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Re-post: Frequently asked questions about Limelight Music Awards

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FAQ – Music Awards 2016 (Revised on January 16, 2016)

Limelight Magazine is committed to supporting the local music scene of New England with its annual music awards ceremony which is held in the late winter or early spring. Each year dozens of musicians have been recognized for their immense creativity and talent.

These are the questions we typically get asked with the answers to them. Please read this over before contacting us.

When and where is the 2016 Limelight Magazine Music Awards?
The 8th Annual Limelight Magazine Music Awards will be held at the Spire Center for Performing Arts, located at 25 ½ Court Street in Plymouth, MA, on Saturday, April 16, 2016, at 7 PM.

How long does the ceremony typically last?
The ceremony typically runs between three and four hours.

Is it all ages?
The Limelight Magazine Music Awards is an all-ages event.

Is there beer and wine?
Beer and wine is available for purchase at The Spire.

Is there food?
Light refreshments and homemade goodies will be available for purchase.

Is parking free?
Parking is free across the street from the venue.

How much are tickets?
Tickets are $11 in advance and $13 day of show. Please visit brownpapertickets.com or spirecenter.org to purchase them.

How does a musician get nominated?
The nominating process is completely fan driven, with the exception of “Song of the Year” and “Breakthrough Artist of the Year” which is nominated by radio DJs who support the local music scene. For two weeks in early February, we solicit nominations each day for a specific category. Nominations can be e-mailed to limelightmusicawards@gmail.com. We only accept nominations by e-mail. The top seven musicians for each category are placed on the ballot for public voting. If we fail to receive at least seven different nominations, we drop the category for that year. Please like our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/limelightmagazine to stay up-to-date. Due to the high volume of nominations we receive, all nominations must be in the subject of the e-mail. Only one nomination per e-mail.

What are the categories for the Limelight Magazine Music Awards?
The categories for 2016 are: Album of the Year (Group), Album of the Year (Solo), Band of the Year, Breakthrough Artist of the Year, Country Artist of the Year, Debut Album of the Year (NEW), Female Vocalist of the Year, Live Act of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, Metal Act of the Year, Singer-Songwriter of the Year, Song of the Year, Tribute Band of the Year, Video of the Year (Group), Video of the Year (solo), and Young Performer of the Year.
The following special awards are also presented: Legend Award (given to an artist from New England who has been around for at least 25 years and is going strong today) and Unsung Hero Award (given to a musician from New England who made a contribution in the lives of others without asking for anything in return). These are decided by the staff of Limelight Magazine.

Are there any restrictions on who can be nominated?
Anyone one who has received an award in a specific category last year is ineligible to be nominated for that same award this year, unless it is for new music. For example, the act who won Tribute Band of the Year in 2015 is ineligible to receive that award in 2016. However, the group who won Album of the Year in 2015 is eligible to be nominated in 2016 if they have a new studio album out. (Runner ups can be nominated since they didn’t win).

Will I be notified of my nomination?
You will be contacted by Limelight Magazine either by e-mail or through Facebook before public voting begins.

When does public voting begin and end?
Public voting runs for one week. It begins on Saturday, February 27, at noon and ends on Friday, March 4, at 11:45 PM.

How many times can someone vote?
Only four votes per I.P. address count. The system allows you to vote more than this but only the first four votes will count.

I’ve been nominated for an award, can I perform at the awards ceremony?
Between eight and ten artists will be randomly selected from all the nominees and asked to perform at the awards show.

I’ve been selected to perform, does this mean I’ve won an award?
Once again, you’ve been randomly selected to perform. This does not mean that you’ve won an award.

Do nominees have to pay for tickets?
Unfortunately, we have to charge everyone who attends, except the musicians who are performing at the awards ceremony. It is our hope to one day get enough sponsors to cover our overhead costs but that hasn’t happened as of yet. All proceeds from the awards show go toward our efforts to support and promote the local music scene in New England.

Are the musicians who’ve won an award told beforehand?
No. The winners are only announced at the awards ceremony, with the exception of the special award (i.e. Legend, Unsung Hero) recipients.

