Dallas Observer Music Awards

The 2019 Dallas Observer Music Award Winners

Host Dezi 5 with presenters Christy Ray and Spinderella at the 2019 DOMA ceremony.
Host Dezi 5 with presenters Christy Ray and Spinderella at the 2019 DOMA ceremony. Mike Brooks
You know what they say: It's an honor just to be nominated. And sometimes clichés stick around for a reason, as was the case with our 31st Dallas Observer Music Awards, which took place Tuesday night and weren't so much about the awards themselves but a celebration of artistry, the music community and local pride.

Lifetime Achievement recipient Erykah Badu showered us with her wisdom and humor during her speech, which was preceded by an introduction by hip-hop legend The D.O.C. Badu looked back on a career filled with milestones rooted in Dallas — from her times at Booker T. Washington high school through the recording of Baduizm.

Host Dezi 5 brought high drama and glamour with costume changes and an opening number, introducing heavyweight presenters like DJs Spinderella and Christy Ray, Mr. Pookie, Grammy-winning producers Symbolic One and Jah Born, and radio legends George Dunham and Mike Rhyner.

After a slew of performances by nominated acts such as Jacob Metcalf and Doug Burr, suspension artist Courtney Crave captivated the audience by hanging in the air from her skin while spinning in place.

To top it all off, closing out the show was the notorious Midlake, who reunited for a special performance.

Below is a list of the 2019 winners, though, again, the real winner was Dallas — particularly the lucky few who got to be in the audience to hear Badu's words.

Best Album

Winner: Wish You Were Here, Joshua Ray Walker 
I Tried to Fight It but I Was Inside It, Nervous Curtains
Underground GOD, Rakim Al-Jabbaar
Another Everything, Acid Carousel
To Each His Own, EB the Younger

Best Bassist

Winner: Robert Trusko
KJ Gray
Aaron Gonzalez
Wes Stephenson
Aarón Mirelles, Sub-Sahara

Best Blues Act

Winner: Polydogs
Jim Suhler
Stevie James Trio
Jason Elmore
Tin & Tonic

Best Country Act

Winner: Joshua Ray Walker
Frankie Leonie
Elaina Kay
Vincent Neil Emerson

Best Cover Band

Winner: The Gorehounds
Different Strokes
The Rich Girls
Straight Tequila Night

Best DJ

Winner: Wanz Dover
Willie Trimmer
Matthew Urbanic
Blake Ward

Best DJ Night

Winner: “Barf Wave” at The Nines
“Disco, TX”
“The Super Bad” at Midnight Rambler
“Turnstile Tuesdays” at Beauty Bar
“Jack’s House”

Best Drummer

Winner: Nick Russo, Duell
Cleon Edwards
Chris Holmes
Stefan Gonzalez
McKenzie Smith

Best Electronic Act

Winner: Black Taffy
Helium Queens
Felt & Fur
Nervous Curtains

Best EP

Winner: Diamond Cuts, Son of Stan
TV Baby, Mean Motor Scooter
This is Better, Sarah Jaffe
Tangled, Ravs
Land Mammal, Land Mammal

Best Experimental/Noise Act

Winner: Locations
Kill the World
Mattie Mystic

Best Female Singer

Winner: Leah Lane, Rosegarden Funeral Party
Remy Reilly
Kierra Gray

Best Festival

Winner: Denton Arts & Jazz Festival
Riverfront Jazz Festival
Lights All Night

Best Folk

Winner: Pedigo’s Magic Pilsner
Doug Burr
Jacob Metcalf
Honey Folk
Loyal Sally

Best Funk/R&B Act

Winner: Abraham Alexander
Medicine Man Revival
Friday’s Foolery
Bastards of Soul

Best Group Act

Winner: Rosegarden Funeral Party
Acid Carousel
Pearl Earl
The Bralettes
Kyoto Lo-Fi

Best Guitarist

Winner: Nik Lee
Nick Snyder
Mark Lettieri
Stephen Ketner
Nick Earl

Best Jazz Act

Winner: The Funky Knuckles
Yells at Eels
Kwinton Gray Project
The Big Ass Brass Band
Ginny Mac

Best Live Act

Winner: Helium Queens
Rosegarden Funeral Party
Medicine Man Revival
Ronnie Heart

Best Male Vocalist

Winner: Keite Young, Medicine Man Revival
Joshua Ray Walker
Jacob Metcalf
Stanley Mongaras, Cure for Paranoia
Daron Beck, Pinkish Black

Best Metal/Hardcore Act

Winner: Mountain of Smoke
Pinkish Black
Power Trip

Best Music Video

Winner: “Cocaine Country Dancing,” Paul Cauthen
“Merry Go Round,” Tippy Balady
“The Hate U Give,” Bobby Sessions ft. Keite Young
“Form/Foul,” Upsetting
“Something’s Gotta Change,” Pearl Earl

Best New Artist

Winner: Secrecies
Cody Lynn Boyd
Abraham Alexander
Flower Child
Kirk Holloway

Best Pianist/Keyboardist

Winner: RC Williams
Kwinton Gray
Daniel Creamer
Peter Rioux
Poppy Xander

Best Pop Act

Winner: The Bralettes
Air Review
Luna Luna
Savannah Low
Lorelei K

Best Producer

Winner: Jason Burt
Alex Bhore
Taylor Tatsch
Matt Pence

Best Punk Act

Winner: American Shit Storm

Best Radio Show/Podcast

Winner: De Colores Radio
The KXT Local Show, KXT 91.7
The Paul Slavens Show, KXT  91.7
The Ghost of Blind Lemon, Deep Ellum Radio
DTX Selects podcast

Best Rap/Hip-Hop Act

Winner: DQ Hampton
Rakim Al-Jabbaar
Asian da Brat
Tay Money

Best Record Label

Winner: Dreamy Life Records
State Fair Records
Barf Wave Records
High Standarz
Kirtland Records

Best Record Store

Winner: Spinster
Top Ten Records
Josey Records
Good Records
14 Records

Best Rock Act

Winner: Kyoto Lo-Fi
The Roomsounds
Cut Throat Finches
Acid Carousel
Rosegarden Funeral Party

Best Song

Winner: “Canyon,” Joshua Ray Walker
“Selfish,” Sam Lao
“Run the Other Way,” Jacob Metcalf
“Better in the Morning,” Quaker City Night Hawks
“I’m Gonna Give You Anything,” Cody Lynn Boyd

Best Songwriter

Winner: Rakim Al-Jabbaar
Joshua Ray Walker
Leah Lane
Kenneth Pritchard
Keite Young/Jason Burt

Best Talent Buyer/Promoter

Winner: Margin Walker
Parade of Flesh
King Camel
Galaxy 9

Best Venue Over 500

Winner: The Bomb Factory
The Rustic
Deep Ellum Art Co.
Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios
Granada Theater

Best Venue Under 500

Winner: Three Links
The Free Man
The Kessler 
Club Dada
Double Wide
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Eva Raggio is the Dallas Observer's music and arts editor, a job she took after several years of writing about local culture and music for the paper. Eva supports the arts by rarely asking to be put on "the list" and always replies to emails, unless the word "pimp" makes up part of the artist's name.
Contact: Eva Raggio