This version corrects the spelling of Cody Ackors and mentions that bandmate Jeff Weathers is a fellow Baylor alumnus.
By Rob Bradfield
Two former Baylor students were among the big winners at the 2012 Austin Music Awards.
Jeff Weathers, Baylor alumnus and drummer for the Austin based Quiet Company, received the award for best drummer. Cody Ackors, Quiet Company’s trombone player, and Weathers joined Willie Nelson as Baylor dropouts honored by the Awards.
Quiet Company won a total of nine awards including Band of the Year, Album of the Year, and Best Rock Group. In the individual awards, Quiet Company’s lead singer Taylor Muse took Best Male Vocalist, Best Songwriter, and Musician of the Year. The rest of the band received nominations in every eligible category.
“We worked hard and we’re really proud of the record we put out and I’m glad to see that other people are enjoying it,” Ackors said.
According to Ackors some of the bands biggest inspiration comes from the Beatles, as well as groups like the Smiths, Weezer, and other contemporary musicians.
“Most of the guys in this band grew up in the nineties and never got done listening to the nineties pop-punk stuff,” Ackors said, “We’ve mixed that with our own sound.”
Since the group formed in 2005 Quiet company has played over 500 shows across the country, opening for bands like Eisley and Los Lonely Boys. Even while touring cross country they have tried to maintain their fan base in Texas, and have developed their own unique flavor of the Austin vibe.
During the festival, they could be found standing on Austin’s Sixth street wearing cardboard signs advertising free hugs and high fives to anyone that wanted. During the past few years they have headlined shows at some of Texas’ biggest venues.
Playing with Quiet Company at the Austin Music Awards were a laundry list of artist that have gained fame both in Austin and across the country.
Other acts included one time reunions of the Grammy winning Christopher Cross group, and popular Austin-based neo-psychedelic Sixteen Deluxe. The ceremony also featured performances from recent Austin Music Hall of Fame inductees like singer songwriter Patty Griffin, and Latin music star Joe “The King” Carrasco.
Austin roots rock standards Carolyn Wonderland and Ruthie foster teamed up for a joint set which culminated in a cover of Bob Marley’s “No Woman No Cry.” The audience stood and applauded as Foster called for an end to state cuts in women’s healthcare, to a chorus of “everything’s gonna be alright.”
The biggest act of the night came when the well traveled, and well connected, session musician Alejandro Escovedo presented a string of his contacts from the years that culminated in a semi-surprise performance by Bruce Springsteen.
Throughout the big name performances, the Awards still focused on the smaller musicians. Awards were given to veteran groups, teenagers, big bands, and individuals. The acceptance speeches were short, long, garbled, and even profane, but they all thanked the fans and city that fostered their success.
Julian L Fernandez, from the Conjunto band Los Texas Wranglers, captured in short what everyone else was trying to say. “Austin Texas is where everything is music,” Fernandez said.