Hundreds pack Palace Theatre for 19th Annual SAMMY awards

The VanNostrand Brothers perform at the SAMMY Awards

The best of Central New York music gathered at the Palace Theatre on Friday night for the 19th annual Syracuse Area Music Awards. As hundreds of people cheered, dozens of bands and artists from around the region were honored with different awards.

At the beginning of the night, the 2013 SAMMY Hall of Fame class was recognized, and one of those hall of famers was Scott Sterling, the music director at Dinosaur Barb-B-Que. Sterling says he's humbled by the honor, and is impressed by the talent the SAMMY's brings together.

"This is a great thing for music in the community," Sterling says. "To see all kinds of music really presented in one night, five or six performances and award for all the music categories."

He is one of the several musicians and groups who have been in Syracuse for decades, many proud that they have been relevant for so long. Gary Frenay and the 'Flashcubes' won the SAMMY for the Best Rock Album, and Frenay says the older bands are still alive and kickin'.

"The 'Flashcubes' started in 1977," Frenay says. "And to still be around and to still be pitched for an honor like this is amazing, and there's two other bands in the category that are as old or older than we are, so it's like the old guys have the juice."

But for the band 'Mojo Gravy', who were in the running for a People's Choice Award, it was their first SAMMY's, and they enjoyed the camaraderie and similarities they shared with the other groups in attendance, especially considering their location outside the city of Syracuse.

"Not only is it great for the Syracuse area, but for the outskirts as well, being from Camden, NY, we try to play as much as we can and promote ourselves, and I think the rest of the bands can say that as well," Angelo DePasquale, who plays percussion for the group, says.

But, the older generation of musicians still have some advice from their decades of experience in the industry.

"Don't let anybody steal your dream," Bob Fleming of the 'Mossback Mule Band', says. "Go out and get it, it's in your heart and soul...if it's in your heart and soul, you can't do anything about it."