PICS: 2017 San Diego Music Awards

The 2017 San Diego Music Awards finally returned to town with a big splash at House of Blues San Diego on March 21 -- and featuring a who's who of the local music scene.

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The 2017 San Diego Music Awards returned to town after a hiatus last year with great live performances (the Verigolds pictured) and hometown celebrity presenters.
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This year’s gala, held at a new location – House of Blues San Diego – was kicked off with a performance by Steph Johnson and the Voices of Our City Choir (pictured).
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Perennial Best Live Performer favorites, the Schizophonics, erupted toward the end of the show.
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The aforementioned Steph Johnson & Our City Choir opened the show with two uplifting songs – Johnson (pictured right) was also nominated for Artist of the Year.
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The choir has been making waves lately with their efforts to advocate for, serve, and protect San Diego’s homeless population. Join them at: VoicesOfOurCity.org.
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One of the leaders behind their efforts: Acclaimed San Diego jazz guitarist/vocalist Steph Johnson.
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Bass virtuoso Rob Thorsen (left) is part of the group. Mark Kaleimamahu plays guitar.
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KGB’s Jim McInnes and Miss San Diego Molly Crawford presented the evening’s first awards for Best New Artist and Best Country or Americana.
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Best New Artist went to the electro/pop group Skyterra.
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The Best Country or Americana award went to the Moves Collective.
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NBC 7 San Diego’s own Bridget Naso presented the awards for Best Local Recording and Best Pop with KUSI’s Brad Perry.
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The funky Sure Fire Soul Ensemble accepted the award for Best Local Recording (Tim Felton at the podium).
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Sister Speak won for Best Pop with band member Jacob Miranda accepting the award – however, the mastermind behind the group, Sherri Anne, was curiously missing onstage.
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The Verigolds, one of our favorite local bands and SoundDiego LIVE alum, took the stage afterward and performed two songs.
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The band was up for Best Indie/Alternative Album for their stellar 2016 full-length, “For Margaret.”
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The band’s drummer extraordinaire, Craig Schreiber, channels his inner Animal (who we jokingly paired him up with in our doppelganger gallery last year).
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We actually awarded the Verigolds a 2016 SoundDiego Music Award last December for Album of the Year.
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The band is fronted by the majestic vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Jenna Cotton.
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The Local 949’s radio host Timothy Joseph and former KUSI anchor Kristen Cusato presented the awards for Best Indie/Alternative Album and Best Singer-Songwriter.
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Unsurprisingly, the Verigolds took home the gold for Best Indie/Alternative Album! Congrats, guys.
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North County troubadour Tolan Shaw won for Best Singer/Songwriter – and it was basically the first time we’ve seen him without a hat!
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Presenting next: 91x Loudspeaker’s Lou Niles, Tim Pyles and Andrew Rowley (left to right).
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The trio presented the awards for Best Rock or Pop Album and Best Hip-Hop or Rap Album.
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The Knee Highs won Best Hip-Hop or Rap Album with “We Put the Fun in Dysfunction.”
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Best Rock went to the Schizophonics (bassist Brian Reilly, guitarist/vocalist Pat Beers, and drummer Lety Beers pictured l-r).
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Heads up: Be sure to go to pigbabyrecords.com and pick up the Schizophonics' brand new EP, “Ooga Booga” on vinyl!
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Looks like Al Howard got left holding the bag while sandwiched between 91x’s Pyles, and his Redwoods Music bandmates – Birdy Bardot (right) and the masked Dani Bell (left).
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Best World Music Album nominees Hirie performed next.
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The group has been on the national circuit over the last few years, landing huge festival gigs.
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Bet you thought you’d never see a didgeridoo this close up, did you?
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Hirie has shared stages with Fortunate Youth, Matisyahu, the Dirty Heads, J Boog, the Green and more.
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They were back onstage immediately afterward to pick up the award for Best World Music Album for “Wandering Soul"!
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The award for Best Hip-Hop was given out next – and it went to the Lyrical Groove.
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This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Wayne Riker by Bart Mendoza (right).
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Following Riker’s acceptance speech, Trouble in the Wind won for Best Country or Americana Album for “Lefty.” It was much deserved: “Lefty” is great!
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Lookin' at you, kid: The young mod squad the Bassics won the next award for Best Indie/Alternative.
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Gilbert Castellanos then took the stage (who also won for Best Jazz), performing with the Young Lions All-Stars – featuring 12-year-old Johnny Murray on bass.
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San Diego’s favorite campy bar band the Creepy Creeps hit the stage next.
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Always in costume, these particularly outfits were quite the lookers.
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Nothing like a manic Creeps performance to kick a night into fifth gear! No wonder they were nominated for Best Live Performer!
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Jazz 88.3’s J. Otis Williams was onstage next to present the award for Best Blues.
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…and to accept that award: the inimitable Whitney Shay!
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Next up: Nathan Hubbard accepted the award for Best Jazz Album for “Furiously Dreaming”! Congratulations, Nathan – we’re big fans.
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Who’s down for some rock & roll? The Schizophonics sure are 100 percent of the time.
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The band performed in their typical bombastic style – it’s surprising that our photographer, John Hancock, was even able to get clear photos of ‘em!
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Lety Beers, one of our favorite San Diego drummers, in action!
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The band performed two of their own songs, and then tore through “Roll Over Beethoven” in tribute to Chuck Berry.
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Our own SoundDiego TV host Daye Salani and SD: Dialed In’s Rosemary Bystrak then presented the award for Best Live Performer to Rebecca Jade & the Cold Fact (accepted by bassist Jason Littlefield, keyboardist Josh Rice, and drummer Jake Najor, pictured l-r).
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Just the cool kids hangin’ out: Quel Bordel’s Jake Skolnick, 91x’s Rowley, Cusato, and our own SoundDiego blogger Hannah Lott-Schwartz (pictured l-r).
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The Verigolds’ Cotton and guitarist/vocalist Eliot Ross got some hang time with the 91x crew.
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There she is: Sister Speak’s Sherri Anne holds her award for Best Pop, while hanging out with her bandmates and fellow award-winner Tolan Shaw (left).
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These two know a thing or two about the blues: Black Market III’s Scottie Blinn, and Tomcat Courtney (right).
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