2017 Bonfire Artists
In 2010, the five Wisconsinites that make up Horseshoes & Hand Grenades found themselves in a living room in the college town of Stevens Point, WI, holding acoustic instruments and enjoying a hodgepodge of fermented beverages. Music and revelry ensued that evening and, while many of the party guests eventually bid their goodbye well into the morning hours, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades wasn’t ready to let the get-together fade. Many years later, the music still hasn’t stopped and the party is still going strong, from the mountain west to the river towns of the Midwest that the quintet calls home, and all across America.
While strongly rooted in bluegrass, old-time, and folk music, the band produces a sound that draws on the vaults of music collectively and individually enjoyed throughout the course of their lives thus far. The music doesn’t lend itself well to categories or boundaries. One could possibly be formed, but the boys seem to generally prefer fishing a river, or enjoying the company of friends and barley beers.
With their music well-defined or not, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades has begun to form a place in the American music scene, gaining recognition on both a regional and national scale. The band took 3rd place at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival’s Band Competition in 2012 and has since shared the stage with Trampled By Turtles, The Travelin’ McCourys, Railroad Earth, Merle Haggard, The Infamous Stringdusters, Yonder Mountain String Band, Marty Stuart, and many more. The group’s third full-length Middle Western was released in March of 2015 and another record is expected in 2017. Being mostly inspired by rivers, valleys, good friends, and good drink, this five-piece is as sturdy as any Midwest riverbed and will make your toes tap from sundown to sunrise.
An easily confused and very shy individual, Charlie Parr has been traveling around singing his songs ever since leaving Austin Minnesota in the 1980's in search of Spider John Koerner, whom he found about 100 miles north at the Viking Bar one Sunday night. The experience changed his life, made him more or less unemployable, and brings us to now: 13 recordings, 250 shows a year or more, 200,000 miles on a well broke in Kia, and a nasty fear of heights. Resonator fueled folk songs from Duluth Minnesota.
One of the staples of Madison's vibrant music scene, The People Brothers Band has been spreading their brand of Rhythm and Soul around the Upper Midwest for nine years. Currently working on their second studio album, the band is known for energetic live shows and ability to connect with the audience. They are the winners of the Wisconsins Area Music Industry Award for 2014 Soul/R&B Band of the Year and the Madison Area Music Award for 2015 Pop/R&B Album of the Year (Middle of the In Between), 2013 Blues Album of the Year (People Brothers Live) & Blues Song of the Year (Looky Here Mister).
Frogleg is a fresh young band out of Minneapolis. Since their first show in late 2012, a major buzz about the band Frogleg has been spreading throughout the Midwest music scene stemming from their ever-growing weekly tradition, “Frogleg Thursdays @ Bunkers” in downtown Minneapolis. With the Frogleg closing the book on this chapter of their musical path, they are setting their sights on more cities outside of their current circuit.
The band has now headlined shows at most of the major venues in Minneapolis from the Cabooze to the Skyway Theatre downtown as well as an appearance on the First Avenue mainroom stage. Frogleg has shared the stage with the Steven Tyler, Jeff Austin Band, New Orleans Suspects, Devon Allman, Orgone, Raw Oyster Cult, Samantha Fish, Allie Kral, Robert Randolph and has multiple dates with Melvin Seals and the Jerry Garcia Band.
Known for their songwriting and improvisational live performances, this seven piece would be best described as a soul band, as their influences are not drawn from one specific genre. A typical Frogleg show will usually features a unique blend of Funk, Reggae, Rock, Jazz and Bluegrass.
Frogleg’s debut, self-titled album was met with much excitement last year, selling out their first pressing in under six months. The band is back in the studio working up their follow up release. They’ve brought in local heavy weights Rob Genedak and Jimmy Anton as co-producers. The album is tentatively scheduled for a spring release. Despite being a 7 piece band, they have not shied away from taking this show on the road. With national tours filling out 2017, active work in the studio on their follow up album, Frogleg is showing no signs of slowing down. Do yourself a favor and go see a Frogleg show!
