photo by Cathrine L. Walters - THE LIL’ SMOKIES
  • The Lil’ Smokies
  • photo by Cathrine L. Walters

The Lil’ Smokies leave scorch marks wherever they play. In the two years since they dropped their debut album, these progressive bluegrass pickers have cemented their spot atop Missoula’s roots music scene. Beer-fed and bluegrass-bred, the six versatile musicians have driven the equivalent to Mars and back, playing shows and festivals all over the West, from Colorado to Washington, Reno to Whitefish. Their latest triumph was winning the band competition in the 42nd Telluride Bluegrass Festival last month, the true acid test for world-class bluegrass outfits. The Lil’ Smokies have arrived, and it’s looking like they’re going to be here for a while. The Lil' Smokiesthelilsmokies.com

Finalists, Best Band

2. Tom Catmull's Radio Statictomcatmull.com

3. Wartime Blueswartimeblues.com