I have a gig or another commitment on the night of the music awards, can you please tell me if I’ve won?
No. Unfortunately, secrets are never kept and we abide by our own rules. If you cannot attend and no one can accept on your behalf, we will notify you on the following day and your award can be picked up at a mutually agreeable location.

I have a medical emergency and I’m going in for surgery on the day of the music awards, can you please tell me if I’ve won?
Under no circumstances will we reveal the winners ahead of time.

I’m unable to attend the music awards ceremony. Will I find out if I won and how can I pick up my award?
The winners will be announced on our website the day after the awards show. Anyone who wasn’t in attendance can arrange to pick up the award at the Spire Center on the day of one of their shows. Please contact the Spire directly at foh@spirecenter.org.

How can my business sponsor the Limelight Magazine Music Awards?
We offer two affordable sponsorship packages that range from $150 to $250. Here’s how your business will be showcased through your generous sponsorship.

Package #1: $150
• Your business will be featured on the online poll. We’re once again expecting over 40,000 votes.
• Your logo (or business name) will be placed on all promo materials for the music awards, including posters, flyers and web-based ads.
• Your logo (or business name) will be placed in any handouts for the event.
• At least one mention per week until the music awards on our Facebook pages. We reach over 5,000 people.

Package #2: $250
• All of the above, plus:
• A clickable sidebar ad on our website, limelightmagazine.com, that will run until June 30, 2015. Our website typically gets over 3,500 unique visitors per week.
• One ad in our monthly e-blast that is sent to nearly 15,000 people to promote our upcoming events. Our open rate is between 50 and 57 percent and our list keeps growing.

If you are interested in a sponsorship, please contact our publisher, JKB Entertainment Group, by e-mail at jkbbooking@gmail.com by February 19, 2016.

Cheryl Wheeler to perform in Plymouth, MA

Cheryl Wheeler

Cheryl Wheeler, a folk icon who must be seen to be appreciated, will perform at The Spire Center for Performing Arts in Plymouth, Mass., on Saturday, May 7, 2016, at 8 p.m. Purchase tickets HERE.

Wheeler is known for her gifted songwriting, beautiful voice, and entertaining stage presence.

Even if you are not already familiar with Wheeler, you’ve probably already heard her music. Mixing keen insight with humor and pathos, her songs have been covered by artists like Peter, Paul and Mary, Suzy Bogguss, Kenny Loggins, Garth Brooks, Bette Midler, and more.

From other people’s comments about her, you learn that she is a natural storyteller with a fantastic sense of humor. But until you see her in person, you never really believe what you’ve been told about her. Interestingly enough, almost half of the songs she performs during her shows have never been recorded!

Her first public performance was at a Hootenanny when she was 12. She started writing her own songs when she was 17. Her funny stories between songs reveal her talent for diversity. Each time she tells a story, it will be a little bit different, so even if you’ve heard it before, you still find yourself laughing.

The Spire is located at 25 ½ Court Street in Plymouth. The venue features superior acoustics, custom state of the art lighting and sound systems and original period architectural details, offering patrons an exceptional performing arts experience.

Advance tickets are available through brownpapertickets.com or through the venue’s website, spirecenter.org.

Jethro Tull’s Martin Barre to perform in Fall River

Photo - Martin Barre NEW
Photo of Martin Barre by Martin Webb

Martin Barre, legendary guitarist for Jethro Tull for 43 years, is celebrating the music of Jethro Tull with a concert at the Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River, Mass., on Friday, Sept. 9, 2016, at 8 p.m. The concert will feature Jethro Tull classics and songs not played for many years. Purchase tickets HERE.

Barre’s sound and playing have been a major factor in Jethro Tull’s success. Album sales have exceeded 60 million units and they continue to be played worldwide, representing an important part of classic rock history.

Barre’s guitar playing has earned him a high level of respect and recognition. He was voted 25th best solo ever in the USA and 20th best solo ever in the UK for his playing on “Aqualung”. His playing on the album Crest of a Knave earned him a Grammy award in 1988. He also influenced such contemporary guitarists as Joe Bonamassa, Steve Vai, Joe Satrini and Eric Johnson.

As well as numerous Jethro Tull albums, Barre has worked with many other artists including Paul McCartney, Phil Collins, Gary Moore, and Chris Thompson and has shared the stage with such legends as Jimmy Hendrix, Fleetwood Mac, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin.

