Second Place: Honkytonk Heroes
Third Place: Jackass Flats
When it comes to local country music, Jackson Ward has been out there making a name for itself by playing everywhere — recently even at the annual Shad Planking event. The group is led by Tony Jackson, who’s also a regular on the new version of the Old Dominion Barn Dance, as well as a solo country artist with a popular song “Drink by Drink” on the country charts. Honkytonk Heroes is named after a classic Waylon Jennings song and performs popular hits such as “Devil Went Down to Georgia.” Jackass Flats, which started out a decade ago as an original bluegrass group, has become a full-tilt Americana juggernaut. Its most recent album is 2011’s “Rusty Feeling,” recorded and produced by Bobby Read, known for his work with Bruce Hornsby and Keller Williams.