The Sammies are probably the highest honor a Sacramento musician can earn and many of the following musicians made the cut in different areas. Sacramento is no stranger to good music, being the place where bands like the Deftones and Cake got their start. After having the opportunity to speak with the following musicians, it became clear that these individuals live for their craft. This past year brought great things to the music scene in our area.
Hans! and The Hot Mess
Hans Eberbach of Hans! and The Hot Mess has had a busy year. Hans won the 2012 Sammie award for Outstanding Singer/Songwriter and the band has been on a fast track since forming earlier this year. The band is working on a music video being shot by Robert Evans, the photographer who has done weddings for the likes of celebrities like Tom Cruise and Blake Shelton. Hans explained that the band is not necessarily married to one genre of music so it plays an eclectic mix of sounds. Samples of the group’s music can be found on the website above.
Having been in the industry for some 20 years, performing comes quite naturally for Virgil Hooper AKA Crazy Ballhead. Crazy Ballhead is in the hip-hop circuit and is known for both electric and acoustic performances. The words “hip hop” do not fully embrace Ballhead’s range, however. Crazy Ballhead’s genre encompasses hip-hop, jazz and blues while he will at times sing and rap. Crazy Ballhead won Sammies in 2005, 2006 and 2007 and was inducted into the hall of fame in 2008. The group consists of four pieces being the drums, bass, guitar and keys. The band has been working on an album in 2012 called “The Highs and Lows of a Hero For Hire,”which should be available over the next several months.
On the rock/soul end of the musical spectrum is James Cavern. James is a solo artist who taught himself to play guitar in 2005. Playing professionally for roughly three years, James has created a great name for himself locally. Cavern won the 2012 Sammie for Best R&B/Soul Act and was nominated for Musician of the Year at the Raw Awards. On Thanksgiving, James held a benefit show at The Pour House in Sacramento to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy in New York. James also created what is known as “The Porch Sessions” where he invites other musicians to play live on his porch and records the sessions on his phone. There will be a porch session compilation released before this Christmas containing 20 episodes for free.
Jeff Campbell is a true musician in every sense. He is a rock musician with talent to spare and has shared the stage with members of The Counting Crows and opened for bands like Train. Earlier this year, Jeff released an acoustic album called “Stop and Go.” Jeff feels whole heartedly that music is his life and this is absolutely what he was born to do. Campbell has a truly versatile style which comes through clearly in his performances.
The Tipsy Hustlers
The Tipsy Hustlers were formed in April of 2012 and have cornered the Sacramento market in what the group likes to call Funk/Rock/Pop/Soul/Blues genre. Consisting of two guitars, drums and bass, this band has hit Sacramento’s music scene hard. The Tipsy Hustlers have an upcoming show in January that you can still get tickets to see. Two of the members are formerly from the band Mama’s Gravy which many people remember from the early 2000s. The past 2012 has sent the band on a fast track to local success and you can check out some sample sounds on the group’s Facebook page.
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As a hospitality professional Andy Soto has worked every facet of the industry. He currently leads the team at Spectrum Restaurant Consulting. He started writing a hospitality blog in 2009 and restaurant writing for Sacramento Press in 2010. In 2011 Andy became a Sacramento Restaurant Examiner for Examiner.com. His work can be found on Examiner.com.