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Music Issue > Music Issue

2nd Annual Rammy Awards

The Readers have spoken: Meet your 2009 picks for SA's best bands and musicians


Best Vocalist

Stephanie McVey (Altus)

McVey brings elements of pop-diva grandeur to Altus’s indie-rock arrangements without forcing the rest of the band to take a backseat.

Runners up: Melissa Ludwig, Kevin DaLuz (Under Nothing)

Best Instrumentalist

Ron Wilkins

Formerly lead and bass trombonist for the U.S. Air Force’s Band of the West, Wilkins plays regularly at Luna with his eponymous 4tet and teaches jazz studies at UTSA.

Runners up:

Marcus Rubio, Dan Stanush

Best Indie Band


Though drummer Manny Castillo died in January of this year, brothers Chris and Scott Lutz and bassist Dale Johnson continue playing their hard-to-
classify but distinctly San Antonio blend of country-tinged classic rock.

Runners up: Girl in a Coma,
Dog Men Poets, Fear Snakeface

Best Heavy Metal Band


Deadpool plays with a jagged-edged old-school savagery, but their devotion to their fanbase (dubbed the Society) makes a convincing argument that populism is metal’s truest form.

Runners up: Under Nothing,
Kin of Cain

Best Hip-hop Artist

Mexican Stepgrandfather

UTSA professor Marco Cervantes directly addresses South Texas identity issues and racial conflicts over complex experimental beats in multilayered and heady bilingual tracks like “A Stereotype” and “Texas Mexican.”

Runners up: Vultures, Notes Floats

Best Jazz Artist

Jim Cullum

Cornetist Cullum’s commitment to preserving the early 20th-century jazz tradition has made his band a River Walk staple for the past several decades.

Runners up: Bett Butler,
Ron Wilkins

Best Conjunto/Tejano Band


Self-described “Spanglish mixologists” blend several traditions of Latin music with American blues-rock and hip-hop, and frontman Robert Livar’s distorted guitar licks give a bite to their ass-shaking beat.

Runners up: Mingo Saldivar,
Piñata Protest

Best R&B Artist

San Antonio Blues Cats

This multi-instrumental blues collective began as a fundraising project for the San Antonio Blues Society and has since become a popular local act with gigs at the likes of Casbeers at the Church and the Cove.

Runners up: Ruben V., Eddie B.,
Kyd Scholar

Best Electronic Band


Teen idols Starluck put a punky emo attitude over electropop beats for a fan-friendly combination that edged out the competition in this hard-fought category.

Runners up: Hyperbubble,
A.M. Architect

Best Country/Americana Band

The Lavens

The Lavens keep the country family band alive with performances every Friday night at the Cove.

Runners up: Middle Ground,
Melissa Ludwig

Best Singer-Songwriter

James Cox (Kin of Cain)

No beret-wearing, acoustic-strumming coffee-shop poets for you, San Antonio. You prefer Cox’s tortured howl on tracks like “Descendants of Unhealed Wounds.” We should’ve expected as much.

Runners up: Kevin DaLuz (Under Nothing), Danny Gibbons (Our
Sleeping Giant)

Best Cover Band

The Tim & Bob Show

We like their incredibly laid back take on Chris De Burgh’s “Lady in Red” best, and you like this well-traveled quartet of husbands and wives just a little bit more than Alice in Chains covers.

Runners up: Jar of Flies, Drive

Best Local-Music Radio Show

KISS’s Texas Traxx

Say what you will about modern-rock radio, this one-two punch of local-rock radio show and free weekly concert is a bona-fide public service.

KSYM’s Third Coast Music, KRTU’s Super Soul/Diggin Deep

Best DJ

DJ Jester the Filipino Fist

Apologies to all you guys who voted for KONO’s Steven O. Sellers, but we meant a real, record-spinning DJ. The rest of you had the right idea, and though he divides his time between Austin and San Antonio these days, Jester’s still one of the 210’s most essential turntablists.

Runners up: Daecos, J.J. Lopez

Best Music Video

A Kid Named Thompson — “Everything You Want”

This slickly produced pop-rock party is enough to make you long for MTV’s fabled music-video days.

Runners up: Dog Men Poets —
“Inspired”; Stegosaur —
“A Headache”

Best Recording Studio

Dead Room

This Bulverde Road studio is the birthplace of tracks from fellow Rammy winners Altus and Starluck, as well as many other local notables.

Runners up: The Farm,
Monster Music Studios

Best Concert Flyer

Deadpool at Zombies (October 23)

The ridiculously curvy, thong-sporting brain-eater on your favorite concert flyer (not to mention the spread-legged Eve with cannabis fronds fig-leafing her lady parts on the runner-up NORML poster) indicates you’re interested in only one thing, San Antonio: stylized san-serif fonts.

Runners up: Clogged Caps 6, NORML Metal Fest

Best Album

The Tim & Bob Show’s Take It Outside

This collection of originals by your favorite cover band beat out several high-quality contenders for top album honors, but we personally never got a review copy.

Runners up: Under Nothing’s
E. S. & D., Snowbyrd’s Diosdado

See Also

2nd Annual Rammy Awards : The Readers have spoken: Meet your 2009 picks for SA's best bands and musicians 11/18/2009

First Annual Rammy Awards : The readers have spoken: Here are the winners of the Current’s 2008 music awards! 3/19/2008

Tales From the Front : A local musician’s guide to improving the SA music scene 3/19/2008

Kind of Blue : Azul is a Mexican folk traditionalist who loves Daft Punk and Björk 3/19/2008

Inside Tracks: Vol. 2 : A personal mix tape of SA contemporary indie-rock 3/19/2008

Rhyme Pays : OBX follows in the trailblazing Latino hip-hop footsteps of Big Pun 3/19/2008

The Accidental Engineer : How Mark Rubinstein stumbled into a career making other people sound good 3/19/2008

Tree Hugging : Blowing Trees go national with a sound that’s intimately huge 3/19/2008

Bad Medicine : Local musicians mobilize for affordable health care 3/19/2008

Local Musicians All-Time Favorite Albums in Music Issue 3/19/2008

Home School of Rock : Dad’s discipline drives SA’s premier tweener metal band 3/19/2008

How to make a Rammy in 3/19/2008

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