BTW 2019 FESTIVAL PERFORMERS
Long ago, there was a glorious time in rock and roll. A time of guitar-driven rock with hooks that would have lighters high in the air. A time with guitar slingers who not only owned the stage, they owned the audience with adrenaline-filled marathons of what was good and right about the power of music.
While stadiums are now filled with synth, auto-tune, there are still a few brave keepers of the light prowling backroad bars with Les Pauls and Stratocasters…serving up righteous rock to the faithful.
There is where you will find Distant Cuzins.
A band that carries on the mission of their rock forefathers – leave the audience breathless.
With their second album now under their belt, and opening gigs for major bands including Kansas and Smashmouth, Distant Cuzins have established themselves as one of the premiere rock bands in the Midwest.
Some people sing because they can. And then there are those who write searching lyrics because they must, who work on music because they are compelled to deconstruct, reinvent and refine. Katie has a way of wrapping you in her rhythm, surprising you with a jab here and a soft, elegant whimper there. She has turned the indie-pop ballad on its head, and continues to craft an impressive arsenal of original songs planted firmly in her own style.
Old Soul Society is a Wisconsin-based group, rooted in Americana with branches into Folk, Rock, Soul, Pop, Country, Blues & more.
Fronted by Singer/ Songwriter Derek Ramnarace on Vocals & Guitars and featuring a cast of top notch musicians, Old Soul Society's focus is clearly on the craft of songwriting as displayed in the rich, textured musical layers they create to underscore Ramnarace's introspective, honest and heartfelt lyrics.
These details combine into a powerfully stirring live performance that has been winning over audiences everywhere. The star is already burning bright for this group and only appears to be getting brighter with the release of their debut album in 2016.
Lost Lakes is a collaboration between Corey Mathew Hart and Paul Mitch. The two met during a songwriting competition held by a local radio station. The collaboration has grown over the years, developing into a strong songwriting and production team with a focus on well-crafted tunes and tight vocal harmonies. Lost Lakes' self-titled debut record bears witness to their talents and the fact the whole can be greater than the sum of its parts.
Recorded over a 9 month period, the recording process was a labor of love. Paul and Corey produced the record and enlisted percussionist Shane Leonard (Field Report, The Stray Birds) along with longtime bandmate Rusty Lee on keyboards to fill out the sound. The project was recorded in a shared warehouse space called the Dojo with Paul behind the desk.
Corey and Paul approached an old acquaintance in Grammy award winning engineer Justin Guip (Levon Helm) to mix the record. He was very excited about the songs and tracks that were laid down at the Dojo. Guip's aesthetic greatly aligned with the vision that Paul and Corey had for the record, and the result is a compelling roots/folk/Americana masterpiece.
The last few years have seen Lost Lakes playing large festivals in Phoenix and Denver, as well as sharing stages with artists like Nikki Lane. Lost Lakes are currently working on the followup to their self-titled debut.
Mark Croft is an award-winning singer/songwriter and acoustic guitarist who has always been unafraid to break the genre barriers. Croft takes inspiration from a variety of musical styles and blends them into his own pop, roots & Americana based approach to songwriting, infusing soulful performances with infectious rhythms and unforgettable melodies. A seasoned performer, Croft has been serving up exciting and emotional shows to audiences for more than a decade. His booming baritone vocals, finely crafted songs, and ability to navigate his six-string with superiority, has garnered him praise as the a classic triple-threat.
The North Code is an indie folk band based in Madison, Wisconsin.
Madison-based artist Dana Perry has been making music passionately for over 25 years, with over 12 years of focus on playing guitar and songwriting. A unique and semi-percussive guitar style, combined with poignant lyrics and powerhouse vocals; her music resonates with anyone who recognizes that we are all on a Journey.
In 2016, Dana was nominated for the Madison Area Music Association award for Guitarist of the Year. She has released 2 full-length DIY albums (Here Try This in 2009, The Shit in My Pockets in 2012), and her 3rd and newest album "Me and Lady G" (2016) has been nominated for the 2017 MAMA Award for Folk/Americana Album of the Year! Dana is one-third of the hard folk trio SHESHE (MAMA's Unique Performer of the Year, 2015), and one-fourth of her band Imaginary Watermelon (MAMA's New Artist of the Year, 2017). She teaches guitar and voice at SOSONIC, and is a guitar instructor/band coach for Madison Girls Rock Camp.
