Rich Howells

EXCLUSIVE: 2018 Steamtown Music Award nominees announced in 37 categories

EXCLUSIVE: 2018 Steamtown Music Award nominees announced in 37 categories
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Last night, the Electric City Music Conference held an announcement party at Thirst T’s Bar & Grill in Olyphant for the third year, revealing all the nominees for the 2018 Steamtown Music Awards, including those in new categories added this year.

ECMC producers Joe Caviston and Ken Norton read off all the nominees between live performances by Sweetnest, American Buffalo Ghost, J Merrick, and The Charming Beards, who were all nominated in various categories. Many of the other eligible artists were also in attendance cheering as all the names were called.

“We’ve found that people look forward to the announcement party almost as much as the ceremony anymore. In our busy lives, it’s an excuse for everyone to all get together in a room and appreciate local music. That’s what this whole thing is about anyway,” Caviston said.

“Every year, the announcement party, much like the conference and awards ceremony, continues to grow,” Norton added.

The nominees in 37 categories were announced on Sunday – the winners of the 38th category, the Lifetime Achievement Award, were already announced on NEPA Scene back in May.

All the winners will be announced at the fifth annual Steamtown Music Awards on Thursday, Sept. 13 at The V-Spot (906 Providence Rd., Scranton), honoring Northeastern Pennsylvania’s top musicians and music industry professionals. The rest of the conference, featuring live music in 13 venues throughout the Scranton area and free educational panels, will be held on Friday, Sept. 14 and Saturday, Sept. 15. More details on the award ceremony, such as performers and award presenters, will be announced next week.

Winners are voted on by a committee that is comprised of 50 local music industry professionals, venue owners, promoters, sound engineers, and veteran (non-nominated) musicians, along with 50 music industry professionals from across the country who have no ties to the area.

A select few awards, indicated below, feature an online voting element. Online voting will take place via Facebook on the award ceremony’s official Facebook event page. Online voting will only comprise 50 percent of the vote. The other half will be determined by the committee.

And the nominees are…

Best New Artist (includes online voting)
Alex Key
Alpha Audio
Always Undecided
Lily Maiopolski
American Buffalo Ghost
Brighter Days
Ill Ray the Menace
J Merrick
Joe Lombardo
Local Concern
Piece of Mind
Shamrock Duo
The Boastfuls
The Holtzmann Effect

Acoustic/Solo Artist of the Year
Alex Key
Bret Alexander
Chris Shrive
Patrick McGlynn
Jay Luke
Jordan Ramirez
Lily Maiopolski

Blues Act of the Year
Clarence Spady
Crossroad Duo
Dustin Douglas and the Electric Gentlemen
Ed Randazzo
JP Williams Blues Band
The Soul Shakers

Country Act of the Year
Big Country
Flatland Ruckus
Mike Elward
The Wells River Band
The Tommy Guns Band

DJ of the Year
DJ Cryptic
DJ Quoth
DJ Evil Bee
Jay Velar

Duo of the Year
Always Undecided
Dem Guyz
Erich & Tyler Music Co.
Tiffany & Johnny D
Shamrock Duo
The Frost

Electronic Act of the Year
8-Bit Panda Strike
Gary Goblins
Rouge Chimp
Concious Pilot

Folk/Americana Act of the Year
American Buffalo Ghost
The Charming Beards
Zayre Mountain
Black Sage Project
The Dishonest Fiddlers

Hip-Hop Act of the Year
J Merrick
Lucas Hex
Mercy Gang

Indie Rock Act of the Year
University Drive
Black Hole Heart
Esta Coda
Jung Bergo
Kali Ma and the Garland of Arms
The Cryptid

Jam/Funk Act of the Year
Elephants Dancing
Half Dollar
Kluster Funk
Static in the Attic
Mother Nature’s Sons
Young Lion

Jazz/Classical/Big Band Act of the Year
East End Vipers
Mark Marcinko Jazz Band
Tyler Dempsey Electric Trio
West Third Street
Gary Rixner
Madd Kat

Metal Act of the Year
Behind the Grey
The Aegean
Traverse the Abyss

Pop/Top 40 Act of the Year
Black Tie Stereo
Flaxy Morgan
Light Weight
Vine Street
Nowhere Slow
Facing the Giants

Punk/Hardcore Act of the Year
Royal Hell
Talon Co.
Dreamers, Like Us
Stay Loud
Alma Mater
Death Wish Birdie

Rock/Alternative Act of the Year
Eye on Attraction
Idol Hands
Graces Downfall
Three Imaginary Boys
Destination West

Tribute/Cover Act of the Year
Dance Hall Devils
Project 90’s
No Memories
Reach for the Sky
The Molly Pitcher Path

