ROCKIN' in the VALLEY • Overview & Winners of the 38th Annual REVIEW Music Awards

60 Trophies Handed Out to the Top Musical Artists Continues a Four Decade Tradition of Unparalleled Musical Creativity in the Great Lakes Bay

    Additional Reporting by
    icon May 16, 2024
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On April 28th history was once again made when the 38th Annual REVIEW Music Awards Celebration  returned to The Westown Theater for an evening filled exuberance, palpable anticipation from the nominees, and explosive musical brilliance resonating to all corners of the world with a broad range of live performances as 60 trophies were presented to musicians, bands, venues, and music related video, streaming, and production entities populating the Great Lakes Bay Region in multiple genres ranging from Jazz, Blues, Country, Rock, and  Hip-Hop.

With a total of 8,565 people casting votes during both the nomination and final voting rounds, a total of 1093 musicians & groups from the region were nominated  by the general public, with the top five nominees in each division moving to a final round of voting and the winners honored at this special annual celebration.

Over 400 nominees and attendees showed up to experience this annual gathering that brings the musical community and general public together in a celebration designed to draw greater attention and respect to the remarkable musical resources of the Mid-Michigan area.

With an evening full of unexpected surprises and standout guest musical performances, big winners of the evening in their respective genres included ADABOY!, who walked away with a total of nine trophies; Bob Hausler, who won honors in five categories, Hip-Hop artist Mike Spitz (Spitzer) with 4 trophies, and rock band Winaschnitzel, who also nailed four honors.

Both established veteran artists with longstanding legacies of excellence  and newcomers blazing fresh musical trails were honored, with exceptional  performances by guest artists that included newcomers such as saxophonist, composer, instrumentalist, and vocalist Jeff Grassl, who was joined by veteran organ & keyboard icon Pat Cronley and drummer Doug Cobb; and Val Hazel, who won Best New Artist of the Year, turning in a set mixed with covers and unique original compositions blending Western Rock, Pop & Punk sensibilities with the epic time signatures of Eastern Arabic music. 

An exceptionally animated and high-energy performance was also turned in by Benjamin Champagne and his innovative musical minstrels known as Pesky Kid, who won Best New Artist and was nominated in five categories at last year’s ceremony.  This highly original multi-media performance art project artistically radiates everything from a summer beach filled with awash with different sounds from various eras, to the genre-bending brilliance of artists such as Beck and the smooth off-kilter pop of Still Woozy blended through Champagne’s own meta-modernist filter of underground indie electro pop, 

As the only band in the 38-year history of the REVIEW Music Awards to win Best Rock Band, Best Original Band, Best Alternative Band, and Best Variety Band, the group known as ADABOY! tore down the house with their truly amazing grasp of not only multiple genres of music, but how each of those genres best suits the nature of each original songs they compose in their catalog.  With powerful 4-part harmonies, strong musicianship, and assistance from some major players in Nashville, this group could well be on the ride to national stardom within the next 12 to 18 months. 

Equally exceptional were the performances of veteran artisans such as  Twenty Dollar Dog, who won the honor of Most Innovative Artist, and respective members Bob Wall, Doug Wio, Pat Fairfield, Matt Nyquist, and Bob Hausler who won individual honors won honors in four other divisions. 

Similarly, veteran Country/Variety artist and songwriter Laurie Middlebrook along with gifted songwriter/guitiarist/vocalists Amy Petty and LoraDale charmed and seduced the audience with their beautifully rendered harmonic renditions as The Classic Women of Country Music; with the unequaled hard-edged musical mayhem, theatrical magic, and tongue-in-cheek humor of Vlad’s Skeletal Circus closing out the show for a packed theatre with a majority of the audience staying until the very end of this long and spectacular evening. 

Click here for a photo gallery from Doug Julian of the entire celebration.

So without further ado, we proudly present the winners of the 2024 38th Annual REVIEW Music Awards:


Best Metal Band • Here After Six

Best Musical Fundraising Project • Band Roulette

Best Streaming Musical Series • Michigan Music History Podcast

Best Live Music Club or Bar • Bemo's

Best Radio Station • Z93 The Rock Station

Best Videographer • Mike Beattie

Best Live Streaming Production • Michigan Music History Podcast

Best Live Performance Venue • The Vault

Best Band Website • ADABOY!

Best Alternative Band • ADABOY!

Best Music Video • WinaSchnitzel - Could it Be

Best Recording Studio • Reed Recording

Best Sound Technician • William LaFrance • Level 47

Best New Album or CD Release • WinaSchnitzel - Extended Stay

Best Recorded LP, CD or EP • Time (Voices Run) ADABOY!

Best New Artist of the Year • Val Hazel

Best New Single Release • Time (Voices Run) ADABOY!

Best Duo • Melissa May & Brian Coonan

Best Original Band • ADABOY!

Best Multi-Instrumentalist • Bob Hausler

Best Variety Band • ADABOY!

Most Innovative Artist • Twenty Dollar Dog

Best Solo Artist • Aaron Johnson


Best Rock Video • WinaSchnitzel - Could it Be?

Rock Keyboardist • Dave Banks

Rock Female Vocalist • Melissa May

Best Rock Songwriter • ADABOY!

Rock Bassist • Joe Balbaugh

Rock Drummer • Steven Schnettle

Rock Male Vocalist • Chris Rokita

Rock Guitarist • Matt Hyatt

Best Rock Band  • (TIe)   ADABOY! & Kush Robinson

Rap/Hip Hop

Best DJ • Chris Redburn

Best Rap/Hip Hop Video • Mike Spitz - Reach For Me

Best Performer • Mike Spitz

Rap/Hip Hop Artist of the Year • Mike Spitz

Best Rap/Hip Hop Songwriter • (Tie)  Mike Spitz • Kyng Laine


Best Country Video • Dada Veda & Kris Pride

Country Female Vocalist • Michele Spitz

Best Country Band • Just Folkin’ Witcha

Country Male Vocalist • Randy Badour

Country Songwriter • (Tie). Renee Belden • Bob Hausler

Best Country Musician (Instrumentalist) • Darrian Loehne


Best Small Combo • Jim Pagel Tro

Female Jazz Vocalist • Julie Mulady

Best Big Band • 23 North

Best Male Jazz Vocalist • Mitchell Lewis

Jazz Songwriter • Robert Lee Balderrama

Best Jazz Musician • Robert Lee Balderrama


Best Blues Video • Bob Hausler - They're Coming for You

Blues Instrumentalist • Rhett Yocom

Best Blues Band • The Rhett Yocom Blues Band

Best Funk Band • Kush Robinson

Female Blues Vocalist • Michele O'Neil

Blues Songwriter •  (TIe) • William Patrick Hystad •  Bob Hausler

Male Blues Vocalist • William Patrick Hystad

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