Houston Press 1997 Music Awards Preview

A guide to who's who in the Press Music Awards ballot. Plus, the where and when of the Press Music Awards Showcase!

Mary Cutrufello performs at 5 p.m. at the Voodoo Lounge.

Artist: Lady D
Nomination: Best Cajun/Zydeco
Sound of choice: Zydeco -- with the lady's touch
Time logged: One year

Etc: Vocalist/accordionist Lady D claims to be the first and only female accordionist in Texas, and we'll give her the benefit of the doubt -- as she definitely knows her zydeco. D and her band, the Zydeco Tornadoes, haven't been around long, but word's been spreading fast all over the Gulf Coast about this fierce outfit and its quick-fingered accordion diva.

Lady D and the Zydeco Tornadoes perform at 5 p.m. at 8.O.

Artist: Jesse Dayton
Nomination: Best Male Vocalist; Best C&W; Local Musician of the Year; Songwriter of the Year

Sound of choice: Roots country
Time logged: Seven years
Etc.: Since his early days with the Road Kings, Jesse Dayton has been steadily developing a

more perceptive, sensitive side to his trademark Baytown bravado. And as he continues to share stages nationally with a broad cross section of bigger artists (from Willie Nelson to redneck punkers the Supersuckers), Dayton grows into an ever more entertaining and seasoned performer. His second solo release on Justice Records, Hey, Nashvegas, is due this summer.

Jesse Dayton performs at 9 p.m. at the Big Horn Saloon.

Artist: dead horse
Nomination: Best Metal/Hard Rock Act
Sound of choice: The heaviest heavy metal (a.k.a. horsecore)
Time logged: Ten years

Etc.: The now-defunct dead horse toyed with the big time, and it cost them. So for awhile they tried a different route, eschewing the industry's hype machine in favor of meat-and-potatoes touring. The result? Houston's once-powerful beasts of thrash finally fell prey to inner turmoil earlier this year and called it quits. But even if their idols are bruised and broken, horse fans refuse to let the band's memory die.

Artist: Damon DeLaPaz (30footFALL)
Nomination: Best Drummer
Sound of choice: Ludicrous hard-core punk
Time logged: Three years

Etc.: Not much is different around 30footFALL central these days, which has to be a first for a band so prone to roster shakeups. Yes, the group is still churning out its mixture of bone-mincing power chords and high-velocity rhythms, though now they're doing it with distribution help from West Coast punk label Fearless Records. And yes, sure-stroking stick man Damon DeLaPaz is still at the whirlwind's center -- actually, he is its center.

30footFALL performs at 6 p.m. at the Shepherd Plaza Outdoor Stage.

Artist: Dave Dove Duo
Nomination: Best Horn/Horn Section
Sound of choice: Improv is an understatement
Time logged: Four years

Etc.: His unflappable partner in noise, bassist/keyboardist Paul Guilford, is no longer in the band (or the country for that matter), but trombonist Dave Dove is still doing his crazy improvisational thing. These days, Dove is playing with bassist David Klingensmith and drummer Richard Cholakian -- and the music that results is just as undefinable.

Artist: Doppelganger
Nomination: Best Cover Band
Sound of choice: Top 40, big band, jazz and soul
Time logged: Twenty-eight years

Etc.: A professional cover band that you're more likely to see at an event than at a bar, Doppelganger has eight members and a repertoire that includes Top 40 hits from the '60s to the '90s, in addition to big band, jazz and soul favorites.

Artist: D.R.U.M.
Nomination: Best Reggae/World Music
Sound of choice: African, Latin and Caribbean styles
Time logged: Nine years

Etc.: D.R.U.M. stands for Divine Rhythm, United Motion; if you've ever experienced this passionately authentic ensemble, you know just what that means. Begun as a percussion outfit in 1988, the group has since morphed into something a good deal more musical than the sum of its intricate rhythmic components. Seemingly, D.R.U.M. has been sparring with Wazobia for top honors in this category since the dawn of time.

Artist: Paul English
Nomination: Best Pianist/Keyboardist
Sound of choice: Jazz and classical
Time logged: Thirty-one years

Etc.: While he may be best-known locally as a jazz pianist and trumpeter, Paul English is nevertheless a serious composer. Having recently penned an oratorio for mixed choir, chamber orchestra and organ, English is beginning to venture out more with his contemporary jazz quartet as well as his chamber music ensemble, PICO.

Artist: Flamin' Hellcats
Nomination: Album of the Year (Speed Freak)
Sound of choice: Mexicolored rockabilly
Time logged: Five years

Etc.: As they grow older and decreasingly wise, the Flamin' Hellcats can always be counted on to opt for sheer lawless impulse, ditching all measures of good judgment in favor of rocking the house by any means necessary with their lethal "vatobilly" potion. Part grunge, part punk, part Tex-Mex roots, part chain saw buzz, the Hellcats' sound has never been known to skimp on volume or, for that matter, sloppiness. And with their repertoire of originals and covers, they've mustered a little out-of-town respect as well.

Flamin' Hellcats perform at 8 p.m. at Metroplex.

Artist: Global Village
Nomination: Best Funk/R&B; Best Horn/Horn Section
Sound of choice: Worldly funk
Time logged: Seven years

Etc.: Global Village have learned their lessons well from the funk masters, as even their newer originals have an eerily familiar funky feeling. A tight three-man horn section only strengthens the perception.

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