Highlights from the past year in Alaska music, plus a look ahead at 2023

In Alaska, 2022 was in many ways a year of musical transition. After several years of live music decline due to the pandemic, last year felt more like a return to normalcy with performers returning to touring and regular live gigs.

While musicians and audiences may have been prepared for its revival, venues continue to change and evolve, leaving some gaps and, in some cases, creative solutions for where to showcase your music. I’m leaving

That influx included new festivals such as Anchorage’s Sundown Solstice Festival and Ninilchik’s Sacred Acres.

The Daily News brought together local promoters, artists and aficionados to voice their opinions on the year of Alaskan music.

Nick Carpenter’s project Medium Build was popular among respondents for his recent recordings and live performances in 2022, while Ashley Young was featured as a potential breakout star for 2023. was given.

We asked the panel six questions about their favorites for 2022, their predictions for 2023, and even their dream Alaskan performer duo.

Favorite shows of 2022 from Alaskan artists

bassist Jay Straw, Jeffries: Optional by estate sale

Annie BartholomewJuneau Musician/Playwright: Sitka jazz composers Ed Littlefield and Jill Kirsteen Meserve will perform at “Where The Summit Meets the Stars” at Juneau’s Perseverance Theater this fall. Ed grounded Frank Henry Kaash Katasse’s otherworldly new play into a highly creative and unexpected soundscape of found percussion objects, while the actor brought Jake Waid to his 1970s ‘s Dud Rock got into the action with his classic whistling duets.

Gambling and the Blues Brothers concert at High Costa Living and the movie screening in Juneau were insane! Anything that Juneau movie mogul Colette Costa touches is legendary, but this was the best for her too. The show had a set change, girls dancing, a full brass band playing, and even a police car drive-by that took us all the way to Chicago.

Ed Washingtonmulti-instrumentalist/songwriter, The Ed Washington Experience: The Ed Washington Experience Live at Studio C

Casey Smith, Fairbanks guitarist/songwriter casey smith project: We had the privilege of touring with SunDog this summer and the show we played together at the Alaskan Hotel and Bar in Cordova was awesome. The Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s cover of ‘American Guilt’ is excellent.

Abi Sparkman, guitarist/songwriter sun dog: Halloween Weekends including Conservatory, The Store and High Femmes

Cody Herron-Webb AK concert: It’s hard to pick just one, so I’ll take a lot! This year was my first time attending the Trapper Creek Bluegrass Festival and it was a lot of fun. It was a great experience to be able to listen to music day and night while camping near the stage. Plus, it’s BYOB and crazy dog ​​friendly outfits are encouraged. This is quite difficult!

Favorite recordings (albums or singles) by Alaskan artists of 2022

straw: I have no idea. I’m listening to podcasts.

Bartholomew: “From the Land of Rusted Dreams” by Erin Heist is one of my favorite records. Whether it’s a song you wanted to write or a song you can’t get out of your head, it sounds classic right away. No one captures the loneliness, claustrophobia, and beauty of life off the road in the Southeast better.

Washington: Ed Washington “Hedonism”

Smith: This is a toss-up of either the medium build ‘Never Learned to Dance’ or Quinn Christofferson’s ‘Evelene’.

Helen Payares, ShowDown Productions: A difficult one! We have a lot. Medium Build’s ‘Never Learned to Dance’ and Husse’s ‘Strawberry Blonde’ are on many playlists. In terms of albums, I’m currently obsessed with Ed Washington’s Hedonism and Jay Simmons’ Polaris 1111.

Sparkman: Medium build ‘comeback’

Heron Webb: An album released by Roland Roberts called ‘So It Goes’ is something I’ve been delving into a lot lately. The whole album is good, but the songs “35 and Single”, “Cover Band Blues” and “Better Off” are my favourites. “Cover Band Blues” gets me up and dancing, and “Better Off” makes me feel.

Which Alaskan band or artist is ready to break out in 2023?

straw: wash hands

Bartholomew: Arias Hoyle/Air Jazz: He is a very talented presenter and one of my favorite performers to see on stage. His creativity is limitless.

Ashley Young: We were blown away by her performance at the Crystal Saloon’s Babe Fest this fall! Gunalchéesh was kind to Taylor Vidic for introducing her to Juno.

