Review\'s 21st Annual Music Awards Ceremony: Nominees, Winners, and No Losers

Posted In: Arts & Entertainment, Local Music, Review Music Awards,   From Issue 637   By: Robert E Martin

17th May, 2007     0

It's difficult to fathom that 21 years have transpired since the inaugural evening of our first Review Music Awards Ceremony at the Fordney Hotel.  Although that legendary landmark, along with many of our initial honorees such as Jerry Holmes, Felton Sparks, and Bob Logan, are now nothing but sparkling memories, the music that first traveled from that stage has reached out in many inspiring directions, solidifying the strong stature of our talent here in the mid-Michigan area.

Obviously, many changes have occurred over the past 20 years to impact the local music scene. Some of them are bad (i.e. the displacement of musicians by Karaoke and the challenge posted by phenomena like American Idol to disengage audiences from their TV sets).  Yet throughout the many winds of change that have swept through mid-Michigan, one thing that has remained consistent is the unique passion of the many talented voices, musicians, groups and individuals that truly define the 'sound' of our times and enrich our area with their talents & accomplishments.

This year the Review Music Awards Ceremony came 'of age' so to speak, with several offspring of artists that first took to our stage 21 years ago now becoming nominated and carrying on the torch for a new generation.  Similarly, it was incredibly gratifying to witness such a strong display of innovative musicality and appreciation from younger performers such as Barbarossa, Sprout, and individual performers like Ryan Fitzgerald and Andy Reed.

  The Review Music Awards is the oldest and most respected ceremonies of its kind in the tri-cities, pre-dating and inspiring such offshoot endeavors as Saginaw On Stage and The All Area Arts Awards. It is the only awards ceremony that connects people, audience, and artist together insofar as the public at large determines the honorees as opposed to a specially selected 'committee'; and for that reason, the very act of becoming nominated is special, because it demonstrates that the artist has achieved a core goal of inspiring an audience to action.

It is not an easy task, conducting elaborate nominating procedures, tabulating ballots, locating musicians, sending out invitations, and planning an ambitious ceremony of this nature; but then, nothing worthwhile ever is easy.

On a personal note, this year's ceremony proved particularly challenging for me, given the sudden passing of my mother, Jessie E. Martin, two weeks prior to awards night.   Before we instituted on-line internet voting a couple years ago, she would instantly assume the thankless task of tabulating all nominating ballots by hand, typing up all the nominating cards & envelopes, and miraculously manage never to complain during the entire process. This is because my Mother loved music and believed in the rewarding nature of this ceremony more than anybody. She truly inspired my ears to listen.

Having said all of this, the 21st Annual Review Music Awards Ceremony & Celebration came off without a hitch on the evening of May 7th at Sullivan's Black Forest in Frankenmuth.  The weather was perfect, attendance was strong, and many guest 'celebrity' presenters such as Veronica & Ken Horn and Sue White were on board to help hand out the accolades.
What follows is a breakdown of all the winners in each category. The total number of nominees in each division is noted in parenthesis, while the top five nominees are noted in each category along with each winner. This year we had a total of 2,596 people voting.

So without further ado, we present your our special 21st Annual Review Music Awards Special Edition, filled with winners, photos, profiles, and enough ammunition to prove that when it comes to culture in the tri-cities, this is just a beginning.


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