2011: Nightlife | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

2011: Nightlife

<b>Best Live Music: Hal & Mal's</b>


200 S. Commerce St., 601-948-0888

Whether you are getting off work and just need to unwind, or you're going out with some friends, Hal & Mal's is a great place to have a drink and catch some of the best live music in the area—from great local acts like Horse Trailer and Los Papis, to regional and national bands such as the North Mississippi Allstars, Drive-By Truckers and Old Crow Medicine Show. You might catch a hot hip-hop artist there, or enjoy the jazz of Lisa Palmer and the Knight Bruce Group, or the best upcoming talent singer-songwriter Wednesdays hosted by the JFP's own Natalie Long. Local bands and a nice frosty beverage (I recommend the pear cider, but their selection is huge) go together like the restaurant's excellent red beans and rice. Casual attire is the way to go, and while there is a takeout option, you're robbing yourself of the full Hal & Mal's experience if you don't sit and stay for a while. This place pretty much started the downtown Jackson revival, and it's still the best place to hear live music, even as other good ones pop up nearby.
—Michael Jacome

Second: Underground 119 (119 S. President St., 601-352-2322)
Third: Fire (209 Commerce St., 601-592-1000)
Good Showing: Martin's (214 S. State St., 601-354-9712); Shucker's (116 Conestoga Road, Ridgeland, 601-853-0105)

Best Gospel Artist: Dathan Thigpen

It is no surprise Dathan Thigpen has once again been voted Best Gospel Artist. Jacksonians have been blessed to witness Dathan's ministry, and recently, the entire nation has been as well, when he appeared as one of the top 10 finalists on BET's "Sunday Best." Dathan, along with his choir, Holy Nation, has received glorious praise for their first CD, "Get Up, Vol. 1." He's ours, and we're proud of him. —Pamela Hosey

Second: Mississippi Mass Choir
Third: Cedric Brinson
Good Showing: Stan Jones; Patrice Moncell; Williams Brothers

Best Local Singer, Best R&B Artist: Akami Graham

Once you hear Akami Graham's soulful voice belt out songs by Sade, Betty Wright and Chaka Khan (especially "Sweet Thang," you'll immediately understand why she has been a consistent winner for the Best R&B Artist and Best Local Singer categories. If you haven't had an "Akami" experience, you can hear her along with The Key of "G" on Thursdays at Dreamz JXN or Fridays at Freelon's Bar and Groove. —Pamela Hosey

Best Local Singer
Second: Taylor Hildebrand
Third: Jason Turner
Good Showing: Lisa Palmer; Hunter Gibson; Natalie Long

Best R&B Artist
Second: Recognition
Third: Lou Writer
Good Showing: AJC

Best Original Band: Horse Trailer

What started as a one-off project masterminded by Jamie Weems, Horse Trailer shows became a phenomenon in 2010. The band features Weems on mandolin, Valley Gordon on bass, Dave Hutchison on drums, Johnny Bertram on guitar, Bryan Ledford on guitar and banjo, and Taylor Hildebrand on guitar. Hildebrand, Bertram and Ledford handle vocals and songwriting with Weems adding instrumental songwriting to the mix, which Hildebrand describes as a folky-sounding culmination of "all those songwriters." A favorite on the Jackson music scene, Horse Trailer's band of dedicated musicians and blend of lyricists keep crowds coming back again and again. A collaborative effort that is at once both informal and formidable, Horse Trailer is one hometown band worth hitching your wagon to. And they are extremely nice people, to boot. —Chris Zuga

Second: The Colonels
Third: Storage 24
Good Showing: Furrows

Best Singer/Songwriter, Best Local Musician: Taylor Hildebrand

When he isn't busy as one-sixth of Horse Trailer, Taylor Hildebrand is carving out a name for himself as a solo act. Hildebrand's rootsy playing and earnest writing match perfectly with his inspired and raw vocal delivery. The release of his debut CD "Nena," named after his grandmother and influenced by letters his grandfather wrote her during World War II, was fittingly in front of Jackson's own tourist attraction, the War Memorial Building on South State Street, and is a particular point of pride with the musician. Never one to settle, Hildebrand confided that he is busy reinventing his sound for his next album, hopefully drawing in more fans as he continues to be a vital contributor to Jackson's music and culture scene. —Chris Zuga

