2023 RI Music Awards

It’s time to again celebrate local with one of Motif’s favorite annual gatherings: The RI Music Awards. Save the date for 6:30pm on March 20 at FMH, with food from Refuel Catering.

Although we’re the smallest state, RI has a never-ending supply of fantastic music spanning all genres. We seem to be post-COVID, at least as far as live music coming back is concerned, and we can’t wait to celebrate spring and reemergence with our diverse music community.

Along with the awards ceremony, which will be hosted at the legendary venue Fête Music Hall, there will be food, drinks and live music, so please save. Performances by School of Rock, Appala’s Eclipse, Vudu Sister, FINE. and more, along with photos, interviews, wacky hijinks and more will create a memorable evening. The event is sponsored by FMH and R1 Indoor Karting.

No matter whom you select in each category, we feel it’s important to recognize and appreciate just how much creativity, vitality and talent is represented in our area. Many of these acts have promising futures ahead, and it is always a joy to see how music from this state evolves and captivates ears and hearts, locally and sometimes worldwide.

To all the musicians, venues, labels and audiophiles in RI, we salute you, and we hope you can join us for the celebration!

See the FB event page – help us with head count by telling us if you plan to come!

See the results of the 2022 Music Awards

How are nominees and winners chosen? Here’s a deep dive into the process. From Nominee to winner is pretty straightforward — readers and members of the public vote (limit one per person please)

See a video from the event last year

The 2023 Nominees are here for your review, with links:


Favorite Act

The Silks

The CarLeans

Consuelo’s Revenge

Dogs on Shady Lane

High Planes

The Huntress and Holder of Hands

Man & Wife

Number One Babe

Peace Collective

World Music


Julio Amaro

Nino Francis

Sidy Maiga


Favorite R&B Act

Alexus Lee

Boo City

Chelley Knight and The Dope Things

Eva Davenport

Greg Sherrod


Julie Rhodes & The Electric Co.

Smug Honey

Steve Smith & The Nakeds

Tai Chi Funk Squad

Favorite Small – Medium Venue

10 Rocks





Galactic Theatre 

Music Mansion

News Cafe


Pump House

The Narrows

The Parlour

Favorite Live Act

The CarLeans 

Dan Lilley and The Keepers

Evening Sky


Sasquatch & the Sickabillies

Sharks Come Cruisin’

Vudu Sister

Favorite Country Act

Back Rhodes

Chance Emerson

Jake Hunsinger & The Rock Bottom Band

Nick Bosse

The Teledynes

Ward Hayden & The Outliers

Western Stars

Favorite open mic – 


The Jam @Dusk

Java Madness Open Mic hosted by Al Keith

Pump House Music Works

The Mediator Stage

The Parlour

Favorite Singer/Songwriter 

Allison Rose

Amanda Salemi

Bill Bartholomew

Chase Ceglie

Dave Alves

Kris Hansen

Maddie McGill

Marc Douglas Berardo

Molly O’Leary

Morgan Johnston 

Tammy Laforest

Will Evans

Favorite Vocalist 

Allysen Callery

Becky Bass

Ben Shaw

Chance Emerson

Jake Hunsinger

Kaitlyn Tarro

Kris Hansen

Mary McAvoy

Natalie Blue

Nicole Gauthier 

Paul Everett

Steve Smith

Tai Funmilayo Awolaju

Terence Sun

Favorite Bluegrass Band – 

The Whelks

Four Bridges

The Graystone Rail

Bill Thibodeau

Ocean State Ramblers

Highway’s End

Rock Hearts

Favorite Jazz Act: 

Birt + Harley

Clear Audience

​​Dan Moretti & The Hammond Boys

Evening Sky

Greg Abate

John Allmark Jazz Orchestra

Leland Baker

Michelle Cruz

Tom Caspar

Favorite Concert Photographer-

Ken Abrams

Lisa Gourley

Rick Farrell

Small Frye Photography

James Lastowski

Favorite Blues Act

Cannibal Ramblers


Jake Wasson MD

Julie Rhodes & The Electric Co.

Mark Cutler & The Men Of Great Courage

Neal & The Vipers

Patty Perry

Favorite Choral Act 

Chorus of Westerly

Collegium Ancora

Mixed Magic Theater Exult Choir 

Newman Church Choir

Providence Gay Men’s Chorus

Providence Singers

RI Civic Chorale

Voices United Mixed Chorus

Favorite Folk Act 

Allysen Callery 

High Planes

Ian O’Neil

Laden Valley

Ryan Jackson

Will Evans

Street Band/Brass Band/Marching Band (Mobile)

Coyote Brass Band

Extraordinary Rendition Band

The Kickin’ Brass Band

Providence Drum Troupe

The Scruffy Aristocrats Brass Band

Large Instrumental Ensemble (Stationary)

The American Band

Narragansett Bay Symphony Community Orchestra

Ocean State Pops Orchestra

Our Lady of Light Band

Rhode Island Wind Ensemble

Favorite Festival

Burlesque ‘n’ Roll at Dusk

Levitt Amp Woonsocket

Rhode Island Folk Festival

River Bend East Songwriters Festival

Shiza Fest

Warren Folks Fest

Blackstone River Theater Solstice Festival

Favorite Album

Becca Neveu – I’m In There Somewhere

Ben Shaw – Madeline

Bill Bartholomew – beij

David Robinow – We had a Good Run

Eastern Medicine Singers – Medicine Singers

Jabbawaukee – Family Tree

Jake Hunsinger And The Rock Bottom Band – Wrapped Around The Axle

Maddie McGill Band – Surrender

Mark Cutler – Side Effects

Patty Perry – Patty Perry

Wm. Gorman – Plague Under The Portico

Favorite Music Video

Andy Stone: Happy Ever After

Bochek: Beamin’

