Best Country Band: The Ganges River Band

You can take the man out of Texas, but you can’t take Texas out of the man. So it goes for Aaron Dugas, who fronts The Ganges River Band and whose vocals sound as though they were lifted straight off a dusty road somewhere in the Lone Star state. “When I moved here from Houston,” Dugas remembers, “I was going to start the only honky-tonk band in Seattle.” Funny thing about the country scene in Seattle—there is one. After securing a day job with Motivated Movers (a moving company that also employs Davidson Hart Kingsbery), Dugas learned he wasn’t the only Americana game in town, but his gravelly tone—similar to the dry croon of Son Volt’s Jay Farrar—shines nonetheless on his self-titled full-length LP. With his band, a rotating cast that includes high-school buddy and bass player Steven Burnett and pedal steel player “Country” Dave Harmonson, songs like “Winter All the Time” and “I Am Your Man” have just the right amount of twang. And they’re bringing Seattle music fans to their feet. “Every show we’ve played, everyone was dancing,” says Dugas. “Even friends we knew didn’t know how were doing it.”

 
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