Diving into area?s rich talent pool
By WILLOW ALIENTO
IMOGEN WOLF looked anything but nervous about the results of the Dolphin Awards as the show swung into gear with a bout of drumming magic from Gene Peterson.
But there was plenty of emotion when her name was called out by pop legend John Paul Young as winner of Female Vocalist of the Year.
Like the region they celebrate, the Dolphin Awards always reveal a few new local musical gems.
They also, as the Beach Hotel's Raylee Delaney put it, recognise the contribution made to community events by long-standing local artists throughout the year. Other winners included the Romaniacs, who won the country category for Rainbow Man/Bohemian Polka.
Phil Leby, who penned the track, said it was inspired by his own experience of moving to the North Coast.
"This area has a distinctive sound. We've been told our music very much sounds like it could only come from here," he said.
Mal Goodsmith won two categories ? blues and folk ? while a group of artists called Invisible Friend won the funk/hip-hop and male vocal categories with Michael White, Matthew Gulliford, and Nino Haggith.
The Beach Hotel announced they would be hosting the awards for the next three years as part of a commitment to see them keep growing.
One of the judges of the Music for Children section, which was won by Steve Johns for his song Cause I'm a Tree Frog, said there was an easy consensus in deciding the winner.
Bluesfest partner Michael Chugg helped Mandy Nolan co-host the night, and took the opportunity to announce that the Bluesfest 2006 lineup has been decided and will be announced in the next week or so.
With the Bluesfest on board the Dolphin Awards as a sponsor, perhaps they also got a chance to scout out some new talent for future years.