Best Rock Club Sound Man (2000)

Jamal Ruhe/Nita's Hideaway

Some sound guys have been doing it so long that they've completely fried their main asset -- those things hanging from both sides of their head that used to be for listening. You tell them what you want and think they understand, but they just nod up and down like that for everyone. Congratulations, you and your band are on your way to being butchered. Your only recourse is to tell people that the screeching feedback that mars your first six songs was intentional.

Thank goodness for guys like Jamal Ruhe, Nita's trusty sound man in its early incarnation and back again this year. Since we've conducted actual conversations with him, we know his woofers are working fine. Ruhe knows every inch of this room intimately, he's played there a kazillion times and retains uncanny information about every band that's done likewise. Performing is nerve-racking enough without having to worry about having an adversary behind the mixing board. Jamal is your friend, not your funeral director.


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