Repartee: “A quick and witty response,” according to the dictionary.
Also something that perhaps doesn’t come easy on the podium when you’re being presented with your fifth MusicNL award of the night.
St. John’s-based synth-pop-rock group Repartee swept the 2012 MusicNL awards Sunday evening, walking away from the gala with five trophies: Factor Album of the Year, Group of the Year, Statoil Rising Star of the Year, Molson Coors Pop/Rock Artist/Group of the Year and Bell Aliant Fan’s Choice for their self-titled debut record.
“I’m just so overwhelmed,” singer/keyboard player Meg Warren told the crowd.
The other members of Repartee are Nick Coultas Clarke, Robbie Brett, and Josh Banfield.
Warren later told The Telegram the band plans to build on the momentum they’ve gained from their MusicNL success.
“We love what we do. We love performing. We love creating. We have lots of touring plans in the future. We’re writing lots with a plan for another full-length in the future,” she said.
Repartee was one of two multi-award winners; Norris Arm soul man Chris Kirby won the Male Artist of the Year and SOCAN Songwriter of the Year award, with Craig Follett, for “Waiting So Long,” from his record, “Wonderizer.” Kirby accepted his award via his brother, having left earlier in the day for the States, where he’s touring with Nova Scotia artists Kim Wempe and Keith Mullins.
“I can’t express how sad I am to be missing the awards show,” Kirby told The Telegram in a text message from Maine, “especially since this has been such a big year for me and MusicNL has played a big role. Thanks so much to my musical friends and fans. I feel so blessed.”
Seventeen awards were presented at the gala, including some special awards: Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra concertmaster emeritus Peter Gardner was presented with the Unsung Hero award, Shallaway and Festival 500 founder Susan Knight was given the award for industry builder.
“People think (music) is in our DNA and our mother’s milk, but it’s not — it’s there because we nurture it and we take care of it,” Knight, recently named MUN’s first female chancellor, said.
Peter Narvaez, folklorist and one of Newfoundland and Labrador’s fathers of the blues, was awarded the Lifetime Achievement award posthumously. Narvaez died late last year after a three-year battle with lung cancer.
“Peter would be very pleased,” said Narvaez’s partner, Holly Everett, accepting the award. “He loved this province and he loved the music community and everyone who knew him felt that love.”
The Female Artist of the Year award went to Katie Baggs for her debut solo CD, “Home Again, Home Again,” while Celtic/Traditional Artist/Group of the Year went to The Dardanelles.
The Once won The Telegram Folk/Roots Artist Group of the Year award.
“We couldn’t be more proud to be from this place,” The Once’s Andrew Dale said.
Terry Penney took home the Country Artist/Group of the Year award for “The Last Guitar,” Mark Bragg won the Alternative Artist/Group of the Year award for “Your Kiss,” and Dwayne Cote and Duane Andrews won the Coast 101.1 FM Jazz/Blues Artist/Group prize for “The Empress.”
Lewisporte’s Dan Bursey took home the Gospel Artist/Group of the Year award for the second year in a row, this time for a children’s record: “Spread Your Love.”
Side Musician of the Year was presented to Sandy Morris, who also won the award in 2011.
Industry awards were presented at a brunch Saturday morning.
Sunday’s awards gala, held at the St. John’s Convention Centre, capped off MusicNL’s 20th anniversary conference, including a week full of workshops, meetings and panels for members of the local music industry, as well as public showcases and concerts.