As Jethro Tull is taking a long break from touring, Barre has put together a band to play the “classic” music from the Tull catalogue. His band is a total commitment to give Tull fans and a broader audience the chance to hear tracks not performed for many years.

The Narrows Center is located at 16 Anawan Street. Tickets to his show can be purchased online at www.narrowscenter.org or by calling the box office at 508-324-1926. For those wanting to purchase tickets in person, box office hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 12 noon to 5 p.m.

Blackmore’s Night to perform in Arlington, MA

Photo - Blackmore's Night

Blackmore’s Night, the six-piece band led by legendary guitarist Ritchie Blackmore and vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Candice Night, will perform at the Regent Theatre in Arlington, Mass., on August 14, 2016, at 7:30 PM. All tickets are reserved seating and available now by clicking HERE.

Formed in 1997, Blackmore’s Night is a true musical and spiritual collaboration between Night and Blackmore. The two met in 1989 when Deep Purple challenged Night’s then radio station to a charity soccer match. In 1993, she sang on Rainbow’s “Difficult to Cure” tour. They co-wrote four songs for Rainbow’s Stranger In Us All album and they formed Blackmore’s Night two years later. They continue to play in castles, opera houses, old theaters and UNESCO sites around the globe.

In addition to Blackmore and Night, their band of Minstrels includes Bard David of Larchmont (keyboards), Earl Grey of Chimay (bass, mandolin, rhythm guitar), Troubadour of Aberdeen (drums, percussion), Lady Christina (harmony vocals) and Scarlet Fiddler (violin).

Blackmore’s Night is an eclectic musical Renaissance rock group. Their unique blend of Renaissance themed melodies and some medieval instrumentation is blended with the contemporary sounds of guitars, keyboards, violin and percussion. They transverse time to take you on a musical journey without the stress of today’s tech world into a musical adventure that spans centuries of musical styles, combined with the ethereal vocals and charming legends and fairytale lyrics of Candice Night. It is a fun-filled concert suitable for all ages.

Fans are encouraged to come dressed in garb or Renaissance costumes to add to the festivities of the special evening. Arrive as a peasant, knight, jester, king or queen and you’ll fit right in.

Since releasing their debut album, Shadow of the Moon, in 1997, Blackmore’s Night has released nine more studio albums. Their most recent All Our Yesterdays spent 12 weeks on the Billboard charts.

The Regent Theatre is located at 7 Medord Street in Arlington, Mass. Tickets to the show can be purchased online at www.regenttheatre.com or by calling the box office at 781-646-4849. Tickets can also be purchased in person at the box office.

Matt York brings something ‘New to You’

Singer-songwriter Matt York, who made a name for himself in the mid-1990s as the front man for the local band Wide Iris, recently released a nine-song solo album called Boston, Texas. The South Shore resident will have a CD release party on Saturday, January 30, 2016, at Atwoods Tavern in Cambridge, Mass. We recently caught up with York who is busy promoting his new disc and upcoming CD release party.

Limelight Magazine (LM): Your new album Boston, Texas is out now. How long did it take to record? Are you pleased with the album as a whole?
Matt York (York): I’m really happy with it. [Producer and engineer] Mark Bryant and I began tracking in early October and it was pretty much completed by Thanksgiving. We were really efficient and I think part of that was I’d done a lot of the prep work prior to recording and wasn’t writing parts/lyrics in the studio. We tried out some new ideas but for the most part there weren’t wholesale changes, so it allowed for us to record pretty quickly.

LM: Of the nine songs on Boston, Texas, do you have a favorite and why?
York: The favorites change from week to week, especially after hearing them a million times during the process but I think the final track “Love You the Same” is my favorite. I wrote it right before we started recording it and I like how simple it is.

LM: Can you share with us your songwriting process?
York: I started writing songs as a young teenager and it just seems to come and go. I don’t know that there’s a process as much as certain riffs/melodies emerge while I’m sitting around noodling around on a guitar and then they build from there. Some songs take ten minutes to write and others take years, so there’s definitely no formula for me.

