Friday, April 15th the stars of the internationally received radio show Funk Soul Brothers and Sisters, “Johnny Ace” and “Little Brother Arthur David” attended the 20th Annual Detroit Music Awards Show at the Fillmore Theatre.  It was our first time.  It was the first time that we were officially acting as the media…the fifth estate.  It was the first time that we were asking the questions.  It was the first time that we had to be witty and engaging in the moment. This was not going to be a stroll in the park.  We needed the help and cooperation of many and we were fortunate to get it.  There are two people (besides the young woman that was manning security in our area) that I would like to give a special shout out to.  The first going to Ms. Adrianne Reynolds, Editor-in-Chief of the Detroit Entertainers & Musicians News ( and the second to, a Ms.Trish Shandor, a past winner of the music awards in several categories.  Ms. Reynolds shared her space with us and gave us access to some of the people she was scheduled to interview and Ms. Shandor was very, very helpful by directing some of the nights top talent and winners in our direction.  As a result we had a wonderful time and were able to get several great interviews.

click     Trish Shandor Interview

As mentioned, the DMA show has been around for 20 years now (1992) and has grown considerably in stature and importance.  Detroit is truly blessed to have the degree of talent that it has that is organic to the area.  Nationally recognized artists that have won awards are:  Aretha Franklin, Eminem, Bob Seger, The Clark Sisters, George Clinton and Parliament, Glenn Frey, Grand Funk Railroad, Kid Rock, Martha Reeves, The Miracles, Insane Clown Posse, Smokey Robinson, Dennis Coffey, Ted Nugent and Was Not Was.  But for me, with no disrespect of the nationally recognized artists, the real significance of the awards is measured by the quality of the local artists…local artists that work real hard to improve their art and to be heard in a world that creates stars virtually overnight and discards them nearly as fast.

click     Demetrius Krayon Nabors (piano)/Damon Warmack (bass) Interview

What took me by surprise was the energy or should I call it the vibe of the show.  Everybody that we saw walked and talked like they were on totally different plane…way higher than usual.  These people were amped up…cranking!!!  The night was like a major film premiere, a Broadway opening, a playoff or championship game all rolled into one big crackling electrically charged environment.  Everybody was or wanted to be part of the action.  There were the anointed ones that everybody acknowledged, there were those whose stars were ascending and there were those that had a ticket for the bus, but if they ever arrive at their destination it was way too early to tell.  But you had to love the attitude…the passion and desire…the energy.  This was a night where everybody’s glass…winner…loser…or wannabe…was half full not half empty!

click     Misfit313 Interview

Here’s a list of the evening’s performers…


Joe Nipote (Host); Motor City Players; Annabelle Road; The “Original” Vandellas; the Polish Muslims; Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas; Dennis Coffey & Mayer Hawthorne; and the Insane Clown Posse

The only thing that was not surprising was the overall attitude of everybody that we met and interviewed and the general aura of the event.  The DMA show is one of the social highlights of the year.  Artists, singers, musicians of all stripes and colors were on hand, catching up with or being introduced to each other in an atmosphere that was as laid back as it was electric.  What did make it kind of unique was that several artists who had already been given their awards remained on hand for the presentation of other awards or just as a show of support for nominated friends.  No jealousies…no conspiracies…just a party.  A party where everybody felt like a winner.  What a good time it was!!!

2011 Detroit Music Award Winners and Honorees

Additional Thanks To:

R.J. Spangler

Tracy Kash Thomas

Bugs Beddow

Kathy Vargo

Jason Brown


Click Here to hear more interviews and music from some of the winners of the 2011 Detroit Music Awards Show!