Ah, the New England Music Awards. A chance for this amazing cluster of states to celebrate an incredible array of talent. For its third year, the awards will take place at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium in Lowell, MA and kick off February 21st. The event will include several concerts, as well as a free artist conference featuring guest speakers and panel discussions.
Leading the way this year are Deer Tick and Spose, who hold three nominations each. OurStage artists Gentlemen Hall, The Shana Stack Band, Nemes, and Darlingside are also up for awards, while hosts for the evening will include Dressed for the Occasion, Haley Sabella, Josh Logan, Sarah Borrello, The Mallett Brothers Band, Will Dailey, and comedian Steve Sweeney. Check out the full list of nominations below.
We here at OurStage are all about emerging artists and new music. As such, we are constantly out and about checking out the music around us, which often means seeing the best of what the Boston area has to offer. Turns out, that’s quite a bit.
So naturally we were excited to head over to the Liberty Hotel last night, where the people of the Boston Music Awards were good enough to gather some of Boston’s great artists, past and present, to perform and mingle, celebrating a community built entirely around a shared passion for music. Oh, also, awards. The awards themselves, while secondary to the buzz of the performances, served to highlight some of the artists who are really doing something special. We saw well-deserved awards going to breakout national stars like The Voice‘s Nicole Nelson and Karmin (a duo that has been on OurStage since 2010), scene stalwarts like Tim Gearan, and fast-breaking acts like Mean Creek (who just wrapped months of touring with Counting Crows) and Will Dailey (who stopped by our studio for an exclusive session earlier this year).
We’ll have some video soon to give you an idea of the scene last night, but in the meantime, check out some pics and a full list of winners below.
Hey, this is Scott, producer of the Songs Of The Revolution series for OurStage.
Just about one year ago, we sputtered forward with an idea we had. We wanted to bring to you, the loyal OurStager, a taste of the vibrant live music circuit we’re lucky to be a part of here in New England. We wanted to capture unique live performances from the talented and generous artists we are so lucky to work with, in an atmosphere more intimate than you might find even in a small rock club. By the end of 2011, we had captured some fantastic performances. And since we relaunched in 2012, we’ve gotten into a groove with a lot of really stellar musical moments.
And it keeps getting better. Every two weeks, we publish a new session, with free, exclusive audio downloads and streaming video (some of those early sessions were filmed on nothing but a flip cam or, in desperate times, an iPhone, and now we’ve grown to multi-camera shoots with all the bells and whistles).
But it’s always, always about the music around here. So I’ve compiled a few audio selections from the past year in this newfangled “Podcast” format that all the kids are raving about. Personally, I think they’re on drugs. You can tell by their eyes.
At your leisure, please take a listen to these songs, accompanied by some powerful, compelling, Morgan Freeman-esque narration by yours truly.
Oh my god, you guys, it’s time for a new installment of Songs of the Revolution! For those not hip to it, Songs of the Revolution is a series in which we capture some exclusive, stripped-down recordings by both established and up-and-coming artists as they tour through our town. We offer them to you as streaming video and free audio download. And it is awesome.
This week, we feature hometown hero Will Dailey. Will’s newest record, made with his band, The Rivals and released by Universal/Republic, has brought the singer-songwriter to a new level. In addition to being a regular on the Farm Aid tour and having won multiple Boston Music Awards, Will’s songs have been heard all over television and radio. After a recent gig, Will and longtime drummer Dave Brophy stopped in at Moontower Studio to record versions of an older song, a newer song, and a new spin on a classic cover.
This year, WERS celebrates 60 years of commercial-free, independent radio, and last night they hosted their own birthday party featuring Ryan Montbleau, Will Dailey, JJ Grey & Mofro and Pete Yorn. Although the formal setting of the Cutler Majestic Theater made the crowd a bit subdued, the performers couldn’t help but rock out anyway.
Last Friday, OurStage hosted a last minute contest to give away 2 free tickets to the concert; I caught up with the winner, and Boston-area artist, Brian Bergeron after the event. “It was great,” he said. “There were some hiccups in production, but my favorite part of the night was the way that Will rebounded from the sound issues.”
Will Dailey didn’t let the lack of a working mic get in his way; he stepped to the edge of the stage, strummed his guitar and belted out the Rolling Stones classic, You Can’t Always Get What You Want in seemingly perfect unison with the tech team scrambling with plugs and wires behind him. It was like watching an oddly choreographed dance.