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Photo: Vishal Malhotra

Apparently, overwhelming positivity is the new “fuck.” Just a few years ago, almost every acceptance speech at the Fort Worth Weekly Music Awards was a profanity-laced drunken tirade that could have been written by snickering pre-teens. These days, it’s all love and good vibes. Bands gush about how great it is to be a part of such an amazing music scene, surrounded by friendly faces, and how grateful they are for the recognition – oh, and Son of Stan guitarist Mike Doty’s shorts. 

After four months of planning, recording, booking, and ballot-building and -counting, the 2019 Music Awards season ended the way it always does – with a party. On Sunday, hundreds of local musicians, fans, and well-wishers packed into the historic Ridglea Theater to see who would win the coveted Panthy award in each category and to watch performances by our Hall of Fame inductees.

This year, thousands of people from around the world voted in our humble celebration of local music. On a night of countless cool moments, two stood out for me. We were nervous about opening the show with a big brass jazz band. As a part of his Hall of Fame induction, 97-year-old Jim Milan and his Bucket List Jazz Band performed a short set of swinging horn-heavy tunes. The standing ovation the 12-piece received was genuinely touching. The other moment that I’ll never forget was Wrex becoming the first hip-hop artist in our 20-year history to win the Album of the Year award. His shock was authentic and palpable as he broke that ground. 

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There were three big winners of the night. Mean Motor Scooter took home Panthys for Band, Punk, Bassist Performance (Joe Tacke), Other Performance (Rebekah Elizabeth), Rock Song of the Year, and Artist of the Year –– Tacke also took home hardware for Producer. Garrage Barrage swept their four categories: Avant Garde/Experimental, Pop, Vocalist Performance (Ian McKenyon), and Drummer Performance (Ranger Parrish). Phantomelo walked away with wins for EP of the Year, Song of the Year, Video, and Guitarist Performance (Will Kimbrell). The other multiple award winners were Duell (Hard Rock and Rock Album of the Year) and Son of Stan (Rock and Live Band). 

A full list of winners is published on page 28 of our print version and listed below this story online. Congratulations to everyone who was nominated. After the ceremony ended, I was chatting with Chad Beck and Javier Garza of Royal Sons, both longtime musicians in the Fort Worth scene, and the pair commented on the sheer quality of bands up and down the ballot this year. I feel like it’s been that way for a while, too. 

We owe a huge shoutout to the 2019 Fort Worth Music Hall of Fame class: Burette and Gabrielle Douglas of The Cush and Buck Jones, the aforementioned Milan, and Lorenzo Zenteno (a.k.a. Smooth Vega), the second-ever hip-hop inductee into the Hall of Fame, after Twisted Black.

It feels inadequate to just say thank you, but short of hiring a plane to fly a banner around the city, those feeble words in these column inches are the best I can do to express my unending gratitude to everyone who helped us out along the way. 

In chronological/drama-building order, we’d like to thank our 60-person nominating committee, Josh Block and his crew at Niles City Sound, all the bands that recorded a tune for our annual compilation album, Frequencies, Vol. 10, all of the bands that played the festival, everyone who volunteered and worked the festival, the venues, our loyal sponsors (Bud Light, The Bowery Apartments, Niles City Sound, and United Way of Tarrant County), the amazing people at the Ridglea Theater, the small but mighty crew of Weekly staffers who volunteered at the ceremony, everyone who showed up to witness the festivities, and, of course, all of the fans that support local music in this city every day. You’re the reason we keep doing this. How’s that for positivity? 

BAND
MEAN MOTOR SCOOTER

ROCK
SON OF STAN

NEW ARTIST
KEANU LEAVES

AMERICANA/ROOTS ROCK
VANDOLIERS

HARD ROCK
DUELL

TEXAS MUSIC
SQUEEZEBOX BANDITS

LIVE BAND
SON OF STAN

HEAVY METAL
THE SPECTACLE

C&W
SUMMER DEAN

AVANT GARDE/EXPERIMENTAL
GARAGE BARRAGE

ELECTRONIC
TIDALS

POP
GARAGE BARRAGE

PUNK
MEAN MOTOR SCOOTER

BLUES/SOUL
CHET STEVENS

R&B/RAP
JUMA SPEARS

JAZZ
RAGE OUT ARKESTRA

ACOUSTIC/FOLK/SINGER-SONGWRITER
GRACE KALI

SEMI-LOCAL BAND
FRENCHIE’S BLUES DESTROYERS

COVER/TRIBUTE BAND
POO LIVE CREW

VOCALIST PERFORMANCE
IAN McKENYON

VOCALIST PERFORMANCE
IZZY

GUITARIST PERFORMANCE
WILL KIMBREL

DRUMMER PERFORMANCE
RANGER PARRISH

BASSIST PERFORMANCE
JOE TACKE

OTHER PERFORMANCE
REBEKAH ELIZABETH

TALENT BUYER
CARA CASSADY

VENUE
MAIN AT SOUTH SIDE

VIDEO
PHANTOMELO

PRODUCER
JOE TACKE

SONG OF THE YEAR
PHANTOMELO

ROCK SONG OF THE YEAR
MEAN MOTOR SCOOTER

ALBUM OF THE YEAR
WREX

ROCK ALBUM OF THE YEAR
DUELL

EP OF THE YEAR
PHANTOMELO

ARTIST OF THE YEAR
MEAN MOTOR SCOOTER

HALL OF FAME
LORENZO ZENTENO

HALL OF FAME
JIM MILAN

HALL OF FAME
GABRIELLE AND BURETTE DOUGLAS

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