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Two Way Radio, Barbaras Top Pops

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Two Way Radio and The Barbaras were the big winners Friday night at the Memphis Pops Festival at the Hi-Tone Café.

Fronted by charming keyboardist/vocalist Kate Crowder, the whimsical Two Way Radio took home the audience award, garnering $3000 in studio time at Ardent Studios, despite some sound-mix problems that harmed their set and kept them from matching the quality of their recorded work.

The Barbaras — which put 10 young musicians on the Hi-Tone stage delivering a spirited set amid balloons, bubbles, and an inflated penguin — won the judge’s award, picking up $1500 in advertising from the Flyer.

There were two other bands competing: Mike Dees opened the night with a set of straight-forward, sometimes old-fashioned power-pop. Hi Electric delivered a strong set of more melodic, less predictable pop-rock, singer-songwriter Neil Bartlett backed by an all-star crew of local rock stalwarts, including former Grifter Dave Shouse on keyboards. — Chris Herrington

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