Houston Press Awards 2009

Rocks Off concert promoters present the Houston Press music award nominees each year with a showcase in downtown Houston. Several bars and clubs participate hosting performers from the ballot. First, I saw Runaway Sun, up for the Best Blues Group award. This summer they released The Bridge, a ten-song LP recorded at Houston’s Sugar Hill Studios. A self-titled EP was released in 2008. Below please have a listen to “The Ballad of Marylou.”

[audio:The Ballad of Marylou.mp3]
“The Ballad of Marylou” by Runaway Sun

Next, I saw Kristine Mills who has been nominated for Musician of the Year. She’s a jazz singer, born and raised in Houston, TX. She regularly performs at Trulucks Steakhouse. A schedule of performances can be found at Kristine Mills Music.

Kristine Mills

At Martells I saw The TonTons. The TonTons are nominated for Best Guitarist and Best Female Vocal. Saturday night they had their CD release party for their ten-song self-titled debut. All I can say is Asli Omar looks like she sounds amazing. She was drowning in base and percussion the entire time. I can’t blame her though, she asked several times for more vocals, the venue just wasn’t suitable. From what I could make out, she sounded a lot like Cat Power.

The TonTons

The Irish rock band, Blaggards, closed the evening. Among the original songs, their set also included several covers. They teased us with AC/DC’s “Back In Black” within a song called “Nancy Whiskey.” They did the Irish traditions, “Whiskey In The Jar” and “Drunken Sailor.” Lastly, they threw in a little Johnny Cash with “ Folsom Prison Blues.” They seem to have a pretty good following in Houston and I think Martells is their regular venue.


Winners will be announced this Thursday, July 30, 2009 at Warehouse Live.

One thought on “Houston Press Awards 2009

  • Hi Jen,

    Thanks very much for your write-up! The picture is great, before now we hadn’t seen any shots from that night.

    We actually had never played Martell’s before. We had the same sound problems as the Tontons on stage, no vocals at all. The room was definitely not set up very well for live sound. But, we had a great time.


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