Best Inspiring Comeback - 2006
While riding between gigs in Iowa in February 2005, the local electro-rock group Subtle hit a patch of black ice and flipped its tour van. Six of the passengers sustained only light bruises, but keyboardist Dax Pierson suffered a broken vertebra at the base of his neck and became paralyzed. After being airlifted to a Nebraska hospital, the beloved local musician began a long, slow healing process. Thanks to his benevolent employers at Amoeba Music and a vast collection of artists who arranged benefit shows across the globe (including members of Matmos, Mogwai, and Blur), Pierson was able to afford excellent care and a bright pink wheelchair. Against all odds, he's regained some finger and arm movements and contributed vocals and harmonica to Subtle's recently recorded second full-length, For Hero: For Fool, due out on Lex Records in May. Humbling and impressive.