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The complete low-down on this year's nominated acts

Best Jam Band

Devon Allman's Honeytribe
www.myspace.com/honeytribe; www.honeytribe.com
With music that's at once smoky, bluesy and rocking as all get out, Honeytribe sound just as natural covering Bob Marley's iconic "No Woman, No Cry" as they do on original songs like "Torch," the title track of their newest release. Fronted by Devon Allman (the son of Southern-rock legend Gregg Allman), these Midwesterners aren't just riding on nostalgic strands of DNA: Having jammed their way through Europe and the U.S. — their swagger and soul always riding shotgun — Honeytribe now boast a worldwide fan base. (KM)

The Schwag
www.theschwag.com; www.myspace.com/theschwag
It's paradoxical to consider a Grateful Dead tribute band as laid-back, spontaneous and organized all at the same time, but the Schwag is exactly that. And it has to be: The group regularly plays 60 cities in 18 states, and since 1997 it's organized several outdoor Schwagstock festivals per year, events that draw thousands of people. Together for fourteen years, the Schwag is enduring proof that when a band goes where the music takes it, the fans will follow. (KM)
7:30 p.m., Market in the Loop Outdoor Stage

Fundamental Elements
www.fundamentalelements.net; www.myspace.com/fundamentalsmusic
From their first strum, the Fundamental Elements trade in earthy mellowness that's associated with sunny island life (à la Jack Johnson). On many songs, the group members' drums and guitars are as plucky as the singing, and their sound is always deeply soulful without being utterly depressing. Infused with Midwestern sensibilities, their songs are free-flowing, often romantic and always masterful — tunes that could easily be the soundtrack to a rollicking barbecue with friends or a quiet night at home. (KM)

Dogtown Allstars

www.dogtownallstars.com; www.myspace.com/dogtownallstars
You have to love a band with no pretensions. The Dogtown Allstars are straight funk-soul musicians that aim to get your hips shaking — nothing more, nothing less. They may be playing "Hip Hug-Her" or "Sophisticated Cissy" for the millionth time, but this quartet still puts some backbone into these classics. Helmed by organist Nathan Hershey (who's a hip-hop producer for Phat Buddha Productions by day), the Allstars mix Stax-era gritty soul and rolling New Orleans funk into bubbling, infectious grooves. (CS)
8 p.m., Delmar Restaurant & Lounge

Madahoochi
www.madahoochi.com; www.myspace.com/madahoochi
Madahoochi possesses all the elements necessary to become a great jam band: fearless instrument playing, freeness of spirit and a harmonious infrastructure that lends itself to flawless improvisation. What makes Madahoochi truly outstanding, though, is how it transcends the jam genre. The three vocalists' timbres blend like Manhattan Transfer, they use unexpected key swaps that would stump Sondheim, and even James Brown would have to tip his mic to their funk. So don't compare them to jam bands like Phish or Leftover Salmon; it's a great disservice to suggest that Madahoochi is comparable. (KP)
10 p.m., Cicero's

Best Jazz Artist

Willie Akins
A modern jazz master of bebop, ballads and blues, Willie Akins brings deep knowledge, feeling and skill to every note he plays on the tenor saxophone. His early-Saturday-evening weekly gig at Spruill's has become a habit for many — including discerning listeners from all walks of life, up-and-coming musicians seeking to learn from (and possibly sit in with) a revered elder and visiting jazz stars paying respect to a local legend. St. Louis has spawned many fine jazz musicians over the years, but Akins' place in the hearts of local jazz fans is secure. (DCM)

Erin Bode
www.erinbode.com
Since the January 2006 release of Over and Over, her second album on the St. Louis-based MAXJAZZ label, vocalist Erin Bode has been winning new fans everywhere. Although she still plays a lot of local gigs in clubs and restaurants, in the past few months Bode has also performed twice on national TV, toured Italy and appeared at some of the better jazz clubs in cities from coast to coast. She's gained artistic confidence too, adding more original material to her repertoire of standards and selected covers — thus solidifying her reputation as an artist to watch. (DCM)
10 p.m., 609

Hamiet Bluiett
www.hamietbluiett.com
As a member of the seminal Black Artists Group, co-founder of the World Saxophone Quartet and one of jazz's preeminent voices on the baritone saxophone, Hamiet Bluiett is a musician of global significance. He came back home to Brooklyn, Illinois, a few years ago after three decades in New York, but is still in demand for gigs all over the planet. As a result, Bluiett's St. Louis concert appearances are relatively few in number, but he always provides a distinctive and memorable evening of music. (DCM)

Dave Stone
www.stonecovellijazz.com
With bebop so deep in his soul that he knows every nook and nuance of its pre-, post- and free-forms, Dave Stone is to the St. Louis jazz scene what Bob Dylan was to the Greenwich coffeehouse scene: an innovator, a flame-keeper and ultimately a mentor. He still haunts the coffeehouses and night clubs of South Grand, humbly and graciously offering his tenor saxophone talents by collaborating with and leading the city's youngest jazz lions. And his Friday night residencies at Mangia Italiano are essential — jazz past, present and future writ in lightning leads and lithe swing. (RK)

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