Sundown Solstice Festival, Showdown Productions, Electronic Dance Music, EDM, Concerts, Downtown

Ed Washington: Ed Washington, St. Deon, Hasse, Ashley Young, Rosie Rush

Smith: I have to thank fellow Fairbanks artist Hart Machine. She has an angelic voice and very poetic lyrics.

pair: I think the Medium build has had its breakout moment, but I think 2023 will be the year Nick and Crew reach mainstream indie audiences around the world.

Anchorage’s favorite hardcore band, SHE, will release an album recorded at the renowned Los Angeles studio The Pit, known for producing the best music from punk/metal and hardcore labels. There is no doubt that this album will break nationally in its genre.

Janie Green is already in Los Angeles doing the damn thing. We can definitely see him on some big tours in 2023.

Sparkman: Ashley Young

Heron Webb: Nick Carpenter/Medium build. They put in a great performance opening the national act and have already toured a bit as a band, as did Nick and Quinn Kristofferson when they opened in Portugal. the man. The band has a huge following on Spotify. Just recently, I saw a friend from the Midwest share her Build’s new song, “Rage,” on her story. Additionally, Bear Tooth revives the first tap on medium builds. I think we (in Alaska) will have fewer of them soon, so go see them now.

AK4AK, virtual music, pamuir, medium build, small boat launch, covid-19, coronavirus

What’s a dreamy Alaskan music collaboration between two working music artists, individuals or groups?

straw: Captain Bluegrass and Cheeky Yoda

Bartholomew: Patrick Troll from Ketchikan (DJ Alternative, Whiskey Class, Revira) and Medium Build!

Washington: Ed Washington and Husse or Ed Washington and Ashley Young

Smith: Chad Rainvan and Matt Hopper. Those boys would make great music together.

pair: just two? A funk-style band with Janie Green and his Pamuir sounds great. The creativity of these two groups of his will undoubtedly produce something great.

Sparkman: James Graves and the Sundog

Heron Webb: I would love to see TheMobPerpetual and Alaska Redd team up for some hip-hop collaboration. Alaska Redd is a Fairbanks-based but (Alaskan) rapper who likes to watch performers, and TheMobPerpetual are perfect for crafting beats and crafting catchy hooks. The two will become a powerful pair that will shake up the AK hip-hop scene.

Which outside artist would you like to see perform in Alaska in 2023?

straw: Weird Al. Last summer my mom bought me tickets to see him in Oregon, but I was here for her fair at Vanniversary and Forrest. Yes Alaska, I love you.

Bartholomew: Sierra Ferrell, Nick Shoulders, Willie Carlyle — together! Sturgill Simpson will melt when he comes.

Washington: Leanne the Hass

Casey Smith of Fairbanks-based Casey Smith Project

Smith: (Canadian singer) Andy Shauf has been on my list for a while, but I think Tame Impala is just epic.

pair: What I’d like to see is what Showdown is actively pursuing for this year’s show. choose lol.

Sparkman: Lemiwolf

Heron Webb: I love Pepper and hope to see him back, hopefully at the Solstice show on Kincaid’s lawn. I haven’t seen Chromeo yet, but it would be a great show at Bear Tooth. But the biggest concert I think would be Nickelback. They’re set to release a new album soon, so this summer would be the perfect time to get them in Alaska before playing in huge stadiums around the world again.

What developments would you like to see in Alaska’s music scene that will truly benefit musicians and performers in 2023?

straw: Cody (Herron-Webb) does the main job and has a central place for everyone to find out about upcoming shows. Performers and bands need it. This helps bring in new people who may not be on Facebook or even 21 and don’t have the connections that established acts do. This scene is special. We must have a place where new acts can go to make their presence known. You can keep it as it is.

Bartholomew: Enterprising music lovers should create block-booking tour routes so that Alaskan artists can more easily travel up north to perform. There’s a lot of great music playing on our off-road system and we want to share it with you!

pair: I know it’s under construction, but building a quality recording studio in a beautiful location in Alaska is profitable. Numerous domestic artists want to vacation and record here, but resources are limited. I think that sort of thing would also work for Alaskan artists who can fly producers.

Washington: More funding for art. More performance opportunities for R&B and hip-hop acts.

Smith: I think the hardest thing about playing in Alaska is the fair pay discrepancy at venues and that some venues don’t even pay the musicians who perform.

Sparkman: More all ages shows and medium sized venues.

Heron Webb: Is it okay if I honk my horn here? We want more people to know about AKconcerts.com and use it. It was frustrating to hear after a great show was already on, so we created a website so no one else had to miss the show.Alaska has live music every day to support the artists I think the best thing to do is go to a show (and tip them and buy some merch, of course).

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