WheelHouse is a nationally touring Americana and bluegrass band hailing from Madison, Wisconsin. As a full-time working band they perform over 220 shows per year and have garnered attention from national labels. Featuring three and four part harmonies, fiddle and guitar leads, and driving rhythm of the upright bass WheelHouse brings an energy and attitude unique to themselves. WheelHouse also owns their own brand of whiskey appropriately named WheelHouse Whiskey, which can be found throughout southwestern Wisconsin.
Chicago Farmer, the moniker Bloomington, Illinois’ Cody Diekhoff performs and writes under, is set to independently release his 7th album titled Midwest Side Stories on September 30, 2016. Midwest Side Stories is about hope, depression, job loss, meth, skateboards, a divided nation, used cars, the late shift, farms, factories, the destruction of our environment, and still being around to sing about it. The new release contains ten tracks all of which were written by Diekhoff (pronounced dee-cough), with the exception of the John Hartford classic “I’m Still Here”. Lyrically driven, Chicago Farmer delves into the social and political issues of today’s world, taking it all in and putting it back through music as a commentary on modern times in the Midwest. With his unfeigned and relatable approach, Chicago Farmer has earned a place in the heart of his generation’s rise of protest songs. He composes music written and sung by and for the working class, the “regular person”, bringing to mind modern day folk tales.
iles Over Mountains is a progressive bluegrass band based in McHenry, IL. Their live shows are high energy, centered around an arsenal of original material and refreshing variety of cover songs served up in their own unique style.
"A four-piece act consisting of guitar, banjo, mandolin, and upright bass MoM provides the listener with a paradoxical calming, yet exciting experience." - Andrew Preissin - liveforlivemusic
Touring through their third year as a band, Miles Over Mountains continues to turn heads across the nation as their momentum, fanbase and touring schedule continue to grow. Since their inception in early 2014, they've performed hundreds of shows at bars, clubs and music festivals with no signs of slowing down. Besides playing every state in the Midwest, the band has been true to it's name touring through the mountain regions of Colorado, Arkansas and Tennessee to name a few.
The 2014, '15 and '16 festival seasons have seen M.O.M. performing at dozens of Midwestern music festivals, including multiple appearances at Shoe Fest (Manteno, IL), Frankfort Bluegrass Fest (Frankfort, IL), and co-hosting the Summer Stomp Music Festival in their hometown of McHenry, IL.
M.O.M. has been the opening act for such groups as Town Mountain, Hot Buttered Rum, Ben Miller Band, Danny Barnes Henhouse Prowlers, Cornmeal, The Big Wu, and many other longtime staples of the music scene.
Collectively with decades of stage experience under their belts, M.O.M. strives to provide the audience with a fun and freeing experience at each show with unique sets every time. The band released their debut album "Five Star Heart Breaker" on March 20, 2015, and have been on the road constantly in support of this record. The band is currently at work on their second full length album due out in early 2017.
Armchair Boogie formed in the winter of 2014 as a banjo and guitar duo. After playing a handful of shows as a romp-stomp’in toe-tapp’in duo, Augie Dougherty (banjo) and Ben Majeska (guitar) recruited a well versed rhythm section to hold down the upbeat tempos and provide an extra oomph that’ll bring even saddest uncle to a dance floor. Drums and bass were destined to join the Boogie. This happened in October 2015; and In the few short months since then the Boogie boys have been busy performing, booking, and have just begun recording their first album.
Even though Armchair Boogie is young, their unique brand of bluegrass is true to the genre’s roots and has already landed them shows with Dead Horses, 2nd Strings, and Horseshoes & Hand Grenades. Armchair Boogie performed as special guests at The Sentry Theater’s holiday show in December, 2015. If you can get up and dance, you’ll enjoy a time with Armchair Boogie.
