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NorthEast Country Music Association Awards Show
Proctor's Theater Schenectady, New York April 1st, 2001

Story and photos by William Bolton





A wonderful day of music and celebration began as the doors to the Proctor's arcade were opened to the fans. From one to three fans were invited to browse tables of information on the performers and listen to acoustic sounds being performed live. They also had the opportunity to say hello to some of the nominees , pose for pictures with them and/or ask for an autograph.




The awards show itself got underway at three o’clock with a scene of a young couple listening to there favorite country songs on an old fashioned radio, talking about how much the music means to them. The curtain then rose to a performance by “The Awards Show Stage Band”.

Master of ceremonies, WNYT News Anchor, John Grey got the presentations underway and then presentations and performances alternated for the remainder of the show.





Several area celebrities and VIP’s were on hand to make presentations. One particularly memorable presentation was made by WGNA morning team (also nominees) Sean and Richie. Richie Phillips gave a hilarious performance of his country rap of “Slim Shady”.


Area country music legends Dick Barnes and Sonny Thompson were on hand to receive Pioneer awards for their outstanding contributions to country music in the Northeast. Each of these marvelous performers also treated the crowd to a sample of their work, with Sonny showing what being a seasoned veteran is all about, when his sound failed and he continued to press on without it.






Other awesome performances were given by “Blue Creek”, "Janelle and The Guys”, “Sweet Cider”, “Justin Carey”, “The Country Line Rebels”, “Valerie DeLaCruz”, “Brittney Cleary”, “Aged In The Hills”, ”Dyer Switch”, “The Back 40 Band“, “North Forty” and “Blue Moon”.



There was also a lovely memorial segment honoring Reid Northrup, Dick Richards and Bob Talbot that included a beautiful performance by “The Richards Family”.






The 2001 Northeast Country Music Association awards went to:

BLUEGRASS:
The McKrells

INSTRUMENTALIST:
George Schacher

FEMALE VOCALIST
Janelle Donovan

COUNTRY CLUB
The Adirondack Grill

SUNRISE AWARD:
North 40

VOCAL GROUP:
Blue Creek

INSTRUMENTAL GROUP:
North 40

ENTERTAINER:
Blue Creek

RADIO PERSONALITY:
Nick Barr

MALE VOCALIST:
John Adams

DANCE INSTRUCTOR:
Kevin Richards

SONGWRITER:
Tony Perrino/Janelle Donovan/Joe Mele

SONG OF THE YEAR:
When I’m With You
Written by: Bennett/Adams
Performed by: Blue Creek



The show concluded as the now elderly couple sat listening to the same old-fashioned radio and then “The Awards Show Stage Band” performed the “Grand Finale”.




After the show fans were invited to a country party at the Schenectady Ramada Inn. A great time was had by all, celebrating with the artists. Dining and dancing to live music performed by “John Karl”, “Railway”, Brittney Cleary, Laura Patterson, and Aged In The Hills”.

The entire day was a great time. The Northeast Country Music Association is a dedicated group of people who work very hard to promote country music. Their hard work and dedication was definitely reflected in a well-put together, extremely entertaining event.





As I said before Catamount Country Chronicles is "Because even Yankees love country". While busy covering the national scene I overlooked the wealth of talent we have right here in our own backyard. This however will not be a problem in the future as we plan to do allot more coverage of these gifted people as well as the others. I personally cannot wait to see next year's awards show.



While preparing to cover this event and more so during the day there, I had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of one of the multiple award winning artists. Janelle Donovan of “Janelle and the Guys” is not only a terrific singer/songwriter but is a very wonderful person as well. I’ve listened to her previous album “Take Me On A Moonlight Ride” several time already and I cannot wait for the release of her new Tone Records album “Magnetic Eyes”.






This Irish - American, Southern Belle – Yankee has a beautiful, powerful voice that can take you from the Emerald Isle to The Blue Ridge Mountains in a heartbeat. Her songs are written to express deep feeling and are not put out to be “cookie – cutter, popular “ditties”.



Janelle has not yet grabbed national attention here in the U.S., but is very popular on the Northeast scene. She also has a large European fan base that is evidenced by her work climbing to number five on the European charts.






A hard working lady, Janelle also serves as board member for the Northeast Country Music association, their Public Relations person and She also mentors young artists at area high schools.







For more photos of this event Click Here


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