BEST VOCALIST (MALE) Minneapolis 2007 - Mike Gunther
With a wail of reprobation and a warning howl, stripped-down blues barnstormer Mike Gunther sings tales of souls gone astray and the mortal consequences they face. There's high drama in his delivery: On last year's Burn It Down for the Nails, Gunther inflected his voice with rollicking country-road rhythms and dark pulpit-bark. God may not have seen fit to grace him with a golden throat; he must summon emotions as if they're spirits, rather than coast on natural beauty. But Gunther still uses his weather-worn instrument to send chills down the spines of straying sinners—that is, all of us.