Jeffrey James is an American singer-songwriter known for his original sound and uplifting performances. James launched The Jeffrey James Show in 2013 and has since released five albums, cultivated from over a dozen tours in four years on the road. The Jeffrey James Show's most recent album, Everywhere, debuted at #2 worldwide on Bandcamp's best-selling singersongwriter/folk chart.
James spends his time touring and recording in Colorado, Europe, Hawaii, the Midwest, and the West Coast. James created Free Smiles Productions which has a blog and does consulting, promoting, and booking for various artists. James typically tours solo and plays with a band during larger events and festivals.
The Jeffrey James Show received global recognition with their fan favorite music video, 'Home Again'. The Show is also known for their DIY music videos filmed around the world; including the most recent, 'Two Bucks' video, filmed in Ubud, Bali.
Notable festival performances include: Between The Waves (2017, '18), California WorldFest (2017), Flow Festival Hawaii (2016, '17), Kohala 'Aina Festival ('16), Project Earth (2015, '16, '18), Shangri~La (2015, '16), Sommer Gönnung Austria (2017, '18).
Tent Show Troubadours were formed by Bob Hoot and Doug McLeod in January 2016. Bob Hoot (guitar, vocals) and Doug McLeod (bass) are the foundation. In September 2018, Ben Lokuta (drums) joined the TST core group, and November 2018 welcomed Tim Walsh (guitar) as a full-time TST bandmate.
TST is pleased to announce the addition of Thomas Pietras on drums to our lineup. We now have an embarrassment of riches in our rhythm section. Through our summer gigs Ben Lokuta and Tom will duel on drums and percussion through August, then Ben heads off to Berklee College of Music. Big congrats to Ben Lokuta.
TST has five musical offerings to which you can listen and groove. Original Music in a Variety of Flavors, Tangled Ways, Revival, Murder of Crows and Autumn's Empire. Ther latest album Alchemy & Chemistry is due out in June.
Tent Show Troubadours sound is best described by the title of their first album: Original Music in a Variety of Flavors. Bob Hoot writes songs with smart lyrics in styles from Cow Punk to Ska, Funk to Americana, and rockers to ballads.
Chloe Louise decided that singing was what she wanted to be doing around the age of two, when Julie Andrews taught her you could sing in public and she figured out costumes could be made out of curtains.
Years later, after receiving her first tape player, along with a combination of Elvis, the Grease soundtrack, and TLC tapes (thanks, Mom), she realized that you could not only sing songs, but also make up your own words. At the arrival of her first guitar in her early teens, Chloe has dedicated her life to writing music that maintains the perfect balance of sparkle and wit.
Her influences include everything from Shania Twain to Drake. Singing in her shower solidly remains one of her number one hobbies.
Her debut album "Hard to Tell" will be released in the spring of 2018.
" In short, Sam Ness's music is a mix of Alternative Acoustic artists like Ben Howard, Passenger and Jack Johnson, and energetic fun artists like Mumford and Sons, One Republic, and classics like Otis Redding and Ben E. King. He uses special effects including a loop system and a vocal harmonizer to make a sound much larger than any other Singer/Songwriter in the Madison Area.", " Sam Ness is taking the Madison music scene by storm. His rugged charm coupled with immense talent have made him a stellar act to watch" -On Wisconsin Radio
" At 18 years old, Sam Ness looks and sounds like he was born a few decades too late. His hair and beard conjure images of Jim Morrison circa 1969, and, like Morrison, Ness writes poetry that he sets to music and prefers the character of old European cities. But Ness isn't as lost as Morrison was." -Wisconsin State Journal
"...his husky voice soothed all our chilly souls and he dappled his set with a few covers from Passenger, The Lumineers and other folky loves of ours." -International Sound Project
Bascom Hill is a trio of lager-loving, joke cracking, Wisconsin-raised musicians in the truest sense of the word. As veterans of the music scene one thing has remained constant: a commitment to their music, which is known for its effortless hooks, memorable choruses, and clever lyrics.
The Lost Highway Allstars are an independent band from Madison, WI with influences ranging from blues, country, folk, pop, and rock.
Mackenzie Moore is a Midwestern singer/songwriter. Driven by the belief that there's no better way to connect with people than through music, she plays anywhere and everywhere people will listen. Based in Wisconsin, she was recently announced as the 2019 Madison Area Music Awards youth guitarist of the year and is currently a finalist for 3 other MAMAs.
