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Best Local Album Released In The Last Year

1st Place: The Shouting Matches, Grownass Man
2nd Place: The Sue Orfield Band,
Fight The Good Fight
3rd Place: Laarks, Fiat Lux

Patience is apparently key in this year’s poll for Best Local Album. All three winners were a long time in the making, but paid off with something great. Justin Vernon’s Shouting Matches predate much of the Bon Iver hype, but this year the band finally released its debut album, Grownass Man, a bluesy, sometimes raucous record that shows off the musicality of Vernon, drummer Brian Moen, and multi-instrumentalist Phil Cook. Right behind them (and barely edging out third place) was The Sue Orfield Band’s Fight The Good Fight – the follow-up to 2009’s Bonk! Orfield has been ever-present playing live gigs, but fans waited a long time to hear new recordings from the sax player and bandleader. Finally, indie-pop veterans Laarks released their sophomore record, Fiat Lux, after working and reworking it for the better part of three years. Also, an interesting tidbit: Moen drummed on both the first and third place albums in this category. Way to go, Bri-guy. –Thom Fountain