ESTEVAN - SaskMusic announced the nominees of the 2021 Saskatchewan Music Awards, via a streamed event on Dec. 2, and a local duo, a solo musician and a southeast Saskatchewan venue made the news.
North Portal-based group Last Birds, comprised of Mike Davis and Lindsay Arnold, was among the nominees for the Saskatchewan Music Awards. The duo was nominated for Roots/Folk Artist of the Year.
The couple's debut album, Last Birds, was also added to the long list for the Best Saskatchewan Albums of 2021.
"We worked hard to complete and promote our debut album, despite COVID-19 setbacks. We are honoured to be nominated alongside so many talented artists we respect," said Arnold.
"We are so fortunate to have the support of our families, friends and employers. Without them, our work as musicians wouldn't be possible. Thank you so much," added Davis.
The music industry has suffered during the pandemic, but Davis and Arnold have kept themselves busy. They released their album in April. Last Birds was a Breakout West Spotlight Showcase Artist at Folk Alliance's virtual conference in February. Last Birds recently performed in Toronto at the El Mocambo for a two-day national industry conference, Come Together.
Jeff D. Michel, who has created music with Arnold and Davis as a part of the Hook and Nail trio and now is recording solo, also made it to the long list for the best album with Back to the Moon, released this fall.
From all the qualifying full-length album submissions received this year, jurors selected the long list of 37 albums. Now in its seventh year, this annual year-end list was created to draw attention to Saskatchewan music released in a broad range of styles. It’s the public’s turn to determine the Top 10 of 2021, and ultimately the recipient of Album of the Year.
“We encourage music lovers to discover new albums and then vote for their favourites before the midnight December 16, 2021 deadline. Only one vote per email/IP address will be counted for the duration of the voting period,” said SaskMusic.
The Top 10 albums will be announced via SaskMusic’s social media the week of Dec. 20.
More information and voting information is available at www.SaskatchewanMusicAwards.com.
The Happy Nun Café in Forget is among the finalists as the top venue as well.
The 2021 awards event will take place in a streaming format on Jan. 20, 2022, via SaskMusic's social media pages. The awards honour excellence and celebrate the achievements of Saskatchewan music industry members over the past year.
SaskMusic executive director Mike Dawson noted: “We are once again inspired by the talented artists of our province, who continued to create amazing music this year. Our industry continues to be heavily challenged by the pandemic, with the livelihoods of musicians and music businesses worldwide affected, but we are encouraged by the resilience and optimism of our industry members. We look forward to celebrating the music of our province with the awards this January.”
More information about the SMA's, including a full list of nominees and important dates visit, can be found here.