2006 RFT Music Awards

Dean C. Minderman|Kristyn Pomranz|Andrew Miller|Kristie McClanahan|Christian Schaeffer|Andrew Miller|Ben Westhoff|Annie Zaleski|Brooke Foster|Jaime Lees|Roy Kasten

The Riverfront Timescongratulates the winners of the 2006 RFT Music Awards Thanks to all who attended the 2006 RFTMusic Showcase or voted in the poll.



Blues Artist

Soulard Blues Band
www.soulardbluesband.com
Now working on its second quarter-century together, the Soulard Blues Band has had a remarkable run as one of St. Louis' most durable and popular blues acts. Fans have stuck with them through many personnel changes and stylistic shifts, and their continued patronage has always been rewarded by a fine crew of singers and players assembled by bassist and bandleader Art Dwyer. With former lead guitarist Tom Maloney now back in the fold, and former lead vocalist and one-time Blues Brother Larry Thurston returning for the occasional gig, the current edition of the band more than lives up to its hard-earned reputation. —Dean C. Minderman



Club DJ

DJ Kid Delicious
www.djkiddelicious.com; www.myspace.com/djkiddelicious
Mathematics is essential to being a great DJ; matching beats per minute is crucial, lest mixing become an exercise in futility. Lucky for DJ Kid Delicious, math is innately woven into her artistry. While she's particularly well-versed in progressive house, Delicious also deftly infuses tribal beats, making ululations as common as techno loops. Always upbeat without being too atmospheric, she juxtaposes sounds without jumbling elements, making for a seamless flow of danceable digs. In a world of DJs eager to mix it all, Kid Delicious shows what a little scrutiny and structure can do. — Kristyn Pomranz



Electronic Act Femme Fatality

www.myspace.com/femmefatality; www.femmefatality.net
Incorporating a new member into an established act isn't easy, especially when said band is a duo that emphasizes on-stage interplay. But Femme Fatality pulse just as hard even after replacing Octavia Leito with Hephaestion Palermo last fall. The group wrings the sweat, style and sexiness from genres such as hip-hop, new wave and electroclash; their live shows are bawdy parties that use throbbing beats as foreplay fodder and turn akimbo indie scenesters into maniacs on the floor. Femme Fatality have vanished from local bills lately, a trend that's sadly going to continue: They've announced their breakup, effective after a final show in November. — Andrew Miller



Funk/R&B/Soul The FuFops

www.fufops.com; www.myspace.com/fufops
Thanks to the FuFops, it's now impossible to mention the local R&B scene without including Belleville, Illinois. The group's sound is sometimes a throwback to soul of bygone times (albeit done in a style that's unmistakably fresh), as singer-songwriter MC Angel Z's words roll in rich and smooth over addictive, funky beats. Plus, the FuFops are reaching more fans than ever, bolstered by their opening performance for Afroman early last month at Pop's. — Kristie McClanahan



Garage/Rockabilly

7 Shot Screamers
www.7shotscreamers.com; www.myspace.com/7shotscreamers
Most rockabilly acts focus on hollow-body guitars and perfectly coiffed pompadours, and scrimp on vocals and decent lyrics. Not so with the 7 Shot Screamers: The thumping upright bass and slick licks are in place, but singer Mike Leahy croons smoothly above it all, mixing a little Bryan Ferry in with Brian Setzer. With the just-released In Wonderland, the Screamers have given their weight to the fledgling label Big Muddy Records, a cross-generational swap sure to please fans of all rockabilly varieties. — Christian Schaeffer



Hard Rock/Metal

Head-On Collision
Head-On Collision features former members of Very Metal — and while this thrashing-mad group certainly deserved to commandeer that moniker, their new name works well with the highway-accident-gruesome artwork on 2005's Arise from the Wreckage demo. Their dual guitarists play lockstep full-speed riffs, like chained-together sprinters racing to the manic beat of Jason Brooks ' drums. Singer Todd Robbins sounds like a demon-possessed version of Mighty Mighty Bosstones' Dicky Barrett, gruffly enunciating lyrics about grave topics. Should Head On Collision claim this category, their reign will be bloody. — Andrew Miller



Hip-Hop Artist

Earthworms
www.myspace.com/earthworms
The Earthworms don't pretend to be hardcore. Well, OK, they pretend, but nobody believes them. Instead, their hopeful, positive, surreal lyrics expose them for what they are: really nice guys. Kama and Mathias, formerly of Core Project, share the mic with Black Patrick, and the turntables are manned by DJ Mahf, who is almost as talented as he is cute. The production shines on their debut, No Arms, No Legs, Just a Head and a Body, but see their live show for the chance to hear DJ Crucial's remix of their song "OneTwo" — and to see Mathias cutting a rug in his own unique way. — Ben Westhoff



Hip-Hop DJ

Needles
www.myspace.com/djneedles
If you ever stumble upon a large cache of high-caliber rap, hip-hop or R&B twelve-inches in the used bins at Vintage Vinyl, chances are you've just discovered the latest collection purge by Needles. But it isn't reinvention that's kept the affable DJ consistently near the top of the St. Louis scene; it's seamlessly mixed sets. Whether you're seeing Needles spin at Boogaloo, the Hi-Pointe or 609 — where he helms the long-running "jazzyphatnappy" night of laid-back soul, Afrobeat, hip-hop and more — he drops encyclopedic music knowledge and mad skills almost as much as he drops killer beats. —Annie Zaleski

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