Male Vocalist of the Year
Chris Shrive
Stephen Murphy
Patrick McGlynn
Angelo Maruzzeli
Dom Vito
Ed Couzzo
Tony Malec
R.J. Scouton

Female Vocalist of the Year
Alecia Powell
Amanda Rogan
Cierra Cellerari
Jami Kali
Katie Kelly
Jen Fracas
Katie Blake
LeahBeth Evans

Guitarist of the Year
Dustin Douglas
Mark Yanish
Jesse Mower
Michael “Duds” McDonald
Neil Nicastro
Rob Husty
Mike White
Christian Gratz

Bassist of the Year
Aaron Kovalich
Grant Williams
James Simon
Joe Quincy
Mike Capwell
Lisa Dieterrich
Wayne Kopacz
Rob Santoro

Drummer of the Year
Andrew Merkle
Anthony “Shiny” Montini
Greg Lynch
Tyler Dempsey
David Sarday
George Pachucy
Greg Ewasko
Jules Borosky

Auxiliary Musician of the Year
Christian Gratz – piano
Edward “Eddie the Harp” Czarkowski – harmonica
Frank Gruden – keyboard
Patrick Cadden – keyboard/clarinet
Ryan Lamaroux – tuba
Shannon Marsyada – piano
Tom Martin – harmonica
Brandon Rodriguez – saxophone

Album of the Year
Aaron Fink – “Wolves & Butterflies”
Dani-elle – “Eleven”
Black Tie Stereo – “Do You”
The Charming Beards – “Out of the Valley”
JP Williams Blues Band – “Stolen Cadillac”
Dustin Douglas and the Electric Gentlemen – “Break It Down”
Jay Luke – “It’s About Time”
Drew Breeze – “Sermons”

Video of the Year
Black Tie Stereo – “The Artist”
Grant Williams – “The Flood”
Half Dollar – “Gettin’ By”
Nate Williams – “Black Sheep Freestyle”
Jay Like “Side Effects”
J Merrick – “Wilkes Burial”
Toothless – “Red”
Traverse the Abyss – “Dead Weight”

Song of the Year
Alma Mater – “Speechless”
Dani-elle – “Joke’s on You”
Black Tie Stereo – “Run Jamie Run”
The Charming Beards – “Shining Star”
Traverse the Abyss – “Dead Weight”
Mercy Gang – “Road to Hell”
The Cryptid – “I’m Just Tired”
Aaron Fink – “Wolves & Butterflies”

Recording Studio of the Year (includes online voting)
After Image Studios
JL Studio
Saturation Acres
SI Studio
Side B Studios
TwentyFiveEight Studios
Werley Bird Studio
Windmill Agency

Publication/Blog of the Year (includes online voting)
NEPA Scene
Better Than the Weekend
Direct Access World Wide
Electric City/Diamond City
The Weekender

Music Journalist of the Year (includes online voting)
Alan K. Stout
Matt Mattei
Pat Kernan
Rich Howells
Patrice Wilding
Justin Adam Brown
Joey Graziano

Photographer of the Year (includes online voting)
Alex Seeley
Brittany Boote
Juliana Soroka
Keith Perks
Lisa Petz
Tom Bonomo

Radio Station of the Year (includes online voting)
Alt 92.1
88.5 Kings
91.7 VMFM Marywood Radio
98.5 KRZ
105 The River
Rock 107

Podcast/Program of the Year (includes online voting)
NEPA Scene Podcast
Podder than Hell
TwentyFiveEight Studios Podcast
Music on the Menu
The Up and Coming Drummer Podcast
F’n Millenials Podcast

Radio Personality of the Year (includes online voting)
Alan K. Stout
Johnny Popko
Freddie Fabbri
Lissa & Rocky
Kennedy Kai

Virtual Performer of the Year (includes online voting)
Chris Langan
Mark Yanish
Ed Cuozzo
Patrick McGlynn
Jon Higgins
John Nasser

Live Performer of the Year
Graces Downfall
Traverse the Abyss
Lucas Hex
Black Tie Stereo
Tommy Guns Band
DJ Hersh

Artist of the Year
Black Tie Stereo
The Charming Beards
Eye on Attraction
Dustin Douglas and the Electric Gentlemen
University Drive
Tyler Dempsey

Steward of the Scene Award
Karl Hall

Lifetime Achievement Awards
Joseph “Wiggy” Wegleski
The Glass Prism

See NEPA Scene’s photos from the 2016 announcement party here. See photos from the 2017 Steamtown Music Awards here and the entire Electric City Music Conference here. Stream or download last year’s panel discussions as free podcasts here and listen to Caviston and Norton talk about the conference and the awards in depth in Episode 26 of the NEPA Scene Podcast:

Photos by Keith Perks/1120 Studios/NEPA Scene