Local hard rockers Black Heart Saints took the $10,000 top prize in a contest sponsored by Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. Fans voted for their favorite bands in an online battle of the bands that has been going on since January. Black Heart Saints debuted their driving guitar rock at SXSW 2014. They play the Dirty Dog Bar on Thursday, Oct. 30.
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In other news, local nonprofit Black Fret will announce the first round of $10,000 grant recipients at the inaugural Black Ball Gala on Saturday, Nov. 8 at the Paramount Theater. Black Fret, which launched earlier this year, aims to extend the patronage model that has long supported classical music to modern musicians. Music aficionados paid an annual membership fee to join the organization which selected 20 local musician nominees, ten of whom will receive $10,000 grants. The organization hosted a series of house party concerts throughout the year to introduce members to the nominees.

The first round of Black Fret grant nominees are Amy Cook, Danny Malone, Dawn and Hawkes, East Cameron Folkcore, Elias Haslanger and Church on Monday, Elizabeth McQueen, Emily Bell, Erin Ivey, Gina Chavez, Graham Wilkinson, Jitterbug Vipers, Jonny Gray, Lincoln Durham, Little Radar, Mother Falcon, Quiet Company, The Rocketboys, The Whiskey Sisters, Wild Child and Zeale. The recipients will be announced at the ball.