Wisconsin singer-lyricist, Carrellee offers an understated meditation on love, life, and loss. Drawn from years on the Twin Cities music scene and thousands of miles on the road, Carrellee weaves together homespun folk-rock, and hand-crafted covers on piano, guitar, and mandolin.
Gabe Burdulis is a singer-songwriter based out of Nashville, TN. His roots began in Madison, WI where he spent most of his time playing at bars, staying out way too late for school nights. Burdulis began teaching himself guitar after he first picked up his fathers guitar in 7th grade. Writing, recording and performing became a deep passion early on, he started playing in multiple bands locally including playing guitar for "The Funky Drummer", Clyde Stubblefield in his late years. Before graduating high school, Burdulis had already become a two-time recipient of the "Les Paul Launchpad Award" and won over ten "Madison Area Music Awards".
After declining a scholarship to Berklee school of music he moved to Nashville at the age of 18 without knowing a soul, he dove into the music scene recording his first full length record titled, "Youth City".
Since then, he has played iconic venues like the Bluebird Cafe and The Station Inn, he performed with Grammy Winning band Los Lobos at The Ryman Auditorium, and even caught the attention of Sheryl Crow when she attended his bands show in Nashville, TN followed by a post on her social media saying "They blew me away! Check them out!!".
Burdulis has toured the country playing small venues to major festivals, including the world's largest music festival "Summerfest" every year since he was 16. He has recently shared the stage with many different acts like The Fray, X Ambassadors, Cheap Trick, B.O.B. and Wynona Judd. He spent most of 2017 on the road with his duo, Future Stuff, opening for acclaimed guitarist, Doyle Bramhall II who went on to produce their full length record "For The Time Being" which came out in the summer of 2018 after their previous single quickly reached over 100,000 streams on Spotify .
Mixing blues roots and a love for pop melodies, Burdulis' music has developed into a rock/americana style, paying dues to early influences like Cat Stevens and James taylor while also being influenced by more contemporary artists as well including John Mayer, Shawn Mendes and Donavan Woods. His lyrics are meaningful and sometimes witty with a strong guitar driven nature. His live shows are energetic yet intimate whether it be solo or with his full band.
Josh Harty is a messenger. A North Dakota songsmith. "A true son of the heartland whose bold defiance and riveting delivery channel the essence of American music (Glide Magazine). As the son of a small town police chief and preacher, grandson of a South Dakota polka legend, Josh grew up performing with his dad at every Lutheran Church, Eagles Club, Moose Lodge and Rotary Club in the Upper Midwest. Having released several internationally-aclaimed albums and performing across the US & Europe, it is clear that Harty was born and bred for this. His live shows prove that good storytelling combined with journeyman musicianship is as authentic as music gets.
When Josh is not on the road, he resides in Madison, WI where he enjoys carpentry projects of all kinds and is an active member of the local music scene. Josh is also a long-time member of Folk Alliance and a founding member of The Wisconsin Room: an organization that promotes WI artists to an international audience and brings world- class music to Madison from elsewhere in the form of intimate gigs at various venues.
Griffin Paul is a Madison based guitarist and singer playing an honest blend of Rock/Funk/Americana/Soul music. Drawing on late 60's early 70's rock pioneers, GP moves driving chords and sailing vocals over a thick groove for a dynamic take on the acoustic-singer-songwriter mode.
While playing on stages across the midwest as the greenest young musician around, he developed his songwriting and "stone cold" riffs by playing often and soaking up the culture of a wildly diverse nation. Often joined by friends on bass, fiddle, percussion, or mandolin, the combos' rhythmic rave-ups tend to take on a life of their own as the players all dig in. Arriving better-late-than-never to a cheerful weekday show at the Isthmus' best local deep woods haunt, the Up North Bar, greets you with a 3rd set of bluesy, open tuned rockers, and if you're lucky, some slide guitar to bring it on home.
Disco big band VO5 celebrates their 10-year anniversary with their first album, offering ten unique tracks of uplifting dance music.
All tracks are strongly influenced by 70s music, especially disco, and many offer an international flavor with a Latin, jazzy twist.
