Sunday, April 5, 2009

2009 Zemmy Awards

Zemmy’s the 3rd edition....

A tradition now is set. The Zemmy's are my way of listening to music in a new way and giving credit where it belongs to as many independent and a few mainstream artists that have touched me during the last year. Yes during the last year means nothing to when the music was released. Why are we so intent on categorizing music to "This Year"? I for one can not afford to buy everything let alone do I have the time to do such a thing. So when I find a gem that was released in 2006 and it becomes a piece that is played over and over... it needs to be shouted out to everyone. This year Freight Train by Fred Eaglesmith will get some award, but if it wasn't for Heather Waters begrudgingly selling an old EP of her site, (Quote ..."For a while I'm selling some of my old EP stuff but not for long.") I would have never discovered how great the song was and him as another one of my rebel country musicians. So there, now you know why so let's have some fun.

Best acappella song : For the third year in a row, Allison takes this category. Maybe I don't listen enough to acappella music to give her a run for her money. Knowing my love for her voice, she would likely win either way. This year, the song that graces and blesses my profile page at myspace, a Celtic Blessing. "May you walk through your days with Angel voices like Allison's singing in the back of your mind."

Best use of "Pissed Me Off" in a song for the third year in a row: Certainly Know Why by Kendel Carson written by Chip Taylor... if anyone can find a better use of that line... drop me a note. And if you don't believe me, go click on the preview of the song at this link to her Review Mirror Tears CD

Most envied Old Fart Musician award : Billy Joe Shaver... why not... he's old as dirt, still playing with everyone, and loving every minute of it.

Best CD of the Year....
OH my Heather Waters and her cd named Propeller. (click here and read a great review.) I'm not being biased because she came to my house concert series and blew everyone away with the depth of her voice, but the CD is awesome. Diamond in you mind, Jukebox, Castaway, Stone & Concrete and Joy comes back to me... wow.

Best Traditional CD of the year ... a new category and one that will be tough to top in the future. Lissa Schneckenburger's Song is incredible. She took old Maine poems and turned them into the freshest set of traditional music you will ever hear. I love her voice, and of course she's a great fiddle player too.But don't just take me word, read this review in Yankee

Here's a song off the cd.

Best line in a song: "It's like that old expression, all roads lead to Rome. You see he comes from trouble, and he's always going home" in a song called "Always going home" written & released by John Gorka a few year's back on a cd called "Out in the Valley"

Best Music Video of the Year : This was a much tougher decision this year so I created two categories... one best live recording video and one composition video. First up the live recording, so I fell in love once again. This time with Lissa & Aoife because of this wonderful video of a folk orchestra. Boy I'd love to see this performance some day. Childsplay Featuring Mark Simos, Lissa Schneckenburger, Aoife O'Donovan, Keith Murphy" perform Tears Of Healing Rain" at The National Heritage Museum

Best Music Composition Video : No problem here... Hope Waits the winner of CD of the Year in 2008 put out with the help of Putumayo World Music, I'll be Satisfied. I'll be satisfied when someone emails me that Hope is going to be on Austin City Limits or some other cool music show. Maybe I'll drop them a note.

Best Male Tenor is still Alfonso Velez, and I've played his Hell Yeah over and over. He put a link on his site for downloading a great concert, but this video has just him which really highlights how great he sings, and women out there... he's cute as "Hell Yeah"... too.

Best Duet: Ball and Chain Blues by Mike and Amy Finders. What a wonderful song written by Mike and sung by a couple who have celebrated their 10 year anniversary. You can find the song on their Finders and Youngberg CD named Keep Your Suitcase Packed. Mike said this song is written about a different couple they know. HA. Loved them at the Bluff View over the summer they were wonderful.

Best Train metaphor song : Freight Train by Fred Eaglesmith as mentioned before. This song cooks down the rails of a wild relationship.

Best song about a clothing article since This Old Shirt by MCC : In my coat by Jennifer Daniels... So you don't know her? The day I first posted this she gave birth to twins, I can only imagine the ride those babies had when she was performing because she doesn't hold back at all.

Best Joplinesque voice ---- I still want Sabrina Kufner to put some music on iTunes... some day.

Best Gypsy Song.... Gypsy Town by Mat D.

Best new folk song in the tradition of Bill Staines : Lone Star Hotel Cafe by Guy Clark... you're going to love this, I heard it on the new Bill Staines CD but it's definitely one of his classic stories. Well done Guy, an excellent writer of course too so why not a new category...

Best new song that reminds me of Guy Clark or Kris Kristofferson : Gaylor Creek Church by Billy Don Burns

Best erotic scene setting song: I'll wrap myself in you by Ellie & Leela Grace... so sweet so gentle, shouldn't all love be just like this.

Best old song I rediscovered : Fields of Illinois by Don Lange

Best Ghost song : Phantoms by Rose Reiter .... never talks directly to Ghosts, but such a haunting song of a dark life's journey.

Best song I can’t figure out : To the dogs, or whoever by Josh Ritter... I love this guy and I need to buy a song or two every year just to make me think. He's one this category two out of three years.

Best Dylan cover: Wallflower by Uncle Earl who is an all woman folk / bluegrass group. Of course I'd love to play with these gals, would I need to dress in drag?

Best Christian song: This year our Saints & Sinners group covered Randy Travis version of "Are you washed in the Blood"... how can I not pick this one. I truly have always admired Randy's voice.

