As the decade comes to an end, here are the Top 10 Best Acoustic Music Artists of IAMA (International Acoustic Music Awards):
1. Fertitta and McClintock (3rd Annual IAMA Top Winner)
The duo also won first prize in the Best Group/Duo category. Their unique acoustic sound led them to be signed by legendary producer Clive Davis on Arista Records. Their songs have been recorded by Juice Newton, Tiffany, Lorrie Morgan, Sammy Kershaw, Andy Williams, Pat Boone and many more. Their style of music is similar to Loggins And Messina.
2. Liz Longley (6th Annual IAMA Top Winner)
Liz won the IAMA awards as a college student of Berklee Collge of music. She then went on to perform at the prestigious Newport Folk Festival. Her alluring vocals and heartfelt music and lyrics takes you on a journey like no other new artist can. This artist is going places.
3. Charlie Dore (4th Annual IAMA Top Winner)
Remember the hit song of the late 70’s/early 80’s “Pilot of the Airwaves”? Yes, it’s Charlie Dore, she since reinvented herself as a Folk Singer-songwriter and also written hit songs for big name artists such as Tina Turner, Celine Dion, George Harrison, Lisa Stansfield, Jimmy Nail, Sheena Easton and Hayley Westenra. Her soothing soprano voice goes well with lyrics of beautiful imagery in her song such as “Sleep All Day”. I wouldn’t be surprise if this British Artist hits the charts again.
4. El McMeen (6th Annual IAMA, Best Instrumental)
Fingerstyle guitar virtuoso El McMeen clearly stands head and shoulders above other instrumentalists we have seen. His heartfelt solo acoustic steel string guitar works such as “Song For Sheila” and “Breakout” showcases his guitar chops as well as his knowledge of composition. His music is truly outstanding, heartfelt and spiritual. His music should do well on Sirius XM Spa Channel as well as Guitar Player Magazine and Fingerstyle Guitar Magazine. Even established acoustic guitarist out there would appreciate this artist. Watch out for this instrumentalist, he is going places!
5. The Refugees (5th Annual IAMA Top Winner)
The Refugees is a trio of Cindy Bullens, Deborah Holland, and Wendy Waldman in Americana/Folk genre. Their, passion, songwriting, musicianship, and impressive vocals set them apart from other groups out there. They have performed with Bonnie Raitt. All three members have are accomplished musicians in their own right: Wendy Waldman wrote Vanessa Williams’ #1 hit song “Save the Best for Last,” and “Heartbeat,” performed by Don Johnson and ‘Fishin’ in the Dark,’ sung by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Cindy Bullens got her start as a back-up singer for Elton John. Since then, Cindy has accompanied John on multiple tours and racked up Grammy Award nominations. Deborah Holland was a member of another three-person band, the critically acclaimed, Animal Logic. Comprised also of Stewart Copeland, Stanley Clarke, the band earned her recognition as both a singer and a songwriter during the 1980s and 90s.
6. Jen Foster (2nd Annual IAMA Top Winner)
Jen Foster displays unique and subtle vocal inflections in her acoustic Pop/Folk material reminiscent of Sheryl Crow and Michelle Malone. Her songs “Taking Bob Dylan” and “In Between Poses” stands out and showcases her unique raspy vocals, catchy melodic lines and lyrics. Website: www.jenfoster.com
7. David Francey (2nd Annual IAMA, Best Male Artist)
Scottish Canadian Singer-songwriter David Francey shines in his songs. His Rootsy Folk songs “Morning Train” exhibits outstanding lyrics and music that keeps you captivated right till the end. “Greenfields” just shows you what a great storyteller and artist that David is. David has won two prestigious Juno awards (Canadian Grammies) and also won first prize in the 2004 USA Songwriting Competition (Folk category). He has various albums released on indie label Jericho Beach Music in Canada and another indie label – Red House Records in the U.S.
8. Jason Harwell (1st Annual IAMA Top Winner)
The youthfulness of John Mayer meets the guitar licks of the late George Harrison. Very original. Very fresh. VERY good! “Declaration Song” by Jason Harwell embodies the best of Americana. He captures the youthful longing for exploration conflicted with the fear of the unknown. And there are many more layers of meaning and symbolism in the clear, clean lyrics of this work. Jason has moved back to Georgia and started a record label “Rebuilt Records”. He also tours extensively.
9. Larry Pattis (5th Annual IAMA, Best Instrumental)
Larry Pattis is a virtuoso guitarist from Creswell, OR, USA. His Classical guitar chops combined with knowledge of composition and Acoustic Folk/Pop arrangement makes him stand apart from other Classical Guitarists making a crossover to Pop. His compositions such as “Eleven Doors” won him First Prize in the 5th Annual IAMA (International Acoustic Music Awards). He has been featured on national Television, NPR, Montreal International Jazz Festival, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and also toured the country as a performer. This artist will go places. His music can also be fit into the New Age radio format. Thus, expanding his career. This is the artist to watch for!
10. Randy Kohrs & The Lites (4th Annual IAMA, Best Bluegrass/Country)
Randy Kohrs & The Lites won 1st Prize in the Bluegrass/Country category of the 4th Annual IAMA with his song “Rockwell’s Gold”. Randy Kohrs & The Lites has the instrumental chops, great vocals, the songs and artistry in a progressive Bluegrass Style. Randy is also an in-demand session player in Nashville. In 2003, he accepted a gig with superstar Dolly Parton and sang and played dobro with the “Blueniques” for two years. He has also appeared on The Rachel Ray TV show. Randy is also a Grammy Winning producer, winning a grammy for Jim Lauderdale’s Bluegrass Album of the Year, The Bluegrass Diaries. Randy produced, engineered, and mixed it, as well as sang harmony and played on it.