Here are my picks:
Song Of The Year: I Can Pray-Dove Brothers Quartet
Man, that was a powerful song! I can see this one being sung many, many years from now.
Album Of The Year: Back To The Roots-The Imperials
This was a hard category for me to narrow down; of the albums included, I really liked You Gotta Love It-Triumphant Quartet, Get Away Jordan-Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, and this one. I decided to go with Back To The Roots because it was not merely a cover album of Imperials songs; it truly felt as if you were hearing them for the first time.
Pacesetter: Dove Brothers Quartet
These guys made a huge impact on SG this year. It was actually my first time to hear much out of them, and they’ve quickly become one of my favorite groups.
Breakthrough Artist Of The Year: Tribute Quartet
I’ve really liked what I’ve heard from these guys. I’m hoping to get both of their albums when next NQC rolls around.
Male Vocalist Of The Year: Jerry Martin-Dove Brothers Quartet
This was another hard category to pick, but I went with Jerry. His delivery on “I Can Pray” was outstanding!
Female Vocalist Of The Year: Karen Peck Gooch-Karen Peck & New River
Her group’s album Journey Of Joy was fantastic.
Male Group Of The Year: Gold City
These guys really put any doubts of this “new generation” of Gold City to rest. I consider their current lineup to be right up there with any of their other ones.
Female Group Of The Year: Sweetwater Revival
I wasn’t really familiar with any on the ballot, so I just went with this one.
Mixed Group Of The Year: The Perrys
Simply outstanding group. I love the new album!
Best Live Performer: Gold City
I got to catch these guys in concert near my hometown, and I was absolutely blessed! Steve Ladd was still having vocal problems, but you couldn’t tell a bit.
Songwriter Of The Year (Artist): Jim Brady-Booth Brothers
He’s got some great songs out there right now.
Producer Of The Year (Artist): Ricky Free-Brian Free & Assurance
Every time this guy’s name is in the producer credits, you know it’s gonna sound great! Take a listen at BFA’s Christmas project if you don’t believe me.
Traditional Southern Song Of The Year: I Can Pray-Dove Brothers Quartet
I thought this song sounded sort of Progressive myself, but it’s awesome, so it gets my vote.
Traditional Southern Album Of The Year: Once Upon A Cross-Mark Trammell Trio
Awesome album with an awesome title cut. These guys blow me away every time I hear it.
Progressive Southern Song Of The Year: Last Night-Karen Peck & New River
Best song I’ve heard from this group in a while.
Progressive Southern Album Of The Year: Back To The Roots-The Imperials
I was kind of surprised to see this album under Progressive, but I guess with songs like “Water Grave” on there, it makes sense.
Country/Bluegrass Song Of The Year: He’s In Control-Austin’s Bridge
It’s a good song, with a sort of Rascal Flatts feel.
Country/Bluegrass Album Of The Year: Austin’s Bridge-Austin’s Bridge
I expect to hear great things from these guys in the future. They’re doing a great job of bringing SG to my generation.
Special Event Project Of The Year: A Little Christmas-Legacy Five
This album really helped to establish Legacy Five’s quality after the death of Roger Bennett in March 2007. A couple of highlights: Tim Parton’s solo on the album is great, and proves that he is not trying to be another Bennett. Also, Glenn Dustin’s feature blew me away with never-before-heard warmth. If this is what we can expect in future L5 releases, then bring it on!
Musician Of The Year: Tim Parton-Legacy Five
Not only is he a great player, but he took a big step by being Roger Bennett’s successor to the piano bench.
Fan Favorite Artist Of The Year: Dove Brothers Quartet
Like I said before, these guys made an impact!