Dallas Observer Music Awards

Announcing the 2020 Dallas Observer Music Awards Nominees

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
2020 has challenged everything we knew to be good and constant about the world, so let us do our part in restoring a sense of comforting continuity: the Dallas Observer Music Awards will take place this year.

This year has been rampant with losses, permanent closures, temporary shutdowns and major financial distress for artists and music industry workers.

Musicians have soldiered on with the dedication of the orchestra members on board the Titanic, performing as the economy and our sense of hope sank. They did so whether they were harassed by unmasked audience members, chose to skip gigging altogether to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, took to the streets to perform at curbside events or released collaborations made via Zoom.

The least we can do is show our appreciation with some well-deserved awards, which are in their 32nd year.  Yep, that’s the age of legends (such as Rihanna and Adele), and the current length of Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson’s marriage.

While DOMA is Botox-candidate old, this year’s honorees are keeping us young with newcomers and veterans who are new to the DOMA nominations. Because this year is a bit, let’s say, irregular, the categories have been mixed up. We’ve also included special awards for our pandemic heroes, music industry people and businesses that have gone through epic hurdles to advocate and raise funds for those most in need.

Winners will be determined by an expert group of judges and will be announced during the ceremony. For more information, visit Dallasobservermusicawards.com.

Here are the 2020 DOMA nominees:

Best Album
Cashmere Don, Jayson Lyric
Exit, Def Rain
Glad You Made It, Joshua Ray Walker
Quiet Lives, Garrett Owen
Spinnin', Bastards of Soul
Vanishing Light in the Tunnel of Dreams, Yells at Eels and Pinkish Black
WAR, Medicine Man Revival

Best Americana
Nicholas Altobelli
Kristy Kruger
New Ellum
Garrett Owen
Justin Pickard & the Thunderbird Winos

Best Bassist
Kevin Butler
Dave Farrell
Braylon Lacy
Jeffrey "Grits" Lewis
Mike Luzecky
Wes Stephenson

Best Blues Act
Jack Barksdale
Elm St. Blues
Michael Lee
Holland K. Smith
Nick Snyder & The Real Deal
Tin & Tonic

Best Brass/Wind Player
Brianna Compton (tuba)
Sarah Hatler (trombone)
Gaika James (trombone)
Jonathan Mones (saxophone)
Kazunori Tanaka (trumpet)
Matt Thelen (saxophone)

Best Country Act
Bill Brimer
Meredith Crawford
Tommy Luke
Squeezebox Bandits
Joshua Ray Walker
Austin Waymire

Best Cover Band
Mr. Self Destruct
The Battle of Evermore: A Led Zeppelin Experience
The Gorehounds

Best DJ
Sarah Battle
Mike B
Jay Clipp
Red Eye
DJ Inzo/Feezy
Christy Ray

Best Drummer
JD Beck
Gino "LockJohnson" Inglehart
Cedric Moore
Max Oepen
Brandon Price
Jackie Whitmill Jr.

Best Electronic Act
China Club
Smoking With Strangers
Welcome Center

Best EP
Before You Leave, Deep Red
COTY, Coach Tev
Immortals, Bayleigh Cheek
It's an OK Life, Kyoto Lo-Fi
LV Tape Vol. 1, LaVoyce
Slide, Willo

Best Experimental/ Noise Act
Allison Janney
Pinkish Black

Best Funk/ R&B
Bree & The Fellas
Loners Club
Kaash Paige
TryMore MOJO
Angel White

Best Group Act
Bastards of Soul
Brave Little Howl
Frances Heidy
Go-Go Rillas
Kyoto Lo-Fi
Ottoman Turks

Best Guitarist
Jason Bucklin
Scottie LePage
Mark Lettieri
Kingston Livingston
Stone Mecca
Ally Venable

Best Jazz Act
Big Ass Brass Band
Peter Rioux Trio
Kwinton Gray Project
La Pompe
Randy McGill & Eclectic
Song Dynasty

Best Live Music Series
Art Yard at Deep Ellum Art Co.
CarBaret Drive-In
Front Yard Concerts
Kessler Green
Last Ditch Drive-In
The Rustic

Best Livestream Series
Lava Cantina
Marc Rebillet
Opening Bell Open Mic
Chad Stockslager
Sudie and Sober's Bedroom Boogie
Three Links

Best Metal/ Hardcore
Creeping Death
Frozen Soul
Power Trip

Best Music Video
"Close," MATTIE
"I Don't Wanna Die Tonight," These Machines Are Winning
"I Still Can't Breathe," Jui$e Leroy
"Just Wait," ManifestiV
"Tomorrow Ain't Promised," Chilldren of Indigo
"Voodoo," XO and Nine

Best New Artist
Bayleigh Cheek
Jacks Haupt
Ego Jones
Penny & Dime

Best Pianist/ Keyboardist
Kwinton Gray
Ginny Mac
Thiago X. Nascimento
Adam Pickrell
Paul Slavens
Eric Willis

Best Pop Act
Big Heaven
Abby Cole
Larry g(EE)
Danielle Grubb
Taylor Young Band

Best Producer/Engineer
Zach Balch
Jason Burt
Morgan Matthews
John Pedigo
Adam Pickrell
Billy Syn

Best Punk Act
Bad Sports
Narrow Head
Rei Clone
The Scandals TX

Best Radio Show/ Podcast
Da Realist Radio
De Colores Radio
Mostly Local with Michael Briggs
The Corpsepaint Show, On-Air Media
The Local Show with Amy Miller, KXT
Underground Kings, RadioUTD

Best Rap/Hip-Hop Act
Evry Day Tony
Honie Gold
Jayson Lyric
Sincerely, Esco

Best Rap/Hip-Hop Producer
Donny Domino
Monstah Beats
Oktober 1st
Shun On Da Beat
Reezy Tunez

Best Record Label
Dolfin Records
Dreamy Life
E- World
Flint Creek Records
Triptych Records

Best Record Store
Born Late Records
Josey Records
Red Zeppelin
Truth Vinyl
T-Town Music
ZT Records

Best Rock/ Hard Rock Act
Great Heart
Kyoto Lo-Fi
Record Setter
The Infamists
Ting Tang Tina

Best Solo Act
Cody Lynn Boyd
Jacks Haupt
Sara King

Best Song
"10-15," Sub-Sahara
"Autumn Leaves," Flower Child
"Can't Say," Brave Little Howl
"Driving Me Crazy," Jayson Lyric
"Lady," Dezi 5
"Then You Met Me," The Deathray Davies

Best Songwriter
Grand Commander
Tony Ferraro
Bobby Sessions
Cameron Smith
Joshua Ray Walker

Best Talent Buyer/ Promoter/ Booker
13th Floor Music
Galaxy 9
Das Glue Entertainment
Margin Walker
Premier Live Experience
Regina Bugarin Booking

Best Venue
Dan's Silverleaf
Deep Ellum Art Co.
Double Wide
Revelers Hall
The Nines
Three Links

Best Vocalist
Paul Cauthen
Damoyee Janai
Key Latrice
Jade Nickol
Keite Young

And this year's Pandemic Hero Award recipients are:
Hyancith Belcher
Mike Brooks
Edwin Cabaniss
Kim Finch
Jay Gavit
Norman Roscoe (Eric Pulido and Ranger Ewing)
KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
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

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