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Best Hard-to-Categorize Roots-Rock Band 

Naked Barbies

The East Bay is home to one of the Bay Area's (and the West Coast's) most underrated roots-rockin' combos, the Naked Barbies. At it for seventeen years, the Barbies (originally the Naked Barbie Dolls, but Mattel objected) sound like few other bands for two reasons: 1) They've so thoroughly woven their influences (the Band, Dusty Springfield, mid-1960s Dylan, Tammy Wynette, and AM radio circa 1967-'72) into their overall approach; and 2) Singer and chief songwriter Patty Spiglanin has one of the most distinctive voices in American music. Spiglanin's vocals are not that of a college-age waif or bitch-goddess, but of a full-grown, been-'round-the-block adult woman. The Barbies still gig semi-regularly, Patty is working on a solo set, and any/all of their albums are worth owning, especially their latest, Stay Naked (on their own NBD label).
(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)


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