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!

Artist: The Gypsies
Nomination: Best Traditional Ethnic; Best Reggae/World Music
Sound of choice: Trad-folk melange
Time logged: Twenty-three years

Etc.: Best known for their famous Julian New Year's parties, the Gypsies have been performing polyethnic music throughout Houston for more than two decades. Certainly, there are few balalaika- and bouzouki-wielding bands on the scene these days, and the Gypsies' dedication to expanding their repertoire -- which encompasses folk music in traditional French, Polish, Middle Eastern and Cajun styles, among others -- seems tireless.

Artist: Glenn Harper (Poor Dumb Bastards)
Nomination: Best Drummer
Sound of choice: Skins, man
Time logged: Sixteen years

Etc.: What separates Glenn Harper (better known as Glenbo) from the other nominees in the Best Drummer category is his longevity. The 36-year-old Harper has been drumming in punk rock bands since 1981, starting with the Party Owls and moving on to other bands such as Love Holster, Bad Samaritans and Can't Remember Shit before joining up with his current group, Poor Dumb Bastards, in 1992. Having worked in bars and booked bands for many years, Harper has played a major part in the Inner Loop music scene -- and still does, despite his recent migration into the day-job lifestyle.

Artist: The Hollisters
Nominated for: Best C&W; Local Musician of the Year (Mike Barfield)
Sound of choice: Honest honky-tonk with a '90s spirit
Time logged: Two years

Etc.: The Hollisters may well be the best damn country outfit in the state -- let alone

Houston. They're certainly one of the most uniquely Texan. Yet despite such statewide appeal, this rock-solid, tradition-minded quartet continues to work the local circuit like cowboys on a mission. Mission accomplished, fellas; this city digs you. Now it's on to the rest of the country.

Artist: Horseshoe
Nomination: Best C&W; Local Musician of the Year (Eddie Hawkins, Greg Wood); Best Male Vocalist (Greg Wood); Best Guitarist (Scott Daniels); Best Drummer (Eddie Hawkins); Songwriter of the Year (Greg Wood); Song of the Year ("Little Accidents of Grace"); Album of the Year (King of the World)

Sound of choice: All-inclusive roots rock
Time logged: Two years
Etc.: From the sound of Horseshoe's promising debut, King of the World, the group's fondness for the likes of Syd Barrett and Hank Williams serves as little more than a launching point for an even weirder set of excursions into the bowels of lead singer/songwriter Greg Wood's record collection. "Little Accidents of Grace" may be the easiest song to admire among the group's vast catalog of eccentricities. It's a hummable little ditty with a "sittin' around the front porch drunk" sort of offhandedness that only bolsters its warmth. Still, it hardly seems the proper indicator of the bigger and better things in store if Horseshoe keeps its saddle on straight. For that, simply refer to the rest of the CD.

Horseshoe performs at 9 p.m. at 8.0.

Artist: Joe "Guitar" Hughes
Nomination: Best Blues
Sound of choice: Tough but smooth Texas 12-bar
Time logged: Forty-three years

Etc.: Like many a Texas blues ambassador, veteran Third Ward guitarist Joe Hughes has had his share of success in far corners of the globe. But he's hardly cultivated an international reputation at the expense of his hometown profile. When he's not on the road, Hughes can typically be found ripping into his signature Fender guitar on local stages, or serving as inspiration -- and living proof of Houston's rich blues history -- to promising up-and-comers such as Mark May.

Artist: The Hunger
Nomination: Best Industrial/Noise
Sound of choice: Technically streamlined pop
Time logged: Seven years

Etc.: Steered by brothers Jeff and Thomas Wilson, the Hunger's radio-friendly soundowes as much to Alice in Chains as it does to Nine Inch Nails. But at the same time, its vibe is so unflinching in its perkiness that you could argue it has little in common with either. After being picked up by a major label early last year, the Hunger's self-produced Devil Thumbs a Ride became a surprise breakthrough for the band. Expect to see a follow-up in stores sometime in early 1998.

Artist: I End Result
Nomination: Best Metal/Hard Rock; Best Guitarist (Arnett Vaughn)
Sound of choice: Funk-phat, power-chord rock
Time logged: Two years

Etc.: For simplicity's sake, think of I End Result as a rough-hewn Houston hybrid of Living Colour and Faith No More. Reflect on that fusion and all it implies, then go see the band live to get the full effect of the band's ferociousness. Granted, I End Result guitarist Arnett Vaughn may not be a Vernon Reid (but then again, aside from Vernon Reid himself, who is?), but Vaughn is a feisty player, and what he lacks in flash he more than makes up for in spirit.

I End Result performs at 8 p.m. at Instant Karma.

Artist: I-45
Nomination: Best Rap/Hip-Hop
Sound of choice: Slip-hop (a Southern brand of hip-hop)
Time logged: One year

Etc.: Seven years ago, school chums Tony Avitia (Tech Ron B) and Billy Kinnoman (Tripp Von Slipp), while serving time watering broccoli at a local Kroger, began toying with the idea of forming a hip-hop ensemble. But it wasn't until they hooked up with Jason Mienelt (DJ Rudy Martinez 2000) that this biracial trio decided it was time to unleash their playful, funk-heavy rap (think Beastie Boys with a dash of Outkast) on the public, busting rhymes that are, in their own words, "so phat, they're on Jenny Craig."

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