Best Acoustic Performer Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach 2000 - Raiford Starke
Hailing from the wilds of Falls Church, Virginia, now making his home in Hallandale Beach, Colin Kenny, a.k.a. Raiford Starke, has injected the otherwise touchy-feely local acoustic scene with jagged, rawboned blasts of accomplished pickin', singin', and harp-blowin'. Sure, Starke plays a mean electric guitar for local swamp funksters the Shack Daddys and sits in with Chief Jim Billie's band whenever an opportunity to jam arises, but it's as a solo acoustic act that the thickly bearded, soft-spoken 38-year-old troubadour really shines. With one stellar CD under his belt -- last year's Speak Me -- and a fast-growing reputation as a crowd-pleasing performer, it's been a sweet year for Starke, who in recent months has opened shows for the likes of Leon Russell and Chris Duarte. The fickle folks of South Florida probably don't deserve an acoustic act this good, but with Raiford Starke it looks like we're stuck with one.