Blues band


    Root Doctor


    Runners-up: Steppin’ In It and Frog & the Beeftones


    Combing traditional blues with classic soul, Root Doctor
    has been entertaining Lansing for nearly 20 years. Led by vocalist Freddie
    Cunningham (who formed the band with bassist/vocalist James Williams) and
    backed by a cast of veteran local musicians, the band is known for a tight live
    set that gets the crowd moving. If you love the smooth style of Sam Cooke, but
    also tend to crank up some Buddy Guy, this band is just what the doctor
    ordered.




    Cover band


    Starfarm


    Runners-up: Global Village and Soulstice


    Remember when MTV still played music videos? Starfarm
    plays stunning covers of all those ‘80s pop classics. While the band has been
    through a few incarnations, it’s currently busier than ever, with steady gigs
    at Dublin Square, Green Door and Rick’s American Cafe. With crowd favorites
    like “Don’t Stop Believin’” (Journey) and “Livin’ on a Prayer” (Bon Jovi) it’s
    hard not to sing along. “It’s perfect music for a cover band,” said vocalist
    Whitney Spotts. “It’s upbeat, fun and danceable. It’s a great reminiscence
    thing for people who see us.”




    DJ


    DJ Ruckus


    Runners-up: DJ Donnie D and DJ Sammy


    Known for his long, blonde dreadlocks, two turntables and
    huge obsession with vinyl records, DJ Ruckus has been rocking parties in
    Lansing since 1994. Aside from DJing hip-hop shows, Ruckus also spins hip-hip
    and dance tracks every Thursday and Saturday at The Post in East Lansing. After
    years of spinning, he is now able to DJ full-time — not a bad gig for a record
    junkie. “My vinyl takes up a room and half of my house,” Ruckus said. “The one
    room is floor to ceiling almost. It needs to be dealt with.”




    Original Band


    Loune


    Runners-up: Root Doctor


    Loune has been mixing pop melodies and minimal indie rock
    since it formed in November 2008. The band, which is influenced by Grizzly Bear
    and Mason Proper, may be new to the scene, but it’s already found its own
    sound. “The way I used to describe it is, ‘It sounds like the day after a
    parade.’ It’s kind of ambient,” said Kevin Pritchard of Loune. “There is a lot
    of room in the sound. We let little details do the talking as opposed to
    jamming it down people's throats.”




    Radio Station


    88.9-FM


    Runners-up: 97.5-FM and 90.5-FM


    The Impact 88.9-FM, the Michigan State University radio
    station, has been delivering a diverse blend of cutting-edge music to the
    Lansing area since 1989. “During the day, it’s mainly just college and indie
    rock,” said Autumn Maison, Impact music director. “But we also have a local
    music show, we play metal, hip-hop and other alternative programming.” The
    station also launched its YouTube channel in 2008. “Since then it’s been an
    upwards slope of getting people in to perform,” Maison said. “I think it's the
    coolest part of our station.”




    Solo Performer


    Jen Sygit


    Runners-up: Wally Pleasant and Griff


    Jen Sygit began performing her catchy blend of Americana
    and folk music not long after moving to Lansing 10 years ago for college.
    Sygit, who hosts a weekly open-mic every Tuesday at Dagwood’s, has been
    performing as a duo with fellow songwriter Sam Corbin. She said her sound is a
    blend of various forms of roots music. “It’s really a hodgepodge,” she said.
    “After a few years of living here, I started to work at Elderly Instruments.
    The couple years I worked there I got exposed to a larger variety of music. I
    started to branch out.”




    Venue


    The Green Door Blues Bar & Grill


    Runners-up: Mac’s Bar and Small Planet

    For those who prefer B.B. King over Lady GaGa, The Green Door Blues Bar
    & Grill is the watering hole to call home. The Lansing bar/music venue not
    only offers the best in blues, funk, soul, classic rock and bluegrass, but also
    a huge menu of food. From weekly performances by local favorite Steppin’ In It
    (every Monday) to an array of other talented bands offering up tasty guitar
    licks, it’s the place to go for dynamic live music, six days a week. 2005 E.
    Michigan Ave., Lansing.