Five Manitoba acts will have a chance to pick up hardware at the 2011 JUNO Awards in Toronto next month. The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) announced nominees for the 40th annual awards gala early on February 1 in Toronto, as it streamed live on CTV’s website.
This year’s Manitoba nominees are a testament to the strength and diversity of Manitoba’s roots and Aboriginal music communities. Three Juno nods went to acts in roots/traditional categories while locals took two spots in the Aboriginal category.
Soul/folk quintet Chic Gamine, which picked up a Juno in 2009 for its self-titled debut, is once again up for Roots/Traditional Album of the Year: Group, this time for sophomore release City City.
Singer/songwriter Ruth Moody’s solo effort, The Garden, is up for Roots/Traditional Album of the Year: Solo. Moody is no stranger to the Juno stage, having landed a Juno in 2005 with her trio, The Wailin’ Jennys, as well as nominations for The Jennys and former band, Scruj MacDuhk. Moody’s song “Cold Outside” also landed a nomination for Toronto’s David Travers-Smith for Recording Engineer of the Year.
Relative newcomer Del Barber is also up for Roots/Traditional Album of the Year: Solo for his acclaimed second album, Love Songs for the Last Twenty.
Rock outfit Eagle & Hawk’s latest release, The Great Unknown, has a nod in the Aboriginal Album of the Year category. The band has already won two Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards and an Indian Summer Music Award for their work on the album, which has racked up an impressive 16 total nominations this year, including Western Canadian Music Awards, Native American Music Awards, and Canadian Folk Music Awards.
Singer/songwriter Little Hawk, aka Troy Westwood, is also up for Aboriginal Album of the Year for his latest release, Vigilance. A founding and former member of Eagle & Hawk, Little Hawk’s previous release, Home and Native Land, garnered him a Juno nod in 2008.
Over the last decade, Manitoba roots acts -- including The Duhks, Nathan, The Wailin’ Jennys, Romi Mayes, and Chic Gamine -- have won four and been nominated for seven Juno Awards. Aboriginal recording acts from Manitoba – including Tracy Bone, Billy Joe Green, Little Hawk, Team Rezofficial, and Eagle & Hawk -- have picked up nine nods and one win, for Burnt-Project 1 in 2006.
Some familiar expats’ names were also in the list of nominations this year, including: Luke Doucet for Adult Alternative Album of the Year; Starfield for Contemporary Christian/Gospel Album of the Year; Jocelyn Morlock for Classical Composition of the Year, James Ehnes for Classical Album of the Year: Large Ensemble or Soloist with Large Ensemble Accompaniment; Earl MacDonald for Traditional Jazz Album of the Year; Neil Young for Artist of the Year, Adult Alternative Album of the Year. For his work on Loreena McKennitt’s latest album, Jeff Wolpert is up for Recording Engineer of the Year, while Daniel Lanois is up for Producer of the Year for his work on Young’s album.
Winners will be announced at the JUNO Gala Dinner & Awards on March 27, and the 2011 JUNO Awards broadcast on CTV.