Houston Press 1996 Music Awards

Page 10 of 12

Artist: Don Sanders
Nominated for: Best Folk/Acoustic
Sound of choice: Witty storytelling with a guitar

Time logged: Played Anderson Fair when Lyle Lovett was still looking for influences

Etc.: Don Sanders is at the top of many local folkies' "Best Person to Take on a Campout" list; there are times when nothing entertains like a guy with a guitar and a story he wants to tell. Although Sanders has never quite managed to capture his on-stage magic on tape -- at least not since the early-70's Anderson Fair Through the Night Darkly compilation -- his is a genre whose strength has always been cozy, intimate performances. The kind that Sanders invariably produces.

Don Sanders performs at 4 p.m. Sunday at 8.0.

Artist: Hadden Sayers
Nominated for: Best Rock/Pop; Songwriter(s) of the Year
Sound of choice: Blues-edged rock
Time logged: More than two years (with his own band)

Etc.: Hadden Sayers seems poised for a breakthrough year. His powerful new CD, Retrofutura, spills over with evidence that his song writing has moved up a couple of notches. And pared down to a tight three-piece outfit, the Hadden Sayers Band easily aces the "But can they cut it live?" test.

Artist: Seeds of Soul
Nominated for: Best Rap/Hip-Hop
Sound of choice: Rap, hip-hop (surprised?)
Time logged: Seven years

Etc.: "You guys don't look like rappers" is a comment that's regularly besieged this bunch. It's true: the guys in Seeds of Soul look like regular fellows. It's not their fault the business they happen to be in favors style over substance. But this quartet has been known to show its sense of style through its substance, and people are starting to take notice. Currently, they're working on an album set for release on Austin's Sector II label.

Artist: Harry Sheppard
Nominated for: Best Jazz
Sound of choice: Good vibes
Time logged: Fifty years (11 in Houston)

Etc.: At 69, this man's got some badass batteries. His regular gigs are with Necessary Tension at Rudyard's on Thursdays, with Erin Wright at the River Cafe on Tuesday nights and with bassist Bill Miller at that same venue's Sunday brunch. Points of View came out on Justice last year and received zero local press. Despite which, it's apparently selling well and generating airplay in Holland and Germany.

Harry Sheppard performs at 7 p.m. Sunday at Q Cafe.

Artist: Sentir
Nominated for: Best Tejano/Latin
Sound of choice: Venezuelan folk music with island rhythms
Time logged: Eight years

Etc.: A weekly attraction at Elvia's Cantina, Sentir is a ten-member Cuban/Venezuelan folk outfit that fits the Latin/Tejano category only by necessity. Incorporating Caribbean rhythms into a traditional Venezuelan format, the group has more on its mind than any one label can justify.

Artist: Sisters Morales
Nominated for: Best C&W
Sound of choice: Harmony-driven country rock
Time logged: Seven years

Etc.: Lisa Morales' image as a folkie songwriter started to change direction when she and sister Roberta began pushing country harmonies to angelic levels. As they assembled one of the tightest backup bands in town, the sisters wrote and polished original songs -- in both Spanish and English -- that brought them to the attention of RCA Records. While Lisa and Roberta's words and the way they sing them are responsible for the bulk of their audience, David Spencer's blazing skills on electric and steel guitar are also a big part of what makes this band work so well.

Artist: The Suspects
Nominated for: Best Alternative/Non-Commercial; Best Reggae/World Beat; Best Act That Doesn't Fit a Category; Best Horn/Horn Section

Sound of choice: Ska
Time logged: Two years
Etc.: Without question, the Suspects do the Two-Tone/rock-steady thing better than any other act in Houston. With three nominations this year, the only thing this band of fierce ska purists could possibly protest is their inclusion in the Reggae/World Beat category. But what can we say? Musical definitions are a malleable, and unpredictable, thing.

The Suspects perform at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Ball Room.

Artist: Tallis String Quartet
Time logged: Two years
Sound: Classical
Nominated for: Best Classical Performer/Ensemble

Etc.: This young group hasn't developed a particularly high profile yet; in fact, some who should know better insisted that they weren't even a Houston group. But they are, and they play a selection of romantic classical chamber works, and are also proud of their contemporary arrangements.

Artist: Taste of Garlic
Nominated for: Best Alternative/Non-Commercial; Best Rap/Hip-Hop
Sound of choice: George Clinton takes the metal train
Time logged: Four years

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Greg Barr
Contact: Greg Barr
Craig D. Lindsey
Contact: Craig D. Lindsey
Hobart Rowland
Jim Sherman
Edith Sorenson
Brad Tyer