Music News & Reviews

The nominees for the fourth annual Lexington Music Awards are ...

David McLean is the founder and producer of the Lexington Music Awards. The fourth annual awards are Jan. 28 at the Lyric Theatre & Cultural Arts Center.
David McLean is the founder and producer of the Lexington Music Awards. The fourth annual awards are Jan. 28 at the Lyric Theatre & Cultural Arts Center.

The nominees for the fourth annual Lexington Music Awards have been announced, with familiar names and newcomers among the hopefuls.

Last year’s big winner, The Wooks, earned nods in several categories, including best bluegrass act and best string player for frontman Arthur Hancock and fiddler Jesse Wells, who recently left the group to tour with Tyler Childers. But the band, which swept best album and best song last year, didn’t have a new record this year, leaving the recording categories open to newcomers.

Among the artists earning multiple nominations are Joslyn & The Sweet Compression with five (including bassist Smith Donaldson and trumpeter Jeffrey Doll in musician categories), Whitney Acke with four, and Graveyard Romeos and Beth Dean with three. In an interesting combination, former University of Kentucky choral director Sara Holroyd is nominated for a lifetime achievement award; the Sara Holroyd Singers, a group made up of her former students, is a critics’ choice nominee; and Room 17 Productions, a group of former students actively working to preserve Holroyd’s legacy and spirit, is up for the community service award. Several of her former students and members of the organizations are also up for artist awards. Numerous artists and entities have two nominations.

Angie Beavin and Bill Meck of WLEX-TV emceed the third annual Lexington Music Awards. They will return for the fourth edition of the event. Rich Copley

Nominations were by popular vote, hosted by the Herald-Leader and, with input from a professionals panel. Winners will be selected by the nominees, who will receive one vote per entity. The awards will be handed out at 6 p.m. Jan. 28 at the Lyric Theatre & Cultural Arts Center in a ceremony hosted by Bill Meck and Angie Beavinof WLEX-TV 18 and featuring numerous area musicians.

Here are the nominees:


Album of the Year: “Dreamer,” by Abraham Mwinda; “Silhouettes,” A Little Bit More; “Altruisms,” Austin Wilkerson; “In Close Quarters with the Enemy,” Scott Whiddon.

Song of the Year:Go Get Et,” by No Limit Savage (featuring Yo Gotti & Vito); “Tried & Crucified,” Whitney Acke and Ray Adams; “Love on the Double,” Joslyn & The Sweet Compression; “Need That Hoodie Back,” Hybrid the Rapper.

Community Service Award: Twisted Cork Songwriters in the Round, Room 17 Productions, Devine Carama/Believing in Forever, Soulful Space.

Critics’ Choice Award: Sara Holroyd Singers, Greg Austin, Italian Beaches.

Beth Dean performed last January at the Lexington Music Awards. She has three nominations for the fourth annual event. Rich Copley

Jay Flippin Music Educator Award: Beth Dean, Paulie Felice, Rob Rawlings of Bath County High School, Vanessa Davis.

Lifetime Achievement (four out of the eight): Doug Breeding; Greg Austin; Montgomery Gentry; Ronn Crowder; Sara Holroyd; Tee Dee Young; Les Taylor; Merle Travis.


Best Female Vocalist: Beth Dean, Joslyn Hampton, Taylor Hughes, Whitney Acke.

Best Male Vocalist: Whit Whitaker, Shawn Hatchell of Graveyard Romeos, Derrick Spencer, Corey Cross.

Drummer/Percussionist: Jeff Frohlich of Graveyard Romeos, Tripp Bratton of Berea College and The March Madness Marching Band, Dave Faris of Drum Center of Lexington, John Clay.

Guitar: Ben Lacy, Daniel Phelps, Todd Stricklin of SuperUnknown.

Bassist: Steve Nall of Graveyard Romeos, Brandon May of the Allman Butter Band, Smith Donaldson of the Northside Sheiks, Bob Bryant.

The Osland Dailey Jazztet — pianist Raleigh Dailey and saxophonist Miles Osland — performed at last January’s Lexington Music Awards and won in their respective instrument categories. They are both nominated again this year. Rich Copley

Keyboard: Ryan Allen, Beth Dean, Raleigh Dailey, Tedrin Blair Lindsay.

Best Wind/Brass: Paul Osborne, Miles Osland, Jeffrey Doll, Scott Heerschee.

Best Strings: Raymond McClain, Ishi Wooten of Restless Leg String Band, Jesse Wells of The Wooks, Arthur Hancock of The Wooks.


Best folk: Whitney Acke, One Lane Bridge, Local Honeys, Chelsea Nolan.

Best blues: Tee Dee Young, RC & the Nightshades, Northside Sheiks, Mojo Tones.

Best classical: Lexington Singers, EKU Guitar Ensemble, University of Kentucky Opera Theatre, Lexington Philharmonic.

Best bluegrass: Berea College Bluegrass Ensemble, NewTown, Restless Leg String Band, The Wooks.

Best country: A Little Bit More, George Molton, Sundy Best, Taylor Hughes.

Best hip-hop/rap: Devine Carama, Hybrid the Rapper, No Limit Savage, Sidro Stinson.

Best jazz/Latin/etc.: Gayle Winters, The DiMartino-Osland Jazz Orchestra (DOJO), Triage, Zach Brock.

Best singer-songwriter: Austin Wilkerson, Taylor Hughes, Whitney Acke.

Best pop act: Vanessa Davis, Brother Smith, Big Fresh.

Best rock act: Magnolia Boulevard, Bent Penny Band, Johnny Conqueroo, Bryan Minks and the Kentucky Sons.

Best cover band: Graveyard Romeos, Bent Penny Band, Rebel Without A Cause, Vinyl Richie.

Best funk/reggae/R&B: Joslyn & The Sweet Compression, Driftwood Gypsy, Magnolia Boulevard, Sunny Cheeba.


Best venue: The Burl, Manchester Music Hall, Twisted Cork, Willie’s Locally Known.

Best music (retail CDs, vinyl, etc.) store: Pops Resale, CD Central, The Album.

Best gear/equipment store: Willis Music, Willcutt Guitars, Old Town Violins, DooWop Shop.

Best recording studio: Dojo Studios (Steve White), Long Island (Steve Nall), Sneak Attack.

Best live sound: Billy Moore, Ed Commons, Matt Florez, Wallace “Gator” Harrison.

Best DJ: Debraun Thomas (WUKY), DJ Otis Badass (WKQQ), Joey Truax (WLXU, Lexington Community Radio), Kenny Cummings (Chillin Broadcasting).

Best instrument repair: Wilcutt Guitars, RS Guitarworks, Mike Mankel — Bourbon Barrel Guitars, Casper Reed.

Note: Rich Copley participated in the professionals panel that helped select nominees.

Rich Copley, @copiousnotes.

If you go

Fourth annual Lexington Music Awards

When: 6 p.m. Jan. 28

Where: Lyric Theatre & Cultural Arts Center, 300 E. Third St.

Tickets: $15


Call: 859-280-2218

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