San Diego Music Awards nominees announced

Prayers, the self-described cholo-goth duo whose debut album came out in June, earned a field-leading five nominations for the 25th annual San Diego Music Awards.

Close behind, with four nominations apiece, are national jam-band favorites Slightly Stoopid and singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jeff Berkley. Encinitas-based jazz guitarist, composer and band leader Peter Sprague will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award when this year’s edition of the SDMAs is held Oct. 5 at Humphreys Concerts by the Bay on Shelter Island. The nominees were announced Sunday at 6 p.m.

Confirmed performers at the annual awards fete include Sprague, Berkley Hart Selis Twang, Big Mountain, Louis XIV, Gregory Page and teenaged troubadour Cody Lovass. With the exception of the recently formed group Berkley Hart Selis Twang, all of the performers have won SDMAs in previous years. So have the individual members of the comma-free Berkley Hart Selis Twang, which teams Eve Selis and Marc “Twang” Intravia with Jeff Berkley and Calman Hart.

The public can vote online in 18 of the 28 SDMA categories between now and Sept. 18 on the event’s website. Votes for the 10 Album of the Year categories -- which include pop, rock, blues, Americana and other categories -- can only be voted on by members of the San Diego Music Academy, which includes area musicians, concert promoters, talent buyers, radio station program directors and other industry professionals. Tickets for the Oct. 5 event are available from the SDMA website.

The five nominations for Prayers, which was formed in 2013 by vocalist Leafar Seyer and electronic musician Dave Parley, are the most in recent memory by a new group for the SDMAs. Seyer, whose real name is Rafael Reyes, would make a fascinating subject for a film documentary.

In 1994, he opened Pokéz, downtown’s first (and, so far, only) Mexican vegetarian restaurant. A member of the gang Sherman Grant Hill Park 27, he served time for assault in 2010. While imprisoned, he began writing his book, “Living Dangerously,” which was completed and published after his release. Now 40, he is also the founder of the nonprofit Diamond Dogs, an organization that provides a safe haven for artists in need. The lyrics Reyes writes for Prayers reflect the realities of his life and his quest for redemption.

Prayers is nominated for Album of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Music Video (both for “Young Gods”), Best Alternative and Artist of the Year.

The other 2015 Artist of the Year nominees include: the Grammy Award-winning band Switchfoot (which in July opened a pay-as-you-can music school in Encinitas);, Slightly Stoopid (which last year became the first band to headline seven years in a row at Chula Vista’s nearly 20,000-capacity Sleep Train Amphitheatre and in December launched its own music festival in Puerto Morelos, Mexico); Steve Poltz (who has completely recovered from an on-stage stroke he suffered last year), Tribal Seeds, Little Hurricane (which won a field-leading three trophies at the 2011 SDMAs); Unwritten Law; and saxophonist Karl Denson, who leads the band Tiny Universe and is also the new touring saxophonist with the Rolling Stones).

This year’s other top nominees include Little Hurricane and The Burning of Rome, with three nods each, and Switchfoot leader Jon Foreman, who earned one nomination with his band and two for his solo work.

Proceeds from the SDMAs go to the San Diego Music Foundation’s Guitars and Banjos for Schools program, which provides free instruments and music instruction to public school students across San Diego County.

The 2015 San Diego Music Awards nominees

Artist of the Year

Karl Denson

Little Hurricane


Steve Poltz

Slightly Stoopid


Tribal Seeds

Unwritten Law

Album of the Year

B-Side Players - Dos Generaciones

Berkley Hart Selis Twang - BHST

Danny Green Trio - After The Calm

Gregory Page - One Way Journey Home

Jack Tempchin - Room to Run

Prayers - Young Gods

Slightly Stoopid - Meanwhile...Back at the Lab

Tristan Prettyman - Back to Home

Song of the Year

9 Theory - At Home in the Dark

Blackout Party - Float On Towards Our Doom

Jon Foreman - Caroline

Little Hurricane - Heart Skips a Beat

P.O.D. - This Goes Out To You

Prayers - Young Gods

Slightly Stoopid - The Prophet

WAVVES - Leave

Best New Artist

Birdy Bardot


Le Chateau

Saint Shameless

Shady Francos

Taurus Authority

The Bassics


Best Music Video by a San Diego band

Berkley Hart - My Name is Sam

Burning Of Rome - Better Than He

Dare to Be Dreamers - Still Young

Hideout - Where You’ve Been

Hills Like Elephants - Misquote

Jon Foreman - Caroline

Prayers - Young Gods

Slightly Stoopid - The Prophet

Best Jazz


Danny Green

Gilbert Castellanos

Joshua White

Krass Bros

Montalban Quintet

Nathan Hubbard

Steph Johnson

Best Jazz Album

Archie Thompson & The Archtones Allstars - Jazz Vespers, Vol. 1

Charles McPherson - The Journey

Danny Green Trio - After the Calm

Juice Box - s/t

Miss Erika Davies - In Love With Someone

Peter Sprague & Leonard Patton - Dream Walkin’

