Umbrella Man got the HPMAs off to a rousing start with some heel-kicking, toe-tapping zydeco gospel - after they cleared off the cables so hobbled singer Kam could get to center stage on her Rascal-like scooter. Then the first round of winners was announced...
Best Folk: Flying Fish Sailors. FFS' Jay Lee almost took his own picture onstage.
Best Guitar: Little Joe Washington, who we couldn't seem to find, but managed to be front and center when his name was called, then serenaded the crowd until they cut the music off. "My guitar's in the pawnshop. The only thing of mine that's not in the pawnshop is 'Mary Had a Little Lamb.'" He is the hoochie coochie man.
Best Male Vocals: Cornbreadd, Tha Fucking Transmissions. Being very nice and saying 'ish' instead of 'shit.'
Best Zydeco: Zydeco Dots. Hands up, everyone who's surprised.
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"You hardly ever write about zydeco... We're not the Seattle Press, we're not the Philadelphia Press, we're the Houston Press." Just you wait, my man...
Oh, and while we're venting about sponsors, it would be nice if some of the presenters took a little time to familiarize themselves with the people they're handing out awards to. Just saying.
Best Metal: Golden Axe. Award accepted on their behalf.
Best Experimental/Instrumental: Two Star Symphony. Well, half of 'em made it.