Last night at Covington's Madison Theater, the 15th annual Cincinnati Entertainment Awards ceremony once again brought together people from all facets of the Greater Cincinnati music scene and gave them one hell of a party. Along with offering one of the best people-watching experiences of the year, the packed crowd in attendance was treated to great "mini-sets" (usualy about three tunes) from local bands Pomegranates (who also played the event's after-party at the nearby Mad Hatter), Young Heirlooms, Los Honchos, Two Headed Dog and Wussy, who closed the night out with songs from their recently released fourth album, Strawberry.
"Thanks for voting for us," Wussy's guitarist/vocalist Chuck Cleaver deadpanned as they began.
While Strawberry is among the (if not the) best albums released in 2011 so far, it missed the cut-off to be nominated for a 2011 CEA. (To be in the running, albums had to have been released between early Oct. 2010 and Oct. 2011.) Maybe (probably) next year, Wussy!
Twenty different acts took home a groovy CEA plaque last night — 2011 was a rare year without any multiple award winners.
Another unique thing about this year's ceremony — it was the first time there were so many CEA winners unable to attend and accept their awards because they were busy touring (resulting in the now-familiar routine of waiting patiently, asking "Are they here?" and then waiting a little more until someone — anyone — finally comes up and accepts the award on the performer's behalf). Bluegrass winners Rumpke Mountain Boys were in Colorado to do several show dates. Best Live Act victors Foxy Shazam practically live on the road these days, touring internationally well over half the year — last night they were rocking in the U.K. on a tour with The Darkness. And DJ Clockwork, the Hip Hop trophy winner, was out traveling as the tour DJ for superstar-in-waiting Mac Miller.
The 2011 CEA winner for Artist of the Year, Walk the Moon, actually perform a big homecoming show at the Madison Theater this Friday, but last night they were in Chicago to perform at the venue Metro with buzz band Fitz and the Tantrums. In one of those moments that'll likely end up a defining memory of the 15th CEA show, the new RCA recording artists;' mothers took to the stage when WtM's name was called for the final award of the night. With huge, proud grins, the moms happily accepted on the band's behalf.
Here's the full list of winners:
Bluegrass: Rumpke Mountain Boys
Country: Tex Schramm and the Radio King Cowboys
Folk/Americana:David Rhodes Brown
World/Reggae: The Cliftones
Rock: The Kickaways
Hard Rock: Banderas
Metal/Hardcore: Mala In Se
Singer/songwriter: Josh Eagle
Alternative/Indie: The Seedy Seeds
Punk/Post Punk: The Dopamines
Blues: Voodoo Puppet
R&B/Funk/Soul: The Cincy Brass
Jazz: The Faux Frenchmen
Hip Hop: DJ Clockwork
Electronic: Pop Empire
Best Musical Ambassador: Foxy Shazam
Best Live Act: 500 Miles to Memphis
New Artist of the Year: SHADOWRAPTR
Album of the Year: Brian Olive - Two of Everything
Artist of the Year: Walk the Moon
Find a ton of CEA photos here.