March Madness!

Welcome to March Madness! This is our first year in creating this tournament-style competition between artists and bands that originated in Upstate New York and we think with Upstate New York’s history of incredible musicians, we have the potential for an interesting style of March Madness to share with you all.

For starters, there are four regions, made up of the four parts to Upstate NY – Western NY, Central NY, Southern Tier and Eastern NY. We broke them up by Area Codes – West Region covers 716 and 585, Central Region covers all of 315, South Region includes 845 and 607, while East Region is 100% 518, stretching all the way to Canada.

We chose these bands based on their historical presence in Upstate NY, their origins in Upstate, popularity, a selection of many genres (but no cover bands, sorry), focusing on who comes to mind in each of these four regions. We ranked them based on the best known band/artist from each region, 1 through 16.

Did we miss some? Let us know! There were some bands that didn’t make the cut, and some we might have overlooked in this process.

Voting will begin on March 17th at Noon with the first round, which ends on March 20th. Round 2 will start the 21st, with more announcements as each round progresses.  Stay tuned to our Facebook page and .com for details and to see who advanced to the next round!

– Pete Mason, Managing Editor,

A note to moe. fans – we know they started out in Buffalo and then developed a larger following while in Albany, but have had 14 (soon 15) moe.downs in 315 – we split the difference to place them there.

Update 3/19 7pm: Due to an OVERWHELMING response to our Upstate March Madness, voting for Round 1 has been closed. The vote totals have been counted and we will share the winners of Round 1 tomorrow afternoon, with a complete bracket of all the teams.

The response has been greater than we expected, with THOUSANDS of votes cast by fans and bands. There are some upsets, a few Cinderallas to look out for and key Round 2 matchups to which to look forward to.

Stay tuned for Round 2 of Upstate March Madness!!

Update 3/21 12pm: Vote in Round 2 here!

518 East Region

1 Ominous Seapods
2 Blotto
3 Skinless
4 Peter Prince
5 Phantogram
6 Conehead Buddha
7 Stellar Young
8 Eastbound Jesus
9 Wild Adriatic
10 Stigmata
11 Titanics
12 Restless Streets
13 Mister F/Timbre Coup
14 Digital Dharma
15 Formula 5
16 Lucid

315 Central Region

1 Ronnie James Dio
2 Blue Oyster Cult
3 moe.
4 Joe Bonamassa
5 Joanne Shenandoah
6 Martin Sexton
7 Tony Trischka
8 Ra Ra Riot
9 Gym Class Heroes
10 Sophistafunk
11 Floodwood
12 Dexter Grove
13 Los Blancos
14 House on a Spring
15 Joe Driscoll
16 Birdseed Bandits

716/585 West Region

1 Goo Goo Dolls
2 Rick James
3 Ani Difranco
4 Cannibal Corpse
5 Dr. Dirty (John Valby)
6 Neal and Alan Evan (Soulive)
7 Snapcase
8 Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad
9 Thunderbody
10 Buddhahood
11 Spyro Gyra
12 Aqueous
13 Big Leg Emma
14 Manhattan Project
15 Funktional Flow
16 Smackdab

607/845 South Region

1 Pete Seeger
2 Donna the Buffalo
3 John Brown’s Body
4 Perfect Thyroid
5 Sim Redmond Band
6 Big Mean Sound Machine
7 Jimkata
8 Driftwood
9 Solaris
10 Yolk
11 Wingnut
12 3
13 Revision
14 Spectacular Average Boys
15 Notorious String Dusters
16 Professor Louie and the Crowmatix