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Sacramento Area Musicians Shine At 23rd Annual SAMMIE Awards Show

Melody Stone / CapRadio Music

SAMMIE nominee, Bellygunner, performs Thursday night at Sacramento News and Review's Sacramento Area Music Awards show at Ace of Spades.

Melody Stone / CapRadio Music

The SAMMIES stage hosted 15 local acts all nominated for Sacramento Area Music Awards in different categories, Thursday night at Ace of Spades. The performances demonstrated the variety, depth and diversity in the music scene.

The indie three-piece, COVE, belted out emotional, soothing and heart wrenching experimental tunes inspired by dreams, while Kyle Rowland Blues Band drove the room to get down with some classic blues riffs.

Shoujo Kitten -1

Pop-punk rockers Shouju Kitten were nominated in the Best New Artist catagory this year. Melody Stone / CapRadio Music.

Newcomers, Shouju Kitten, churned out sugary-sweet pop-punk, James Cavern soulfully crooned and the Element Brass Band (high on their win) closed out the night with an epic New Orleans style party that flooded into the street.

James Cavern

James Cavern (center) and the Council delivered seductive soul music as nominees for oustanding Soul/R&B group. Melody Stone / CapRadio Music


One performer that really stood out, taking home Artist of the Year and Outstanding New Artist, was violinist Joe Kye of Joseph in the Well. Kye played a solo set, looping violin picking, and then singing and playing to create a complex layered sound.

Joe Kye, of Joseph In The Well - best new artist of 2015 #SAMMIES

A video posted by Melody Stone (@forevermelody) on Mar 26, 2015 at 10:06pm PDT


Another musician who cleaned up was Stevie Nader, winning both Outstanding Singer-Songwriter and Release of the Year for his album Boywolf: Grit. He was preparing to play his set when SAMMIE hall of famer, Autumn Sky, announced his win – he recommended everyone take a shot at the bar for him.  

SAMMIE organizer Jerry Perry introduced Nader’s set like this:

“You may remember our next act from such moments as winning the previous award or the one before that – or the same two awards last year, plus last year’s new artist award… now let’s enjoy his next memorable moment, ladies and gentlemen, Stevie Nader.”

While some artists are getting attention relatively early in their Sacramento music careers, other waits a while for the recognition. Kris Adams of Life in 24 Frames took home the SAMMIE for Outstanding Indie Artist.

“We’ve been in Sacramento for eight years and this is the first time we’ve been nominated,” said Adams. “We don’t play Sacramento a ton, so I think we’re probably a little bit under the radar here… Getting something like this makes me feel slightly more appreciated in the place where we live. I’ve always felt like maybe our music didn’t fit in here as well as it did in other places – and this makes me feel like it does, which is nice because this is my home.”

If an artist wins an award three times in the same category they enter the SAMMIE Hall of Fame. This year three artists were recognized with that honor, Musical Charis, Mercy Me! and Walking Spanish. They are no longer eligible to be nominated.

Musical -Charis

Musical Charis playing their last official SAMMIE showcase. After winning three awards in the same catagory they entered the hall of fame this year. Melody Stone / CapRadio Music

Three bands won their third award in a category and will be entering the Sammie Hall of Fame next year, teen-punk rock duo Dog Party, producer Ira Skinner, and hardcore group White Minories.

Jerry Perry

Jerry Perry, sported a white bow tie and announced this years inductees into the Sacramento Music hall of fame: Musical Charis, Mercy Me!, and Walking Spanish. Melody Stone / CapRadio Music

Nominees are picked by the staff of the Sacramento News and Review and then voted on by readers. 

The night closed out with the winners of the Outstanding Jazz Ensemble, Element Brass Band.

Element -Brass -Band -1

“It feels fantastic. We’re performing tonight so that just gives a little extra kick for the performance. We’re all pretty happy about it,” said Joby Morrow, trombone player for Element Brass Band. “We’ve been working pretty hard, practicing quite hard, been in the studio earlier this year – it feels like a nice feather in the cap.”

This is Element Brass Band’s first SAMMIE win.

Element -Brass -Band -2

A little extra kick might have been an understatement; about a dozen musicians crammed onto the stage and pumped up the dwindling crowd at Ace of Spades. As the show came to an end, folks poured into the streets and the band followed and kept playing. People grabbed each other and started dancing – a big grand finale to the 23rd SAMMIES.

Element -Brass -Band -3

Davis -Family

Event promoters Roshaun and Maritza Davis, and their son Parker, announced the winners for the best Hip Hop and Emcee catagories. Melody Stone / CapRadio Music

Westwards -1

Nominated in the folk catagory, The Westwards, presented musical stylings beyond their years. Not a single band member is older than the awards show. Melody Stone / CapRadio Music

Century -Got -Bars

Century Got Bars was nominated for Oustanding Emcee. Melody Stone / CapRadio Music

Crowd -Shot

Bands played for a packed out Ace Of Spades, Thursday night. Melody Stone / CapRadio Music



Hall of Fame 
Mercy Me
Musical Charis
Walking Spanish

Artist of the Year
Joe Kye

The Nickel Slots

Dippin’ Sauce

Cover Band 
Apple Z

DJ Zephyr

Electronica / Experimental 
Color the Sound

Brutha Smith

Folk Rock 
Salt Wizard

Big Sticky Mess

White Minorities

Hard Rock 
Some Fear None

Iconoclast Robot

Life in 24 Frames

Element Brass Band

Live Performer 
The Nickel Slots

Zero Client

New Artist 
Joseph in the Well

Humble Wolf

Punk / Post-punk 
Dog Party

James Cavern

Element of Soul

Release of the Year 
Stevie Nader and Boywolf: Grit

The Three Way

Ira Skinner

The Infamous Swanks  

Stevie Nader

Teen Artist 
Dog Party

Tribute Band 
Steelin’ Dan

Bomba Fried Rice

 Life In 24 FramesMusical CharisSAMMIES

Melody Stone

Former Interactive Producer

After working in newspapers and doing print journalism for years, Melody transitioned into digital marketing and design. With a healthy blend of journalistic and digital media skills she builds out interactive web stories for  Read Full Bio 

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Joe Kye, of Joseph In The Well - best new artist of 2015 #SAMMIES

A video posted by Melody Stone (@forevermelody) on