Best Singer/Songwriter
Second: Jason Turner
Third: Cody Cox
Good Showing: Johnny Bertram

Best Local Musician
Second: Jason Turner
Third: Scott Albert Johnson
Good Showing: Patrick Harkins; Hunter Gibson

Best Rock Band: Storage 24

What can you say about a band that takes the Best Rock Band category three times in the last four years? You can say that it's a band that has taken the time to understand its loyal fan base's ever-evolving musical needs, keeping them constantly satisfied, and is also able to continue to appeal to new crowds. Not limiting shows to the same venues could also be a huge factor of the broad span of their following. Call them rock, call them hip-hop, call them whatever you must, but don't just call them one thing, because the duality of Storage 24's music has allowed them to walk away with the Best Rock Band award once again. —Jessica Mizell

Second: Jason Turner Band
Third: Furrows
Good Showing: The Colonels

Best Country Artist, Best Cover Band: The Colonels

Rolling out of Brookhaven, Miss., The Colonels offer up modern rollicking country music in the vein of Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw and Brooks & Dunn. The Colonels crowd-pleasing anthems and sly humor are balanced by heartfelt ballads and a flair for incorporating honest southern boogie verve into the mix, thanks, in large part, to keyboardist Marvin "Chatty" Curtis. Topher Brown and Chuck Diesel's vocals give-and-take and guitar interplay are backed up by the solid rhythm section of Donnie Hollis on bass and Brett Hart on drums. The recent addition of vocalist Jessica Curtis only sweetens the already simmering pot. Country fans should make a point to sample the band's potent brew.

The band also takes the award for best cover band. Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Justin Timberlake, T.I., Rick Springfield, Whitesnake, Alicia Keys and Joan Jett are just some of the artists The Colonels have been known to pay a little tribute to. Good music is where you find it, and a good time can be found in the audience whenever The Colonels take the stage. —Chris Zuga

Best Country Artist
Second: Jeff Maddox
Third: Crossin' Dixon

Best Cover Band
Second: The Molly Ringwalds
Third: Clearform
Good Showing: Diesel 255, Guns of Addiction, U.S.

Best Jazz Artist: Barry Leach

Barry Leach has spent the last few years on the outside looking in. Not to say that he has not been an integral part of the Jackson jazz scene, because he has. But, for the past several years, he has maintained his spot with the voters as the number-two jazz musician in the city. That changed this year. Jazz guitarist Leach is a fixture in the local jazz scene, staying busy with his ensembles The Vamps and The Fearless Four, along with solo gigs at virtually every club, bar and restaurant that books jazz shows. With a steady stream of performances booked through March, Leach looks to hold on to his hard-earned number one ranking through the new year. And that couldn't happen to a nicer guy. —Garrad Lee

Second: Rhonda Richmond
Third: Raphael Semmes
Good Showing: Cassandra Wilson; Lisa Palmer

Best Martinis, Best After-Work Drink, Best Place for Cocktails, Best Late-Night Dining, Best Appetizers: Julep
1305 East Northside Drive, Suite 105, 601-362-1411

Read that list of first-place finishes again; notice a pattern? If I were a younger man with no strings attached (not that I'm complaining about the strings, my Dear Dear Kitty) this sounds like the place I would frequent to the point that they would start delivering my mail there. Who could blame me? For the young, hipster cocktail set, this is the place to be. The room fills up around 5-ish and swells to a pulsating mob by midnight with free-flowing cocktails, a steady stream of taste-tempting appetizers (the butter-to-bread ratio in the shrimp toast is 1-to-1), hip music and throngs of beautiful people.

If you're looking for a contemplative glass of Yellow Tail Chardonnay, some ignorable music and a menu with pictures of factory-fresh food, this ain't your place. Try something further up the road, perhaps a national chain restaurant that caters to the bland and boring Dockers and sneakers crowd. But for local flavor to please all your senses, hit Julep. Just make sure you take a nice, long nap first; it will be a long night. —Tom Ramsey

Best Martinis
Second: Bonefish Grill (201 Colony Way, Madison, 601-607-3334)
Third: Pan Asia (720 Harbour Pointe Crossing, Ridgeland, 601-956-2958)
Good Showing: Bravo! Italian Restaurant (4500 Interstate 55 N., Suite 244, 601-982-8111)

