Photos by Micah Gummel.

Article by Bluebird.

The Boston Music Awards has been running for 24 years. It is a combination performance and awards show that includes categories of several genres of music, from rock to jazz, folk to hard core metal, hip-hop to gospel, pop and video. It even offers awards for DJ performances and producers as well as honoring local venues that host the music throughout the year.


What is great about this event and peaked our interest in attending, is that the performances, awards and voting cover just about all genres of music. Furthermore, the voting is 2/3 the Academy who follow the nominees throughout the year and 1/3 the general public who can vote for their favorite artist on line before the winners are chosen. We fully support any and all participation in fan based music reviews, promoting local artists and charitable events that generate resources for music education. We are proud to be included in the coverage of this annual celebration of local music.

The mission of the BMA's is to bring together the entire community of music enthusiasts to celebrate our regional music and generate resources for education and charities that promote music participation and production locally. All funds go to charity for this event every year. They have offered scholarships to Berklee, grants for music education and have recently teamed up with 'Music Drives Us" which is a charitable foundation for music education. The Boston Music Awards are also a way to showcase and promote our local music talent.



Artists and producers are eligible for nomination, if and only if, they have strong ties to New England. This is defined as being a New England native, living in the New England states for a long period of time or an active period of working here. The time frame for consideration is November through October of the following year (From the

The Liberty Hotel. bmas-15webmg

Built in 1851, the monumental concrete building of the now Liberty Hotel was originally The Charles Street Jail. The design of Architect Gridley James Fox Bryant, brought stunning streams of light from circular windows and elegant cupolas, creating extraordinary ventilation with beautiful visual effects, even for a prison. This structure, which is vast and imposing onto Charles Street, closed for use as a secure facility in the 1970's. bmas-16webmg

A 150 million dollar renovation kept the interesting iron work and oppositional swank of the original building, but brought this Boston Granite landmark into modern times with warm tones, a new tower building and state of the art technological accessories. In 2007, the grand entryway opened its doors as one of the city's top luxury hotels. bmas-03webmg


 bmas-06webmgThe Vibe.

Upon arrival at the venue, complimentary champagne was flowing. There is a red carpet at the Liberty Hotel, it is short, but it moves up a magnificent view of the grand lobby. There was a jazz band playing on the first floor and a celebrity vibe that escalated throughout the night. There are some formalities, photo booths with the award logos, souvenirs, talk of the nominees, VIP access areas and congratulatory comments, but the main theme of this event is that it is really a big party. People were dressed in anything from ballgowns to blue jeans, costumes to cliche'. The venue had beautiful chairs positioned in cozy arrangements with deco designs amidst contemporary and antique lighting. Balconies overlooked balconies and the place was a glow with excitement and casual glamor.














The Performers.

Room by room, and floor by floor, there were performers from different styles of music playing short sets, with DJ intermissions to keep the patrons happy and dancing. The performers mixed and mingled among the guests between their sets. The most popular place to catch the celebs were near the elevators, and the Liberty had many of them, so many, that patrons were getting stuck or confused about which one to take and where. This just seemed to add to the buzz and gave people even more of a reason to mingle. dsc 1410web


Here's a list of performers from the program: Ryan's Smashing Life Soundtrack, Freezepop, MMoss, Viva Viva, Stereo Telescope, Shea Rose, ENS Marching Band, The Wandas, Boston Band Crush Soundtrack, Moufy, BlocoAfrobrazil, Roomful of Blues, Razormaze, Cool Ranch with Bodega Sluts, Gentlemen Hall, Dead Cats Dead Rats, and an after-party with Roy Sludge.


Since the bands were all in different rooms, but some performing at overlapping times, we couldn't catch all of the acts. We were able to watch Freezepop, MMoss, Stereo Telescope, The Wandas, Moufy, Roomful of Blues, and Gentlemen Hall.











The Results.

THE EMS Marching Band lead the way to the revelation of the winners. Experiencing the Awards Ceremony was like watching the ball drop on New Year's Eve in Times Square. There was a large video screen above the towering stack of balconies and crowds, plus video screens in the separate rooms where people were dancing and congregating. The anticipation was exciting and fun, and with such a casual atmosphere, it wasn't tense at all. People were sitting around on the leather chairs, stools, standing room only on the lobby floor - everyone gazing up to see the results. The fifth floor was VIP access only. VIP means artists, but it also means patrons who've paid more for their tickets in advance to support the fundraising effort. There were mostly cheers on the revelation of the results, some jeers, but nothing that wasn't handled in good spirit.


An Annual Event.

This was our first time attending this event. However, we met some people who've been involved with this fundraiser historically. Music education, performance and showcase need to be more prominent in the local communities. There are so many talented musicians out there, that we all know not all of them were nominated here tonight. The winners, although an honor, were well aware that they were in the midst of great company. It was my impression that the point of this was to give New England musicians formal recognition for where their work is at this point in time. Each year there will be a different line up, a returning veteran, a new twist on a genre to explore, and my hope is that this collaboration of music, community and spirit continues.

