Jazz guitar virtuoso Duane Andrews and St. John's alternative sextet Hey Rosetta! swept the top awards this weekend at Newfoundland and Labrador's key music industry conference.
Andrews, who won male artist of the year among a haul of four awards at a MusicNL show in Gander, said Sunday night's presentation was sweet.
"This is home," said Andrews, whose spirited style — inspired by his hero, jazz legend Django Reinhardt — has won acclaim from international jazz publications and fans.
"You know, it's home and it's also your peers. So really for me it's just — it's inspiration. It's encouragement to just keep doing what I'm doing. Cause you need that sometimes."
Andrews also won as jazz-blues artist of the year; album of the year for his latest release, Raindrops; and songwriter of the year for the tune D.D.'s Blues.
Hey Rosetta! — which combines driving alternative rock with a string section — won three awards, including group of the year, entertainer of the year and pop-rock artist of the year.
MusicNL presented its Lifetime Achievement Award to Simani, the legendary folk duo of Bud Davidge and Sim Savory. Simani is best known for The Mummer's Song, a tune that started off as a lament for a declining Christmas tradition but has been credited with helping to keep it alive.
Singer Sherry Ryan won the female artist of the year award, while St. John's ska outfit The Idlers won the Rising Star award, which recognizes up-and-coming talent.
Angela Antle, the host of Weekend Arts Magazine on CBC Radio, won MusicNL's annual nod as media person of the year.
2008 MusicNL award winners
Male artist of the year — Duane Andrews
Galaxie rising star of the CBC award — The Idlers
Country artist/group of the year — Joe Belly & the Sin City Ramblers
Gospel artist/group of the year — Janet Cull & Kelly-Ann Evans
Instrumental artist/group of the Year — Bill Brennan
Steele Communications album of the year — Duane Andrews, Raindrops
Side musician of the year — Patrick Boyle
Female artist of the year — Sherry Ryan
Entertainer of the year — Hey Rosetta!
Molson pop/rock artist/group of the year — Hey Rosetta!
Folk/roots artist/group of the year — Graham Wells
Media person of the year — Angela Antle
Industry professional of the year — Tony Murray
Group of the year — Hey Rosetta!
Alternative artist/group of the year — The Idlers
Coast jazz/blues artist/group of the year — Duane Andrews
SOCAN songwriter of the year — Duane Andrews, D.D's Blues
Music educator — Valerie Long
Outstanding company — Fred's Records
Volunteer of the year — Anita Best
Unsung Hero award — Maxine Stanley
Industry builder award — John Steele
Lifetime achievement award — Simani