Most Eclectic Cover : Lay Down your Weary Soul by Mary Black.... ok so it's the second Dylan cover, but after I heard this song I had to go back and find Dylan's original buried on the Biograph release. Mary's is so much more interesting and fun to listen to, sorry Bob.

Best Sports song: Bonehead Merkle by Chuck Brodsky. I have a hard time thinking now for three straight years I've found classic songs that are a must for every sports music nut. Chuck has a few more baseball songs, so he could possibly win this category each year.... In case you have never heard him, here's a video of him doing a song that might win next year about Richie Allen

Best Explicit Song : Too Repressed by Sometymes Why... oh my... I blush just thinking about this song. I do wonder what inspired this beautiful trio of woman to decide to record this and, get this, a KID's song. HA! I did find this interview where Aiofe describes why and how it was written.
Now catch this they tagged the dirty song with the kid's song... be forewarned this song has the F word in it, and not the Irish way of using as an adjective.

Best Bluegrass song: Old Shine Crow by Finders & Youngberg, written and sung by Erin Youngerberg. It was so significant that a video was made of it:

Best Jack Johnson song: Better Together This category is because MySpace Acoustic forums traditionally have a love / hate relationship with this guy. Give him a break, I wish more pop music sounded like Jack Johnson.This song was not on the CD he released this year... I didn't think is was as good as his previous one.

Most overrated CD: ok... I really didn't have one that I wanted to pick on, so I originally picked Jack Johnson's current one just doesn't measure up to the other ones he's released; but then the Grammy Awards came out to pick the Krause / Page cd as the best of the year. Boy I wish they had picked one that I wasn't given free, and kept thinking to myself... boy I'm glad I didn't pay for that. Three, maybe four songs were listened to multiple times and "Killing the Blues" (another song they honored) has the only song that stuck. Don't get me wrong, I really tried and tried to like this one... who couldn't love the idea and Allison's voice. But I thought it really was over-hyped. So does that mean that the Grammy Awards are so political and music industry biased that it's bought, or do these people only listen to what they are handed?... frankly I'm glad I picked Heather and Lissa way over that cd.

Best Song by an artist with Rose in their name : Raina Rose, "I like you better"... She looks like a young Bonnie Raitt with blonde hair, but she's a folkie with a very unique guitar style. I don't too much about the lady, but this is a very good song that I think I got as a free down load from her... I forget.

This isn't the song I love, but you can see the passion she brings to her single guitar playing...

Best Video by a performer with Rose in their name..Rose Reiter for the second year... this one has her dancing again.

Best shaved head Artist : Natalie Portman… you say she doesn’t sing… then it must be Angels every time I see her. I think she’ll win this every year. If I ever get elected I’m going to ask her to be my Secretary of State. She is short, cute, and smart and is not shy to speak to peace.

Best cover of a Kate Wolf song EVER: Across the Great Divide by Nanci Griffith...I think this will likely stay here until someone ace’s it out.? See the 2007 Zemmys for a video of Nanci's cover.

Best Dave Zeman Song: I would try Flowers of the Forest. Yep... any song Dave doesn't sing on the better... HA
Yes Nichola Maria O'Donnell sings lead.

Most Played song in iTunes... this year was tough... I had to reboot my iTunes three times, but it has to go to The Wedding Song by David Francey. He wrote the song for one particular couple but it really was because he always finds himself on the road missing all the events through out the year.

Freebie Award has to go to Lauren Zettler for giving away a great concert. I loved every minute of it... and her cover of the Dylan song almost made the previous category, but it did end up sneaking into a piece I wrote about busking... also inspired by her. Of course I couldn't resist posting one of her bed side songs.

When I learned a MySpace and friend Teresa Austin had died suddenly. She was the biggest supporter of the Zemmy’s and she had to be immortalized in these posts. The Austin Award was for friend who embodies her support for my musings.

This year the biggest artist pusher besides myself had to be Fran with Concerts in your Home. He's got a great newsletter, if you truly can't host... try to inspire a friend to do it.

My song interest & writing have revolved themes... so I need to get some more in the Zemmys, like families, American, rainy days and maybe colors.

The best song about family life. MJ Bishop does this great one about her Mom and Dad going this way and that. Boy I can't wait to be retired and do the same. Great job MJ.

Songs about America... how about Ashleigh Flynn's American Dream. It talks to the heart of our daily passion and expectations in life... I'm so glad I found Ashleigh this year by bouncing around people's iMixes.

Rainy days are a perfect theme, that I'm pretty sure I'll find a new song every year, so this year it's Rainy Day Epiphany by Nichola Maria O'Donnell. This song, her song Gypsy Heart, and video made me ask, would she put her voice to my Flowers of the Forest... And wow is all I'll say.

Colors has to be Crayola Doesn't make a color by Kristin Andreasssen. Kristen wins three this year because she is with Sometymes Why and Uncle Earl too. And if you look and watch for the harmony singer, it's Aiofe O'Donavon... which kind of makes it her third Zemmy this year too.

Lastly, we need a coffee after all this so it should be Caffeine by Abbie Gardner.

Well ahh... maybe until next year... or until I want to do this again. I do need to note that with all the YouTube Videos, that all the songs I own or downloaded free from the artist. Please, please, please go pay for your music. I have raised my son to do the same. He kept telling me about friends, and I kept telling him Dustin we can afford to pay for your music for as much as I don't like to listen to it; you should pay the mere $.99 per song.