All-Time Best Band: The Dirty Dogs All-Time Best Solo Artist: Jeb Loy Nichols Best New Band: Teenage Bottlerocket
Eric “Roscoe” Ambel has been a Del-Lord, a Blackheart, and the lead guitarist for the Dukes (Steve Earle’s band), but before all that, while at the University of Wyoming, he was one of the DIRTY DOGS. The Dolls-esque punkers released the cult hit “Sorority Girl,” before moving to LA and becoming the Accelerators. (The Phoenix tracked down a rare mp3 of that tune, which we immediately destroyed, as we promised we would. Thanks, secret source!) | Silky-voiced singer JEB LOY NICHOLS is a square peg from a square-shaped state. Just try and pigeonhole this Equality State–born singer/songwriter who — after ingesting punk as a New York art student, then moving to London, where he shared a flat with Neneh Cherry and the Slits’ Ari Up, and finally settling in freaking Wales — has proven himself a musical meteorologist, producing a quiet storm of equal bits soul, reggae, country, and folk. Think Marvin Gaye and James Taylor collaborating in cowboy hats. | Ironic punk pop clearly inspired by the Ramones is the calling card of Laramie’s TEENAGE BOTTLEROCKET. While they can occasionally veer off into Blink 182 territory, Kody Templeman (former leader of Wyoming punkers the Lillingtons) and co. seed enough humorous hatred into the mix (“Blood Bath at Burger King”) to keep it real.