Greg Bass: My Funny Valentine

Hows About Charlie: The Tower

Joe Bruce: Shine

Keith Munslow: Mama Is My Paparazzi

NOVA ONE: feeling ugly


Favorite Act

Eclectic Electric

The Greying


The Quahogs

Salem Wolves

Shirley Drive

The Smoke Breaks

Strip Mall

Favorite Jam Band

Appala’s Eclipse

Bear Fight Club

The Cosmic Factory

Eclectic Electric

Ghost Mojo


Melon Collie

Northeast Traffic

Real Weird

The Stupid Robots

Indie Rock


The Benjis


Jets Can’t Land


Ravi Shavi


Volcano Kings

Convinced Friend 

Favorite Alt/Rock Live Act


David Tessier and the All-Star Stars


Plastyc Peachez

The Quins

Ravi Shavi


Ski Bunny

The Smoke Breaks

The Z-Boys

Favorite Reggae Act –

Blue Dream

Clatta Bumboo

Concrete Beach


Natural Element

Roots Government 

Favorite SKA Band 

The Agents

Brunt of It

The Copacetics

Professor Roots

Sweet Babylon

TJ & The Campers

Favorite Garage Band

Balloon Thief

Brown Apples

Chimp Jaw

Detroit Rebellion 

The Moodrunners

Ziggy Gnardust

Favorite Noise Band 

Baylies Band

Coma Hole

Department Of Teleportation


Interzone Agent


Muggs Fogarty 

Favorite Pop-Punk Act

The Callouts

The Dust Ruffles 


So Over It


Structure Sounds

Stubborn Hearts

The War in Kids

Favorite Punk Act 


CE Skidmore & Damn Fine Band


Midnight Creeps


The McGunks

Today Is Tomorrow

We Own Land

Favorite Hardcore Act 


Boiling Point

Bullet Proof Backpack


The Hammer Party


The Paraplegics


Wire Lines

Favorite Metal Act

Ancient Torment





The Sonce

Favorite PROG / Emo Act  

Ghosts In The Snow


People Eating Plastic


Strip Mall

Today is Tomorrow

Favorite Cover Band 

The Carson Daily

Catnip Junkies

Heavy Rescue

Loose Screws

Nickel Jukebox

Quick Hits

St. Joe and The Dorms

Take It to the Bridge

Wicked Rhode

Favorite Tribute Band

19th Nervous Breakdown – Rolling Stones

Funky Submarine – The Beatles

Green Sabbath – Black Sabbath

Hey 19 – Steely Dan

Violin River – Grateful Dead

Looks That Kill – Motley Crue

Mystic Dead – Grateful Dead

Paranoid Android – Radiohead

The Winehouse Project – Amy Winehouse

Favorite Alt/Rock Vocalist 

Alerisa Rose

Ava Callery

Dave Laros

David Tessier

Eryka Fir

Indira Polanco

Julie Rhodes

Rafay Rashid

Steve Donovan

Stev DelMonico

Stim Bot

Viana Valentine

Breakthrough act –  

Balloon Thief

Dred Buffalo


Molly Maguires

The Nurse

The Sleds


Ziggy Gnardust

Favorite Album

The Benji’s – Kitty Pills

Bear Fight Club – Volume 2

Blood Feeder – Self-Titled

Bochek – Tightly Clung To Love

Minibeast – On Ice

Passionplay – Sinking

The Smoke Breaks – White Hot Electric Daddy

Sourpunch – Meet Me At The Bar

Convinced Friend – Convinced Friend 

Favorite Karaoke Night  

The Ave


DiFesa Club

Flat River Tavern

The Hot Club


The Parlour

T’s Town Pub

Favorite Alt Festival

Celebrating Mike Schiavone NonProfit Memorial Benefit

Punks For Pets

PVD Fest

PVD Metal Fest

Revival Fest

Shiza Fest

Favorite Sound Person  

Brendon “Low B” Bjorness-Murano

Dan Baldwin

Erik Gharaee

Jamie Doyle

Jerome O’Neal

Kris Hansen 

Marty “Moose” Sherlock

Sammy D’Ambruoso

Steve Domenici

Vinnie Bellows

Favorite Promoter 

Brendon “Low B” Bjorness -Murano

Carl Lavin

Chance Haki

Danielle Tellier

Michael Panico

Mike Carp

Mike Delehanty 

Noah Donnelly 

Rob Duguay

Tom Weyman


Favorite Hip Hop Act

B dot Fresh

Chachi Carvalho

Chase Greene


Jesse The Tree


Toad and The Stooligans

Favorite Hip-Hop Album

Chach – Perspective

Dee Gomes – Undrafted

​​Jesse The Tree – Treely Dan

Mass of Man – Unstable 

Toad and The Stooligans – Devil’s Nectar 

Breakthrough Hip Hop Act




Joe Bruce

The Great Kharjando


Favorite DJ

Dr. Corey Young

Desiree Renegade 

Dj Houseparty 

DJ ShureLive

DJ Slick Vick



Nick Bishop

Pauly Danger

Ty Jesso & John O’Leary

Favorite Dance Night  

Discotech (@ The Parlour)

Dyke Night (@ The Salon)

Freedom Friday (@ The Parlour) 

Glitter: Disco Night (@ Askew)

POW! Indie Dance Party (@ Dusk)

Island Saturdays (@Alchemy)

Favorite Electronic Act: 


Artist Jackie & The Wizard

Baby Baby Explores the Reasons Why That Gum Is Still on the Sidewalk


John Phelps

Kissing Kontest

Lady Purge

Mari Kattman


Gothic / Post-Punk Act:


Hope Anchor

Joy Boys

Volcano Kings