Submitted in no particular order—and created for no particular reason, for that matter—here are the winners in installment number one of the 2013 Nightcrawler Notables awards.
The “If You Can’t Be Him, Join Him” Award: Michael Delguidice
For nearly a decade, the Crawler has been touting area singer Michael Delguidice as the country’s premier Billy Joel tribute artist. This October, the lead singer/founding member of Big Shot received his big shot, however, when the Piano Man himself called him on his cell phone.
“‘I need to talk to Mike,’ I believe were his exact words,” Delguidice recalled during an interview with Long Island News 12. “Then he said, ‘I’d like to get you on the road in the U.K.’”
As is the case so many times, the short cross-pond jaunt has blossomed into a full-scale U.S. tour for Joel, who has secured dates into June of 2014 as of press time.
Delguidice will spend his time between honoring existing obligations and riding the wave with the “River of Dreams” creator—interspersing local Big Shot dates like The Emporium in Patchogue Dec. 27 with backing Billy at New York’s Barclay’s on New Year’s Eve. To monitor Delguidice’s dual schedule from here on out, kindly point your browser to bigshottributeband.com.
The Not So Humble Beginnings Award: Humble Patients
Luckily for any who tangled with this Valley-based quartet in any of the three Battle of the Bands competitions the fledgling band took part in in 2013, Humble Patients (facebook.com/humblepatients) are also gracious winners. Slinging left-handed guitars and surgically sewing together funky jam grooves with progressive jazz passages, the members of Humble Patients spent their first full year of existence sonically smiting all they encountered at the Studio 307/Budweiser True Music, Keene State College and Radio 104.1/MGM Grand Foxwoods contests.
“We are three for three, and do hope to do more such events in the future,” singer Nicky Ferrara notes. “But for us, the real benefit of doing these is that we met other individuals of a similar passion and drive.”
Ferrara adds that as of early last month, he and his Humble ones have holed up in the studio, where they’re hard at work crafting their first full-length.
“Everything is going smoothly, and we fully expect to release it in the spring of 2014,” he revealed. “And—spoiler alert— it will be titled Getting Old in the Sea of Green.”
The Congratulations, You’ve Contracted (With) Anthrax Award: Jon Donais
In April, Anthrax six-stringer Scott Ian confirmed that the founding member of the Valley’s own Shadows Fall became a full-fledged member of the New York thrash metal band he idolized as a child.
Donais had been filling in for Rob Caggiano on a temporary basis when Ian told Metal Hammer editor Alexander Milas that he’d “safely passed the audition.”
For his part, Donais has publicly thanked his Shadows Fall bandmates for both encouraging him to pursue the opportunity and supporting his decision.
Next week: part two. May 2014 bring all of you all that you are looking for, and more. See you at First Night Northampton (firstnightnorthampton.org), featuring nearly four dozen performances on two dozen stages between 2 p.m. and midnight.•
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