This year we did something different with Grand Band Slam. Rather than having three separate regional contests coordinated with our sister papers to find the best bands in New Haven, Hartford and Fairfield County, we folded the whole thing together and let readers vote for the best bands and artists in the entire state. Thousands voted. And if you're not familiar with CT's music scene — and scenes — this is a perfect chance to be seriously impressed by the music being made in this state. Those who love live local music will surely see some familiar faces among the winners, but hopefully this list will turn you on to some new names and emerging artists deserving your attention.