Further Proof That The Grand Strand Is Home To Some Of The Best In Music
By Brian M. Howle
The winners of the 9th annual Independent Music Awards have been revealed – and residents of the Grand Strand have once again been represented by two of the best local musicians to ever grace a stage or produce an album.
Local keyboard/songwriter phenom Rocky Fretz won the New Age Album award for his release, The Path Ahead … And Steps Then Taken, which was produced by Grammy Award winning guitarist and producer (and founder of Windham Hill Records) Will Ackerman.
Other players on The Path Ahead CD include Tbone Wolk, Michael Manring, Patrick Oleary and Dan Greenspan, all on different basses; Eugene Friesen – cello; Steve Shuch – violin; Derrik Jordan – percussion; Jeff Oster – horns; and Will Ackerman, David Cullen – guitar; plus Noah Wilding’s beautiful vocals.
You can buy the award-winning CD – as well as others by Rocky – by linking to his website, http://www.RockyFretz.com .
And to further the claim that our area truly is a hotbed for great music and great musicians, longtime local guitar wizard/songwriter Tom Yoder also won for the New Age Song category, for his composition “Locked In”.
A legend along the Strand for years (and mentor to more guitarists than you can shake a tuner at), Tom now lives in Cary, N.C., just outside of Chapel Hill. And here’s proof that lightning can strike twice – this is the second time he has won an Independent Music Award. Tom won in 2004 for his tune, “The Moment The Apple Falls”. Both winning compositions were in the New Age category. You can catch up on Tom – and also find out how to get his CDs – at his website, http://www.TomYoder.com .
The Independent Music Awards is a prestigious international program that gets top-ranked independent artists & releases the recognition they need to reach millions of fans worldwide.
Now in its 10th year, the IMAs honor artists who broaden the definition of commercial success & represent the diversity of the global Indie scene.
Adding to an already broad spectrum of music and design categories, awards added to this year’s program include: Adult Contemporary, Reissue Album, and EP.
The IMAs Gets Major Results For Indie Releases
The program creates opportunities and fan bases for artists & releases traditionally ignored by mainstream gatekeepers, mass media & big box retailers.
Unlike contests or battle of the band programs that focus on cash & prizes, The IMAs deliver yearlong marketing & sales support plus performance opportunities that places winners & nominees in front of millions of music fans.
That’s why artists previously on major labels as well as notable indie label and self-released talent from around the globe submit in more than 50 music genre song, album, music video & design categories.
The IMAs celebrates the meritocracy of talent and democratization of creativity; winners & nominees are determined solely by artistic merit.
Past winners & nominees credit their IMA honors with elevating their profile with talent buyers, programmers, press, music supervisors and fans.
Some notable IMA winners and nominees include: Koko Taylor, Martin Sexton,The Matches, Miquel Migs, Speech, Denque Fever, Jamie Lidell, Selasee, The Apples in stereo, Sweet Honey In The Rock, Mary Gauthier, Lacuna Coil, Joan As Police Woman, Girl In A Coma, Darrell Scott, Richard Julian, The Mooney Suzuki, Dan Bern, Kristy Krüger, Jeff Healey, Sugarcult, Eleni Mandell; Supagroup, Ike Turner, Jonah Smith, Hoots & Hellmouth, Unkown Hinson, Chris Whitley and many, many more.
The IMAs Leads The New Music Industry
Created by Music Resource Group, publisher of the music industry’s trusted print & online contact databases, The Musician’s Atlas & AtlasOnline, The IMAs has unrivaled access to industry gatekeepers, performance, promotion & distribution opportunities.
Program partners including eMusic, PureVolume, Pump Audio, The Planetary Group, NACA, Rock The Vote, punknews.org, Venus Zine,theStream.tv, HIP Video Promo, HM Magazine and CMJ Music Marathon help IMA winners and nominees reach more than 50 million music fans.
In addition to IMA sponsored showcases throughout the year, a full-day celebration of IMA artists is scheduled for 2010 in New York City.
Judges confirmed for The 9th annual IMAs included: Aimee Mann, Zooey Deschanel, Mark Hoppus (Blink 182), Tom Waits, Kathleen Brennan, Pete Wentz (Fall Out Boy/Decaydance Records), M. Ward, Anthony DeCurtis (Rolling Stone), Shelby Lynne, Lee Ritenour, Jonatha Brooke, Mike Viola, Arturo O’Farrill (Director Afro-Jazz Orchestra), Tim Pagnotta (Sugarcult), Rob Wasserman, Aubin Paul (punknews.org), Kevin Lyman (Warped Tour), Alex Springer (Head of Licensing, ABC Networks), Tommy Merrill (Booking Director, Rockwood Music Hall), Jeremy Taggart (Our Lady of Peace), Evan Schlansky (American Songwriter), Richard Reines (Drive-Thru Records), Dalis Allen (Director, Kerriville Folk Festival).
The IMAs Unites Bands & Fans
Music fans also have a voice at the Independent Music Awards. Last year more than 37,000 fans from around the globe discovered new talent and cast their votes at the IMA Vox Pop Jukebox. The winners of the “Peoples Voice” component of the IMAs also benefit from print, online, broadcast, live performance and event promotions alongside formal IMA Winners.
You can get in on the action too: music fans have until June 25 to champion their favorite Nominees at The IMA Vox Pop Jukebox to determine the 9th Independent Music Awards ‘People’s Voice’ Winners by visiting the site: http://www.independentmusicawards.com
Link to the “Vote” section at the top of the homepage.
Submissions for The 10th Independent Music Awards program are currently being accepted here. This year’s Album category winners are currently being featured on the iTunes Indie Spotlight page.
Congratulations to Rocky and Tom for their well-deserved awards, and remember to support your local live music scene by attending the shows and buying local artists’ recordings of original material.
The article also appears in the Nightlife & Entertainment section of Alternatives NewsMagazine, March 11-25, 2010 Issue, and at http://www.myrtlebeachalternatives.com .