By LESLIE EIKLEBERRY
The Sunset Sinners are winners!
Coming off a busy summer concert schedule, the local band was named Entertainer of the Year (Group) in the Southern Rock/Country Rock category of the Josie Music Awards. The awards were presented during a two-day event Friday and Saturday in the Country Tonite Theatre in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
"This is totally cool and a great honor," said Sunset Sinners' drummer Blake Blackim. "Anytime you can be recognized, its a big deal. Is this the CMAs? No. But it is just right under the CMAs. This recognition shows that we're on the right track."
According to the organization's website, "the Josie Music Awards was created solely to celebrate those in the independent music industry that work so hard every day and deserve to have a night of their own."
During an interview in May when the award show nominations were revealed, Blackim told Salina Post that the nomination came about after he was interviewed a few weeks prior on The Josie Show by Josie Passantino, who also is the namesake of the awards show. The internet radio show can be heard on Thursday nights.
Blackim said Passantino encouraged the Sunset Sinners to submit its Always Time for One More Beer for award consideration. As it turned out, the song led to the Sunset Sinners being nominated for Group of the Year in the Southern Rock/Country Rock category.
Because of the rigid review process for the Josie Music Awards, just being nominated for an award is an honor. According to the Josie Music Awards website, "Nominee suggestions go through a lengthy review process by a team of industry leaders and the official nomination list is created from their final decisions. Winners are also selected by this industry leader team (this review team has no connection to independent artists)."
Recognition for the Sunset Sinners doesn't stop with the Josie Music Awards. A few of weeks ago, the band's debut album, a compilation of their singles, was released, and it is already garnering attention. Fireworks, a music magazine in the United Kingdom, has scheduled a glowing review of the Sunset Sinners' album in its October issue. Additionally, another U.K. music magazine, Powerplay, has scheduled a feature about the Sunset Sinners for its November issue.
Blackim said the album is available on all the major music streaming services.
Additionally, two Sunset Sinners' singles - Old Glory and Friday Night - have been seen on the Nashville Music Row Charts, Blackim said.
What's next for the Sunset Sinners? The band's patriotic-themed show, Red, White, & Brews is scheduled for 8 p.m. Oct. 15 in the Stiefel Theatre, 151 S. Santa Fe Avenue. Kansas City based blues rock powerhouse MAHAN, featuring guitarist extraordinaire Howard Mahan, is scheduled to open the show, according to information from the Stiefel Theatre.
Tickets are $23 for general admission and can be purchased from noon-5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Stiefel Theatre walk-up window box office next to the main entrance. Additionally, you can call the Stiefel at 785-827-1998 to buy direct or buy online at stiefeltheatre.org.
Sunset Sinners will bring their Red White & Brews Tour to the Stiefel Theatre as the ultimate party concert to honor military, veterans, and first responders.
"We're all about honoring active military, veterans, and first responders," Blackim told Salina Post when the concert was announced. "It's because of them that we're able to go out and play and perform! We even wrote a song called Old Glory that's recently been on the Nashville radio charts. It's dedicated to everyone that had the courage to sign up and serve."