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Over 100 artists hope to win Album of the Year at 2014 WYCE Jammies

WYCE's 15th Annual Jammie Awards is this Friday night, with over 100 hopefuls desiring the cherished "Album of the Year" prize including The Wallace Collective, The Bangups and Root Doctor.
The Wallace Collective

The Wallace Collective /Photo by John Hanson, courtesy of The Wallace Collective

WYCE Jammies XV presented by Bell's Brewery

Friday, February 21, 2014

Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Event is all ages and free

The Intersection

133 Grandville Ave SW

Grand Rapids, MI 49503


The Bangups

The Bangups /Courtesy of The Bangups

Root Doctor at the East Lansing Arts Festival

Root Doctor at the East Lansing Arts Festival /Joel Dinda

The 15th annual WYCE Jammy Awards presented by Bell’s Brewery will be presented on Friday, February 21st at The Intersection in an all ages free event, and the coinciding live concert will showcase over 20 of the nominated area artists including The Wallace Collective, The Bangups and Root Doctor. All of the nominees, over 100 in total, are hopefuls for what WYCE Program Director Matt Jarrells calls "the 'Big Jammie,' Album of the Year, as voted by WYCE programmers."

“[Getting nominated at the Jammies] means a lot, it’s like a rite of passage,” says Brandon Muske, singer and guitarist for The Wallace Collective. “And [playing at the Jammies] is humbling and really exciting. People really show support for these bands.”

The Wallace Collective is a Grand Rapids folk-rock band that began as a collaboration of over 40 musicians, eventually whittling down to its current five-member roster. The band has been featured in The Rapidian and Local Spins, and has shared the stage with local acts including The Crane WivesLucas Wilson and fellow 2014 Jammy nominees and performers Chain of Lakes.

“We’re really good friends with Chain of Lakes,” says Muske. “Sometimes we play together and call ourselves ‘Wallace and Chains.’”

Although The Wallace Collective formed five years ago, 2013’s self-titled album is the group’s first. The group is nominated for three Jammies, including a Song of the Year nomination for the song “Hesitating Hands.”

“The Jammies that I’ve been at in the past are a giant hugfest,” says Muske. “People really care about the bands that are performing. It’s a huge celebration.”

Joey Dornbos, lead singer and guitarist for The Bangups, is excited to perform on awards night.

“I can’t wait to play through that big sound system,” Dornbos says.

The Bangups are a Grand Rapids punk outfit that cites Son House, Chuck Berry, Iggy Pop and the Sex Pistols among its many influences.

“Someone called us ‘Delta punk’, which I think is awesome,” says Dornbos.

The band has been together for five years, released two albums and has performed at Vans Warped Tour the past two years. 2014 marks their first Jammie nominations: Song of the Year for “Ego Wrecking Ball” and both Best Rock/Pop Album and Album of the Year for their latest release, "Hellcat!"

“Performing at the Jammies seems like it’ll be a big fun show,” says Dornbos. “The Jammies are making us feel more appreciated in Grand Rapids.”

Root Doctor felt that appreciation when they won the Best Blues Album Award Jammie for their album “Joy” in 2011.

“When you enter a product into a competition, and [the music scene] is a competition, you don’t know how people will respond,” says Freddie Cunningham, the band’s lead vocalist. “Accolades mean a lot. If you think your music is good, validation comes when people agree.”

The five piece Lansing blues group has been performing since the late 1980s, and their website says they have played alongside Ray Charles, Little Richard, Otis Clay and more. This year the band returns to the Jammie stage with nominations for three Jammies stemming from 2013’s “New Attitude.”

“[The Jammie audience] has a really nice response,” says Cunningham. “Everybody is so glad to be there and so complimentary, and that’s the way it should be.”

Other nominated performers include 2014 Legacy Award Artist Joel Mabus, African-funk group Afro Zuma, bluesman Vincent Hayes and many more. The doors will open at 5:30 p.m., and attendees who wear their pajamas to the event will be given a free CD. VIP tickets with seating on the left and right of the showroom floor can be purchased for $20. WYCE is also encouraging attendees to “bring a nonperishable food item or a clothing item for local need.”

To see the complete list of performers, click here.

To see the complete nominations list, click here.

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