And the winner is …

… the people who struggle to do music in Sacramento.

For the 13th time, the Sammies are upon us, and we’re hoping to heap some recognition on a number of local bands and soloists who labor throughout the year to entertain and, at times, inspire us.

And each year, despite our best efforts, there are a few in the music community who want to whine, kvetch and throw stones at us for the Sammie awards and how they’re done. Sour grapes from those not recognized? Perhaps. But because we throw a fair amount of stones here, it’s encouraged. We move on. So, we’ve decided to examine the Sammies process and update it. The Sammies organizers broadened the number of people on the nomination committee. There are now 40 people in the Sacramento music world—including deejays, studio owners, critics, show promoters and others—who nominate artists. The Sammies’ crew then holds showcase nights to allow people a chance to see the nominated bands perform live in local venues before they vote.

But let’s see it for what it is. It comes down to a popularity contest. We get in thousands of votes, tally them up and contact the engraver. The awards show presents a chance to see 13 bands spread across the categories and also to applaud the winners onstage. We tend to focus on the recognition factor for all the nominees and hope it stimulates the local scene.

And we think we’ve chosen an appropriate scenester for our cover story this week (“Rock ’n’ roll survivor”). Mike Farrell embodies the struggles that local artists endure to keep you rockin’.

So, throw stones if you will—because no process such as the Sammies can be perfect—but it’s really about the musicians.