REVIEW Magazine presented their 31st Annual Music Awards Celebration on April 23rd at Lumber Baron's Genevieve Ballroom in Bay City the evening of April 23rd and honored 61 different artists that have enriched the cultural climate throughout the Great Lakes Bay Region. With a total of 4,288 votes cast by the general public between January & March of this year and a total of 546 artists nominated from the region, the top five nominees in each division moved to a final round of voting and the winners were honored at this special annual celebration.
With an evening full of unexpected surprises and incredible guest performances, big winners of the evening included the new Hip-Hop group BXG5 who walked away with seven trophies (including Best New Artist of the Year and Best CD Release; Andy Reed, who secured six honors both individual and with his band The Legal Matters; Tweed & Dixie, who walked away with four trophies; and Carrie Westbay, who picked up three honors for Best Female Rock Vocalist, Best Rock Songwriter, and Best Rock Band with her group The Westward Sons.
On a more personal note, I sincerely wish to thank Andrew Kostrzewa, Donny Brown and Michael Brush for one of the biggest surprises of the evening, which was when the ceremony was unexpectedly interrupted in order for them to present a special commendation to me from both The State of Michigan and The City of Saginaw for my endeavors with staging the Review Music Awards over the past three decades.
As the publisher & editor of The Review, over the years I have always refrained from placing myself in the spotlight within these pages largely because of my strong sense of journalistic propriety, but there are exceptions to every rule; and in this instance I wish to share this special commendation with our readers, insofar as it was one of the evening’s highlights and an honor that I find totally humbling:
State of Michigan Special Tribute to Robert ‘Bob’ Martin
LET IT BE KNOWN, that it is with deep appreciation of the significance of this milestone that we commend Robert ‘Bob’ Martin for his contributions in preserving and enriching music and the arts within the community of Saginaw, Michigan. Throughout the course of his full life, Bob Martin has freely given his time and worked to make Saginaw a better place for his family and the families of others. We are proud to recognize the important role that he has played in contributing to both the economic well-being and the artistic heritage of the region.
Since its founding in Saginaw in 1979, the Bay Area Review Magazine has become a vital element in recognizing and promoting Michigan artists and musicians. The bi-weekly publication covers local music, art, and the people and personalities who create it. Bob Martin’s success in creating a magazine that has continued to flourish in the digital age exemplifies a level of dedication and innovation that is worthy of praise.
In looking back over 38 years of the Bay Area Review Magazine’s history, it is clear that this publication has set its course with a continuing look to the future. Not only has the magazine become a staple of the Great Lakes Bay Region, but the annual Review Music Awards are anticipated by all members of the artistic community. We are proud to applaud the veracity and commitment of Robert Martin to promoting the arts at the 31st such annual Review Music Awards.
IN SPECIAL TRIBUTE, Therefore, This document is signed and dedicated to commemorate the contribution of Robert Martin. We salute him on this happy occasion and wish him and his family well in the years to come.
Signed: Vanessa Guerra, State Representative • 95th District / Kenneth B. Horn • State Senator 32nd District / Rick Snyder • Governor
I started the first music awards ceremony at the age of 31; and realized the night of the celebration when this commendation was being read to me that now at the age of 62, I have been doing this half my life.
Time flies fast, but I am eternally grateful for all the remarkable friendships that I have been able to establish over the expanse of these past three decades throughout the musical community.
When you love what you do, it's never work. And our talents, regardless of age or experience, are always in their infancy. As Keith Richards once put it: 'All of us grow older, but the key is to never grow up.’
And now, without further ado, here is a breakdown of the winners in all categories ranging from Jazz, Blues, Country, Rock, and numerous Miscellaneous categories. We also hope you enjoy the in-depth profiles we offer in this Special Music Awards edition of The Review; and look forward for more winner profiles throughout the upcoming weeks ahead.
Best Radio Station • JOE FM
Best Metal Band • Cruthu
Best Recording Studio • Reed Recording Studio
Best Alternative Band • The Barbarossa Brothers
Best Duo • Rick Maida & Tony Furlo - The Rick-Tones
Best Concert/Album or Project • Hell's Half Mile Indie Music Showcases
Best Music Festival • Sanford Parkapalooza
Best Original Band • Tweed & Dixie
Best Sound Technician • Carey Limberg
Best Videographer • Matt Giddings
Best Waitress • Angela Box
Best Bartender • Danielle at Bus Stop
Best Music Video • The Legal Matters - "I'm Sorry Love"
Best Variety Band • Avenue 5
Most Innovative Artist • Andy Reed
Best Live Event of the Year • Legal Matters at the State Theater
Best New Artist of the Year • BxG5
Best Folk Band or Duo • Michael Robertson and the Broken Hearted Saviors
Best Band Website • Tweed and Dixie
Best Solo Artist • Andy Reed
Best CD Release • BxG5 - A Haunting In Saginaw
Best Rock Video • The Legal Matters - Anything
Rock Keyboardist • Noel Howland
Rock Drummer • Justin Clifford
Best Male Vocalist • Mike LaVigne - Unsheltered
Female Rock Vocalist • Carrie Westbay
Favorite Rock Club • Bemo's
Rock Guitarist • Scott Van Dell
Rock Bassist • Joe Balbaugh
Best Rock Band • Carrie & the Westward Sons
Best Rock Songwriter • Carrie Westbay
Best Rap/Hip Hop Video • Mike Spitz - Record Keep Spinning
Best Mixtape / Release • BxG5 (STRAIGHT OUT THE VAULT VOL.1)
Best Promoter • Prince Entertainment
Best Performer • BxG5
Best Producer • SP
Best DJ • Mary Thomas Aka: MaryOkeKaraoke
Rap/Hip Hop Artist of the Year • BxG5
Best Rap/Hip Hop Songwriter • BxG5
Best Country Video • Her Taillights by Steve Armstrong and the 25 Cent Beer Band
Country Male Vocalist • Steve Armstrong
Best Country Musician • Mike Robertson
Favorite Country Club • Wil Lew Lounge
Country Female Vocalist • Mandi Layne
Best Country Band • Tweed and Dixie
Country Songwriter • Greg Kevorkian and Mandi Layne
Best Male Jazz Vocalist • Michael Brush
Female Jazz Vocalist • Monique Ella Rose
Favorite Jazz Club • Brooklyn Boyz
Best Big Band • 23 North Band
Jazz Songwriter • Michael Brush
Best Jazz Instrumentalist • Scott Van Dell
Best Small Combo • The Straight Eights
Best Funk Band • Soul Xpress
Best Blues Band • Larry McCray
Blues Instrumentalist • Bob Hausler
Blues Songwriter • Larry McCray
Favorite Blues Club • Scotty's Sand Bar
Female Blues Vocalist • Mel Curry
Male Blues Vocalist • Bob Charlebois