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Winners of the 33rd Annual Review Music Awards Celebration

    icon Apr 25, 2019
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In the midst of a late winter slush storm (for the second year in a row) REVIEW Magazine presented its 33rd  Annual Music Awards Celebration at Lumber Baron's Genevieve Ballroom in Bay City the evening of April 14th and honored 61 artists who’ve  enriched the cultural climate throughout the Great Lakes Bay Region with remarkably impressive talent.

With an unprecedented total of 10,650 votes cast by the general public between January & March of this year (last year’s previous record was 7,638) and a total 904 artists nominated from the region, the top five nominees in each division moved to a final round of voting and the winners were honored at this special annual celebration.

Despite the inclement weather, a total of 225 nominees and attendees showed up to experience this annual gathering that brings the musical community and general public together in a collective celebration honoring the remarkable musical resources of the Mid-Michigan area, proving that wild horses (and icy roads) couldn’t drive them away.

With an evening full of unexpected surprises and standout guest performances, big winners of the evening in their respective genres included rapper Mike Spitz (Spitzer) who walked away with 4 four trophies in the Hip-Hop/Rap division for Best Video, Artist of the Year, Songwriter & Favorite Performer; Country rockers Kin Faux, who took honors for Country Songwriter & Instrumentalist  (Rico Gonzalez), Best CD Release and Best Country Band; Rhett Yocum who earned Best Blues Instrumentalist and Best Blue Band honors; Monique Ella Rose, who gleaned three trophies  for Best Female Jazz Vocalist, Best Female Blues Vocalist and Best Jazz Songwriter; with the Rock honors going to Sprout & the Orange, who won Best Alternative Band, Most Innovative Artist (Aaron Johnson); The Rock Show (Best Variety Band); Barbarossa Brothers (Best Original Band, Best Keyboardist (Loren Kranz), and newcomers For Tomorrow, who picked up trophies for Best Metal Band, Best Rock Bassist (Chris Haller), and Rest for the Wicked who won Best Rock Band.

Performance-wise, the line-up of featured artists was A-List all of the way. Kicking off the evening’s festivities was the 15-piece Saginaw Elite Big Band, who transported the audience to a distant and little heard place in time where the power of melodic construction is delivered by a 10-piece horn section that one could feel dancing and causing flutters in one’s gut while the lyricism of vocalist Dena Pruitt soared to the heavens.

Country-rocker Billy Gunther also made an impressive debut with his new group, performing original material from his newly recorded project with producer Andy Reed and weighing in with an impressive cover of The Allman Brothers that utility player Kevin Rousse and Gunther shined upon trading off lead and slide-guitar licks.

The original alternative pop-rock band ADABOY! made their debut performance with a new line-up comprised of Steve Bennett on drums, Joe Balbaugh on bass, Jake Voisine on lead guitar, and Mike Richards on rhythm and lead vocals. Their all-original set was fueled by passionate playing and 4-part vocal harmonies that also soared to the heavens.

One of the stand-out performances came through the FOR Collective - a regional SuperGroup if there ever was such a thing - consisting of former Verve Pipe co-founder Donny Brown on drums, Loren Kranz on keyboards, Mike Robertson & Scott Vandell on guitars, Andy Reed on bass, harpist/songwriter/vocalist Rosco Selley, and showcasing a series of A-List vocalists consisting of Jen Cass, Amy Petty, Michelle O’Neil and J.D. Dominowski, who all hit their respective translations of Rosco’s original material out of the ballpark.

The 7-piece funk & soul band Soul X-Press got the crowd dancing with their rollicking set of funk classics, while post-punk rockers Audrey Burne delivered an equally impressive set of all-original melodic darkwave, goth, and alternative textures to their music; white Hip-Hop artist Mike Spitz (Spitzer) closed out the evening with a deep intensity of understanding, placement, and wisdom with his music.

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.



Best Recording Studio • Reed Recording Company

Best Alternative Band • Sprout & the Orange

Best Music Festival • Excellency Music Festival

Best Videographer • Kari Pride-Helm

Best Sound Technician • Carey Limberg

Best Waitress • Kim Dukarski (Bemos)

Best Metal Band • For Tomorrow

Best Americana Duo • Catfood Sandwich

Best Radio Station • WKQZ - Z93

Best Music Video • Marsupial Creampie - Where You’ve Been

Best Band Website • Gasoline Gypsies

Best Live Event of the Year • Band Roulette

Most Innovative Artist • Aaron Johnson

Best Variety Band • The Rock Show

Best Duo • Catfood Sandwich

Best Multi-Instrumentalist • Rico Gonzalez

Best CD Release • Kin Faux - Debut Album

Best Bartender  • Jeremy Pomeroy ‘JP’

Best Original Band • Barbarossa Brothers

Best Solo Artist • Aaron Johnson


Best Rock Video • Gasoline Gypsies - Vagabundos

Favorite Rock Club • Bemos

Rock Keyboardist • Loren Kranz

Female Rock Vocalist • Melissa May

Best Rock Songwriter • Andy Jeglic - The Distorted Waltz / Orc

Rock Bassist • Chris Haller - For Tomorrow

Male Rock Vocalist • Tommy K

Rock Drummer • Bill Silverthorn

Favorite Rock Band • Rest for the Wicked

Rock Guitarist • Corey O’Keefe

Rap / Hip-Hop

Best Promoter • Ken Shelton

Rap Hip-Hop Video • Mike Spitz - Take Me to My Home

Best Producer • Bobby Chance

Best DJ • Bobby Chance

Rap/Hip-Hop Artist of the Year • Mike Spitz

Rap/Hip-Hop Songwriter • Mike Spitz

Favorite Performer • Mike Spitz


Best Country Video • Billy Gunther - Take Me Home

Favorite Country Club • The Willew Lounge

Country Female Vocalist • Melissa Lee

Country Songwriter • Rico Gonzalez

Country Instrumentalist • Rico Gonzalez

Best Country Band • Kin Faux

Country Male Vocalist • Travis Patan


Favorite Jazz Club • Bancroft Wine & Martini Bar

Best Big Band • 23 North

Male Jazz Vocalist • Matt de Heus

Jazz Songwriter • Monique Ella Rose

Best Small Combo • Straight Eights

Female Jazz Vocalist • Monique Ella Rose

Favorite Jazz Musician • Jacob Wisenbach


Best Blues Video • Gasoline Gypsies - Freaks & Non-Believers

Favorite Blues Club • Scotty’s Sandbar

Best Funk Band • Soul X-Press

Best Blues Band • Rhett Yocum Band

Female Blues Vocalist • Monique Ella Rose

Male Blues Vocalist • Matt Besey

Blues Songwriter • Rick Gellise

Blues Instrumentalist • Rhett Yocum




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