After the Electronic category results published on Tuesday, we have for you the names of the artists that qualified to the next phase of our Year End Best of NYC Poll for Emerging Artists from what we call the Traditional Rootsy category. The other roots music categories - to be unveiled soon - are Alt Folk and Songwriters/Rootsy Pop.
P.S. If you are interested in understanding how our Year End Poll for Emerging Artists works, please go here.
NYC YEAR END POLL 2011 OPEN SUBMISSIONS RESULTS FOR TRADITIONAL ROOTSY
Jurors: Jason Behrends (Deli Chicago), Jessica Pace (Deli Nashville), Paolo De Gregorio (Deli NYC).
- QUALIFIED TO THE POLL'S NEXT ROUND
The artists in this list qualify for the next phase of the poll, and will be added to the bands nominated by our jury of local scenemakers. The top two are tied with a combined rating of 8 out of 10.
Not your typical country crooner, The Reverend John Delore plays Americana music full of character that avoids stock country tropes, 12 bar blues, or Nashville’s underestimation of its audience. Like all the best songwriters, his keen observational style and sense of place can turn every day life experience into something more subtle and, ultimately, satisfying. - Read a 2011 Deli interview with the Reverend HERE.
Like those serial heart-stealers out there, The Bottom Dollars may appear at first as charming gentlemen drenched in traditional values, but it doesn't take too long to realize they are actually just a bunch of fun-loving, rocking sons of guns. As it happens, it will then be too late to withdraw your heart... check them out live at Spike Hill on 01.08.
3b. Tall Tall Trees
How much can the Americana genre be innovated without sounding like something else? Probably as much as Tall Tall Trees innovate it in their self titled debut album, which features an "outside the box" production, and tastefully blends bluegrass with varied influences ranging from pop, orchestral and even funk at times. This band has been slowly building a local following (which is a very good sign indeed) and it's now playing regularly in NYC. You have 4 opportunities to see them in the next two months, the next one at union Hall on January 20.
3c. The Third Wheel Band
Serving their own brand of unadulterated roots music, The Third Wheel Band has the power to make your feet stomp even though they lack a drummer. A hefty dose of charm is brought to the table by vocalist and upright bassist Steph Allen, who sings the bluegrass with disarming spontaneity. Catch them at the Brick Cafe` in Queens on January 04.
- ALMOST QUALIFIED TO THE POLL'S NEXT ROUND These artists had outstanding ratings from our jurors (they all shared a final score between 7.330 and 7.66 out of 10) but won't qualify to the next round of our year end poll.
5. JP & The Gilberts
You know how pretty much any song is SO MUCH MORE FUN when you speed it up by, like, 50 bpm or so? That's what JP & The Gilberts like to do to country music, with devastatingly entertaining results. Their faster songs, like the one streaming below, call for cowboy moshing - I'd love to see something like that actually - although they also offer plenty of more traditional slower numbers.
6a. Mercy Bell
Traditional American music can be communal old time party entertainment, or it can be a lonely and thoughtful kind of thing, like in Mercy Bell's case. This lady moved to NYC bringing with her a duffle bag, an air mattress, and a guitar; and her warm and caring voice, which animates introspective, soulful songs about that ongoing absurd mystery we call life.
6b. Natureboy Natureboy, the musical project of Sara Kermanshahi,injects its folk ballads with dreamy elements, creating songs that will haunt you down memory lane. Read a 2009 interview with the front lady Sara Kermanshahi here.
These artists also had really good ratings from our jurors (tied at 7.16 out of 10): Toby Goodshank, Piñataland and Little Anchor (who should have probably submitted as "Rootsy Pop" instead of "Americana").
Ambient and slightly androgynous, the duo Belle Mare released their dreamy debut EP “The Boat of the Fragile Mind” earlier this spring. The EP resonates with somber tones and almost whale-like howls, unraveling soft acoustic guitar, simple piano melodies, and occasional subtle drones. The title track features the quivering vocals of Amelia Bushell, one half of the Belle Mare duo with guitarist Thomas Servidone, painting a dreamscape portrait of longing. Charade (streaming below) gently develops an unexpected blue melody that can lull you into the deepest of sleeps - I've heard of people dreaming of sleeping, in NYC. The duo met at an open mic night in Brooklyn and recorded the album in Servidone’s apartment, but notwithstanding the DIY approach, the record is full of character and the sound mature. With their mix of rich surrealism and an almost gothic aura, these song sounds as if played through an antique phonograph inside a parlor room... located in the deepest of our subconscious. While “The Boat” could easily draw comparisons to other dream-poppers Beach House, Belle Mare’s subtleties and extreme sparsness create a stronger emotional drive and more nostalgic appeal. - Devon Antonetti