2016 City Paper Music Awards 

Charleston's Favorite Musicians

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Jonathan Boncek

Welcome, lovers of local music. The City Paper Music Awards are back for more, and this time we've made a few changes. Since the Holy City has plenty of both metal and punk bands to go around, we separated that one-time punk/metal category into two awards this year. And because of the growing number of legit studios and kickass producers around town, we also added a brand new category for Producer/Studio of the Year.

Thanks to the many folks out there who not only cast their CPMA votes in categories new and old, but who also supported the local music scene this past year by showing up at venues, buying music and merch, and sharing your love on the interwebs. Special shoutout to all who are doing their part to ensure Charleston has a diverse scene, where all members of this community are treated fairly and adored equally. We can't wait to celebrate that diversity with you at the CPMA party and winners' showcase on Mon. Nov. 14 at the Pour House, where nearly 50 local musicians will perform, juxtaposing jazz with metal, jam with hip-hop, folk with reggae, and more. —Kelly Rae Smith

  • Album of the Year
    Toogoodoo, Stop Light Observations
  • Country/Americana Band of the Year
    The Travelin' Kine
  • Bassist of the Year
    Will Mahoney, Stop Light Observations
  • Bluegrass Band of the Year
    Dallas Baker & Friends
  • Blues Artist of the Year
    Jump Castle Riot
  • DJ of the Year
    Party Dad
  • Drummer/Percussionist of the Year
    Quentin Ravenel, Ben Fagan & the Holy City Hooligans
  • Electronic/Experimental Band of the Year
    Human Resources
  • Guitarist of the Year
    Wallace Mullinax, Dead 27s
  • Hip-Hop Artist of the Year
    Little Stranger
  • Music Video of the Year
    "Chillin' on the Beach with My Best Friend Jesus Christ," SUSTO
  • Jazz Artist of the Year
    Charlton Singleton
  • MetalBand of the Year
    Godwin Falcon
  • Punk Band of the Year
    Dumb Doctors
  • Pianist/Keyboardist of the Year
    John-Keith Culbreth, Stop Light Observations
  • Reggae Band of the Year
    Ben Fagan & The Holy City Hooligans
  • Rock Band of the Year
    Dead 27s
  • Jam Band of the Year
    Dangermuffin
  • Singer/Songwriter of the Year
    She Returns From War
  • Song of the Year
    "What a Waste," Dead 27s
  • Soul/R&B Artist of the Year
    Ben Fagan & The Holy City Hooligans
  • Up-and-Coming Act of the Year
    Jump Castle Riot
  • Studio/Producer of the Year
    Wolfgang Zimmerman
CPMA local music showcase and pig roast Monday at Pour House
CPMA local music showcase and pig roast Monday at Pour House All your favorite musicians in one place

Join us on Monday, Nov. 14 at the Pour House for our annual City Paper Music Award Showcase concert. This year we'll have a killer local music superjam featuring this year's CPMA winners and a pre-show pig roast our on the deck all for a good cause. — City Paper Staff


Rock Band of the Year: Dead 27s
Rock Band of the Year: Dead 27s

By this point, it's safe to say that the people of Charleston like the Dead 27s (see the 2014 CPMAs, when the band took home four accolades), and it's easy to see why when you have a song like "What a Waste." It's just plain fun to listen to. — Heath Ellison


2016 CPMA trophy artist: Alison Brynn Ross
2016 CPMA trophy artist: Alison Brynn Ross

Every year we choose a local artist to create the actual trophies CPMA winners take home and admire forever, and this time around the maker is one Alison Brynn Ross. — Kelly Rae Smith


Album of the Year: Toogoodoo, Stop Light Observations
Album of the Year: Toogoodoo, Stop Light Observations

The first time we'd even heard of Stop Light Observations was during the 2012 CPMAs — not because they were on the ballot, but because they were not on the ballot. Scores of the band's fans commented on the ballot link on our site, getting our attention by demanding that the paper redo the ballot. — Kelly Rae Smith


Producer/Studio of the Year: Wolfgang Zimmerman
Producer/Studio of the Year: Wolfgang Zimmerman

The way Wolfgang Zimmerman tells his story, he sounds like a studio hermit, always buried in his current project. As the 2016 Producer of the Year, he has his name on fantastic records from the likes of Grace Joyner, Dear Blanca, and Young Mister, among others. But of late, he's engaged with more current efforts — like the forthcoming sophomore LP from SUSTO or the in-process third Brave Baby LP — than what actually won plaudits this year. — Kyle Petersen


Singer-Songwriter of the Year: Hunter Park (She Returns from War)
Singer-Songwriter of the Year: Hunter Park (She Returns from War)

Hunter Park, the singer-songwriter who performs and records under the name She Returns From War, writes from the heart. — Kyle Petersen


Metal Band of the Year: Godwin Falcon
Metal Band of the Year: Godwin Falcon

Brutal is as brutal does. With songs like "Pink Sock" (check Urban Dictionary), "Whore Butt" (again with the Urban Dictionary), and "Headcrusher" (self-explanatory) in tow, Godwin Falcon has returned to reign over the CPMAs with an iron fist firmly wrapped around a cold Twisted Tea. — Heath Ellison


Hip-Hop Act of the Year: Little Stranger
Hip-Hop Act of the Year: Little Stranger

On their debut album Buddha the Beast Little Stranger uses hip-hop beats as a foundation for a kaleidoscopic array of sounds. Channeling everyone from the Gorillaz to Beck to the Beta Band, the duo, John and Kevin Shields, layers disembodied vocal samples, laid-back synth pop, Coldplay-style wide-screen grandeur, and, yes, the occasional blast of swaggering rap over tight, funky beats. — Vincent Harris


Drummer of the Year: Quentin Ravenel
Drummer of the Year: Quentin Ravenel

It isn't just that Quentin Ravenel can play drums like he has six arms. It's that while he's pulling off a dizzying series of fills, beats, and rhythms, he's also singing. As the leader and focal point of his group, Quentin Ravenel & Friends, he can go from a soulful falsetto to a gospel shout, all while striking his drums, cymbals, and programmed pads with relish and precision. — Vincent Harris


DJ of the Year: Party Dad
DJ of the Year: Party Dad

Tay McNabb, a.k.a. Party Dad, developed his award-winning DJ reputation by taking the path less traveled. In a nightlife scene populated by EDM and hip-hop club tracks, McNabb digs for the obscure bangers, pulling out cult and outsider disco and funk tunes that populate dance floors like nobody else. — Kyle Petersen


Bluegrass Band of the Year: Dallas Baker & Friends
Bluegrass Band of the Year: Dallas Baker & Friends

While inspiration has fueled many musicians' careers, few on the local music scene can be said to follow it quite as frequently as Dallas Baker. The ink had barely dried on the 2014 CPMA issues celebrating his work with Big John Belly as Up-and-Coming Act of the Year when he announced his departure to concentrate on his then side gig, Dallas Baker & Friends. Now Bluegrass Band of the Year, Dallas Baker & Friends don't stop at bluegrass. — Isaac Weeks


Up-and-Coming Band of the Year: Jump Castle Riot
Up-and-Coming Band of the Year: Jump Castle Riot

They're thrilled about winning both awards, but Jump Castle Riot were a little shocked to hear that their Up-and-Coming Band of the Year win was accompanied by a Blues Act of the Year win. —


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