Issue 703

06th May, 2010 - 20th May, 2010

As a relative newcomer to the Rockabilly scene The Triple Aces have hit the ground running, gigging up and down Mid-Michigan from Bemo’s to the Machine Shop along with stops @ the Hamilton Street Pub, White’s Bar, Woody O' Brien's and Flanagan's.

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It was an arm wrestling match for the Country Music portion of the 24th Review Awards. No longer spread across the margins among bands and musicians, two groups basically swept away the evening: The 25 Cent Beer Band and Mandi Layne & the Lost Highway.

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One group that needs little introduction is The Thunder Chickens. Consisting of the inimitable Melissa May on vocals, guitar & violin, Josh Jekel on guitar, Matt NyQuist on bass and Terry Poirer on drums, the group has secured numerous honors the last couple of years at the Review Music Awards, and this year reaffirmed their place in the hearts of tri-city fans by nailing honors for Best Female Rock Vocalist, Best Rock Instrumentalist (Melissa May); Best Bassist (Matt NyQuist) and Best Variety Band.

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This is the first year the Review Music Awards included a Rap/Hip-hop category. While this area has always had a Hip-Hop scene, 2009-2010 saw a steady growth as new artists representing diverse backgrounds and styles revitalized the scene and took the area by storm.

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Rap/Hip Hop Performance of the Year

Taking home the “Rap/Hip-Hop Performance of the Year” award was OJ The King. Born Odell Walker Jr., OJ was raised in Saginaw and grew up in a musical family, with parents who met because they both worked as DJs and with an uncle who was in Gladys Knight and the Pips.

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When it comes to Jazz, the mid-Michigan area has enjoyed a storied reputation for producing innovative and nationally renowned performers, from the saxophone acumen of Sonny Stitt  to the melodic pop-styings of Stevie Wonder, Felton Sparks, and Jerry Holmes.

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For the second year in a row, The Baytones secured the nod as Best Big Jazz Band among music lovers and fans throughout the region; and got to show off how incredibly wonderful, dynamic and expressive a 16-piece jazz band can be when they performed their spirited set at the 2010 RMA’s The Baytones have been together since 1996 and actually began as two groups – the all-female band known as Opus Ten and the Bob Olsen Orchestra.

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Ceremony & Celebration

Review Magazine’s 24th Annual Music Awards Ceremony & Celebration took place on Monday April 30th at the Prime Event Center in Bay City, with tastes turning out to be as divergent as the talent populating the region of the Great Lakes Bay, as the peoples’ choice for top musical artists in 77 divisions were announced at a gala star-studded banquet filled with 350 nominees, fans, political dignitaries, and local personalities.

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This is the ninth year for adding inductees to the Saginaw County Sports Hall of Fame, but it feels like a 10th anniversary for President Jack B. Tany and his 21 board members. That’s because they got started right at the turn of the millennium, and needed some time to get organized.

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Competition among promoters in this region of Michigan is tough, and this category featured the five promoters who are responsible for nearly all of the hip-hop events in the tri-cities. Taking home the award was L.

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A name new to the Review Music Award scene last year was John Vasquez & the Bearinger Boys, who took home the 2009 award for “Rock Rookie of the Year.” John and his associates proved the band had staying power by taking three awards this year.

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One of the great things about the Review Music Awards is the way talent percolates to the top by virtue of public support, as opposed to the favoritism of corporate cliques or art circle elites. Act As One has made a mark on the local scene despite their individual anonymity.

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