Metal/Punk Band of the Year: The Shaniqua Brown

When Rachel Kate Gillon signed on as the vocalist for The Shaniqua Brown, she gave no thought to the idea that strangers would start calling her Shaniqua. { Read More }

Guitarist of the Year: Sadler Vaden

The frontman and songwriter for the now-defunct power trio Leslie can wail like a ’70s rock god or groove like a seasoned studio-session cat. Currently, Vaden is playing guitar for Atlanta legends Drivin N’ Cryin’. He will soon relocate to Nashville.

Funk/Soul/R&B Artist of the Year: Elise Testone and the Freeloaders

There are three phrases Elise Testone repeats often when she’s teaching her vocal students. Sitting at the keyboard in her tiny Styrofoam-walled office, she reminds 14-year-old Ellie Buchanan of the most important one: “Picture that string pulling your spine up to the ceiling.” { Read More }

Drummer/Percussionist of the Year: Quentin Baxter

Veteran Charleston drummer and music teacher Quentin Baxter is the top timekeeper in the local jazz world. His dynamic, almost feathery technique works well with almost any type of music, whether it’s swing, Latin, blues, or avant garde.

Singer of the year, singer-songwriter of the year, country band of the year, album of the year, song of the year: Cary Ann Hearst

See, Hearst and Trent raise chickens on their Johns Island home, and a while back, they had two roosters, Elvis and Jerry Lee. It was a bad move. { Read More }

Pianist/Keyboardist of the Year: Joe Giant

One of the co-founding members of Crowfield, Joe Giant’s elegant style nicely complemented the twangy guitar work and singing of frontman Tyler Mechem. Crowfield fans were sad to hear that Giant had relocated to Michigan this summer.

Up-and-coming act of the year and experimental artist of the year: Old You and Firework Show

It all started with piano lessons. Brothers Zach and Caleb Bodtorf were forced into them as kids. { Read More }

Jazz Band of the Year: Charleston Jazz Orchestra

Under the guidance of conductor and trumpeter Charlton Singleton, this tux-clad, 20-plus piece ensemble features the jazz scene’s cream of the crop. The CJO regularly sells out the Charleston Music Hall every season with boisterous, thematic performances.

Hip-hop artist of the year: Natty Heavy

Listeners of Charleston’s Z93 Jamz’ Da Breakfuss Club already know Natty Heavy (a.k.a. Nate Lopes) for his on-air skills. In fact, two years ago the station he faced-off against famed hip-hop artists Common and Method Man, resulting in what Natty says was a humbling loss to Common and a jubilant victory over Method Man. “It was like an award for all the hard work,” says. { Read More }

Jam/Groove/Reggae Band of the Year: Dangermuffin

Singer/guitarist Dan Lotti, guitarist/banjo player Mike Sivilli, and drummer/bassist Steven Sandifer have crafted a hippie-friendly style that incorporates blues, country, classic rock, soul, and bluegrass.

Bassist of the year: Ben Wells

Jazz bassist Ben Wells wasn’t always a four-string fanatic or even a jazz fan. In fact, he originally wanted to grow up to be a drummer. { Read More }

Horn player of the year: Charlton Singleton

Growing up in Awendaw and attending schools in Mt. Pleasant, Charlton Singleton was an aspiring pianist as a youngster. He started taking lessons at the age of three and played regularly before picking up the violin in grade school. { Read More }

Blues Artist of the Year: Sarah Cole and the Hawkes

Last year, blues guitar wunderkind Sarah Cole joined forces with the seasoned veterans of the Hawkes. Her sophisticated six-string interplay with guitarist/vocalist Jesse Prichard complements the meaty soul-rock of the Hawkes rhythm section, drummer Jim Donnelly and bassist John Kennedy.

DJ/turntablist/electronic artist of the year: Rocky Horror

Rocky Horror has a horrible, horrible secret, one that is sure to shock his fans and maybe even his family and friends: He’s never seen The Rocky Horror Picture Show. “I just have never been interested in musicals,” he says. { Read More }

Multi-instrumentalist of the year/rock band of the year: Joel Timmons/Sol Driven Train

The year was 2004, and Timmons, the bandleader for Sol Driven Train, had volunteered to work at a farm in India. “I began to develop some troubling symptoms,” Timmons says. { Read More }

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