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Columns > Dan Alford - Audio Files

Published: 2002/12/22
by Dan Alford

Miles Davis Quintet

Welcome to the final edition of Jambands.com and Home Grown Happenings for 2002!

It seems like we just did this not too long ago, but it is time for our annual HGMN Year-End Awards! I'm envisioning some sort of
shimmering tree-shaped trophy…maybe in a few years! Looking back over late 2001 and 2002 was a wonderful task. There were so
many great albums, new bands, festivals, and happenings in the Kind Music universe that it was mind-boggling. Anyway, here is the
best of 2002 as voted upon by the HGMN Staff and several longtime HGMN Reps!

STUDIO ALBUM OF THE YEAR: Keller Williams, Laugh – The first-ever HGMN member just keeps showing the world how talented he is year
after year. His fearless February 2002 studio release Laugh delighted fans, stores, and everyone else who heard it. Clocking in at
over 70 minutes, the album more than satisfies the listener's Keller craving while accurately capturing the vision of the artists
with flawless production and a collection of his best songs. Every Keller album is good, but Laugh is clearly his most ambitious
and fully realized effort to date. Even in the studio, the boundless feel of Keller's live shows shines through. There's jazz,
techno, country, extended jams, frightfully fast guitar work, and body-shaking rhythms, just like the live show. Listen to this
album or catch Keller live, and you'll see why he called the album Laugh.

Also receiving votes: The Disco Biscuits, Senor Boombox; The Codetalkers, self-titled

LIVE ALBUM OF THE YEAR: The Motet, Live – An album that will help define the Harmonized Records label! This entrancing live CD has
turned legions of fans on to this diverse Colorado-based band. Percussion perfection, beefy funk, slithery solos and an energetic
atmosphere make Live irresistible no matter what kind of music you like. Their live shows are cathartic, sizzling affairs, bursting
with marathon jams and crafty song selection. These guys are going to be around for a long time!

Also receiving votes: Yonder Mountain String Band, Mountain Tracks Vol. 2; The Big Wu, Live at Cedar Cultural Center

NEW HOME GROWN BAND OF THE YEAR: Raq – This Vermont quartet won this category by a landslide. Their talent and potential is simply
undeniable. They have become one of the fastest rising bands in the nation thanks to a wicked word of mouth buzz, plenty of
northeast tour dates, and a slew of live shows available for download. They were New Groove of the Month on Jambands.com earlier
this year, and celebrated their one-year anniversary this summer. They have a track on the upcoming Home Grown 5 compilation CD and
a national tour in the works. It's safe to say that these guys are ready to explode into the minds of Kind Music fans everywhere!

Also receiving votes: Hanuman, Railroad Earth, The Codetalkers, The McCloskey Brothers Band

ROAD WARRIOR: OM Trio – This trio really broke into the national touring scene in 2002, performing more than 160 shows across the
continent. They have wowed crowds from Oregon to Florida with their "elevator music for headbangers". Their technically stunning
and primally grooving shows are as intense in composition as they are in energy. Their diverse originals sometimes give way to
surprisingly fitting covers from Rage Against The Machine and Guns N Roses. The heavy traveling has paid off for OM Trio, as we
have seen their CD sales increase across the nation. Plus it means that they will be near us a lot!

WEBSITE OF THE YEAR: jambase.com – We spend all day online for one reason or another, but Jambase is the one site that we all visit
every day. There's no better way to find out about the shows that surround our location in Mebane, NC, than Jambase. The "My
Jambase' feature is a great way to get a quick look at the shows that are closest to you, and the site is often more up-to-date than
many of the band's websites. Cool reviews, interviews, contests, and more make it a no-brainer to check this site out every day!

Also receiving votes: discobiscuits.com, umphreys.com, jambands.com [Editor's note ;)]

FESTIVAL OF THE YEAR: Bonnaroo – Could there be any other winner this year? Even though we weren't allowed to set up the HGMN
Booth at Bonnaroo, the weekend was undeniably the highest concentration of Kind Music in one place all summer, maybe even in
history. For years we had been speculating about an "uber-festival" that would bring the giants of the scene together, and when the
first rumors of Bonnaroo began to surface, we thought it would never happen without a hitch. Well, it did, and we were all there to
take it in! An impossibly trouble-free gathering of 70,000 Kind Music fans who witnessed more music than some people see in a
lifetime. Bonnarooooo!

Also receiving votes: Smilefest, Magnoliafest

HGMN HALL OF FAME: Deep Banana Blackout – One of the definitive "jambands" since the genre began to expand back in the mid-90's,
DBB has been through some changes but managed to keep the wheels of funk turning. A consummate HGMN Band, DBB has taken advantage
of our services more effectively and for a longer time period than nearly every band that has been a HGMN Member. Their first two
albums, Live In The Thousand Islands and the legendary Rowdy Duty, are among the all-time HGMN bestsellers. With that push they
were able to release two more albums with help from other resources that have also spent time in our top 25. Not to mention that
they are just a great bunch of folks! DBB epitomizes the hard-working spirit, musical prowess, and longevity that make a Hall of
Famer!

CUSTOMER'S CHOICE: Sound Tribe Sector Nine, "Seasons 01" – 2002 was the year of Sound Tribe. Hands down the customer's favorite
album this year! This huge double-live offering captured the imagination of listeners with its pleasing ambience and energetic
musical playfulness. STS9's gooey mix of lightspeed beats, flourishing soundscapes, and shifting patterns makes the album great for
driving, working, partying, and countless other activities. Mysterious artwork and packaging only adds to this album's legend!

HG REP OF THE YEAR: Rhoni Sampson, Asheville, NC – Rhoni has definitely taken HGMN rep activities to new heights. She recently
began setting up a HGMN merchandise table at HGMN venue Stella Blue's in Asheville, NC, putting her in direct contact with almost
every HGMN Band, and has been attending festivals with us since 1999. She's been at every catalog party she could muster and really
set the standard for enthusiasm among the reps!

We hope you all have a safe, happy, and wonderful Holiday season! See you in January and thanks for reading!

Bryan Rodgers
www.homegrownmusic.net
919-563-4923

Believe it or not, I've got cheesecake of my own

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