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
Some call her "The First Lady of the Screwed Up Click"; others call her "Houston's hottest female rapper." Here's how she describes herself: "I got a Souf Side feel with a lil' bit everything in it on a national level. I twist the R&B in with the rap in my own profound way and create new shit, all-original baby!" She promises to rip shit up at this showcase gig: "It's going down, I got a 45-minute set, only true performers could hold dat down, and I'ma show you how..."
Name: El Orbits
Nominated in:Best Cover Band
Web site: www.myspace.com/elorbit
Personnel:David Beebe (drums, vocals, bass guitar), Jim Henkel (guitar, vocals, keyboards), Steven Begnoche (drums, vocals), Thomas Escalante (vocals, percussion), Landis Armstrong (guitar, vocals), Chris Johnson (bass, vocals), Eric C. Hughes (drums), the Dazzling Pete Gray (piano, vocals), Eddie Akhmetchine (saxophone), Paul Beebe (bass, vocals)
"Gulf Coast R&B and swing -- originals and covers" emanate from the stage when these supremely retro-cool cats are in the house. Singer/drummer/bassist David Beebe looks like Buddy Holly and sings like Doug Sahm, and you'll hear echoes of both of those Texas gods, as well as those of Sunny Ozuna, Big Robert Smith, Grady Gaines and Roy Head.
Name: Medicine Show
Nominated in:Best Folk/Acoustic
Personnel:"The Reverend" (guitar, harmonica, vocals, fiddle, tambourine, faith healing, medicine stick), "Uncle Tick" (banjo, saw, guitar, vocals, bass, tambourine, kazoo, slide whistle, poison, and snakes), "Rag Tag Mac" (mandolin, guitar, vocals, steel chairs, upright bass, hand whistle), "Coach" (washtub bass, washboards, spoons, bones, vocals, drums, ashtrays)
If Deadwood had a ghetto, that's where you would find the Medicine Show, pickin' and grinnin' at the gates of hell. (Hell, the preacher on season one of the show is a dead ringer for the Medicine Show's own Reverend.) A punk-tinged amalgam of classic American fiddle tunes, flatboat anthems, laudanum laments and whiskey reels, these young Montrosians have turned Monday nights at Helios into must-see events. They also play the last Saturday of every month at the West Alabama Ice House, and while all are invited, they do have a caveat: "No hand drums, hippies! We are not a hippy jam band, and for crying out loud, do not ask us to play 'Man of Constant Sorrow'!"
Name: Luther & the Healers
Nominated in:Best Blues/Zydeco
Personnel:Luther (guitar, vocals), Magic (bass, vocals), Michael Aguilar (drums, vocals), Barry (keyboards)
Who knew four old guys playing R&B would be one of the busiest bands in town? Okay, they're not all that old, but they are really busy. Fifteen gigs in July, 22 in August. Those are numbers young bands would give up eyeballs for. So, how do they stay so popular? By playing old-school, down-home rhythm and blues. Honest, straight-up-from-the-bones funky blues. They've been together since 1991, and with a dozen or more shows every month, they've become ordinary and familiar, a consequence of overexposure. They're often underrated by the critics (yes, that means us), but fans know Luther & the Healers always deliver a gut-busting performance.
Name: John Evans Band
Nominated in:Best Traditional Rock; Album of the Year (Ramblin' Boy); Songwriter of the Year (John Evans); Best Male Vocalist (John Evans)
Personnel:John Evans (guitar), Jake Thompson (guitar), Mike Lewis (drums), Mike Ferrara II (bass)
Come on, how many guys known for songs like "Pasa-Get-Down-Dena" can call River Oaks home? Only singer-songwriter John Evans. But living in a ritzy part of town hasn't done much for Evans's manners; he rails and rants just as easily as he sings and picks. "We've got millions of people in this town," he says, "yet, there's not enough people to support three or four showcase venues here. That's bullshit. I mean, come on, people. Everybody bitches about how bands move to Austin or L.A. or wherever. Can you blame them? I've stayed here in Houston because that's how I roll. You've got to be hard-core to be a musician in this town. When my band tours the country, people always ask, 'Why do you live in Houston?' My reply is always the same, 'Because that's where all the good shit's from.' There are tons of great musicians here, busting their asses and going to bat for Houston. Screw saving a cat. Get out of your fucking house and pay ten bucks to save the life of a musician. And buy a CD, too. You'll feel better the next morning, and the CD won't shit on your floor. Problem solved." But if Evans is provoking, he comes by it naturally. His idols are Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Elvis and the Beatles. None of them were known for conforming or brown-nosing. And like them, Evans is making his own brand of music.
ST. PETE'S DANCING MARLIN
Name: Riff Tiffs
Nominated in:Best New Act
Personnel: Sean (drums), Chris (guitar, vocals), Curran (mad skillz), Althea (professional speaker thumper)
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