2009 Tuney winners announced

The 2009 Billings Outpost Tuney Awards showcase brought out all ages to enjoy live music.
The 2009 Tuney Awards brought out all ages to enjoy live music.

Summer brought its last assault to Billings on Saturday, blasting 95 degree temperatures just in time for the ninth annual Billings Outpost Tuney awards.

The weather tempered, however, and a delightful September evening ensued. In what proved to be the most well-attended Tuneys yet, more than 300 people came together to celebrate local music.

Rock and folk band The Peach Pickers with guest harmonica player Dan Page jam during the award show.
Folk rock band The Peach Pickers with guest harmonica player Dan Page jam during the award show.

The awards show, set up to resemble the Grammy’s, honored musicians, bands and musical organizations selected by the community in a variety of categories. Nearly 30 awards were handed out, and the evening’s live performances ran the gamut, from light folk to heavy metal.

Bands that donated their time to perform included folk rock duo Earthshine, rock guitarist Matt Rogers (who performed with the father/son duo of Steve and Bob Brown), Americana/folk rock band Dan Page and the Barn Cats, newly-formed rock group The Peach Pickers, and metal act ENDever.

Past Marsian czartaX made an appearance at the Tuneys. Past Mars won best alternative rock and best male vocalist.
Past Marsian czartaX made an appearance at the Tuneys. Past Mars won best alternative rock and best male vocalist.

The community came out in force and proved that Billings is filled with loving and caring people that look out for each other. Individuals reached into their pocketbooks and gave generously to local musician Gy Moody, who suffered a heart attack in July. Initial estimates place donations at more than $1,250, which are going toward Moody’s mounting medical bills.

The 2009 winners are as follows:

Best Local CD: 1090 Club, Natural Selection

ENDever vocalist Mike Walters in performance at the 2009 Tuney awards show.
ENDever vocalist Mike Walters in performance at the 2009 Tuney awards show.

Best Blues Act: Soul Brat

Best Bluegrass Act: Anonymous String Association

Best Country/Western Act: The Bucky Beaver Ground Grippers

Best Folk/Americana: Dan Page and the Barn Cats

Best Soul/R&B/Jam: Funk in the Trunk

Best Jazz Act: 4 or More

Best Metal Act: ENDever

Best Punk Act: The Montana Law

Earthshine guitarist and vocalist Kris Prinzing performs some folk tunes at the Tuney awards.
Earthshine guitarist and vocalist Kris Prinzing performs some folk tunes at the Tuney awards.

Best Rap Act: Impurity

Best Rock Act: ZeN

Best Alternative Rock Act: Past Mars

Best Banjo Player: Wade Steinmetz

Best Bass Player: Parker Brown

Best Drummer: Marco Castro

Best Female Vocalist: Linda Villareal

Best Guitar Player: Art Eichele

Best Horn Player: Jeff Long

Best Keyboard Player: Dave Green

Local musician Steve Brown plays guitar with The Peach Pickers, and also did a guest spot on drums with Matt Rogers during the Tuneys.
Local musician Steve Brown plays guitar with The Peach Pickers, and also did a guest spot on drums with Matt Rogers during the Tuneys.

Best Male Vocalist: Nate North

Best Mandolin Player: Dennis Nettiksimmons

Best Percussionist: Matt Devitt

Best String Player: Megan Dibble

Best Harmonica Player: Dan Page

Best Live Venue (21 & Over): F.O.E.

Best Live Venue (All Ages): Yellowstone Valley Brewing Co.

Best Musical Instrument Store: Hansen Music

Best CD Store: Ernie November

Best Radio DJ: Big J (Hot 101.9)

Freeman Lacy Award: Tim and Pam Goodridge

Tuney awards on Saturday

(Poster by AJ)
(Poster design by AJ Ostlund)

Tuney time has new meaning for me this year. Before, I was a casual spectator enjoying the show. Now, as a sponsor of the event and a coordinator of all things Tuney, I’ve got a behind-the-scenes look, which has included counting boatloads of ballots, coordinating the performers’ schedules and the awards presentation, and the last-minute kinks we’ve been ironing out. And that’s just the work that goes in before the first award is handed out.

All this prep work will culminate in the ninth annual Billings Outpost Tuney Awards presentation, coordinated by Billings Outpost staff and Tuney volunteers on Saturday starting at 4 p.m. at Yellowstone Valley Brewing Co.

We’ll present the Tuney awards and celebrate local musicians, and have a great lineup of live performers who represent previous Tuney Award winners and some of the community’s hardest working musicians. The evening’s performances include ENDeverDan Page and the Barn Cats, the Peach Pickers, Earthshine and Matt Rogers.

Proceeds from this year’s awards show, as in previous years, go toward a great cause: paying some of the medical bills incurred by local musician Gy Moody, who recently suffered a heart attack.

As a friend of Moody, I sat in the hospital with him following his heart attack and knew he was grateful to be alive, and as strange as it may sound, he seemed to welcome this alarming wakeup call. However, Moody, like many of us, is living without health insurance and has mounting medical bills for his care. We’re asking a $2 cover at the door, or more, if you can spare it, for this great cause.

So I hope to see you Saturday, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Come down and show your support for your local music scene, musicians and, of course, your weekly independent newspaper bringing you musical notes each week.