Manitoba Acts Net Four Juno Nods

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Four hometown artists have been nominated for the 2008 JUNO Awards, the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) announced on February 5, making this another strong year for Manitoba music. This year’s nominees include some of this province’s strongest purveyors of roots, Aboriginal, and contemporary Christian music, all of whom have received numerous nominations and trophies for their recent work.

For the second year in a row, two Manitoba bands are strong contenders for the top prize in the roots genre. Nettwerk recording act and Canadian Folk Music Award winner Nathan and its third release, Key Principles, is up for Roots & Traditional Album of the Year (Group) against duo Compadres, which features fellow CFMA winner, Winnipeg-based singer/songwriter James Keelaghan. Nathan picked up a Juno nod in 2005 for its sophomore release, Jimson Weed. Compadres’ Keelaghan got a Juno nod for Best Roots or Traditional Album for My Skies in 1994 while Compadres was nominated for the same category in 1998.

The roots race has been dominated by Manitoba bands in recent years. Neo-Celtic quintet The Duhks and singer/songwriter trio The Wailin’ Jennys were nominated in the roots category in 2007. The Duhks landed the trophy in 2006 while The Jennys picked it up in 2005, when they were nominated with Nathan at the Winnipeg-hosted gala.

Singer/songwriter Little Hawk, a.k.a. Troy Westwood, is up for Aboriginal Recording of the Year for his sophomore release, Home and Native Land. Little Hawk’s previous album, 1492-1975, won two Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards in 2005. Home and Native Land, meanwhile, picked up nominations for Best Aboriginal Music by Non-Aboriginal and Best Folk Album at the Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards and the CAMAs, respectively.

Young singer/songwriter Amanda Falk is up for Contemporary Christian/Gospel Album of the Year for her second release on Winnipeg-based Avante Records, Beautiful. Falk won in the same category in 2006 for her self-titled debut and has picked up a number of other honours including two consecutive Covenant Awards in 2006 and 2007.

As well, Winnipeg-based Aboriginal music label Arbor Records has snagged nominations for two of its artists for Aboriginal Recording of the Year: Derek Miller and Sandy Scofield.

The 37th Annual Juno Awards will take place on April 6 in Calgary, AB with host comedian Russell Peters and will be broadcast nationwide live on CTV.

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