Main influences include: The Bee Gees, Abba, Sly & the Family Stone, Earth, Wind & Fire, Jackson 5, Chic, Cheryl Lynn, KC & the Sunshine Band, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Ohio Players
"V05 is hardly in need of publicity, particularly in the summer when it draws thousands of fans in dance mode to all the marquee local festivals." WSJ
V05 represents the hopes and aspirations of all Americans and believes that dancing should be an essential part of everyone's revolution. The nine-piece band from Madison, Wisconsin, is known for its theatrical sensibility, outrageous costumes, and epic-length dance parties. They play a blend of 70s funk and disco covers with their quirky and catchy originals.
Higher profile gigs include the Wisconsin Film Festival, the Wisconsin Union Terrace graduation fest for 6 years in a row (3000+ audience), Overture Center (opening for Abbamania), Atwood Summer Fest, Dane Dances 6 years in a row (3000+ audience) and many large outdoor festivals around Wisconsin. With over 300 performances over the last 10 years, VO5 has tons of stage experience.
The band includes two famous playwrights, a brave firefighter, a renewable energy guru, a wind-power engineer, a best-selling ornithologist and engineer, a wise doctor, and two celebrated actresses.
"I'm told not to tell you, but I'm compulsively honest/ This planet is lovely, but I don't think I'm on it." With witty, poetic lyricism, KAIA KALISE shares her truth regarding mental illness, heartbreak and existentialism.
Reviewers are "entranced" by her "upbeat yet contemplative" sound, influenced by classical piano and impassioned rock. Her clear, haunting voice has been compared to a variety of artists including Sara Bareilles, Paramore, and Regina Spektor.
Acknowledgements include Madison Area Music Association awards for Classical Song and Jazz Song, the Top 8 in 105.5 Triple M’s Project M songwriting contest, nomination for the Bartell Theatre Award for Composition, and RAW Madison’s Musician of the Year Semi-Finalist. She released her first full-length album, Half Lives, in May 2018.
Hickory Road is an American rock 'n' roll band. Getting back to the days of garage rock with no emphasis on one particular genre. Influences from all over the spectrum including rhythm and blues, country rock, southern rock, funk and even jazz. We like to think we appeal to everyone.
Zeroed Hero pours a classic blend of '70s and '90s style rock that's more Muhammad Ali than Mike Tyson, featuring tight, riffy guitars and smart, thoughtful lyrics presented with sweet, memorable harmonies. Their high-energy live shows built on visceral rhythms, immersive grooves, rich melodies, & powerful harmonies showcase the strength of the songs on their album "Love Letters to a Mannequin".
Ego Mechanics is a two-piece rock duo hailing from Chicago, Illinois. They use a combination of melody and raw power to craft songs that call back to the glory days of instrument-based DIY musicianship.
We are Much Better Barefoot! When the music gets rockin' the shoes come off and you are in for a treat! Tight 3 part harmonies, screaming rock guitar and Ashley's massive bass bearing down on you like a semi on a 2 lane highway! Drums,Sax,Keys, Theramin...We've got it all! If you like variety and novelty along with great music come check us out!
Much Better Barefoot is....
8 time MAMA finalist and a capella master Kathryn Ripp on vocals, harmonies, theramin and harmonium! You can also check out her acapella trio at Ancestra.com
Chris Willman formerly of Ragged Company is on vocals and lead guitar!
Ashley Bowman formerly of the award winning band "Dammit Joe!" on vocals and bass guitar!
Merle Bailey of Ragged Company, Hickory Road and Tate's Million Dollar Blues Band on keys, vocals and sax!
Finally rounding out the band is 3 time MAMA award winner Joe Dieter formerly of Queenie and the Bluecats and "All about Ashley!"on drums and guitar!
Together we are....
Much Better Barefoot
Kristina and Shawn love the 'complementary juxtaposition' - a pretty tune with dark lyrics, a heavy instrumentation with delicate vocals, a sunshiney, chipper, bright melody with snarky, call to action lyrics and a sharp, percussive drone.
Kristina and Shawn dole out tight harmonies through lyrical, heartbreaky, gratitude-invoking folk, blues, rock, and jazz, layering textures from music that spans decades, over the last 100 years. To complement Kristina and Shawn's obsession with the scaffolding and architecture of a song's structure, Shawn dances his guitar between spacious, intricate, trickling and rhythmic, percussive, searing, while Kristina croons haunting melodies to her poetry, the lyric-forward songs, storytelling through lush love ballads and timeless stories that speak to the human universals of struggle and resilience.
Old friends who have been playing music together on and off in several different incarnations of groups, for over 20 years, Kristina and Shawn invite you to groove and melt right alongside with them. See you there!