Last night, the Big Easy Music Awards were held at Harrah’s Casino, honoring a variety of local artists from more than a dozen different genres of music. Some of the winners included Big Freedia, The New Orleans Bingo! Show, Lost Bayou Ramblers and The Storyville Stompers. For a complete list of the winners, click here.
The event was sponsored by Gambit, Harrah’s, Adler’s, Abita Beer, and, my personal favorite, Cupcake Vodka. Thank you, Cupcake Vodka, Cupcake Champagne and Cupcake Wine, for making the evening twice as awesome, and the morning twice as difficult to get out of bed.
The 80’s-themed event had some incredible musical moments. Irma Thomas sang Tina Turner’s What’s Love Got to Do with It, Los Po-Boy-Citos and Blac Sol covered Run DMC’s Walk This Way, The Stooges Brass Band performed a Michael Jackson tribute with Thriller and Rock With You, Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Revue did an incredible version of Pat Benatar’s Love is a Battlefield, Big History sang Human League’s Don’t You Want Me, and closing the show, Rick James’ Super Freak was performed by an all-star set of musicians – Dr. John, Ivan Neville, George Porter, Jr., Johnny Vidacovich and Walter “Wolfman” Washington.
Washington was also the recipient of the event’s 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award, and although Dr. John beat him out this year to win Best Rhythm and Blue Artist, when the great doctor came on stage to accept his award, he said that Washington should have won the award instead.
But the moment that made me proudest to be a New Orleanian came twice, when the Grammy-winning Rebirth Brass Band accepted the awards for Best Contemporary Brass Band and 2012 Entertainer of the Year. Whether joking or not, Rebirth assured everybody in the room that these Big Easy awards, given out by members of the city that they love, one unlike any other in the country, meant more than any Grammy. That sentiment was shared by all the artists last night.