If you are a devoted fan of Trop Rock music, you’re more than likely a member of the Trop Rock Music Association. While the organization works to support the Trop Rock music genre and provide benefits to its Academy Musician members, the highlight of the group is the annual Trop Rock Music Association Awards show in Key West.
This acclaimed event has been held at the Key West Margaritaville and for the most part, at the Casa Marina Hotel. This year, however, the show debuted at the intimate Key West Theater.
The Twelfth Annual awards were altered slightly this year, to promote new areas of Trop Rock, and the show was a sell-out. Yes, this was the first year that an admission charge (for general seating and VIP tables) occurred, but there was no complaining. The theater itself is a retro gem and the cocktail service tableside was a treat for all.
What about the show itself? Surely all those in attendance would agree that it was a cavalcade of the best in Trop Rock musical talent. TRMA president, Mark Friedman masterminded the event and Donny Brewer, Rob Hill, Eric Babin, Jon Burns and Tom Becker worked hard to produce a great script, hugely entertaining musical numbers and a smooth technical show. A truly all-star band backed up almost every song played, and the musical gamut stretched across age generations and seasoned TRMA musicians to newbies.
Here is a list of the categories and winners, in case you missed out on the news from the musicians themselves. Congratulations to all the winners and the nominees!
- Entertainer of the Year– Donny Brewer
- Songwriter of the Year – Donny Brewer
- Male Vocalist of the Year – Cory Young
- Female Vocalist of the Year – Coley McCabe Shepherd
- Band of the Year – The Boat Drunks
- Duo / Trio of the Year – Thom & Coley
- Horizon Award – Danny Rosado
- Musician of the Year – John Patti
- Album of the Year – Blues Lagoon (Donny Brewer)
- Best Album Art and Packaging – Blues Lagoon – (Donny Brewer and Dianne “Greenwoman” Wickes)
- Song of the Year – “Living in a Postcard” (Donny Brewer)
- Single of the Year – “Blues Lagoon” (Donny Brewer)
- Music Video of the Year – Erica Lee for “Bad Bitch
- Radio Station of the Year – Radio Trop Rock
- Radio Program of the Year (Live) – Trop Rockin’ the USA
- Radio Program of the Year (Recorded) – Bayou Troubadour with Matt Hoggatt
- Live Music Venue of the Year – Smokin’ Tuna Saloon
- House Concert Venue of the Year (Large) – TIE – The Yard and MarGEERitaville
- House Concert of the Year (Small) – Diablo Creek
- Event of the Year (Small) – Lone Star Luau
- Event of the Year (Large) – Music on the Bay
- Music Business Professional of the Year – Eric Babin
- Fan of the Year – Diane Christ
As you peruse the list, you’ll notice some new additions to the awards list. As the Trop Rock genre changes and expands, the need for more recognition arises and the new awards were very well received. TRMA is anything but a stagnant organization and careful thought and planning was put into all of these wonderful awards.
As someone who was backstage during the entire Awards show, I can testify that these awards are not taken lightly by the musicians. I saw more than one instance of tears of joy and gratitude from the winners. There seemed to be a pervasive theme among many of the musicians this year that the Trop Rock genre has possibly turned a corner in a very positive direction. The music is always improving, the production is better, and the sense of “family” continues to be significant.
The Awards show was up against some stiff entertainment competition at the Casa Marina Hotel, but TRMA Awards Show attendees were able to see the true heart of the music genre that night. And that is priceless.