Sue Palmer - Bricktop

Wayne Riker - Ten Shades of Green

Best Singer-Songwriter

Christopher Dale

Cody Lovaas

Dave Humphries

Dawn Mitschele

Natalie Emmons

Raelee Nikole

Sierra West

Tolan Shaw

Best Blues

Bill McGee

Chet & the Committee

Euphoria Brass Band

Rebecca Jade & the Cold Fact

Robin Henkel

Tomcat Courtney

Whitney Shay

Mercedes Moore Band

Best World Music

Cumbia Machin

Jet West

Patric Petrie


B-Side Players

The Devestators

Todo Mundo

Tribal Theory

Best Americana

Action Andy & The Hi-tones

Behind the Wagon

Berkley Hart Selis Twang

Jesse LaMonaca & The Dime Novels

Nena Anderson

Sara Petite

The Midnight Pine

The Moves

Best Hip Hop

Black Resume

The Lyrical Groove

Mr. Ridley

Odessa Kane

Orko Eloheim

Parker and the Numberman

The Gaslamp Killer

Vokab Kompany

Best Pop


Dr. Seahorse

Gayle Skidmore

Nicky Venus

Paul Cannon Band

The Lulls

The Rosalyns

The Silent Comedy

Best Alternative


Grizzly Business



Shake Before Us

The Bassics

The Burning of Rome

Wild Wild Wets

Best Rock

Amerikan Bear

The Routine


Blackout Party

Neighbors To The North

The Donkeys

The Farmers

The Nervous Wreckords

Best Hard Rock

Author & Punisher

Cattle Decapitation

Deep Sea Thunder Beast

Head Wound City


Roni Lee



Best Club DJ

Adam Salter

DJ Artistic

DJ Claire

DJ Kurch

DJ Scooter

DJ Slowhand

Gabe Vega

Mike Czech

Best Pop Album

Gregory Page - One Way Journey Home

Hills Like Elephants - Tell Tales

Josh Damigo - I Will Be There

Kimm Rogers - Where The Pavement Grows

Michael Inzunza - Michael & Marie

Normandie Wilson - Is Tired of Being Nice

Steven Ybarra - What I Really Want to Say

Tolan Shaw - Chin Up

Best Rock Album

Bangladesh - Certain Illusions

Barbarian - Night Blooms

Cult Vegas - By Any Means

Diamond Lakes - Modern Horrors

Neighbors to the North - All Southern View

The Loons - Inside Out Your Mind

The Soaks - s/t

Weatherbox - Flies in All Directions

Best Alternative Album

Hideout - Rookie

Sledding With Tigers - Come on and Slam

Soft Lions - Spellbreaker

The New Regime - Exhibit B

The Palace Ballroom - s/t

Triumph of the Wild - We Come With the Dust

Weatherbox - Flies in All Directions

Wild Wild Wets - 14th Floor

Best Hard Rock Album

Author and Punisher - Melk en Honing

Death Eyes - Death Eyes

Desert Suns - Desert Suns

Gletscher - Die Einöde

Griever - Our Love is Different

Joy - Under the Spell of Joy

The Long and Short of It - Burl

Wovenwar - s/t

Best Hip Hop Album

1019 and J. Treel?- Treel Tales of Number Running

Dre Cat?- What’s a Dre Cat?

Buhay Cali - Blessings

Dre Trev & 18Sense - CALiens

Generik & Audible Junkie - Organic Anti-D.O.T.E.

Kaus and DJ Inform - Welcome to the World Of...

Left in Company - Artifacts

The Lyrical Groove - Spoken Soul: Music for Life

Best Blues Album

Black Market III - Vanarchy Live

Bayou Brothers - High Roller Zydeco

Jocko Marcellino - Make It Simple

Melly Frances & The Distilled Spirit - The Album

Missy Andersen - In The Moment

Reverend Stickman - More Than Blues

Shifty Eyed Dogs - The Shifty Eyed Dogs EP

Sure Fire Soul Ensemble - s/t

Best Americana Album

Berkley Hart - Fleur de Lis

Joel Rafael - Baladista

Alaina Blair - Love it or Leave It

John Meeks - Que Viva EP

Nancarrow - Simple Things

The Tree Ring - Ten Rivers

The Western Collective - Hearts and Dreams

Three Chord Justice - One Four Five

Best World Music Album

B-Side Players - Dos Generaciones

Big Mountain - Perfect Summer

Dornob - Segah

E.N. Young - Live Love Stay Up

Gonzo - Red

Marujah - Gringolandia

Quel Bordel - Caravan Treasures

Revival - Guidance

Best Live Performer

Burning of Rome

Dead Feather Moon


Little Hurricane



Shady Francos

The Creepy Creeps

Best Local Recording

Astra Kelly - Back to Ten

Le Chateau - s/t

Cleopatra Degher - Pacific

Mystery Cave - Natural Mind

G Burns Jug Band - The Southern Pacific & The Santa Fe

Little White Teeth?- Songs the Attic Sings

Rob Bondurant - Hurricane

L.A. Edwards - Secrets We’ll Never Know

Best Cover Band

Beta Maxx

Cash’d Out

Detroit Underground

Electric Waste Band

Lady Dottie and the Diamonds

Rising Star

The Baja Bugs


Source: DiscoverSD