Troy Breslow drove 10 hours from Tennessee to attend the Veer Magazine Local Music Awards on Tuesday. After the show, the York County songwriter got back in his car and made the 10-hour drive back to his new home base.
He did not go empty-handed. Breslow took with him the prize for top country artist, one of several Peninsula musicians to win categories at the event held at the Waterside District in Norfolk.
The awards, in their sixth year, are determined by a combination of reader votes and a panel of judges. Jeff Maisey, editor and publisher of Veer Magazine, said the country category was “extremely close.” Breslow took the prize over a field of nominees that included Buck Shot out of Virginia Beach, as well as the Peninsula’s Laura Rice and Mason Brown and the Shiners.
“I really didn’t expect this,” said Breslow, who also earned nominations for his album “Politics and Roadrage” and its title song. “Look at who else was nominated in this category — it’s a great honor. I’m so glad I made the trip back.”
Hampton R&B singer K’bana Blaq took one of the night’s top prizes, winning song of the year for “Pour Me Out a Blessing,” the gospel-infused track that closes out his album “Eve of 17.” He wrote and recorded the album as a high school graduation present for his niece, with each song representing a message he wanted her to carry with her as she left for college.
Blaq and Newport News blues singer Myra Smith were among the acts who gave performances at the event, which was highlighted by a reunion of the popular Norfolk band Waxing Poetics.
The Hampton-based Fuzz Band, for which Blaq is a vocalist, won the R&B category, and Newport News’ The Chosen Few repeated as winner for gospel. Uglyography, fronted by Hampton resident Matt Thomas, won the experimental category, and Hampton reggae band United Souls took the world music prize.
It was the first win for United Souls, which has been nominated every year in the world music category.
“It really is an honor just to be nominated,” said I. Gabe, vocalist and keyboardist for United Souls. “But it was a big deal to finally win. It felt like we were included. It felt like we were being heard.”
The band, which has had a rotating roster since its inception in 1994, records on the Jamaican label Vpal Music/Vp Records. Gabe said the band is working on its next CD, which is tentatively scheduled for a fall release.
In non-music categories, Hampton photographer Wendy Podmenik-Daruger won for her work shooting live performance by Mason Brown and the Shiners, and industry awards for promotion of local music went to Hampton resident Kelly Murphy and Newport News businessman Mitch Kirsner.
The biggest winner of the night was Norfolk’s Anthony Rosano and the Conqueroos, who won album of the year, as well as the blues category and best live act.
Local music awards
Album of the Year: “Anthony Rosano and the Conqueroos” by Anthony Rosano and the Conqueroos.
Video of the Year: “Voicemail” by Billy Mercury.
EP of the Year: “Lewis McGehee” by Lewis McGehee.
Song of the Year: “Pour Me Out a Blessing” by K’bana Blaq.
Best Live Act: Anthony Rosano and the Conqueroos.
Producer: Jacki Paolella.
World Music: United Souls.
R&B: The Fuzz Band.
Indie Pop: Feral Conservatives.
Cover Band: B.J. Griffin and Galaxy Groove.
Electronic: DJP and Mr. T.
Hip-Hop: Shane Dollar.
Blues: Anthony Rosano and the Conqueroos.
Acoustic-folk: Lewis McGehee.
Country: Troy Breslow.
Americana: Brackish Water Jamboree.
Rock: Bennett Wales and the Relief.
Psychedelic: Galaxy Dynamite.
Jazz: The Jae Sinnett Zero to 60 Quartet.
Gospel: The Chosen Few.
Metal: Cemetery Boys.
DJ/MC: Lord Thomas.
Media presenting local music: Out of the Box, Paul Shugrue.
Lifetime Award: Waxing Poetics.
Industry Awards: Kelly Murphy and Mitch Kirsner.
Musicians’ Musician Award: Michael Williams.
Local venue: Shaka’s Live
Outdoor festival featuring local music: Lava Fest
Open mic night: Fairgrounds Coffee House
Music retailer: Russell’s Music World
Indie promoter: TBA Productions
Photographer (live): Wendy Podmenik Daruger (shooting Mason Brown and the Shiners)
Photographer (posed/promotional): Jeff Hewitt (shooting Sinister X)
Holtzclaw can be reached by phone at 757-928-6479 or on Twitter @mikeholtzclaw.