MN Music Awards

Duluth shines at the Minnesota Music Awards

Andrew Olson

Reader Weekly

This past weekend was the 26th annual Minnesota Music Awards ceremony held at

1st Avenue

in Minneapolis. There were many winners from around the state and even a few with some ties to the Twin Ports area. in Minneapolis.There were many winners from around the state and even a few with some ties to the Twin Ports area.

As far as folk music goes Duluth is king. With almost every award in that category going to someone from the area we made a clean sweep. The best bluegrass artist/group was our very own Trampled By Turtles. This past year they have been spreading out their Folkin’ moshpit bluegrass around the country. They are playing up here on fewer occasions, but when they do come home it is quite the event.

Someone who also dominated in the folk category was local sage of stage Charlie Parr. He was voted as the best blues artist/group and his recording of “Rooster” won for the best blues song. Charlie and The Turtles go together like peas and carrots, usually playing shows together. Parr has a certain style that gives an overall impression of a drifting troubadour that can harness the blues on a steel guitar. He dresses simplistically and makes his playing appear effortless. It is great to see him over the past year get recognized for his contribution to the blues.

A slight Duluth connection is in the best R&B artist/group The New Congress. Formerly known around the northland as Crazy Betty, The New Congress is the creation of Aaron Cosgrove. He was the writer, singer, and guitarist of Crazy Betty (others from the band are still around in The Alrights). Today he is joined by several established musicians, including a few of Prince’s own. Their sound is growing in popularity every year, and their song “Everybody Get Up” was voted as the best R&B Recording.

One person who comes through here a few times a year is Chris Koza. His last album, Exit Pesce, was spectacular. His current album, Patterns, helped pave the way for Chris to be voted as the best male vocalist. His song “Patterns” was voted as the best pop recording. Chris’s bio says that he “is a Portland-born organically raised mid-westernized citizen of the twenty first century; part artist, part songwriter, part performer; part folk and part pop.” His music reflects that, and shows worldliness too.