Best After-Work Drink
Second: Parlor Market (115 West Capitol St., 601-373-9841)
Third: Bravo! Italian Restaurant (4500 Interstate 55 N., Suite 244, 601-982-8111)
Good Showing: Mint (1000 Highland Colony Parkway, 601-898-6468); Char (4500 Interstate 55 N. Suite 142, 601-956-9562); Nick's (3000 Old Canton Road, 601-981-8017)

Best Place for Cocktails
Second: Parlor Market (115 W. Capitol St., 601-373-9841)
Third: Mint (1000 Highland Colony Parkway, 601-898-6468)
Good Showing: Bravo! Italian Restaurant (4500 Interstate 55 N. Suite 244, 601-982-8111); Char (4500 Interstate 55 N., Suite 142, 601-956-9562); Underground 119 (119 South President St., 601-352-2322)

Best Late-Night Dining
Second: Underground 119 (119 South President St., 601-352-2322)
Third: F. Jones Corner (303 North Farish St., 601-983-1148)
Good Showing: Bravo! Italian Restaurant (4500 Interstate 55 N., Suite 244, 601-982-8111); Sportsman's Lodge (1220 East Northside Drive, Suite 100, 601-366-5441)

Best Restaurant for Appetizers
Second: Parlor Market (115 West Capitol St., 601-373-9841)
Third: Bonefish Grill (201 Colony Way, Madison, 601-607-3334)
Good Showing: Bravo! (4500 Interstate 55 N., Suite 244, 601-982-8111); Nick's (3000 Old Canton Road, 601-981-8017)

Best Dive Bar, Best Place to Drink Cheap: Martin's
214 S. State St., 601-354-9712

The actual term "dive bar" comes from the early 1800s when most bars were located in cellars or basements. In effect, patrons would "dive" into the establishment without being noticed. Most modern definitions describe it as a casual establishment that serves cheap drinks to neighborhood regulars in an obscure location. Martin's isn't the easiest place to spot. There are no fancy neon signs or billboards on the interstate. In fact, someone has asked me before if the name of it was Jägermeister because of the large sign hanging above the entryway. Either way, if you are looking for the neighborhood haunt that has been passed down from one generation to the next (just watch the day-to-night transition of patrons), a place to get your money's worth ("heavy handed" comes to mind) and a crew that is outgoing and friendly (and a few pretty good looking), then Martin's is your dive. Known for almost a decade for bringing new and interesting acts to its stage, modern updates in the last few years have given the back area a new look and sound system. But never fear, it's still really, really dark. —Jessica Mizell

Best Dive Bar
Second: Sam's Lounge (5035 Interstate 55 N., 601-983-2526)
Third: F. Jones Corner (303 N. Farish St., 601-983-1148)
Good Showing: Cherokee Inn (1410 Old Square Road, 601-362-6388); Pop's Around the Corner (2636 S. Gallatin St., 601-355-3853)

Best Place to Drink Cheap
Second: Ole Tavern (416 George St., 601-960-2700)
Third: Sportsman's Lodge (1220 E. Northside Drive, Suite 100, 601-366-5441)
Good Showing: Cherokee Inn (1410 Old Square Road, 601-362-6388)

Best Hotel Bar: King Edward Hotel
235 West Capitol St., Jackson 601-353-5464

Open for a year now, one of Jackson's best-known structures, the King Edward Hotel, quickly became a hot spot for libations and conversations. The King Edward is casually classy, with dishes and drinks named in homage to neighboring railroad tracks. The wait staff is quick and efficient (Erin is my favorite), and the service is impeccable. The King Edward is one of the many places in Jackson where you can become acquainted with construction workers, cancer researchers, writers, civil-rights activists, and other interesting people. Their beer and wine choices are some of the best I've seen in the city. While the drinks are a little pricey, the quality of service, atmosphere and patrons are worth it. —Natalie Long

Second: Hilton/Fitzgerald's (1001 E. County Line Road, 601-957-2800)
Third: Sam's Lounge (5035 Interstate 55 N., Frontage Road, 601-983-2526)
Good Showing: Regency Hotel & Conference Center (400 Greymont Ave., 601-969-2141); Alumni House (574 Highway 51, Ridgeland 601-855-2225)

Best Bar, Best Bar Where Everyone Knows Your Name, Best Open-Mic Night: Fenian's
901 E. Fortification St., 601-948-0055

Snagging the prestigious title of Best Bar category is Fenian's Pub. What more can one say about this magnificent pub tucked away in Belhaven? Well, first off, it reminds me of Switzerland because so many times it's the only bar that all my friends can agree on. The beer is ample; the food is fried; and they have some of the most hardworking staff in the city. Have you ever tried to carry numerous drinks in your hands all while navigating open spots between tables and chairs that are mere inches apart?

