Votes for the 2018 Siouxland’s Choice Awards are being tallied up, so it’s only a matter of time before we find out which local bands are “best.”
Until those results are officially announced, take a look a look at this year’s nominees in the Local Country or Acoustic Band category:
In Due Time
This group was introduced to the music scene in November 2016 and marked the return of drummer Risty Bryce. After being diagnosed with idiopathic neuropathy many years ago, Bryce loss the use of his legs and was confined to a wheelchair. Through a fancy contraption called Drum Sparx, Bryce is now able to drum again. Paired alongside bassist Jeremy Cameron and the soulful vocalist and guitarist Amber Anderson-Britton, Bryce and the gang perform a mix of originals and covers. In Due Time recently opened Marty's Tap's Tiny Stage Concert Series Volume 2.
The Riata Band
This premier country group travels all across the tri-state area playing shows for eager fans. According to the group's website, The Riata Band plays an average of 50 nights a year. With a repertoire of rock, blues and current county songs, the band is confident it can entertain anybody. What sets The Riata Band apart from the rest? Apart from watching band member Dave Russel flex his muscles playing almost any guitar he can get his hands on (including the awesome lap steel guitar), those three-way vocal harmonies are sure fun to listen to.
While he is most known for providing impressive guitar work to the Sioux City desert rock band Port Nocturnal, Spencer Aspleaf seems to impress audiences with a solo acoustic act. Armed with only a guitar and his raw voice, the singer has been playing bar-to-bar and has proved he's done more than play background music. When he plays, people listen. And that's all a musician can really hope for isn't it?
Lil' Red & the Medicated Moose Band
Reporter's note: I neglected to mention the third instrumental member of the Lil' Red & the Medicated Moos band, drummer Matt VanMeter. If it wasn't for him, I can only imagine the husband and wife duo would be horribly off beat. Thus, he deserves credit for keeping those crazies in line.
This husband-and-wife acoustic duo is one of the most expressive and personable groups playing in Siouxland today. Between the duo's onstage banter and playful approach to live music, it's abundantly clear that Tiffany Jurries (Lil' Red) and Bryan Jurries (the Medicated Moose) make one hell of a good team. If you're not smiling two minutes into a Lil' Red & the Medicated Moose Band show, something might be wrong with you.
Saviors & Outlaws
You have to give respect to a band that describes rock 'n' roll as its Coke and country music as its Jack Daniels. The guys in Saviors & Outlaws make it known that they're not the types of musicians you hear on today's country radio. As you can probably tell by the band's name, the group has an outlaw approach to country, which is oh-so welcomed. The four-piece has been putting in work for the past few years developing its sound and its place in the Sioux City music scene. Expect more from this group in the coming years.