The voting polls are now open for the 2014 SSA (Songwriters Showcases of America) music awards. The awards will be given out at the fourteenth annual DeLand Original Music Festival on Nov. 15. The deadline for voting is Nov. 12.
There are five award categories, songwriter of the year, song of the year, band of the year, musician of the year and most unique style. Previous winners for band of the year include Orlando bands A Brilliant Lie in 2011 and No Circus in 2008. In 2007 No Circus lead guitarist James Killgallon was named guitarist of the year.
There are several Orlando area bands nominated for awards this year. The nominated bands include Armor Of God, Cold War Relic, Sound Democracy, I Woke Up Early For My Funeral, The Young Psychedelics, Jupiter Groove, The Blacklist Swindlers, True Gain, Who Hit Willie, Yellow Day Union, Drop July, The Gerry Williams Band, Scott Forbes and John David Williams.
Orlando band Cold War Relic leads the pack with four category nominations. Band members Chris Bongiovanni (vocals, guitar) and Jay Michael Hunter (guitar) are each nominated for musician of the year. Hunter was both humbled and amazed at the nomination. “It’s quite an honor that’s for sure,” he said. “I’ve supported the SSA for as along as I can remember; playing in most all of the festivals Phil [Weidner] has put on including the recent addition in Jacksonville.”
The band’s song “Blame” is nominated for song of the year. “That is our newest song actually,” said Hunter. “I just finished writing that myself just in time to make the new CD. It’s kind of a nod back to my roots in the 80’s but with a modern twist on it. Some of the guys had to write their parts in the studio, it’s that new. We’ve only played it out a handful of times so far.”
There are also several Central Florida bands among the nominations. Music fans can choose to vote for Dylan Mathews & The Flips, After The Storm Band, RHOADES and RICKETTS, Save The Radio, Stone Castle Band, Dropin Pickup, Stonegrey, Explore the Uncomfortable, Futuristic Diner, Greye, The Nebulous Project, The Transfers, Tie-Dye Road, Tiger Rider, Undercover Betty, Lucky Dreamer Marquis and more.
Nominations are still being accepted until Oct. 25. In order to be eligible a band must have performed in an SSA show or currently scheduled for an upcoming SSA event.
Music fans can add their nominations and vote for their favorites on the SSA web site. A valid email address is required to participate in the voting process.