BEST LOCAL R&B BAND (1998)
When they released their self-titled CD back in 1996, Vanguard was a bevy of singers specializing in playfully pleading harmonies backed by sharp beats and long, arching guitar solos; influences included P-Funk, Cameo, and Prince. Since then, a combination of personnel changes and the added experience of the remaining members has sharpened the group. Live, the tighter mesh of bass, drums, and keyboards has given the group another propulsive gear. Next time they emerge from the studio, they should be ready for more national notice.