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Best Of 2017 | MUSIC 

click to enlarge JACOB GREIF
  • Jacob Greif

Best Radio DJ or Team

DAVE, KEN AND MOLLY, KZZU

If you heard Dave Sposito, Ken Hopkins and Molly Allen's morning radio show knowing nothing about their long history, you'd still be able to recognize their easy rapport. The trio has been on the air together since 1998, and Sposito and Hopkins have been a team for nearly 25 years. They're obviously beloved by the community: They were able to raise $50,000 from listeners following a July 2015 bike accident that left Hopkins paralyzed from the chest down. Whether they're chatting about their weekends or competing in a game of Win Dave's Money, their chemistry is effortless. (NATHAN WEINBENDER)

2nd PLACE: Jay and Kevin, Coyote Country; 3rd PLACE: Jamie Patrick, the Mountain


Best DJ

BREEZY BROWN

Tony Brown (aka Breezy Brown) has been spinning vinyl since 1987, and says he mostly DJs in bars and lounges these days, providing ambience at places like Durkin's. What kind of genres does Brown gravitate toward? It's hard to say, really. During a recent gig at Perry Street Brewing, he busted out Muddy Waters, Broken Social Scene, Kanye West, Os Mutantes and more. "So you never know what's gonna come next out of the Breezy box," he says. (NW)

2nd PLACE: Jade Caldwell (DJ MC Squared); 3rd PLACE: DJ Ramsin


Best Singer/Songwriter

MARSHALL McLEAN

Hardly a stranger to our Best Of polls (his eponymous band won Best Band distinctions in 2015 and 2016), Marshall McLean has been a fixture in a local music scene that's often in flux. Both as a solo artist and as a member of the now-defunct outlaw folk foursome Horse Thieves, McLean's regional fanbase has grown steady over the past decade: He sold out the Bartlett when debuting his sophomore album SoDak, and recently wrapped up a tour that took him through Montana, Colorado and Utah. (NW)

2nd PLACE: Cami Bradley; 3rd PLACE: Lucas Brookbank Brown


Best Band (Covers)

SPARE PARTS

Just picture it: You're on your second glass of wine at Arbor Crest during a Spare Parts set. What do you want to hear? The Eagles? The Beatles? Crosby, Stills and Nash? Whatever it is, they can probably play it. The Cronkites have dominated this category for several years, but this time the honors go to Spare Parts, which plays all around town in a few different permutations — sometimes as a duo, other times as a trio. They definitely get around, and it's starting to pay off. (NW)

2nd PLACE: The Cronkites; 3rd PLACE: Gladhammer


Best Band (Originals)

FOLKINCEPTION/ MAMA DOLL (tie)

Folkinception has been a Spokane favorite since forming in 2011, blending rustic Americana with the kind of slick, melodic pop-folk you might hear on a Top 40 station. They're also a hell of a lot of fun to watch live. The band Kickstarted its 2014 debut LP Tower Mountain, and they're set to release a new album later this year. Mama Doll, meanwhile, haven't played a show in a while (they most recently appeared at the Bartlett's annual Christmas concert), but they've obviously made an impression on voters. Fronted by Sarah Berentson, formerly of Terrible Buttons, the quartet's music floats along on angelic harmonies and evocative lyrics. Here's hoping they're back on local stages soon. (NW)

3rd PLACE: Marshall McLean Band


Best Music Festival

ELKFEST

Sure, there are other Elkfests (looking at you, Wyoming and Colorado). And there's nothing wrong with celebrating the majestic, antlered animal. But in Spokane, The Elk is more synonymous with beer and music. The late-spring block party in historic Browne's Addition is once again at the top of our readers' poll. The lineup for 2017 hasn't been announced yet, but there are at least three things you can count on for the three-day festival: drinks, music and roasted corn pasta salad. (MITCH RYALS)

2nd PLACE: Watershed, the Gorge; 3rd PLACE: Pig Out in the Park, Riverfront Park; NORTH IDAHO'S BEST: Festival at Sandpoint


Best Concert of 2016-17

CARRIE UNDERWOOD, SPOKANE ARENA, 9/4/16

American Idol winner and country music sensation Carrie Underwood joins the likes of Pearl Jam (2013), Elton John (2014) and The Eagles (2015) in the list of bands voted best concert of the year. The multiple Grammy-winning artist played alongside Easton Corbin & the Swon Brothers to a packed Spokane Arena back in September. (MR)

2nd PLACE: Dolly Parton, Northern Quest, 9/22/16; 3rd PLACE: Blink-182, Spokane Arena, 9/16/16

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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