Best Original Music Band
Barley Legal – This seven-piece outfit with a clever moniker set out to produce feel-good Americana music with a beach vibe, and the result is a sound that has been compared with Tom Petty, Wilco, and the E Street Band. Late last year Barley Legal released its debut album, “All Your Stories.”
The group’s three singers evoke memories of the Everly Brothers or Simon and Garfunkel. Who’s in the band? Brent Reger plays percussion, trumpet, ukulele, and does vocals; Chris Shea is on drums and percussion; Jason Carver plays acoustic guitar; Jay Constable is on bass guitar and also on vocals; Mike Morano moves from the accordion to the piano and organ; Nate LaPointe is on electric guitar, mandolin, pedal steel, and he sings; and Stephen “Saxy” Herring plays flute and saxophone.
The group formed in 2009 and debuted at Suzy’s in Hermosa Beach. Their following, and their popularity, continues to build.
Runner-up: Special “C”
This South Bay reggae/punk trio, influenced by Sublime and Pennywise, features smooth vocals by Dustin Jones and hard-hitting drumming by “Bubba” Jason McMackin (brother of Pennywise member Byron McMackin). They took their name from the Special C (two bean burritos) at El Burrito, Jr. (also a runner-up this year), on PCH.