Travis Boone of Manifest the Machine pulls out his phone to take a “selfie” while preforming at the Feb. 27 BWMA.

Port Huron suits up for Blue Water Music Awards

BWMA one year away from annual event

Erick Fredendall

Travis Boone of Manifest the Machine pulls out his phone to take a “selfie” while preforming at the Feb. 27 BWMA.
Travis Boone of Manifest the Machine pulls out his phone to take a “selfie” while preforming at the Feb. 27 BWMA.

Snappily dressed musicians and fans gathered on Feb. 27 at the Blue Water Music Awards to celebrate what organizer David Whitt called “an awesome year in music for Port Huron.”
The Blue Water Music Awards (BWMA) debuted last year after Whitt and various other local music supporters began to brainstorm various ways to acknowledge and showcase local talent in the Port Huron community.
“I believe in my heart that we have, not just some of, but the best musicians in the world right here in our little town,” Whitt said. “Our music scene is so deep that this award show was bound to happen sooner or later.”
The American Legion Post No. 8 hosted the BWMA this year. According to Whitt, out of the 270 chair set up for the event, few were left vacant.
“The turnout was amazing,” said Whitt.
Sixteen awards, ranging from “Best Cover,” “Amateur of the Year,” to the “WTF Award” were presented at the BWMA.
The BWMA also featured live performances from various bands, including Charlie James and the Silver Devils, Yeddie in the Woods, Rhinos and Winos, Fifth Avenue, Dick Hickey, Manifest the Machine, and Cool Kids Communication.
The BWMA Academy also added three new categories to the award ceremony this year: Best DJ, Best Hip-Hop, and Producer of the Year.
Randy Willis, owner and producer at SS Sounds in Port Huron, received both Producer of the Year and Fan of the Year at this year’s awards.
“It’s great and brings to the forefront that Port Huron and the surrounding areas have a great scene going on,” Willis said.
Another recipient, “DJ View” Gage O’Barsky, walked away with the Amateur of the Year award. At 15 year’s old, O’Barsky sets the bar as the youngest recipient of a BWMA award.
“It’s incredible, I can’t wait to bring this to school tomorrow,” O’Barsky said.
Nominees for the awards are chosen by the BWMA Academy, a group of producers, musicians, and supporters who monitor the local music scene for potential candidates.
Three nominees are selected for each category. The Academy then turns the choice over to the public, whose vote determines who walks away with a BWMA trophy.
According to Whitt, the focus for the 2014-15 BWMA is to tweak the Academy process, possibly add new categories, and encourage more participation from the city.
Whitt intends on coordinating the event next year and then easing into the background, possibly passing along the event to the Blue Water Social Club.
“We have talked about taking it over, and it looks like that will be what happens,” said Ryan McInnis, a spokesperson for the club.
Musicians, producers, or fans interested in participating in the BWMA are encouraged to reach out to David Whitt at

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