbay.



Best Recording Studio • Reed Recording Co.

Best Music Video • "I Choose the Whiskey" - Donald Benjamin

Best Videographer • Kari Helm

Best Radio Station • WKQZ 93

Best Concert/Album or Project • Barbarossa Brothers - Holy Water

Best Music Festival • Hamilton Street Bash

Best Sound Technician • Carey Limberg

Best Waitress • Kristen Avram (Whites)

Best Metal Band • Everyday Ghost

Best Alternative Band • Marsupial Creampie

Best Live Event of the Year • Blues on the Beach

Best Folk Band or Duo • Melissa May & Brian Coonan

Best Band Website • www.DonaldBenjaminOfficial.com

Best CD Release • Holy Water - The Barbarossa Brothers

Most Innovative Artist • Andy Reed

Best New Artist of the Year • Tana Michaels

Best Variety Band • Marsupial Creampie

Best Duo • Melissa May & Brian Coonan

Best Bartender • Jeremy Pomeroy - Chet's Bar

Best Solo Artist • Jennifer Naegele

Best Original Band • Carrie & The Wayward Sons


Best Rock Video • Here After Six- Letter to Heaven

Favorite Rock Club • Bemo's

Female Vocalist • Jennifer Naegele

Rock Keyboardist • Stephanie Noel

Best Rock Songwriter • Jake Priest (Here After Six)

Rock Bassist • Joe Balbaugh

Rock Drummer • Bryan Tasior

Male Vocalist • Andy Hahn

Best Rock Band • Here After Six

Rock Guitarist • Levi Johnson

Rap/Hip Hop

Best Mixtape / Release • Chase Passion

Best Rap/Hip Hop Video • Chase Passion

Best Promoter • Redburn

Best Producer • Astray

Best Performer • Mike Spitz

Best DJ • Redburn

Rap/Hip Hop Artist of the Year • Mike Spitz

Best Rap/Hip Hop Songwriter • Mike Spitz


Best Country Video • "I Choose the Whiskey" - Donald Benjamin

Favorite Country Club • Willew Lounge

Country Female Vocalist • Mandi Layne

Country Songwriter • Donald Benjamin

Best Country Band • Kin Faux

Country Male Vocalist • Steve Armstrong

Best Country Musician (Instrumentalist) • Rico Gonzales


Best Male Jazz Vocalist • Matt de Heus

Best Big Band • Standard Session

Favorite Jazz Club • Bancroft Wine & Martini Bar

Female Jazz Vocalist • Monique Ella Rose

Best Small Combo • The Straight Eights

Jazz Songwriter • Mike Brush

Best Jazz Musician • Alison "Bub" Scott


Best Blues Video • The President’s House - Kris Pride  (Videographer: Kari Helm)

Favorite Blues Club • Scotty's Sandbar

Best Funk Band • Soul XPress

Male Blues Vocalist • Drew Pentkowski

Blues Songwriter • Barbarossa Brothers

Blues Instrumentalist • Scott Vandell

Best Blues Band • Barbarossa Brothers

Female Blues Vocalist • Luann Ervin



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