A band from Waxhaw, Flatland Tourists, won the Carolinas Music Award for 2015 Americana Band of the Year.
The awards ceremony was July 18 at The Duke Energy Performing Arts Center in Raleigh.
The Carolina Music Awards, in its eighth year, recognize North and South Carolina artists in rock, hip-hop, youth, bluegrass, Americana, country and R&B. Co-founded by Roberta Flack and Randy Travis and supported by Darius Rucker, the awards promote Carolina artists and original music.
Bands are nominated by fans, then reviewed by a panel of music professionals to determine the finalists. Fans’ votes account for 50 percent of the final results; the panel determines the remaining 50 percent based on original material, performances and other criteria.
Flatland Tourists formed in Waxhaw in 2013 with Rachel Garcia, Billy Bost, Frank Sutton, Joe Williams and Kevin Winchester. The band draws influences from styles including early country, blues, gospel, folk and early rock ’n’ roll.
The group began writing and performing at venues in the Charlotte area two years ago.
“There were so many great bands nominated, and we did not expect to win, but were honored and humbled that we did,” said Garcia, speaking for the band. “It was a thrilling experience to have our songwriting and hard work recognized by the judges and fans who voted for us. We are excited to have won this award, and hope it may help promote our next record to be released in September.”
Grammy Award-winning producer and sound engineer Mark Williams helped produced the group’s first EP. Little King Records released the band’s self-titled debut last year.
In 2015, the album spent 12 weeks in the Roots Music Report Americana Chart Top 10 with the single “No Work, No Pay,” rising to No. 2 and staying on the top 10 singles chart for 16 weeks. The band’s single “Cold Water River” rose to No. 3 and stayed on the top 10 singles chart for 10 weeks.
The band has expanded its venues beyond Charlotte, opening for national acts including Shovels and Rope and appearing at festivals throughout the region, including Tennessee’s Summer Solstice Festival and the National Whitewater Center’s River Jam.
Flatland Tourists recently finished recording its second project with Williams, scheduled for a September release.
Kim Becknell Williams is a freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information on Flatland Tourists, visit www.flatlandtourists.com.
The awards show was recorded for broadcast on Raleigh’s ABC affiliate, WTVD-11. CBM Records in Atlanta will release a compilation CD of the artists at the awards, featuring songs by category winners.