The Boston Music Awards as well as local music magazines, such as Boston Music Spotlight, kept followers up to date on the Nominee List. The Winners have a star on this list.

We are running a series of review articles on some of the bands that we were able to see at the Boston Music Awards for 2011. Links to this coverage will be posted on this page as they are published.

From the Boston Music Awards, 2011:

A Review of Gentlemen Hall.



2011 Boston Music Awards Nominees/Winners =*

Artist of the Year

David Wax Museum

Dropkick Murphys *

Lady Lamb the Beekeeper

Mean Creek


Album/EP of the Year

R.E.K.S., Reks

A World With No Skies 2.0, Slaine

Hemophiliac, Mean Creek *

Imaginary Friends, Freezepop

Too Drunk To Truck, Roy Sludge

New Artist Of The Year

Earthquake Party


Moufy *bmas-25webmg

Spirit Kid

Streight Angular

Song Of The Year

"99 Bottles", Slaine

"Born with a Broken Heart", David Wax Museum *

"Boston Lights", Moufy

"Happy Birthday Party", DOM

"Sunlight", Mean Creek

Live Artist Of The Year

Bad Rabbits

Dropkick Murphys *

Kingsley Flood

Old Jack

Viva Vivaghtriomg2011

Video Of The Year

"99 Bottles", Slaine

"Jet Black Moustache', Wasted Talent

"Close To Me", Gentlemen Hall *

"Making Progress", Big Digits

"School Night", Bodega Girls

Female Vocalist Of The Year

Amanda Palmer

Casey Desmond

Jen D'Angora

Lisa Bello *

Shea Rose

Male Vocalist Of The Year

Bill Janovitz

John Powhida

Louie Bello

Christian McNeill *

Will Dailey

Americana Artist Of The Year

Eilen Jewell

Bow Thayer and Perfect Trainwreck

Coyote Kolb

Girls Guns and Glory *

Session Americana

Blues Artist Of The Year

Delta Generators

Duke Robillard

Erin Harpe and the Delta Swingersbmas-27webmg

Johnny A.

Roomful Of Blues *

DJ Artist Of The Year

Frank White



Leah V *

Paul Foley

Electronic Artist Of The Year

Andre Obin


Big Digits

Freezepop *

Stereo Telescope

Folk Artist Of The Yearbmas-21webmg

Antje Duvekot


Rose Polenzani

Kris Delmhorst

Lori McKenna *

Hip Hop Artist Of The Year

7L and Esoteric

Moe Pope and Rain



Slaine *

R&B/Soul/Urban Contemporary Artist of the Year


Bad Rabbits


New Kids On The Block

Shea Rose *

International Artist Of The Year

Bloco AfroBrazil

Debo Band

Dub Apocalypse

Mamadou Diop *

Zili Misik

Gospel/Inspirational Artist Of The Year

Bobby Perry and RAIN

Justin Newry

David Altenor

Berklee Reverence Gospel Choir

Renese King *

Jazz Artist Of The Year

Miss Tess

Esperanza Spalding *

Grace Kelly

Club d'Elf

Omar Thomas

Metal/Hardcore Artist Of The Year




Ramming Speed

Razormaze *

Pop Rock Artist Of The Year

Gentlemen Hall *


Pretty and Nice


The Wandas

Punk Artist Of The Yearghguitaristbma2011mg

Dead Cats Dead Rats *

Dropkick Murphys

Have Nots

Tijuana Sweetheart

Young Adults

Rock Artist Of The Year

Dirty Dishes




Viva Viva *

Singer Songwriter Of The Year

Aly Spaltro (Lady Lamb the Beekeeper) *

Antje Duvekot

Marissa Nadler

Mike Fiore (Faces on Film)

Rose Polenzani

Producer Of The Year – Hip Hop

Lu Balz

Matty Trump


Statik Selektah

Taj *

Producer Of The Year – Rock

Adam Taylor

Benny Grotto

Dave Minehan

Ed Valauskas *

Mike Denneen

Best Music Blog

Allston Pudding *

Boston Band Crush

Jump The Turn Style

New England Hip Hop

Ryans Smashing Life

Best Live Music Venue

Brighton Music Hall


Club Passim

Middle East *


Best DJ/Dance Night

Cool Ranch at Middlesex

Fresh Produce at Good Life *

Make It New at Middlesex

Soulelujah! at ZuZu

The Pill at Great Scott

Best Live Ongoing Residency

Dub Apocalypse at Bull McCabe's

Session Americana at Lizard Lounge *

The White Owls at To

The Whitehaus Family Record in Jamaica Plain

Tim Gearan Band at Atwood's Tavern