Introducing The 2016 RFT Music Award Winners

Blight Future, one of this year's RFT Music Award winners.
Blight Future, one of this year's RFT Music Award winners. PHOTO BY THEO WELLING

This past weekend, on a sunny, beautiful, slightly too warm Saturday, a little event called the Riverfront Times Music Showcase celebrated its fifteenth birthday. Actually, scratch that description: There was nothing "little" about the event at all. Held for its third consecutive year in the Grove district, this year's outing was our biggest yet — with more than 90 acts performing over the course of twelve hours and attendance totaling more than 3,000 people, it was technically the largest all-local music festival in St. Louis history.

Quite a feat, and there's no way we could have done it if St. Louis wasn't bursting at the seams with talent. Which brings us to the RFT Music Awards, the ostensible reason for the season. In our last issue we told you about 145 different bands and acts that are more than worthy of your time and consideration. These superlative groups and solo artists were nominated by the public, with input from a committee of local DJs, promoters, venue and record store owners and employees, music writers and other scene enthusiasts.

We asked you to vote for your favorites; you happily obliged. We still had to weed out some ballot-stuffers (sigh — if only you guys knew how easy that is to spot), but this year's winners prove that you have been paying attention to the recent happenings in the local scene.

Fister and Everything Went Black, who recently released an excellent split covering one another's songs, took home the metal and hardcore honors, respectively. 18andCounting, an impossible-to-categorize musician who has won twice before for Best Solo Project and Best DJ, won this year in the Electronic (Eclectic) category — some kind of hat trick, we suppose. The Indie-Pop category saw an actual tie this year — a first for these awards — with Middle Class Fashion and Whoa Thunder finishing in a dead heat. (It is worth noting that scene vet Brian McClelland used to perform in the former and now leads the latter. Not sure what that means exactly, but it is data worth analyzing.)

And of course there are dozens more winners, but we'd like to stress: This isn't just about the winners. Sure, the voting process can be fun, but every one of the nominated bands is worth listening to and seeing live, and you'll have plenty of opportunity to do that right here in St. Louis.

In keeping, we are going to reprint the full list of nominees, with the winners listed at the top of each category in bold. Tell them congrats, and then go check out the rest of the nominees as well. You won't be disappointed.

See also: Here are some of the bands who blew us away at this year's RFT Music Showcase


River Kittens

Arson For Candy

Beth Bombara

Brothers Lazaroff

Loot Rock Gang


The Maness Brothers

4th City Rag

Big Mike Aguirre & the Blu City All Stars

The Green McDonough Band

Rum Drum Ramblers


Cree Rider Family Band

Jack Grelle

Southwest Watson Sweethearts


Trigger 5

Cover Band

Fat Pocket

Bullseye Womprats

The Town Drunks


We Bite


Nappy DJ Needles

DJ MAKossa

DJ Mahf

DJ Uptown

Mister Ben (NO HITS)

Electronic (Dance)

ICE (formerly known as Black James)

Adult Fur


Giant Monsters On The Horizon


Electronic (Eclectic)


Biggie Stardust

Blank Thomas

Eric Hall

Hands and Feet



The Conformists





Letter to Memphis

The Aching Hearts

Cara Louise Band

Dubb Nubb

Whsky Gngr

Garage Rock


The Bobby Dazzlers

The Brainstems


Tiger Rider

Hard Rock


Apex Shrine

Boreal Hills


The R6 Implant


Everything Went Black

The Bubbleheads

Lumpy and the Dumpers


The Warden

Turn the page for more winners .....

About The Author

Daniel Hill

Daniel Hill is editor at large for the Riverfront Times and he demands to be taken seriously, despite all evidence to the contrary. Follow him on Twitter at @rftmusic.
Scroll to read more Music News & Interviews articles


Join Riverfront Times Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.