Best Local Acoustic Performer (1999)

Marie Nofsinger

She came from Massachusetts and has long inhabited South Florida, but Marie's songs seem to drift out of western borderlands, all smoky with mesquite and a Texas-size longing. Standing resolute, cradling her guitar as both friend and shield, she sings of big empty skies and worn-out boots, looking back wistfully on love and history with a knowing voice that would almost break your heart if not for her punctuating smiles. After years of hustling cassettes, Nofsinger proudly released her first CD this year. Entitled Boots (Nofsinger is one folkie you won't see in sandals!), it is a great collection of acoustic originals featuring her confident strumming augmented by friends like Dusty Rhodes on bass and Bobby Hester on harmonica. Marie is a troubadour of the first order, gracing not just the stages of the region's top folk festivals but the late-night song-swaps around the campfires where reputations are made, places where she is known as one of the best.

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