ALBUM OF THE YEAR Natalie Haskins created a stunning debut album in Puhidua, which was four years in the making—a true labor of love that was worth the wait.
YOUTH Kathryn Callarman, at just 15 years old, delivered a terrific song in “What We Can’t Obtain,” a song about perseverance.
HIP-HOP/RAP Silk Ocean frontman Hakeem Sanusi (left) and producer Vince Angelo dropped “Listen to Me,” a tight hip-hop track that would light up a dance floor.
R&B/BLUES For the second year in a row, Dante Marsh, frontman for The Vibe Setters, took home first place in this highly competitive category.
ROCK/ALTERNATIVE Tiger Muffin—Marcus Karr, Ryan Searcy, and Andrew Martinez—put together the super hooky rock track “Watch Out!”
COUNTRY/AMERICANA/FOLK Jon Bartel, whose EP Hell came in second for Best Album, took home best Americana song for “Love Her Lonesome,” a lovelorn lament.
BEST SONGWRITER Irascible Don Lampson (second from left)—with band members (left to right) BanjerDan Mazer, Eric Brittain, and Charlie Kleeman—won Best Songwriter for the narrative insta-classic “Bakersfield Girl.”
LOCAL LEGEND Musician, promotor, and owner of Big Big SLO, Paul Irving, is this year’s highly deserving Local Legend.