By Corey Deiterman
By William Michael Smith
By Jef With One F
By Craig Hlavaty
By Jesse Sendejas Jr.
By Sonya Harvey
By Jesse Sendejas Jr.
By Nathan Smith
Sound of choice: Bluesy roadhouse rock
Time logged: Four years
Etc.: Last year's Play with Matches was a commercial flop, and a rotation of booking agencies has confused things (the band now books its own tours), but the Monkeys still live on the road, where they continue to build a solid reputation touring the West and Midwest with high-profile gigs such as the annual biker rally at Sturgis. The Monkeys are planning a second disc for Big Mo Records come November.
Carolyn Wonderland and the Imperial Monkeys perform at 8 p.m. Sunday at McElroy's.
Artist: Tony Xpress
Nominated for: Best Reggae/World Beat
Sound of choice: All of the above and more
Time logged: Three years
Etc.: The Tony Xpress sound relies on a well-traveled mixture of rock, reggae, calypso and Afro strains. This native Nigerian and his four-member ensemble spend most of their time out of town, performing in exotic locals such as Spain and Cancun, Mexico, so shows in Houston are increasingly rare these days. Given that, it's surprising that Xpress can maintain a strong enough buzz around town to land a Music Awards nomination. Evidently, his reputation is more firmly rooted than he is.
Artist: Norma Zenteno
Nominated for: Best Tejano/Latin
Sound of choice: Afro-Cuban jazz
Time logged: More than 40 years
Etc.: It's the annual Press Music Awards curse of the language barrier: Norma Zenteno is actually a jazz singer who sings in Spanish, and does it amazingly well in front of a hot, accomplished band that's well-versed in salsa and many other Latin variants that lend themselves to a freewheeling format.
Norma Zenteno performs at 8 p.m. Sunday at Metroplex.
Artist: Zwee & the Graveberries
Nominated for: Best Funk/R&B
Sound of choice: Grooves for neo-hippies
Time logged: Two years (recently defunct)
Etc.: Since Zwee & the Graveberries always felt neglected in their hometown when they were around, this nomination has to mean something to them. Sadly, that something came a few months too late. Now disbanded, Franklin Zwee and the others will have to swallow this honor posthumously and, alas, long for what could have been.
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