Another thing that makes this bar unique is the staff doesn't change too often, so they actually take the time to get to know you. Sure, over the years people have come and gone, but some of the bartenders and staff have been Fenian's employees for years and years. If they don't know you when you first come in, just stick around for a month or so. And even when the staff doesn't know you, they treat you like an old friend. Fenian's open-mic is a midweek night staple.

To the best bar in Jackson, two years in a row, I drink my imaginary Irish Car Bomb, and cheers to you, Fenian's! Thank you for bringing so many memories and all the while remaining comfortably the same. —Jessica Mizell

Best Bar
Second: The Bulldog (6111 Ridgewood Road, 601-978-3502)
Third: Ole Tavern (416 George St., 601-960-2700)
Good Showing:: Underground 119 (119 S. President St., 601-352-2322), Hal & Mal's (200 S. Commerce St., 601-948-8888)

Best Bar Where Everyone Knows Your Name
Second: Hal & Mal's (200 S. Commerce St., 601-948-8888)
Third: Ole Tavern (416 George St., 601-960-2700)
Good Showing: Martin's (214 S. State St., 601-354-9712), The Bulldog (6111 Ridgewood Road, 601-978-3502)

Best Open-Mic Night
Second: Ole Tavern (416 George St., 601-960-2700)
Third: Time Out Sports Cafe (6270 Old Canton Road, 601- 978-1839)
Good Showing: Last Call Sports Grill (1428 Old Square Road, 601-713-2700), Martin's (214 S. State St., 601-354-9712)

Best GLBT Hangout: Bottoms Up
3911 Northview Drive, 601-362-8818

At 3 a.m. on a Saturday night, er Sunday morning, Bottoms Up is still packed to the gills with more than 300 white, black, gay, straight, old, and young men and women dancing to "Bottoms Up," a song by Trey Songz and Nicki Minaj, among other popular hits. I watch from my post as a bouncer as fog comes out of the roof and laser lights of all colors flash onto the crowd sporadically. In a smaller room, the Cabaret Room, Mia dominates the stage during a drag show. Formerly known as Jack and Jill's, the popular 18-and-up gay hangout, Bottoms Up has been the favorite LGBT club since its September 2010 opening. The cover is $7 for 21 and up and $5 for 18 to 20. If you didn't know, now you do; the secret is out.
—Carl Gibson

Second: Dick & Jane's (closed, but re-opening weekend of Jan. 28. at 206 W. Capitol St. Phone number unavailable.)
Third: JC's (Jack's Construction Site, 425 N. Mart Plaza, 601-362-3108)

Best Bartender, Sexiest Male Bartender: Brad Regan
Julep Restaurant 1305 E. Northside Drive, 601-462-1411

It's easy to see how Brad Regan was voted not only Jackson's best bartender, but sexiest male bartender. With his casual badass attitude, flirtatious yet charming personality, and awesome hair, this guy's known to mix the best drinks in the capital city while swaying the customers with his urban swagger and potent concoctions. Since learning the ropes as a bar "bitch" at Headliners from former bartenders of The Dock, Brad has been honing his craft for almost seven years. Between getting his fair share of phone numbers on the job, Brad works on serving up Julep's most popular drink the ladies love: the plumtini.

