Mandy Allen, Girl Haggard
Girl Haggard's bosslady in charge, Mandy Allan, takes the top female vocalist crown. The nine tracks on their 75orLess Records debut Country and Eastern revolve around shot-and-a-beer tales of white trash love, and the addition of singer/guitarist Hank Sinatra Jr. lights a fire under Allan on the comical duet "Drunk, Broke and In Love." And with Allan howling away — "I'm drunk, I'm pissed, and I'm coked up, and still pretty sure I love you" — on "Pick Up Lines," how can you not be smitten? Big bassman (and omnipresent bouncer/bartender) Aaron Jaehnig and drummer John Hunter keep the pace brisk for Allan to tear through country-punk thumpers like "Providence and Bourbon" and "Early and Often" (a raucous salute to the E&O Tap), and their live show is not to be missed (check out Allan and the boys this weekend at Firehouse 13).
2. Missa, the Jesse Minute (write-in)
3. Rebecca Mitchell, Whorepaint
4. Allysen Callery