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The Deathray Davies >Best Indie Rock, Best Male Singer (John Dufilho)

A guy like John Dufilho can make you feel like the laziest person on earth. In the past year alone he's released two full-length LPs of original songs (The Deathray Davies' The Kick and the Snare and his first official solo album, I Remain, as Always, a Rabble Rouser From the Mountains), and just last weekend he entered the studio with the rest of the Davies to begin recording the 30-odd songs he's written for possible inclusion on the next DRD album. And that's not even counting the second album by his other band, I Love Math, which sits finished and awaiting release, as well as an as-yet-untitled project featuring Dufilho originals sung by an impressive line-up of guest singers including Ben Kweller, Will Johnson and Robert Schneider of the Apples in Stereo. "I tend to be a little overambitious sometimes," Dufilho says. His main interest is still the Davies, however, and he's excited about the progress the band's made since releasing The Kick and the Snare, which has sold better than any DRD release to date. The band's wheels-off live show has been no secret to local music fans for the past few years, but now it seems it's finally catching on elsewhere as well. "We just got back from a little over two weeks out with a Chicago band called the M's," Dufilho says. "Every night people were calling out the names of our songs, and they weren't calling out for 'Freebird' or that was very encouraging."

Despite the growing buzz surrounding Dufilho and his band, the humble winner of the best male singer award still can't believe he was nominated for it in the first place. "Honestly, it cracks me up," he says. "There's people in town that are certainly great singers. I wouldn't put myself as one of them, but I'm totally flattered that other people like my non-style or whatever you want to call it." --N.W.B.

Kristy Kruger
Best Female Singer

Forget the voice--Kristy Kruger is one hell of a kazoo player. When she lets loose live with the most underrated of all instruments on "Little Pollyanna," a standout track from her new album Songs From a Dead Man's Couch, she never ceases to impress. Her songwriting and production skills aren't too shabby, either...not to mention the fact that she also plays guitar, mandolin, keyboards, water glasses and harmonica. But it's her voice--a sweet, twangy coo combining equal parts Aimee Mann and Patty Griffin--that's the most impressive thing of all. Though she might have started out as an Ani DiFranco wannabe, the newly released Couch sees her adopting a sound much truer to her Texas roots, with a stellar cast of our city's finest (Salim Nourallah, Doug Burr, pedal steel player Todd Pertll, etc.) pitching in to help bring her music back home. Well-crafted songs like "Blackhole" and "Never Let Me Down Again" are far more likely to appeal to fans of Kathleen Edwards than fans of aggro-feminist folk music, and it's likely the new set of tunes might finally win her the attention she deserves--so don't be surprised if we're writing about how great she is again this time next year. And Kristy, if you ever need some back-up kazoo, you know where to find us. --N.W.B.

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