Regan works behind the bar all week but doesn't drink much alcohol himself, citing sweet tea as his poison of choice. The bartender credits his titles (though he says he doesn't consider himself sexy) to serving the best clientele in the Jackson metro area. He's also known as the quickest bartender around, serving drinks upon drinks in an expeditious manner. Brad's favorite things about being a bartender in Jackson is knowing everyone, from lawyers to average Joes, getting the chance to encounter diverse people from all over, and he claims his social skills wouldn't be where they are now if it wasn't for his love of bartending. Come visit Brad at Julep's every day except Wednesdays (his off day), and let him hook you up. Just be sure to leave a gracious tip. —Natalie Long

Best Bartender
Second: Trevor Palmer, Electric Cowboy (6107 Ridgewood Road, 601-899-5333)
Third: Vince Falconi, Ole Tavern (416 George St., 601-960-2700)
Good showing: T. Francis, Martin's, (214 S. State St., 601-354-9712); Laura Collins, Hal & Mal's (200 S. Commerce St., 601-948-0888); Tara Lynn Pike, Pi(e) Lounge at Sal & Mookie's (565 Taylor St., 601-368-1919)

Sexiest Male Bartender
Second: Curt Monahan, Electric Cowboy (6107 Ridgewood Road, 601-899-5333)
Third: Vince Falconi, Ole Tavern (416 George St., 601-960-2700)
Good Showing: Justin Cook, Nick's (3000 Old Canton Road, 601-981-8017); Trevor Palmer, Electric Cowboy (6107 Ridgewood Road, 601-899-5333)

Sexiest Female Bartender: Alyson Brady
Time Out Sports Café (6270 Old Canton Road, 601-978-1839) Sam's Lounge (5035 Interstate 55 N. Frontage Road, 601-983-2526)

Laurel native Alyson Brady struts her stuff while bartending at Sam's Lounge and Time Out Sports Café. Alyson is known around town as not only drop-dead hot, but also the sweetest, often making her customers happy by serving off-the-wall mixed drinks (ask her about her favorite shot called Red Beard.) Her favorite event (which no doubt helped her seal the coveted Sexiest Female Bartender award) as a bartender was Jell-O wrestling one night to rave reviews from her patrons. Alyson's favorite things about bartending in Jackson are the people she's met, the friendships that have been formed. Alyson is not only gorgeous on the outside, but also on the inside. —Natalie Long

Second: Jennifer Leavell, The Bulldog (6111 Ridgewood Road, 601- 978-3502)
Third: Laura Collins, Hal & Mal's (200 S. Commerce St., 601-948-0888)
Good showing: Kat Hazlip, Olga's Fine Dining (4760 Interstate 55 N., 601-366-1366); Kristen Veal, Sportsman's Lodge (1220 E. Northside Drive, 601-366-5441); Toni Jones Francis, Congress Street Bar and Grill (120 N. Congress St., Suite L3, 601-968-0858)

Best Biker Hangout: Shucker's Oyster Bar
116 Conestoga Road, Ridgeland, 601-853-0105

Shucker's Oyster Bar, or Shucker's On the Rez if you're a regular, has been a metro area mainstay for years. While it has undergone different ownerships and a leap from Belhaven to the reservoir area, its biggest change has been its regulars.

Frequented by hospital staff when it was in its original location across from Baptist Hospital, Shucker's has become a watering hole for bikers in its current spot. We're not talking Hell's Angels, mind you, but riding clubs from around the area hold meetings and hang out here. The Shamrocks from Simpson County, The Spiritriders from the Pearl area, as well as The Freebirds all stop in for a little socializing. So hop on your hog and cruise on by Shucker's. Did I mention the oysters? —Chris Zuga

Second: Hooters (4565 Interstate 55 N. Frontage Road, 601-981-0480)
Third: Pop's Around the Corner (2636 S. Gallatin St., 601-355-3853)
Good Showing: Crossroads Bar & Lounge (3040 Livingston Road, 601-984-3755)

Best Place to Dance: Electric Cowboy
6107 Ridgewood Road, 601-899-5333

Hats off to the Electric Cowboy for wrangling this title again! Thursday night is Ladies Night, and ladies get in at half off the cover, and Friday and Saturday nights are the time to come and dance along with hundreds of other partiers from all over the city. With a huge dance floor and an experienced bar staff, you won't ever wait for a drink too long and will always find a spot to shake loose. Looking for that someone special? You probably won't find them in a bar, but you never know. Electric Cowboy has massive crowds, so your chances are better then some smoky bar. I have to admit, even for a non-dancer like me, I kind of like those odds. —Jessica Mizell

