Drunk Mom Does NSMW 2014 - Part 2

It's been a long time since I've partied at the Truro Legion Hall. In my younger days, it was the site of more than one late night of loud music and countless drunken embarrassments. When I pulled up seconds before the show started, the line wound down the steps and through the parking lot, at least 70 people deep. The cold night didn't seem to dampen anyone's spirits as they waited to get into the festival's largest venue, already at capacity before the first band took the stage. Judging by the show that followed, I wager they'd consider it well worth the wait.

Like A Motorcycle opened to an already enthusiastic crowd with their signature high energy snark and swagger. Bass player Kim Carson's recently car door-slammed thumb didn't slow them down a lick, and the walls of the legion were soon shaking. I'm rather biased towards these beautiful babies, but I think anyone in that room could tell you that this band is pure, hard, grimy dance punk perfection. The recent edition of KT Lamond on second guitar makes their big sound even bigger, and the fun they have on stage is infectious.

Jessie Brown & The Black Divine took us all to sexy church, dazzling the crowded hall with big vocals and blistering guitars. As a long time Drunk Mom, I'm no stranger to whiskey drinks and heartbreak, and I swear this band plays the perfect soundtrack to every one. This is sweaty, swaggering soulful rock and roll at its finest. I don't think there's anyone with a voice or a presence quite like Brown's, and with a band whose virtuosity and ferocity match her smoky wail, I don't think she has to worry about anyone coming close any time soon.

I missed part of The Town Heroes set, because while I was out smoking I met a lovely lady who showed me tons of pictures of her adorable dogs. I mean, next to baby pictures, puppy pictures are the greatest Drunk Mom kryptonite. When I got back inside and made my way through the raucous crowd, it became pretty clear why these guys would go on to sweep the awards the next day. I don't even understand how two people can make such a big, raucous, sweeping sound; it's like you're being enveloped by a symphony of sweat, hair and fun.

The Stanfields set was the best kitchen party you've ever been to, times a hundred. The crowd, which held more than a few Drunk Moms, started stomping and hollering as soon as the first notes rang out, couldn't stay still, and you can tell that this high energy crew wouldn't have it any other way. Celtic inspired hard rock was just what this crowd was waiting for, and The Stanfields were more than happy to deliver.

Matt Mays was announced as the show's surprise guest last week, and you can be sure that he was a big reason that those dedicated folks waited on the steps of the Legion all night. These guys know how to throw a party like nobody else, and we were all invited. Mays had us in the palm of his hand from the second he took the stage, and he and his band delivered a set that capped the high energy night off perfectly. This is sort of music, and the sort of show that Nova Scotia loves; smart but unpretentious, familiar but fresh, honest to god rock and roll that's the perfect soundtrack to nights you never want to forget.

Considering how hard everyone worked and partied this weekend, and how hungover I imagine many of them were, the crowd at Sunday's Music & Industry Awards Brunch sure cleaned up nice.The celebrations kicked off with me crying. Maybe it was the late night/early morning, or maybe I'm just a sentimental sort, but watching Angelo Spinazzola dedicate his Aboriginal Artist of the Year Award to his young students broke me right up. The Town Heroes made five equally charming and hilarious acceptance speeches, one for each award they received. They thanked the internet and Alexander Graham Bell when they picked up Digital Artist of the Year, and as they loped back and forth across the crowded hotel ballroom to collect their ensuing awards (Entertainer of the Year, Group Recording, Rock Recording and Music Video), they had the crowd in stitches. Kim Harris had me near tears again when she accepted the SOCAN Songwriter of the Year (one of three awards she collected) for The Weight of It All, and spoke of the song's birth from grief. Like A Motorcycle accepted the Loud Recording of the Year award for their #motorpool EP from an adorable little girl, and thanked their mechanic. Joel Plaskett, looked cute as a god damn lanky button in a sweater I'd like to steal as he accepted his Producer of the Year award. Heather Doran reminded us of all the amazing folks who worked so damn hard for us all weekend when she accepted her Volunteer of the Year award. 

Check out all the winners from NSMW 2014 below: 

Devonian Coast Wineries - Jost Vineyards Entertainer of the Year: The Town Heroes 
Female Artist Recording of the Year: Kim Harris - Only The Mighty 
Group Recording of the Year: The Town Heroes - Sunday Movies 
Male Artist Recording of the Year: Adam Baldwin - Adam Baldwin 
Music Video of the Year: The Town Heroes - “Holdin’ Up Grants(Director: Dillon Garland) 
New Artist Recording of the Year: Kim Harris - Only The Mighty 
SOCAN Songwriter of the Year: Kim Harris - “The Weight Of It All” 
Recording of the Year: Carleton Stone - Draws Blood


Aboriginal Artist of the Year: Angelo Spinazzola and the First Nations Songwriting Sessions
Acadian/Francophone Artist of the Year: Maxim Cormier
African Nova Scotian Artist of the Year: Cam Smith
Alternative Recording of the Year: Willie Stratton & The Boarding Party - Deserter
Americana/Bluegrass Recording of the Year: The Modern Grass - City Ghosts
Blues Recording of the Year: Chris Martin Trio - Young Blood
Country Recording of the Year: Jimmy Rankin - Back Road Paradis
Digital Artist of the Year: The Town Heroes
DJ of the Year: Jules Bangsworth
Electronic Recording of the Year: Joshua Van Tassel - Dance Music: Songs For Slow Motion
Folk Recording of the Year: The Stanfields - For King and Country
Hip Hop Recording of the Year: Ambition - Man of the Year
Inspirational Recording of the Year: Christina Martin - Remember Me
Jazz Recording of the Year: Gypsophilia - Horska
Loud Recording of the Year: Like A Motorcycle - #motorpool EP
Musician of the Year: Adam Baldwin
Pop Recording of the Year: Carleton Stone - Draws Blood
Rock Recording of the Year: The Town Heroes - Sunday Movies
Traditional/Roots Recording of the Year: Còig - Five
Urban Recording of the Year: Cyndi Cain - Soul Food 


Booking Agent of the Year: Stephanie Purcell, LimeLight Group
Community Presenter of the Year: Deep Roots Music Cooperative
Company of the Year: SpinCount
Corporate Sponsor of the Year: Casino Nova Scotia
Educator of the Year: Erin Costelo
Event of the Year: Halifax Pop Explosion
Industry Professional of the Year: Ian McKinnon, GroundSwell
Live Technician of the Year: Georgia Richards
Manager of the Year: Ian McKinnon
Media Professional of the Year: Stephen Cooke, The Chronicle Herald
Producer Of The Year: Joel Plaskett
Production Company of the Year: Tour Tech East
Promoter of the Year: Mike Campbell
Publicist of the Year: Matt Charlton, Pigeon Row
Radio Program of the Year: Halifax Is Burning, CKDU 88.1 FM
Radio Station of the Year: CKDU 88.1 FM
Recording Studio of the Year: The Sonic Temple
Studio Engineer Of The Year: Charles Austin
Venue of the Year: The Carleton Music Bar & Grill
Visual Artist of the Year: Mat Dunlap
Volunteer of the Year: Heather Doran

Music Nova Scotia’s board and staff wish to thank all of the individuals that helped make this event a success, including but not limited to performers, delegates, sponsors, committees, fans, family, and the entire Truro/Colchester community. The 18th annual Nova Scotia Music Week will be held in Yarmouth, NS, November 5-8, 2015.


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