MusicNL celebrates diverse talent, legacy of Dermot O'Reilly

Heidi Wicks
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Newfoundland and Labrador's musical repertoire has expanded tenfold since the success of the proudly traditional Ryan's Fancy, which lives strong through Shanneyganock, the band that walked away with four awards Sunday night at MusicNL's gala event.

MusicNL's Conference and Awards Show displayed the broad spectrum of musical talent this province showcases - from the smooth, sultry jazz of Dana Parsons, to the mad Soviet surfer-rock/go-go dancer drive of The Kremlin, to the funktastic horns and dancification of Funky Dory.

Premier Danny Williams presents the MusicNL Newfoundland and Labrador 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award to Ann O'Reilly, for her late husband Dermot O'Reilly, during the MusicNL gala awards show at the St. John's Arts and Culture Centre Sunday night. Photo

Newfoundland and Labrador's musical repertoire has expanded tenfold since the success of the proudly traditional Ryan's Fancy, which lives strong through Shanneyganock, the band that walked away with four awards Sunday night at MusicNL's gala event.

MusicNL's Conference and Awards Show displayed the broad spectrum of musical talent this province showcases - from the smooth, sultry jazz of Dana Parsons, to the mad Soviet surfer-rock/go-go dancer drive of The Kremlin, to the funktastic horns and dancification of Funky Dory.

Premier Danny Williams took a break from appearances on CBC political satire showS to present Ann O'Reilly with her late husband Dermot's Lifetime Achievement Award. Williams and his svelte, velour-pinstriped blazer bedecked the stage, speaking with humour and warmth of his own Ryan's Fancy Paddy's Day memories at the old Strand.

"Actually, I don't really remember past a certain point during those years," he laughed with the audience.

"But they were memorable anyway.

"Dermot O'Reilly was one of many ambassadors to Newfoundland and Labrador, and this is a better place because he chose us as his home. He was not only a wonderful musician, but an incredible person," Williams said, before he presented the award.

O'Reilly, a native of Dublan, Ireland, died Feb. 17 at his home in St. John's from a heart attack.

The show's emcee, comedian Jonny Harris, opened the event with laughs that carried through the entire evening, pondering the baby boom among local musicians.

"Mark Bragg got a kid, Sean Panting got a kid, and then re-released it in the acoustic version ... I don't understand it. Anyone who can play a B-flat power chord should be able to put on a condom," he joked.

Of course, with the new baby bonus, they could get a couple demos with a couple kids, Harris reasoned.

Dana Parsons won the Galaxie Rising Star of the CBC Award, which comes with a $5,000 cheque.

Parsons was emotional and grateful, fighting a "Sally Field moment," as she said.

(Field famously once accepted an Oscar while declaring at the awards show,?"You like me, you really like me." She has never lived it down.)

The Unsung Hero Award (for behind the scenes work) went to Ken Ash, while the Industry Builder Award went to Roger Skinner. Many performances were memorable, and included a duet of "What If I stayed," featuring Ron Hynes and Dahmnait Doyle. The duo presented the SOCAN Song of the Year Award following their performance.

heidirwicks@gmail.com




Male Artist - Chris LeDrew
Pop/Rock Artist/Group - Blair Harvey
Galaxie Rising Star of the CBC -
Dana Parsons
Entertainer of the Year - Shanneyganock
Alternative Artist/Group - The Kremlin
SOCAN Song of the Year - The Cormiers, "Miracle of Christmas"
Country Artist - Chris LeDrew
Group of the Year - Shanneyganock
Album of the Year - Shanneyganock,
"Fling Out The Flag"
Gospel Artist/Group - David Chafe
Side Musician (new category) - Brian Way
Female Artist - Mary Barry
Instrumental Artist/Group -
Gordon Quinton
Folk/Roots Artist Group - Shanneyganock
Classical Artist/Group - David Chafe & Christopher Bowman
Jazz/Blues Group/Artist - Mary Barry
2007 Industry Award Winners
Media Person - Kevin Kelly
Music Educator of the Year - Sonny Hogan
Outstanding Company -
Steele Communications
Industry Professional - Tony Murray
Volunteer of the Year - June Hiscock
Source: Music NL

Organizations: Ryan's, CBC, Roots Steele Communications

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Dublan, Ireland St. John's

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