Second: Freelon's Restaurant Bar and Groove (440 N. Mill St., 601-949-2535)
Third: Dreamz JXN ( 426 W. Capitol St., 601-979-3994)
Good Standing: Fire (209 S. Commerce St., 601 592-1000), Shucker's (116 Conestoga Road, Ridgeland, 601-853-0105); Underground 119 (119 S. President St. 601-352-2322)

Best Place to Chill: Sneaky Beans
2914 N. State St., 601-487-6349

Nobody seems out of place at Sneaky Beans. You might see a businessman on a laptop sitting across the room from an artist working on a painting next to a student quietly studying, and everyone seems at home. Sneaky Beans is just plain ol' comfortable, making it the perfect place for anyone to chill. If you're not in the mood for coffee or one of their drink creations, Sneaky Beans also has smoothies, a selection of bottled beers and baked goods. They even offer Saturday breakfast. The staff at Sneaky Beans will fill your order with a smile, then you can hang out on the porch or in any of their rooms that have everything from tables and chairs to comfortable couches and lounge chairs. —Holly Perkins

Second: Fenian's Pub ( 901 E. Fortification St., 601-948-0055 )
Third: Cups Espresso Café (Multiple Locations)
Good Showing: Underground 119 (119 S. President St., 601-352-2322); The Bulldog (6111 Ridgewood Road, 601-978-3502)

Best Place to Shoot Pool: The Green Room
444 Bounds St., 601-713-3444

I remember watching an epic pool game one night at the Green Room that had gone past closing time. This poor guy had been taken for everything he had on him, and now the lovely lady that had wiped him clean was shooting for one last item, the man's shoes. I almost cried. People surprise you sometimes, but having a pool player of that caliber in the Green Room doesn't surprise me because it is just a great pool hall. I've seen some amazing shots go down, and you never know who will make them. So be careful whom you start a game with; you may want to leave some flip flops in your car, just in case. —Jessica Mizell

Second: Reed Pierce's Sportsman's Grill (6791 S. Siwell Road, Byram, 601-376-0777)
Third: Sportsman's Lodge (1220 East Northside Drive, Suite 100, 601-366-5441)
Good Showing: Cherokee Inn (1410 Old Square Road, 601-362-6388); Sam's Lounge (5035 Interstate 55 N., 601-983-2526); Last Call Sports Grill (1428 Old Square Road., 601-713-2700)

Best Karaoke DJ: Matt Collette

Like it or not, karaoke is a huge part of the local music scene in Jackson. On any given night, at least one, if not several, local bars host karaoke, allowing their patrons a chance to make fools of themselves while desecrating classic songs all at the same time. This year's winner, Matt Collette, is a karaoke journeyman; in fact, since 2004 he has been a full-time KJ. Each week, he takes his show on the Jackson bar road, watching over bad singing and good times everywhere from Fenian's to Martin's to Sportsman's Lodge and all points between. With the Jackson karaoke scene showing no signs of slowing, Collette should be a very busy man in 2011. —Garrad Lee

Second: Angela Pittman, Krazy Karaoke
Third: Josh Hailey
Good Showing: Casey Hardegree, Ole Tavern (416 George St., 601-960-2700)

Best Place to Get Coffee, Best College Hangout, Best Place to Hang Out with a Laptop, Best Place to Break Up: Cups Espresso Café
(Multiple Locations)

I practically grew up at Cups. I remember spending nearly every night of the summer there before I was in high school and before I liked coffee. I'm in college now, and on any given weekend night you'll probably still find me at Cups, because it's still fantastic. Cups is a Jackson institution. When most Jacksonians hear the term "Blondie," we don't think of a hair color, a dessert treat or Debbie Harry, we think of the caramel and white-chocolate coffee creation available only at Cups. That's just one of the many delicious drinks concocted by Cups baristas that's helped Cups snag Best Place for Coffee award for nine years now.

