The New England Music Awards, a three-year-old event designed to honor and spotlight bands and artists based in New England, were held on Saturday, Feb. 22, and five Maine groups and individuals took home top honors during the ceremony, held in Lowell, Massachusetts. The awards are voted on by a panel of New England-based radio, TV and entertainment industries professionals.
The Mallett Brothers Band, the popular five-piece roots rock band based in Portland, won both Album of the Year for its 2013 album “Land,” and Band of the Year, in the overall New England category. They have played stages from the State Theatre in Portland to the Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion in Bangor. The Malletts, one of the most popular live acts in Maine, fronted by Sebec natives Will and Luke Mallett, will next perform March 7 and 8 in New York, and on March 14 at Moose Alley in Rangeley.
Ellsworth-based singer-songwriter Chris Ross won Songwriter of the Year. Ross is a familiar face to eastern Maine residents, with his regular shows at venues including Paddy Murphy’s in Bangor, Chummies in Ellsworth and 4Points BBQ & Blues in Winterport. His most recent album is “Halfway to Wonderland,” released in 2012; he will play on Saturday, March 1 at Ellsworth High School.
Spose (pictured at left), the acclaimed rapper from Wells, took home the Best Hip Hop Act honors, for his incredible work in 2013, starting with “The Peter Sparker Mixtape,” released in the spring, and “Dankonia,” his most recent album, released in the fall. The Fogcutters, the 19-piece big band based out of Portland, took home Best Jazz Act honors, and The Ghost of Paul Revere, the four-piece Americana ensemble from Portland, walked away with the Best Maine Act award.
Other Maine artists nominated for awards include Monumental Drive, The Band Apollo, The Other Bones, The Veayo Twins, Sparks The Rescue, North of Nashville, Amy Allen, Anna Lombard, and Connor Garvey.
For more information about the New England Music Awards, visit www.nemusicawards.com.