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Gregory Page bests Switchfoot and Jason Mraz for top 2021 San Diego Music Awards honors

Gregory Page won Album of the Year and Best Pop Album honors at the 2021 San Diego Music Awards
Gregory Page won Album of the Year and Best Pop Album honors at the 2021 San Diego Music Awards on Tuesday night at Humphreys Concerts by the Bay.
(Eva Holland)

Jerry Raney, a co-founder of the Beat Farmers, becomes first musician in event’s history to receive two Country Dick Montana Lifetime Achievement Awards

Veteran San Diego troubadour Gregory Page was the biggest winner Tuesday night at the 30th annual San Diego Music Awards at Humphreys Concerts by the Bay, where his “One Hell of a Memory” earned Album of the Year and Best Pop Album honors.

“Wow, thank you so much,” Page said as he accepted his Album of the Year Award. After individually thanking some of the musicians who contributed to the album, he concluded his comments with an appeal for unity during the ongoing pandemic, saying: “Thank you, San Diego. We’ve got to stick together... through this.”

For the record:

4:50 p.m. Aug. 25, 2021

Due to incorrect information from the San Diego Music Awards, a story on page B1 of Wednesday’s Local section incorrectly stated that guitarist-singer Jerry Raney on Tuesday became the first musician to have won a second Country Dick Montana Lifetime Achievement Award. Drummer Joel Kmak, who replaced Montana in the Beat Farmers — a band co-founded by Raney — has also won two of the same awards. The first was as a member of the Beat Farmers in 2005. The second was in 2011 as a member of The Penetrators.

Page, who had a field-leading four nominations, was the night’s only multiple winner. The Carlsbad band Aviator Stash, which had three nominations, won the Best Indie/Alternative Album award for “Pisyh.”

Two Grammy Award-winning San Diego artists, Switchfoot and Jason Mraz, were each nominated in two categories. But Switchfoot went home empty-handed, while Mraz — a guest artist on Page’s album — shared in Rebecca Jade’s Song of the Year win for “Bad Wolves,” which features Mraz, Miki Vale and Veronica May.

Keyboardist Ed Kornhauser, the only artist this year nominated for both Album of the Year and Best Jazz Album, won in the latter category for “The Short Years.” Singer Whitney Shay, who last year topped the national Billboard blues album charts, won the Best Blues Album award Tuesday for “Stand Up!”

San Diego music mainstay Jerry Raney became only the second artist in the event’s three-decade history to win a second Country Dick Montana Lifetime Achievement Award. The first was in 2006 as a member of the Beat Farmers, the pioneering roots-rock band that guitarist and singer-songwriter Raney co-founded in 1983 with drummer-singer Montana, who died during a Canadian performance by the four-man group in 1995.

The first musician to win two Country Dick Montana Lifetime Achievement Awards was drummer Joel Kmak, who replaced Montana in the Beat Farmers. Kmak shared in the band’s 2005 Country Dick Montana Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2011, he received the same honor as a member of The Penetrators, the pioneering San Diego punk-rock band that Kmak co-founded (and in which he was later replaced by Montana).

‘Tales From the New West,’ released in 1985, has been reissued with ‘Live from the Spring Valley Inn, 1983' ‘We always gave it our all,’ says Jerry Raney

Raney, 73, was honored Tuesday for his body of musical work, which began in the 1960s with his first band of note here, Thee Dark Ages. He will next perform with The Farmers, as the band is now known, Thursday at the free-admission La Mesa Car Show in downtown La Mesa.

“It’s nice to get a second lifetime award,” Raney told the Union-Tribune. “But I’ll be glad when it’s over, because I’ve been getting a little too much attention lately!”

Raney was one of eight artists scheduled to perform at Tuesday’s award show. The others included Kornhauser, Cindy Lee Berryhill, Chickenbone Slim, Marujah, Electric Mud (which won the Best Rock Album award) and The Frets (which won for Best Indie/Alternative Song).

The 2021 San Diego Music Industry Award went to Liz Abbott, the publisher and co-founder of San Diego Troubadour. The monthly publication, a staple of the local music scene, this year celebrated its 20th anniversary of publication.

Nearly 1,200 tickets were sold for Tuesday’s event, according to San Diego Music Awards founder Kevin Hellman. The $53,993 collected in ticket revenues and donations this year will benefit the nonprofit San Diego Music Foundation and Guitars for Schools, a partnership between the foundation and Taylor Guitars.

A two-hour edition of the awards show will be televised Sept. 5 on Fox 5. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, last year’s awards show became the first in the event’s history to be held virtually.

“I’m just glad we’re able to get everybody together,” Hellman told the Union-Tribune Tuesday.

“I was excited to do the virtual thing last year; it worked out great and gave people something to do during a really rough time. The music community needs a recharging, and I hope having the 2021 San Diego Music Awards show take place live will give us a little bit of a kick start.”

2021 San Diego Music Awards winners

Album of the Year: Gregory Page, “One Hell of a Memory”

Song of the Year: Rebecca Jade, featuring Jason Mraz, Miki Vale and Veronica May, “Bad Wolves

Country Dick Montana Lifetime Achievement Award: Jerry Raney

Music Industry Award: Liz Abbott of The Troubadour

Best Blues Album: Whitney Shay, “Stand Up!”

Best Jazz Album: Ed Kornhauser, “The Short Years”

Best Americana, Jazz or Blues Song: Shane Hall, “Under My Voodoo”

Best Americana or Country Album: Coral Bells, “Treehouse Tapes”

Best Folk or Acoustic Song: Lee Coulter, “Look Away”

Best Hip Hop or Rap Song: Sloat Dixon, “Sloat Style”

Best Hip Hop or Rap Album: Black Hesher, “Saints and Sirens”

Best Pop Song: TonyaJae, “Leave the House”

Best Pop Album: Gregory Page, “One Hell of a Memory”

Best Rock Song: Suede Radio, “The Premonition”

Best Rock Album: Electric Mud, “Communication”

Best Indie/Alternative Song: The Frets, “Daisy”

Best Indie/Alternative Album: Aviator Stash, “Psiyh”

Best World Music Album: New Leaf, “Feels Like ...”

Best R&B, Funk or Soul Album: Kahlil Nash, “Transcendence”

Best Local Recording: Skyler Lutes, “Rewind”

Best Video: Heavy Hawaii, “Boy Don’t Drown”


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