Nothing starts a music awards show better than men in skirts and a wild-haired violin playing diva; its time for the Maryland Music Awards. Taped this past December at Rams Head Live in Baltimore it features the best local artists Maryland has to offer, beginning with the “infectious” Celtic band The American Rogues.
Awards were given in 12 categories by a panel of music industry big whigs including Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters and Paul Reed Smith, CEO PRS Guitars after more than 13,000 fans nominated their favorite acts. The MMA live awards show featured an eclectic lineup of performers that played nonstop through the evening. The Kelly Bell band, Paul Reed Smith, Rob Fahey and the Charm City Devils were just some of the highlighted acts.
But establishing the first “Maryland” music awards is a risky venture. Long before the lights cued up on stage at Rams Head Live, the pressure was on to make this part charity- part awards show a “diverse” event. The music categories covered every major genre except for death metal and rap, but the show’s producer, John Van Horn admitted that some categories received much less nominations than others.
Country and rock were very active but R&B, Jazz and Gospel were lackluster. He chalks this up to growing pains, its hard to get sponsors and fan participation for a new project, but his decision to not include rap and death metal as part of the MMA has received some criticism in the local music scene in Baltimore since, both genres are well represented in the area. Van Horn’s response is simple; the dark messages of these genres do not pair well with the MMA’s ultimate goal of raising money and awareness to the plight of children with cancer. He says ” I won’t and can’t promote that on TV. ”
In the meantime, planning for next year will focus on getting the word out for nominations in those underserved categories and topping that 13,000 number for nomiantions overall. You can watch the MMA’s on Fox 45 next Sunday (Feb 8th) at 11:00am. You will be able to donate to the Nichole Van Horn Trust Fund for Pediatrict Cancer during the show.