But it's not just the coffee that makes Cups fantastic. The baristas are always smiling, even early in the morning, and the atmosphere is relaxed and comfortable. With free Wi-Fi with purchase, Cups is the perfect place to hangout with your laptop no matter if you're just browsing the Internet, blogging, working, or logging onto Facebook to change that relationship status to single. —Holly Perkins

Best Place to Get Coffee
Second: Sneaky Beans (2914 N. State St., 601-487-6349)
Third: Starbucks (Multiple Locations)
Good Showing: Seattle Drip (multiple locations); Fusion Coffeehouse (1111-A Highland Colony Parkway, Ridgeland, 601-856-6001)

Best College Hangout
Second: The Bulldog (6111 Ridgewood Road, 601-978-3502)
Third: Sneaky Beans (2914 N. State St., 601-487-6349)
Good Showing: Fenian's Pub ( 901 E. Fortification St., 601-948-0055); Freelon's Bar and Groove (440 N. Mill St., 601-949-2535)

Best Place to Hang Out with a Laptop
Second: Sneaky Beans (2914 N. State St., 601-487-6349)
Third: Broad Street Baking Company (4465 Interstate 55 N., Suite 101, 601-362-2900)
Good Showing: Fusion Coffeehouse (1111-A Highland Colony Parkway, Ridgeland, 601-856-6001); Rainbow Plaza (2807 Old Canton Road, 601-366-1602)

Best Place to Break Up
Second: Electric Cowboy (6107 Ridgewood Road, 601-899-5333)
Third: Facebook
Good Showing: The Ross Barnett Reservoir

Best Sports Bar, Best Jukebox: Sportsman's Lodge
1220 East Northside Drive, Suite 100, 601-366-5441

I like to frequent Sportsman's Lodge for a few reasons. First, they have a great happy hour; second, there are tons of televisions to watch all your favorite events on; and, third, they have a jukebox that was made by magic elves. There is nothing better then going to a sports bar with more animal pellets then an 1800s frontiersman and finding "Chilly Down" by David Bowie as a selection choice on a jukebox. That's, logically, only something that could come from the work of tiny elves. This is a sports bar!

Whatever you're looking for in your sports bar, check this place out. Many times, I have been in a party of 20 with no issues getting drinks or a place to sit. And about that jukebox again: There's an option to bump your song to the front of the line for a few extra quarters. I wouldn't do that too often, though. After a while, you just turn into that girl with a bag full of quarters who keeps bumping some dude's Skynard songs. Truthfully, I am pretty much OK with that title. —Jessica Mizell

Best Sports Bar
Second: Buffalo Wild Wings Bar and Grill (808 Lake Harbour Drive, Ridgeland 601-856-0789)
Third: Time Out Sports Café (6270 Old Canton Road, 601-978-1839)
Good Showing: Alumni House Sports Grill (110 Bass Pro Drive, Pearl, 601-896-0253); The Bulldog (6111 Ridgewood Road., 601- 978-3502); Last Call Sports Grill (1428 Old Square Road, 601-713-2700)

Best Jukebox
Second: Crechale's (3107 Highway 80 W., 601-355-1840)
Third: Cherokee Inn (1410 Old Square Road, 601-362-6388)
Good Standing: Sam's Lounge (5035 Interstate 55 N., 601-983-2526), J.C's (425 North Mart Plaza, 601-362-3108)

Best Club DJ: Cadillac

Bo Trebotich, also known as DJ Cadillac, takes his third straight Best Club DJ of Jackson in stride. "Man, I don't think about myself anymore, just the crowd," he says. It is a recipe that is obviously working for Trebotich, the house DJ at The Electric Cowboy. After travelling around the country, Trebotich returned to Jackson a few years ago to start a business and raise his family in his hometown. The rest is three-part history. "I pay attention to what Jackson wants to hear. To be a great DJ in Jackson, you can't just be a great scratcher," he says. "I am the best person to acknowledge what the crowd wants to hear." —Garrad Lee

Second: DJ Phingaprint
Third: DJ Jonasty
Good Showing: DJ Unpredictable; DJ Reign

Best Blues Artist: Jackie Bell

Titled Miss Sweetheart of Blues, Jackie Bell is best known for her long residency at the 930 Blues Café where she always held the audience in the palm of her come-hither hand. Her album, "Old Man's Sweetheart," gained local and national recognition. In her slinky sequins, Jackie has opened for blues legacies such as Koko Taylor, Sam Myers, Nappy Brown and Roy Roberts. Jackie Bell is truly a crowd-pleaser, and her music assures that the blues are defiantly here to stay. —Pamela Hosey

Second: Jesse Robinson
Third: Eddie Cotton
Good Showing: King Edward; Scott Albert Johnson

See more Best of Jackson 2011 winners here.

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