LM: Mark Bryant of Seasound Audio in Plymouth, Mass., produced and engineered your new album. What was it like working with him? How much impact did he have on the album?
York: Probably my favorite thing about making the album was working with Mark. We had no previous relationship prior to the recording but quickly built up a rapport. He’s a great and thoughtful guy. We kind of speak a similar language musically and have similar influences which really helped. We had a lot of fun making the album and I think that comes through in the performance. Mark had a lot of great ideas and I’d highly recommend him to anybody thinking of making an album in the future.

LM: You dedicated this album to your dad, David York. Was he supportive of your being involved in music from a young age?
York: My dad just loves rock ‘n’ roll. He’s always loved it and was very supportive from the start. He and my mom bought me my first guitars, took me to lessons, drove me all the over place to play gigs when I didn’t have a license yet. He was always at shows when I got older and just loved being around the music scene. I’d really stepped away from it for years but thought it’d be fun to make another album and I knew he’d get a kick out of the process.

LM: You wrote all the songs on the album. Do you ever experience writer’s block? If you do, what do you do to get over it?
York: I don’t think I experience writer’s block but I do have times where I get stuck in a similar genre/tempo. I write ten slow, depressing songs but can’t write an up-tempo song or vice-versa. I find that using a capo to play in a different key or noodling around on a piano can help break me out of that though.

LM: You previously were in the band Wide Iris where you recorded four CDs and played gigs all over New England. Do you prefer being in a band or being a solo performer?
York: I don’t know, we’ll see. I’ve cobbled together a band to play some of the shows I’ve got coming up. My time with Wide Iris was really a blast. There was just three of us, we didn’t really know what we were doing, had a million shared experiences and had a great energy together. Even back then though, I always did acoustic/solo type shows. I imagine I’ll keep doing both because they are two very different things and honestly with the limited amount of places to play nowadays, doing both will hopefully allow me to play out more.

LM: Speaking of gigs, you previously performed in venues that are now closed, such as The Channel, The Rathskeller, and T.T. the Bears. How do you feel about the number of local venues that are closing in the Greater Boston Area?
York: T.T.’s was a heartbreaker for me. Some of the really great moments in my life both as a performer and as a fan of music happened there. I imagine live music will always have ebbs and flows and that you’ll see periodic resurgences. I think it’s a bad thing for young bands to not be able to play out live regularly because when you have the opportunity to do that, even if it’s at lousy venues with small crowds, you learn from it. When you’ve dragged a big Marshall stack up two flights of stairs and played to five people and made no money, it can be as impactful as playing a packed room of friendly faces at a great club.

LM: Since you’ve been involved with the local music scene for a number of years now, are there any important lessons you’ve learned along the way that you’d share with someone starting out?
York: I was fortunate enough to start playing the clubs of Boston at a really young age, so I saw how much talent there was/is right from the start. I think some young artists probably think that their talent alone is going to be enough and that they’ll eventually be discovered. The reality is there are a million awesome artists out there and a handful of them get lucky but most of the ones that are successful are constantly working and hustling. Playing to an adoring crowd is such a tiny sliver of what being a working musician actually is. I can’t tell you how many artists I’ve seen once that blew my mind and then I never heard another thing about them again.

LM: Your CD release party is scheduled for Saturday, January 30, at Atwoods Tavern in Cambridge, Mass. What can your fans expect at this show?
York: I’m looking forward to it. Randi Millman who booked T.T.’s for years has been booking some really great acts at Atwoods and so I’m really thrilled to have the CD release there. My friend Rick Berlin who’s been an influence on me and so many other local musicians is opening the show. I’m going to do some solo acoustic songs as well and then do a set with a full band so it should be action-packed.

LM: Is there anything you’d like to add?
York: Thanks for the opportunity and thanks for doing what you do.

Album Matt York

Our top 15 movies of 2015

This year I set a personal record of seeing the most films I’ve ever seen in theater or drive-in, closing the year with a total of 76 movies. Of that total, 45 were first run films while the rest were retro films that were screened from original or restored 35-mm prints. In reflecting back on the first run movies, it was a stellar year for quality films. In past years, the majority of my top movies were made up of  independent and foreign films that were only given limited releases in the United States. But this year, the major studios stepped it up a notch and released a number of gems, including some sequels that were arguably just as good as the original films. As a result, my top films are much more balanced than past years and I even had to expand the list to 15 since there were so many good movies that were released that couldn’t be excluded. So, without further ado, here’s my top 15 films of 2015. Rather than go into detail about each one, I’m only going to list them so you can discover these movies for yourself. (Disclaimer: This list is based on films I’ve seen as of Dec. 31, 2015. It could be adjusted in the future as I view other films from 2015 in 2016).

