1. Best Local Band
Want to dance till you can’t feel your legs? Smile till you can’t feel your face? Get your funk on with Funk You and your wishes will come true. This six-piece Augusta-based band rouses its audience with an eclectic fusion of funk, reggae, jazz and hip hop resulting in a continuous wave of high-energy sound that will make you wonder what you ever did to deserve so much fun. The talented chaps of Funk You are Will Clark on drums, Will Foster on the keys, Gavin Hamilton on vocals and percussion, Evan Miller on guitar, Palmer Owens on percussion and Rob Thompson on bass. Rock on and Funk You.
2. Best Local Solo Artist
Raymond Fulcher of Harlem won best local solo artist for his country style. Now a resident of Nashville, Tennessee, Fulcher spends his time writing songs about growing up country, going to football games and pretty girls letting their hair down. As well as playing all over the Southeast with his band, Country Line, Fulcher has released two albums — Turn it Up and Paint this Town — which are both available for download on YouTube.
4. Best Local Visual Artist
Leonard “Porkchop” Zimmerman
We all love us some Porkchop. A designer at Wier-Stewart by day and all-round visual talent at all other times, Leonard has touched the hearts of many with his expressive robots, bold and brightly-colored characters and his free-to-share HAPPY campaign. Among Porkchop’s work are murals at the Augusta-Richmond County library and the Augusta Water Works along Wrightsboro Road, and one of the painted traffic boxes on Broad Street. The SCAD graduate developed his HAPPY campaign as a means of sharing hope and smiles with the world, an act that has brightened many peoples’ days with its positive message. Indeed, Leonard’s HAPPY robot stickers, badges, billboards and more can be found dotting the landscape of the CSRA and far beyond, including such distant exotic destinations as Japan, the U.K., Canada, New Zealand, and even Ohio. Want to share the HAPPY? Send an SAE to Porkchop at PO BOX 501, Augusta, GA 30903 and he’ll send you some stickers at no cost to you.
5. Best Dance Studio
When your alumni dancers are Tony Award winners (Sutton Foster) and “So You Think You Can Dance” winners (Kathryn McCormick), it’s not a big surprise to be named best dance studio. With more than 30 years of experience, Augusta West and its studio of Fury’s Ferry Road is home to five performing companies with 61 members total. They train dancers year-round in every style from ballet and musical theatre to hip-hop and tap, and travel throughout the U.S. to compete, perform and take classes. Those who come to Augusta West know that, when they walk out, they just might be on their way to becoming the nation’s next household name.
Call 706-860-0998 or visit augustawestdance.com.
6. Best Place to Take Music Lessons
Whether you are looking for private lessons, kids classes, adult music instruction or summer camps, Portman’s Music Superstore offers lessons in everything from learning to play the trombone to exploring the world of Bluegrass instruments. Known as the largest music store in Georgia and serving the Peach State since 1936, Portman’s is widely acclaimed for its quality instruments and outstanding music academy.
8. Best Local Radio Station
9. Best Morning Radio Show
Hosted by Mike Tyler, Jenny Perry and WB, the Kicks 99 Wake Up Krew helps folks of the CSRA start the day with some the best in new country, the latest news, and a lot of laughs. Kicks 99 is part of the Beasley family of local radio stations, and the host of the annual Guitar Pull. Some of the hardest working radio personalities on air; Kicks 99 prides itself on its passionate and loyal listeners and community-focused events. Seriously, these guys are all heart. Find out what all they are doing by following them on Facebook, or check out their website for the latest in news, country music releases, ticket giveaways and more!
10. Best Talk Radio Host
Love him or hate him, you can’t deny Austin Rhodes has his finger on the pulse of Augusta. A controversial talking head on WGAC each afternoon, Austin has been around long enough to know better, but he still manages to push people’s buttons and get to the heart of many a local news story. Whether he’s voicing his thoughts on current national events, local politics, the goings-on of Richmond County’s finest or just talking football, Austin is undoubtedly the master of getting this town talking. Once anointed “the most dangerous man in Augusta”, even his Facebook page contains a disclaimer for the easily offended — truly, you have been warned.
11. Best TV Personality
When Jay Jefferies is on the air in the morning at local NBC affiliate WAGT, there’s no telling what might happen. And that’s just one of the reasons why the Augusta area has embraced the forecaster, who joined WAGT’s weather team in 2005. But that’s not the only reason. Sure, his presence when we’re not quite awake on weekday mornings is more than likely to make us laugh and get our day off to a good start, but Jay isn’t just a good-natured jokester. He’s also a serious community activist who often uses his drumming and acting talents to help worthy causes. He and his partner in crime, Barclay Bishop, often host events, and Jay has been known to get out of the car and work the crowds when he acts as grand marshal in parades. His latest cause, however, is one that’s near and dear to his heart. After a brush with heart disease and a warning stroke, Jay now uses his spare time informing others of the warning signs and urging them to take care of themselves. So, we asked you: What’s not to love? Your answer? Nothing!
Call 706-826-0026 or visit nbc26.tv.