Hey Rosetta!, Jill Barber clean up at East Coast Music Awards
Tara Brautigam, The Associated Press
Published Monday, March 2, 2009 9:08AM EST
CORNER BROOK, N.L. - Rock outfit Hey Rosetta! catapulted from their humble roots as a bar band on one of Canada's most notorious party strips, cleaning up Sunday night at this year's East Coast Music Awards.
The young up-and-comers, who earned their musical chops playing on George Street in St. John's, N.L., walked away with three trophies for their album, "Into Your Lungs (and around in your heart and on through your blood)."
The six-member group showcased their incendiary brand of rock, performing their infectious hit, "New Goodbye," to throngs of clapping fans at the Pepsi Centre in Corner Brook on Newfoundland's west coast.
"I think the word astounding comes to mind. This is blowing me away here," said bassist Josh Ward.
Lead singer Tim Baker, who founded the band in 2005, said he hoped the armful of trophies wouldn't add pressure to their already meteoric rise.
"We get a lot of pressure from within I think more than anything else. Trying to please ourselves is a big enough battle," Baker said, exalting the advantages of staying in Newfoundland.
"I find it really nice that it's a little bit isolated from the big buzzing scenes of Toronto and New York and Montreal or whatever. It's nice to not be in the rat race and not to be worried about what your shoes look like."
Sultry songstress Jill Barber, who recently moved to Vancouver from Halifax, won jazz recording of the year and female solo recording of the year for "Chances."
"For the most part, it's business as usual. I just have a different place to hang my hat these days," she said backstage, flaunting a black and white frock.
"I'm grateful that the jazz community has started to open their ears to my music a bit more."
Barber also offered the audience her playful number, "Oh My My."
Singer-songwriter Gordie Sampson, who hails from Cape Breton but is currently based in Nashville, won single and songwriter of the year for "We are Young and So is the Night." His mother accepted the awards on his behalf.
Nova Scotia's Matt Mays and El Torpedo, previous winners at the awards gala, took rock recording of the year for "Terminal Romance."
"To get any kind of appreciation or a chance to get any kind of attention for the hard work that we've done, it's always nice," Mays said.
Halifax band Joel Plaskett Emergency, who cleaned up at last year's event with six awards but missed out on entertainer of the year, took that honour Sunday night.
New Brunswick's Matt Andersen was another big winner, taking male solo and blues recording of the year for "Something in Between."
Canadian Idol star and Hare Bay, N.L., native Tara Oram won country recording of the year for "Chasing the Sun."
"I've dreamed of this for so long," Oram gushed.
"I'm very overwhelmed and I feel very blessed in my life to get this recognition."
Marie Nolan, wife of the late country musician Dick Nolan, was nearly speechless after accepting the lifetime achievement award honouring his 50-year career.
"I am proud of him, for sure," she said, near tears.
The annual schmoozefest and awards ceremony, hosted by CBC personality Jian Ghomesi and Newfoundland singer Damnhait Doyle, capped four days of raucous club shows celebrating Atlantic Canada's musical talent.
The awards will be held next year in Sydney, N.S., from March 4 to 7.