Higgins Will Cart Six BCCMA Awards to B-Town

For anyone sitting on the fence about ponying up for ducats to see The Higgins , the dynamic young British Columbia family band who’ll play Nov. 7 at the Admiral Theatre , the group offered up a compelling nudge Sunday night.

That is, if you put any credence in the British Columbia Country Music Association’s annual doling-out of awards. The Higgins — 26-year-old John , 22-year-old Eileen and 20-year-old Kathleen — carted off six awards, including Album of the Year for their summer release, "Real Thing."

The group also won Best Group-Duo honors in the ceremony at the Red Robinson Theatre in Coquitlam (and if there was ever a phrase that summarized country music in B.C., it’s "the Red Robinson Theatre in Coquitlam"). Their song "Flower Child," co-written with manager and co-producer David Wills , won Best Single, Best Songwriter and Best Video (directed by Stephano Barberis). They also won BCCMA’s "roots/Canadiana" award, presumably for being , well, rootsy and Canadian.

Bass player Dennis Marcenko, who played on "Real Thing," was voted onto the all-star band, but nominees John (guitar) and Eileen ("special instrument") both missed out. Eileen, who won the BCCMA honor last year for her mandolin-pickin’ proficiency, can’t feel too bad, though — earlier this fall she won the same category at the Canadian Country Music Awards … which, if you’re keeping score, is the whole flamin’ country, not just one province.

Having heard a good chunk of "Real Thing," I can attest to its appeal, not only to BCCMA voters but to the country music community in general. It’s a seamless amalgam of traditional Country and Western sounds, highlighting fresh three-part harmonies and Kathleen’s Shania Twain-esque lead vocals, a splash of young-country hubris, a tasty rock ‘n’ roll sensibility … and an overflow of energy. The songs literally jump out at you, and make you wonder just what seeing the trio (and three backing musicians) live would be like.

Pretty good, I bet.

So, if you were leaning, take it from me and the BCCMAs. Like the title of their record, The Higgins are the "Real Thing." The show’s at 8 p.m. Nov. 7 (dinner, for those with foresight and hunger, is available with reservation beginning at 6:30 p.m.).

Information: (360) 373-6743, admiraltheatre.org ; and to hear several of the more poppin’ songs off "Real Thing," you can fire up the music player at higginsmusic.com .

More later … — MM

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