Best Country/Roots Act Eleven Hundred Springs 100 Damned Guns Doug Burr Tejas Brothers The King Bucks Quebe Sisters Band
Burr's up for six other awards; Eleven Hundred Springs is up for two more; Tejas Brothers are also nominated for Best New Act; The King Bucks are up for Best Cover/Tribute Act, too, and member Joe Butcher is up for Best Instrumentalist; and the Quebe Sisters Band is perhaps the most true-to-its-roots act in this competition. So, yeah, this one's a tough pick. Then again, this is Texas, so no surprise there...
Eleven Hundred Springs Matt Hillyer and Co. are practically an institution 'round these parts by now. Certainly the fact that Eleven Hundred Springs is up for two other prominent awards this year--Best Band and Best Album--is an indication of that. A nod in this category would hardly come as a surprise given the band's rabid fanbase. See why their classic country sound is so popular with this, the video for the band's "North Side Blues":
100 Damned Guns More country than alt-country--even though there's more than one riff on the band's Songs of Murder, Pain and Woe album that call to mind thoughts of younger Old 97's days--100 Damned Guns might not have the name recognition of some of these other acts, but they're certainly in the same class, if not above the others altogether. See for yourself with this clip of the band playing "Tonight I Lose Again" at Hailey's in Denton back in December:
Doug Burr The most-nominated artist in this year's DOMAs, Burr more than deserves all the praise he's receiving. His down-home sound is a perfect match for his down-home persona. And both are a perfect match for Denton, the town he calls home. Beautiful, understated and heartbreaking--that's Burr in a nutshell. Here he is, performing his Best Song-nominated "Slow Southern Home" at SXSW in Austin earlier this year:
Tejas Brothers The Tejas Brothers are, more than anything else, a country act. But that doesn't mean you won't find hints of blues and rock blended into the band's sound. There's also a distinctly Latino feel to it all, no doubt the result of the ancestry of most of the band's members. Think of them as a less-wussified, Dallas version of Los Lonely Boys. And feel free to put them up against the best acts in town--the Toadies do, as they've invited the Tejas Brothers to perform alongside them on the bill for the inaugural Dia De Los Toadies celebration coming up next month. Here's the guys performing "Boogie Woogie Mamacita" at the Horseman in Ft. Worth:
The King Bucks It takes a special breed of cover act to be able to throw its own songs into a set without the crowd calling foul, but The King Bucks do manage to slip an original past the crowd at its Adair's residency on Monday nights every now and then. The fact that the band's just plain good helps. So does its taste for the long-forgotten country gems of the '70s. Here's the band performing at the Granada in May:
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Quebe Sisters Band The Quebe Sisters couldn't be any more different than fellow Burleson native Kelly Clarkson. But has Clarkson performed at the Kennedy Center? Didn't think so. With a sound so traditional and straight-up born for the Prairie Home Companion crowd, the Quebe Sisters aren't a band you go see to rock out to; they're the band you go see to get amazed by. See for yourself--here's the band playing the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C., earlier this month: