Austin Music Awards mourns community losses, celebrates local talent

Cat Cardenas

At this year's 34th Annual Austin Music Awards, the celebration of local talent was tinged with the losses the community felt this year, from KUT and KUTX radio host Paul Ray to South By Southwest co-founder Louis Meyers.

Friend and SXSW co-founder Louis Black kicked off the awards with a touching speech about Meyers, while Robert Plant closed out the show with a musical tribute to Ray.

The show acted as a celebration of their lives and the friends and family that supported them as well as the new talent that continues on after them.

For those that weren't able to attend, The Daily Texan rounded up some of the night's winners.

Band of the Year: Riders Against the Storm
For the third consecutive year, rap group Riders Against the Storm won the titles of band of the year and best rap group. Founded 32 years ago by husband and wife duo Chaka and Qi Dada, the group is the first hip-hop act to receive the honor of band of the year. The lively back and forth between Chaka and Qi Dada in their verses is accented by the soulful melodies from the band. Together, they've opened for acts including Wu-Tang Clan and Nas.

Best New Band: Calliope Musicals
Founded by Carrie Fussell and Matt Roth, the psychedelic band performs with just one goal in mind: leaving their audience happier than when they came in. Just three years onto the scene, the psych-rockers earned the title of best new band, almost immediately receiving an offer over Twitter from local act Shiny Ribs to perform together. The band combines psychedelic sounds with folk undertones, using tribal drums and the vibraphone.

Best Rock Band: Quiet Company
Having previously won 10 Austin music awards including band of the year and album of the year, Quiet Company has established themselves as an indie rock band with an impressive reputation. With five albums under their belt, the band is driven by frontman Taylor Muse's personal and honest lyrics and fueled by powerful guitar melodies and bass lines.

Best Female Vocalist: Patricia Vonne
Originally from San Antonio, singer and actress Patricia Vonne now calls Austin her home. Heavily influenced by her upbringing in a Tex-Mex household, Vonne's influences range from rock 'n' roll to Tejano. The singer also snagged an award for best miscellaneous instrument, recognizing her talent for her signature castanets. Her music celebrates her heritage and comes through in her lyrics and the flare of her performance style.

Hall of Fame: The Flatlanders
While they were only together for one year, country band The Flatlanders recorded The Odessa Tapes before embarking on solo careers. Eventually, interest in the band's unreleased album grew, prompting their reunion and a string of albums that followed. Looking back, their 1973 recordings garnered praise for their innovative sound, predicting trends in country music that wouldn't come for years. This year, the Lubbock natives were inducted into the Hall of Fame.