[the sea of waking dreams]

McLachlan wins big at West Coast awards

The Vancouver Sun November 9, 1998

Kerry Gold, Sun Pop Music Writer

Sarah McLachlan was the big winner at the West Coast Music awards Sunday, capturing awards in all four categories in which she was nominated, including songwriter of the year for Sweet Surrender, single of the year for Building a Mystery, best rock/pop album for Surfacing and best female vocalist.

The sweep couldn't have come at a better time for McLachlan, who's embroiled in a legal battle with former 54-40 drummer Darryl Neudorf. Neudorf is seeking a share of royalties for songs he claims he co-wrote from McLachlan's debut album Touch.

McLachlan beat out Christine Duncan, Suzanne Gitzi, Tara McLean and Bif Naked in the female vocalist category. McLachlan's Surfacing took the rock/pop album award from Econoline Crush's The Devil You Know, the Matthew Good Band's Underdogs, Bif Naked's I Bificus and Pure's Feverish.

McLachlan's manager, Terry McBride, received the industry builder prize. The Matthew Good Band beat out Veda Hille for live performer of the year and Good beat Age of Electric's Todd Kerns and John Bottomley for best male vocalist. Musician of the year went to jump bluesman Colin James, and Long John Baldry picked up best blues/R&B album for Right to Sing the Blues.

Legendary Vancouver western swing musician Ray Condo and his Ricochets took away best country album for Door to Door Maniac, and the Paperboys nabbed best folk/roots/traditional album for Molinos. Best independently distributed rock/pop album went to Damn the Diva for Flow and Steer.

Metalwood picked up best jazz album for its eponymous release.  Best classical album went to the CBC Orchestra with James Sommerville for Mozart Horn Concertos. The Rascalz won best dance/hip hop/rap album for Cash Crop. Best world music album was Silk Road's Endless, and Bing Jensen picked up best children's album nod for Big Fat Hug.

The recording engineer award went to Randy Staub for Veruca Salt's Eight Arms to Hold You. Dale Penner won the producer award for Holly McNarland's Stuff, and best video direction went to Adam Sliwinski for Farmer's Daughter's Inclemency.

The bizarrely inappropriate prize for "most supportive journalist of the year" went to Jeff Bateman.

The show, hosted by Colin James, was held at the Plaza of Nations' Enterprise Hall before an audience of about 900 people.  It is the first time that the two-year-old awards show, formerly called the Pacific Music Industry Awards, will be televised. The Pacific Music Industry Association produced the event in partnership with CBC-TV. A two-hour show will air regionally Nov. 22; a national one-hour show date hasn't yet been announced.

CBC regional director Rae Hull aims to make next year's show a live broadcast. She said awards shows have the momentum and sense of excitement that works for a TV audience. "We thought the calibre of West Coast musicians and the talent here was such that it deserved to get that kind of profile." The show wasn't aired live this year because it would have proved too cumbersome for the new venture.

The PMIA's mandate is to give exposure and support to the B.C.  music industry. The West Coast Music Awards revives a tradition established by the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, which sponsored a similar awards program that fell by the wayside almost a decade ago.

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