Based out of Duluth, MN, The Brothers Burn Mountain are a soulful, energetic, eclectic duo of real-life brothers, Ryan and Jesse Dermody. They've been playing music together everyday as a duo for more than 16 years. They've released 8 full-length albums of original music, and have toured across the country over the years, though especially in the Midwest, having played more than 1,400 live shows. Though difficult to try and put their sound into words, some have called it avant-garde blues rock, though basically it is really just good-ol' rock n' roll with a very personal and strange twist of bluesy tastes.
Coyote is a four piece rock 'n' roll band out of southern Wisconsin. After playing music together for over 5 years, Isaac Young, Andy Goitia, and Ed Kosmatka formed Coyote in the summer of 2016 as an evolution of their old project. In September, Mikey Juszcyk joined the band on bass and was an instant fit. The winter of 2016 has Coyote focusing on the final stages of their debut LP 'Fool's Gold' while also touring their Wisconsin stomping grounds and surrounding Midwestern states. Their sound is a nostalgic and organic blend of rock, americana, funk, and jazz, bringing a truly unique experience to every show.
One of the fastest growing names in the Midwest music scene, Little Marsh Overflow is quickly growing into a force to be reckoned with. An original Rock band, [LMO] draws on a wide variety of influences to create their own unique style of music. While the band has always been stumped when pressed for a quick answer as to what type of music they play, Stephanie Music from KyndMusic.com considers it a “progressive rock, funk jam art form.”
[LMO] is proud to boast an extremely tight and talented rhythm section that’s guaranteed to keep people off their seat and on their feet. This solid foundation is heavily complimented by soulful guitar, crafty keys, and powerful vocals. It’s no wonder that Rick’s Café, the authority on South Central Wisconsin’s music scene, considers them a “phenomenal band” and a “must see local act.”
After original members Wade Coisman (bass), Mark Weber (guitar) and Joshua Gregory (keyboards) formed the group in the swamplands of Northern Door County, WI, in the Spring of 2001, they quickly made a name for themselves as one of the top rock/jam acts in the state. In the fall of 2002 they made the move to Madison, WI and the following year recorded their first studio endeavor, “The Causeway Effect”. Later, in 2005, they we’re nominated for 2 Madison Area Music Awards in the category’s of “Best Jam Band” and “Best Jam Album”.
Shortly thereafter, while auditioning new drummers they asked a good friend, Kai Andersen, to fill in on a couple of dates. It wasn’t long before both parties realized the final piece of the puzzle was put in place, and with a new sound, the band has been gaining momentum at a whirl wind pace. Making new friends and fans at each performance, word of mouth has never traveled so fast about the group, no doubt in part due to the extremely high energy stage show they put on. [LMO] is 4 individuals who absolutely love to do what they do and it shows. The band is currently in the process of completing their next studio album, while at the same time, recording various live performances which will soon be available for all.
[LMO] has had the pleasure of sharing the stage with many renowned musical acts including; Jackson Browne • Pat MacDonald • Jane Wiedlin (The Go-Go's) • Eric McFadden (P-Funk) • Kim Manning (P-Funk) • Victor DeLorenzo (Violent Femmes) • The Big Wu • ULU and too many more to name. They also have been featured on Budweiser’s True Music vol. 1 “Best of Mill Creek Blues” and have received airplay on such stations as: 105.7 WAPL (Appleton), 89.9 WORT (Madison), 91.7 WSUM (Madison), 93.9 WDOR (Sturgeon Bay) 90 FM (Stevens Point) and 90.3 WRST (Oshkosh).
Folksinger Stanton West sees the world from the perspective of a six and a half foot tall, left-handed, freckle-faced, red-head. Realizing he would never quite fit the mold, he embraced his uniqueness, picked up a right-handed guitar and started playing it upside-down. This was his first break from creative structures and limitations.
Stanton West songs are rootsy, feel-good, and groove driven. His songs are about hope, having fun, being who you are, and relishing the moment. He is an award-winning songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and world traveling troubadour spreading a message about the importance of family, community, nature, and positivity.
In a world where words like “legend” get thrown around entirely too lightly, it's good to know that there are a few people still worthy of the word's original intent. And when it comes to music in Iowa, Joe Price stands as one of the art's legendary practitioners.