#1 – It Follows [screened @ IFC Center, New York City, NY]

It Follows

#2 – Room [screened @ Avon Cinema, Providence, RI]

Room

#3 – The Invitation [screened @ The Egyptian Theatre, Los Angeles, CA]

The Invitation

#4 – Star Wars: The Force Awakens [screened @ Mendon Twin Drive-In, Mendon, MA]

Star Wars

#5 –  Creed [screened @ AMC, Dartmouth, MA]

Creed

#6 – The Mind’s Eye [screened @ The Egyptian Theatre, Los Angeles, CA]

The Mind's Eye

#7 – Cop Car [screened @ Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline, MA]

Cop Car

#8 – Crimson Peak [screened @ Regal Cinemas, Swansea, MA]

Crimson Peak

#9 – Sicario [screened @ East Providence 10, East Providence, RI]

Sicario

#10 – We Are Still Here [screened @ Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline, MA]

We Are Still Here

#11 – Goodnight Mommy [screened @ Cable Car, Providence, RI]

Goodnight Mommy

#12 – Project Almanac [screened @ Regal Cinemas, Swansea, MA]

Project Almanac

#13 –  Krampus [screened @ AMC, Dartmouth, MA]

Krampus

#14 – Sun Choke [screened @ Cinefamily, Los Angles, CA]

Sun Choke

#15 – The Big Short [screened @ AMC, Dartmouth, MA]

The Big Short

Our top 10 albums of 2015

1. John Carpenter – Lost Themes

Top 10 2015 - John Carpenter
You don’t need singing to make a great album. On his first proper solo record, legendary filmmaker and soundtrack composer John Carpenter creates a batch of memorable tunes without a single word. With the help of his son Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davies (son of The Kink’s Dave Davies), the tracks and themes on this release encompass Carpenter’s entire career. If you’re a fan of his film scores to Halloween, Escape from New York or The Fog, all of which have minimalist electronic tones, bouncing bass lines, and eerie keyboards, you’ll love this album. It’s been played nonstop since it was released on Feb. 3rd. (Standout Tracks: “Vortex” & “Night”)

2. Steve Wilson – Hand. Cannot. Erase.

Top 10 2015 - Steve Wilson
On his fourth solo album, Wilson has created another mesmerizing prog rock masterpiece. From the opening track to the last note this album does not disappoint. For anyone who likes great music with stellar musicianship and songwriting, this is for you. (Standout tracks: “3 Years Older” & “Ancetral”). Billboard Top 200 Peak Position: #39

3. Iron Maiden – Book of Souls

Top 10 2015 - Iron Maiden
Iron Maiden’s first double studio album is their finest work since the band reformed in 2000 with Bruce Dickinson and Adrian Smith. The band recorded most of this album live and limited overdubs. With the exception of the lead single “Speed of Love,” the songs lean more toward progressive rock than their 80s material, with the closing song clocking in at over 18-minutes. Despite their length, the songs are energetic and melodic all the way through. The lyrics are particularly strong on this album as many songs deal with real world issues. In short, this should please almost any Maiden fan from any point in their stellar career. (Standout Tracks: “If Eternity Should Fail” & “Tears Of A Clown”). Billboard Top 200 Peak Position: #4

4. Stryper – Fallen

Top 10 2015 - Stryper
I thought it would be impossible for Stryper to follow up their last album and fan favorite No More Hell To Pay, but they have created an album that’s equally as satisfying. While a lot of bands from the ‘80s have arguably created their best music in that decade, Stryper continues to get better with age. All 12 tracks on “Fallen” contain inspiring lyrics, great melodies, and a modern edge. To be in the business for over 30 years and to sound this good, is truly a blessing. (Standout tracks: “Yahweh” & “King of Kings”). Billboard Top 200 Peak Position: #44

