On April 12, the New England Music Awards kicked off the weekend with events throughout the city of Lowell before wrapping up an incredible weekend of entertainment, knowledge sharing, networking, and, of course honoring those who have excelled over the past year.
The inaugural awards ceremony was an amazing event, but in the second year the stature of the awards has grown immensely. The founders JoeG, and Dennis Hennessey, along with producer, John Fleming of Fleming Entertainment went out of their way to put together one spectacular event. Adding the Artist conference to this year’s was an added benefit to many artists that may not have been able to get the business education any other way.
After a nearly a year of planning and coordination the 2nd annual New England Music Awards was an amazing hit. While the inaugural New England Music Awards were held at the Hard Rock Café in Boston, a year later with the growth in recognition to the awards and the entire New England music community fully embracing them, there was no choice but to hold the event at a larger, more prestigious venue. This year NEMA found themselves at the prestigious Lowell Memorial Auditorium.
After a fast paced evening around town on Friday with performances by, among others, nominee and ultimate winner of New Act of the Year, Sarah Borrello, Best in State for Mass Nominee, Nemes, and fellow nominees for Best New act Dressed for the Occasion and The Unholy III played out at The Back Page. A few blocks away, at Ward Eight, were some amazing acts as well, Liz Frame and the Kickers, with Folk / Roots act of the Year Nominee Tricky Britches, and New Act Nominee Freevolt.
On Saturday it was Noel Ramos founder of Noel’s List, a site dedicated for the advocacy of independent artists starting off the day with a power presentation. A set of Panel Discussions followed beginning with Phil Simon, Megan Sabella, and Kimbal Packard on the topic of “Bringing the beat to a wider audience.” There was a common theme that rang out and boiled down to a few simple facts; you need to know who your audience demographics are, how to use that information, and how to present the information you have available to potential promoters and talent buyers.
There was a flurry of other activities going on in the hours leading up to the awards ceremony as artists came together, reunited, networked, and readied for the evening. Some of the artists past the time by celebrating the day through song; MB Padfield, one of the nominees for best in State, NH, found a few fellow artists to just try out some new lyrics with in their efforts to continue the long standing tradition of hard work pays off. As the hour neared to the opening, the entry to the auditorium filled and tensions rose for the nominees, staff and organizers.
The Luxury kicked off the night with a spectacular performance announcing this was an evening to behold. The night was filled will brilliant performances all night by The Veayo Twins, Charlie Farren, Jessican Prouty Band, Hot Day at the Zoo, Air Traffic Controller, Sarah Blacker (with the full Band), Alternate Routes, and The Adam Ezra Group.
The ending to the evening was like nothing you could script and if you missed it, you missed an epic moment in New England Music History. At the end of the night Adam Ezra began to call off the names of artists to come join them on stage, fittingly, it was like a who’s who of New England Music. Together the best of the best in New England took off for a wild jam session that left you speechless and knowing that it was going to be hard to top this in 2014.
When it was over it was sad to see the stage lights fade out and the house lights come up putting an end to an epic evening of festivities. Everyone was already talking about next year’s award ceremony. It will be hard to top this year’s event, but don’t put anything past the long list of people that are behind the New England Music industry.
If you missed it and wondering what you missed you can see the entire awards show on the live stream site here: http://new.livestream.com/accounts/1687599/NewEnglandMusicAwards
Congratulations to the Winners of the 2nd Annual New England Music Awards
- Band of the Year Adam Ezra Group
- Song of the Year Yeah Man – Ryan Montbleau Band
- Album of the Year Nordo – Air Traffic Controller
- Male Performer of the Year Chris Trapper
- New Act of the Year Sarah Borrello
- Songwriter of the Year Matt Nathanson
- Female Performer of the Year Sarah Blacker
- Producer of the Year Sean McLaughlin
- Live Act of the Year Rustic Overtones
- Blues Act of the Year Peter Parcek
- Jazz Act of the Year Grace Kelly
- Country Act of the Year Tom Dixon Band
- Hip Hop Act of the Year The Urban Nerdz
- Hardcore/Metal Act of the Year Age of End
- Rock Act of the Year The Alternate Routes
- Pop/Indie Act of the Year Gentlemen Hall
- Folk/Roots act of the Year Eilen Jewel Band
- Connecticut Poor Old Shine
- Rhode Island Joe Fletcher and The Wrong Reason
- New Hampshire Roots of Creation
- Vermont Chad Holister Band
- Maine The Mallett Brothers
- Massachusetts The Brew