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.


Duane Andrews won four prizes at the MusicNL awards show on Sunday night in Gander. ((CBC))

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