Dallas Observer Music Awards

Announcing the 2019 Dallas Observer Music Awards Nominees

Poppy Xander from Helium Queens and PriMadonna is one the 2019 DOMA nominees
Poppy Xander from Helium Queens and PriMadonna is one the 2019 DOMA nominees Mike Brooks

The Dallas Observer Music Awards, which reward the most accomplished, innovative and outstanding contributions to the local music industry, are on their 31st year. Thirty-one years, the age most of us consider becoming adults. In 1988, the year when DOMA first started, Reagan was president, the No. 1 song was George Michael's "Faith" and Donald Trump was spending lavishly on building a tacky hotel empire.

While times have certainly changed, one thing remains unwaveringly constant: the excellent musicianship keeping DFW’s nightlife electric and distinct. And that’s always a cause for celebration. The nominees were determined via a committee made up of the city’s utmost experts: music journalists, promoters, talent buyers, photographers and producers.

This year’s ballot sees a lot of first-timers, like Kyoto Lo-Fi, Abraham Alexander and Cody Lynn Boyd with two nominations each, as well as established Grammy-winning musicians like Snarky Puppy’s Mark Lettieri, Midlake’s McKenzie Smith and Erykah Badu’s keyboardist RC Williams.

Over 40 nominated artists will be performing at our Music Awards showcase, which takes place on Saturday, Dec. 7, at various Deep Ellum venues, including Club Dada, Trees, Off the Record, Three Links and Reno’s. Tickets to the showcase are available for sale here.

The awards ceremony will take place at a red carpet event (yeah, we can be fancy) on Tuesday, Dec. 10 at Canton Hall that’s free and open to the public. This year’s awards ceremony’s theme will be “Andy Warhol’s Factory,” so expect special performances and surprises. Dress as Basquiat, Edie Sedgwick or a Campbell’s Soup can for our costume contest. For more information, visit Dallasobservermusicawards.com.

Congratulations to all the well-deserving nominees!

Best Album

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

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

Best Blues Act

Jim Suhler
Stevie James Trio
Jason Elmore
Tin & Tonic

Best Country Act

Joshua Ray Walker
Frankie Leonie
Elaina Kay
Vincent Neil Emerson

Best Cover Band

Different Strokes
The Rich Girls
Straight Tequila Night
The Gorehounds

Best DJ

Willie Trimmer
Matthew Urbanic
Blake Ward
Wanz Dover

Best DJ Night

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

Best Drummer

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

Best Electronic Act

Felt & Fur
Black Taffy
Helium Queens
Nervous Curtains

Best EP

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

Best Experimental/Noise Act

Kill the World
Mattie Mystic

Best Female Singer

Leah Lane, Rosegarden Funeral Party
Remy Reilly
Kierra Gray

Best Festival

Riverfront Jazz Festival
Lights All Night
Denton Arts & Jazz Festival

Best Folk
Doug Burr
Jacob Metcalf
Honey Folk
Pedigo's Magic Pilsner
Loyal Sally

Best Funk/R&B Act

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

Best Group Act

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

Best Guitarist

Nick Snyder
Mark Lettieri
Stephen Ketner
Nick Earl
Nik Lee

Best Jazz Act

Yells at Eels
The Funky Knuckes
Kwinton Gray Project
Big Ass Brand Band
Ginny Mac

Best Live Act

Rosegarden Funeral Party
Medicine Man Revival
Helium Queens
Ronnie Heart

Best Male Vocalist

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

Best Metal/Hardcore Act

Pinkish Black
Power Trip
Mountain of Smoke

Best Music Video

“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

Cody Lynn Boyd
Abraham Alexander
Flower Child
Kirk Holloway

Best Pianist/Keyboardist

Kwinton Gray
Daniel Creamer
RC Williams
Peter Rioux
Poppy Xander

Best Pop Act

The Bralettes
Air Review
Luna Luna
Savannah Low
Lorelei K

Best Producer

Alex Bhore
Taylor Tatsch
Jason Burt
Matt Pence

Best Punk Act

American Shit Storm

Best Radio Show/Podcast

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
De Colores Radio

Best Rap/Hip-Hop Act
Rakim Al-Jabbaar
DQ Hampton
Asian da Brat
Tay Money

Best Record Label

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

Best Record Store

Top Ten Records
Josey Records
Good Records
14 Records

Best Rock Act

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

Best Song

“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

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

Best Talent Buyer/Promoter

Margin Walker
Parade of Flesh
King Camel
Galaxy 9

Best Venue Under 500

Three Links
The Free Man
The Kessler
Club Dada
Double Wide

Best Venue Over 500

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