5. Disasterpieace – It Follows

Top 10 2015 - Disasterpeace
It Follows is the first original motion picture soundtrack score to ever make our year end top 10 album list. A film score is one of the most important elements of a movie, especially the horror genre. This electronic soundtrack is both captivating and dynamic, with the music going from unsettling to peaceful within seconds. While the music is reminiscent of John Carpenter’s early work, it still breaks new ground. See the movie first and then you’ll appreciate what this masterpiece even more. (Standout Tracks: “Heels” & “Father”)

6. Jeff Lynne’s ELO – Alone In The Universe

Top 10 2015 - Jeff Lynne ELO
The mastermind behind Electric Light Orchestra returns with ELO’s first new album since 2001’s Zoom. Written and produced by Lynne with the insanely talented musician playing every instrument on the album except tambourines and shakers, the 10 tracks on this album are everything you’d expect from him and more. The songs are well-crafted, fusing all the different aspects of Lynne’s career into something new and exciting. It gets better and better with every listen. Here’s hoping he finally does a proper tour of the U.S. It’s been far too long. (Standout Tracks: “When I Was A Boy” & “One Step At A Time). Billboard Top 200 Peak Position: #23

7. Metal Allegiance – Self-Titled

Top 10 2015 - Metal Allegiance
Anchored by Mark Menghi, David Ellefson, Mike Portnoy and Alex Skolnick, with contributions from 21 members of the heavy metal community, this album is the blueprint for how metal sound. The music is classic metal with a contemporary twist. The band’s website sums up this release best. Metal Allegeiance “unleashes an album as pulverizing, energetic, atmospheric, and awe inspiring as fans of the jaw-dropping list of associated bands should expect.” We couldn’t agree more! (Standout Tracks: “Can’t Kill the Devil” & “Scars”). Billboard Top 200 Peak Position: #143

8. Slayer – Repentless

Top 10 2015 - Repentless
Many thought Slayer was finished after guitarist Jeff Hanneman died in 2013 and drummer Dave Lombardo left the band again but this album proves the naysayers wrong. Repentless is another worthy album to Slayer’s discography and a great follow up to “World Painted Blood.” The songs are as driven and unrepentant as their titles might imply: ”Implode,” “Atrocity Vendor” and “You Against You.” If you like you’re music heavy, angry and fast, this is the album for you. (Standout Tracks: “Repentless” & “Implode”). Billboard Top 200 Peak Position: #4

9. Collective Soul – See What You Started By Continuing

Top 10 2015 - Collective Soul
Collective Soul is one of the most consistent bands around. Despite a six year wait between albums, their musical style hasn’t changed much. The band knows how to serve up a batch of catchy tunes and every song on this album fits that description. If you have been a fan from the start, you’ll definitely be satisfied by this release. (Standout Tracks: “AYTA” & “Am I Getting Through”). Billboard Top 200 Peak Position: #25

10. [tie] Queensryche – Condition Human

Top 10 2015 - Queensyrche Hot Steak
The second album from Queensryche since Todd La Torre joined the band as lead vocalist is another winner. Condition Human features the best elements of the old school Queensryche sound without a contemporary edge. The songs are catchy and infectious. It’s everything you’d want a Queensryche album to be and more. Fans can once again rejoice when Queensryche releases new music. The Ryche is back! (Standout Tracks: “Arrow of Time” & “Guardian”). Billboard Top 200 Peak Position: #27

10. [tie] The Winery Dogs – Hot Streak

Top 10 2015 - Winery Dogs Hot Streak
There is no sophomore jinx when it comes to Hot Streak. While the trio’s self-titled debut album was rock solid, the songs on Hot Steak are more diverse and further showcase the world class musicianship of Ritchie Kotzen, Billy Sheehan and Mike Portnoy. We’re grateful these virtuosos stuck together. (Standout Tracks: “Oblivion” & “Captain Love”). Billboard Top 200 Peak Position: #30

ADVERTISEMENT - Y&T @ Narrows Center in Fall River, MA ON March 8, 2016. Click on image to purchase tickets.
ADVERTISEMENT – Y&T @ Narrows Center in Fall River, MA, on  March 8, 2016. Click on image to purchase tickets.