They played it. You watched it and voted. Now it's time to honor the winners of the 2021 Junkyard Music Awards.
"It's been more than a joy to be involved with watching people come out of their shell and move into these people that can just really put it out there on stage," said organizer Joe Smith.
The show, 7 p.m. Sunday at the Montgomery Performing Arts Centre, features music from OTI, Hinton Bloom, Allen Sanders, and Smith's Full Moon Band, and will be hosted by Rick Hendrick.
Tickets are $10, and are available for purchase at the MPAC Box Office. For more information call 334-481-5100.
There will also be a red carpet photo shoot. Smith said guests should show up in their best rock star apparel.
"It's just been very humbling for me to be able to be involved with people. And I don't really want to name anybody because it's been everybody," Smith said.
The show's origin, and its name, stretches back to 2017 in a salvage building behind Ralph Smith Motors on Wetumpka highway. According to Smith, the first show had 15 people in attendance, and 8 artists preformed that night. The monthly show's audience quickly grew It quickly grew to about 80. The shows featured 12 to 14 acts, each of which played two songs.
"You never knew what you’d get," Smith said.
Some of the solo acts had never been on stage before.
"Sometimes, magically, someone or a band who’d never darkened a stage before would bring down the house by preforming like pros," Smith said.
The last Junkyard Awards Show was held in 2019 on New Year's Eve. Just over a month later, the final show at that site was February 6, 2020. Smith said it featured a showcase of the finest talent that had participated in the Junkyard, and that it was a breathtaking finale to this venue.
"Over the course of its run, the junkyard saw children develop over time into incredible bands who would preform flawlessly some of the best music ever performed," Smith said. "It provided a platform for older musicians who had long since quit playing out get back on stage to rekindle their passion. And all acts in between. It was a zoo really, and the intimacy was so genuine you could feel it in your soul."
After most of a year's break, the Junkyard was reborn on the Montgomery Performing Arts Centre's stage in December 2020. COVID had made a shambles of live entertainment. Over lunch, Smith and MPAC general manager Allen Sanders who was meditating on ways to keep people engaged and employed.
Smith asked Sanders, “Why don’t I bring the Junkyard to the MPAC?“ Allen immediately said that would be awesome.
"The rest has been an incredible adventure to bring many new musicians to play the big stage, and what a ride it has been," said Smith, who described Sanders as a kindred spirit.
"He embraced everything the Junkyard was," Smith said.
The MPAC show began with on-stage seating, but quickly expanded to put the audience in MPAC's theater seating.
Over the past year, Junkyard has seen performances from artists like YunRo, Tony and Melissa, The PluSabo Effect, Reid Beasley, Michael Jay Hughes, Ashley Morgan Band, Tim Pepping, Grames Band, Kent Cooper, Bo Doc, Wesley Hill, Alter Ego, Donovan Rillion, Blue Yonder, Sydni Sikes, Tony Graden, The Gunmen, Shades of Gray, Loosely Bound, Sucker Punch, Mike Keen, Paul Duncan, Katie Crews, Damn Skippy, Mama and the Groove Magic, Tia Coker and Eli Porter.
"This has been a very successful journey, in my opinion," Smith said.
Contact Montgomery Advertiser reporter Shannon Heupel at email@example.com.
This article originally appeared on Montgomery Advertiser: Another year of music honored: Junkyard Music Awards are Sunday