BEST OF 2018 | Music

Marschall McLean has remained one of the Inland Northwest's most popular musicians. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Marschall McLean has remained one of the Inland Northwest's most popular musicians.

Best Band, Covers

DRAGONFLY

They're not just a dance/rock cover band. They're dancefloor mixologists, able to artfully combine songs like Journey's "Faithfully" with Prince's "Purple Rain" at roadhouses, casinos and nightclubs across the Inland Northwest. Rather than relying on the classics, the four musicians rely on their skills — their craftsmanship when belting out hits from the likes of Candlebox, Led Zeppelin and Metallica. (JB)

2nd PLACE: The Rub

3rd PLACE: The Cronkites


Best Band, Originals

FOLKINCEPTION

Longtime favorites of the Spokane music scene, Folkinception (which recently changed its name to Trego) blends Americana with melodic pop. Backed by multi-instrumentalists and folk-rock instruments, including a violin and mandolin, the band's lively performances keep crowds guessing with original songs that don't quite fit into roots or rock genres. It's the blend — like smooth whiskey — that makes the music great. (JB)

2nd PLACE: Super Sparkle

3rd PLACE: Marshall McLean Band


Best Concert of 2017-18

GARTH BROOKS, SPOKANE ARENA

Garth Brooks is one of the most beloved musicians of all time, not only for his country hits but for his generosity. During one of seven sold-out Spokane concerts he serenaded Willie Gilmore, a 33-year-old diagnosed with breast cancer who recently endured surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. With a hand on her head, he sang "Standing Outside the Fire" and gave her his guitar. (JB)

2nd PLACE: Foo Fighters, Spokane Arena

3rd PLACE: Keith Urban, Northern Quest Casino


Best Music Festival

ELKFEST

There's something about the beer suds spilled on narrow streets, historic brick buildings and the smell of roasted corn pasta salad coming from the Elk Public House that makes the free annual music festival in Browne's Addition so timeless and appealing. It's a block party and a neighborhood festival. It's a musical lineup that diversifies and gets better year after year. (JB)

2nd PLACE: Watershed

3rd PLACE: Sasquatch

NORTH IDAHO'S BEST: Festival at Sandpoint


Best Radio DJ or Team

DAVE, KEN AND MOLLY, KZZU

Mornings don't truly begin until Dave, Ken and Molly hit the airwaves each weekday. Spokane's top-rated, longest running show works on a level that's hard to pinpoint — even for longtime listeners. It just works. The antics, banter and online chemistry of the hosts transcends your speakers, giving you a better start to the day. This win also marks 20 for the team. (JB)

2nd PLACE: Jay, Kevin and Slim, Coyote Country

3rd PLACE: GA and The Twice as Much Rock Show, 94.5


Best Singer-Songwriter

MARSHALL McLEAN

Marshall McLean has held the title of Spokane's Americana, folk-rock sweetheart for more than a decade, both as a solo artist and in a band. As a self-proclaimed "unhurried songwriter," he weaves tales of his grandfather, the long-haul truck driver, of long stretches of highway, the responsibilities of parenthood and the dark and illuminating corners of Spokane that have helped shape his career. (JB)

2nd PLACE: Cami Bradley

3rd PLACE: Matt Mitchell


Best Touring Broadway Musical of 2017-18

MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL

The competition in this category almost isn't fair. Sure, there was a solid slate of touring Broadway shows to choose from, but only one was jam-packed with dozens of classic hit songs that inspired the audience to get up and shake a tail feather. Motown: The Musical tells the story of Berry Gordy's Motown Records, but this show thrilled, thanks to the presence and performances of actors in the roles of folks like Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye and Michael Jackson. Clearly, this crowd-pleaser stuck with people long enough to make it their favorite touring musical of the year. (DN)

2nd PLACE: Phantom of the Opera

3rd PLACE: Rent