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Fans can support Pittsburgh-area musicians in indie awards

| Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Three musicians from Pittsburgh have been nominated for Independent Music Awards. Brook Annibale, Ernie Hawkins and Margot B. have been picked as finalists for the awards, which feature a mix of well-known and emerging performers.

"I had no idea if I'd even have a chance at the nomination," says Annibale, a graduate of Moon High School who recently moved to Nashville.

Annibale's "Silence Worth Breaking" is nominated for best adult-contemporary album.

Prospective nominees pay a $30 fee to be considered for the awards. The nominees are selected by the Independent Music Awards staff in Cliffton, N.J. A panel of judges that includes Keith Richards, Tom Waits, Suzanne Vega, Tori Amos, Ozzy Osbourne, Shelby Lynne and Michael Franti will select the winners in categories that span the musical spectrum. Fans also can vote for their favorites in different categories.

Artists who release material on their own or on independent labels are eligible for the Independent Music Awards, now in its 11th year. That explains the presence of nominees such as Bruce Cockburn, Larry Carlton and Melissa Ferrick, musicians with name recognition who are no longer affiliated with major labels.

Hawkins, of Point Breeze, earned nominations for tribute album for "Whinin' Boy," and cover song for "Shuffle Rag." Margot B., a graduate Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts School, also received a nomination for cover song for her version of "Breakeven."

Winners of each category receive promotional considerations, including distribution of their music in China.

"I'm excited to see what other opportunities it may lead to and what kind of exposure it will produce within the independent music scene," Annibale says.

Fans can vote at www.independentmusicawards.com . The deadline for voting is July 20.

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