Armed with a joyous, disarming demeanor and the ability to play the doors off most anyone else in the room, Price has opened for the likes of Iris Dement and John Lee Hooker, while Iowa's own Greg Brown calls Price “the Buddha.” Brown isn't alone in his praise, as a litany of Iowa musicians list Price as one of their influences.
Price's reputation was cemented in the 1970's, when he spent the latter half of the decade as part of Mother Blues, one of the greatest and most heavily influential Iowa blues bands of all time. It was a time when Price was playing nearly non-stop, and developed the style that has made him such a memorable performer.
And make no mistake, Price certainly is memorable. Head down while he plays, big ball cap covering his eyes from the crowd while he plies his trade, feet tapping out the time as his hands work those six strings like their on autopilot. Price isn't the kind of artist you “think” you've seen play; once you've been taken to church by that slide, it stays with you.
But no man lives by bread alone, and Price has two great loves in his life. It's the rare man that gets to mix two passions together and make a life out of it, but Vicki Price makes that easy. The pair married in 1987, but Vicki had been holding her own in the wilds of small-town Iowa before then. Her guitar playing has more structure to it than Joe's, while her voice provides a good deal of their songs fire.
Bold and brassy when she wants to be, Vicki's voice has elicited visions of Loretta Lynn or June Carter, but she's able to get far bluesier than any of her most obvious comparisons. This duo is far more than the sum of their impressive parts: it is when these two take the stage together that the genuine magic happens.
Joe's deep love and admiration for his wife is obvious from the moment she joins him on stage—something that can happen at any point during a set; he beckons her with “You Are My Sunshine”—and the amount of fun they clearly have performing with one another elevates their performances, transforming them from something that blues purists and guitar fans can appreciate, into something that everyone with ears and a love of life can understand and tap along to.
The couple released a slew of solo CD'son seminal Iowa label Trailer Records, including “25 Below” (Joe, 1996), “Mississippi Summer” (Vicki, 1998), “Request” (Joe, 1999), “Designated Drive” (Joe, 2000) and “Looking for Love” (Vicki, 2005). After Trailer closed up shop, the pair released 2008's “A Brand New Place” and 2009's “Rain or Shine” independently. The latter two albums were both lavished with critical praise, but the pair may have just saved their best work for their most recent album, “Night Owls.” Featuring both Joe and Vicki throughout, “Night Owls” is the Price's music at its fullest, most memorable and most fun.
Whether you are seeing them for the first time or the 100th, whether it's live or via one of their albums, experiencing Joe and Vicki Price is an experience worth having, worth sharing, and easy to love. Chad Taylor
The Liver Killers are an acoustic 4 piece with rippin' licks and amazing harmonies. They attack your brain and make their way down to your liver. Their genre is coined as "Blue Faced Sh*t Grass"!
The Liver Killers were formed in the beautiful city of Green Bay; home of the "Zippin Pippin" in the summer of 2012 by guitarists Augie Barnhart, Pat Schorr, and bassist Roelke Thunderbolt. Towards the end of 2014, Dan Schrei joined the group adding the twangy rolls of the 5 string banjo.
The band names influences such as The Dillards, Bill Monroe, Roger Miller, Albert Lee, Earl Scruggs, Doc Watson, Jerry Reed, Hank, Chuck Berry, Augie and Evie Voss, and Mama Donna Mae.
The two brothers in the band, Augie and Roelke have performed together for over 15 years with much of that time spent with rock-a-billy/surf band "Muddy Udders". Pat and Augie have performed together for over 10 years as "The Pat and Augie Show". Pat's funky edge got him involved with "Shaker and the Egg" as lead singer/guitarist.
The music of Gin Mill Hollow is a marriage of experienced song composition and emotive lyrical content. A blend of Americana styles including roots, bluegrass, and folk performed on stringed instruments of all varieties creates a sonic landscape that can be enjoyed by the casual listener and avid music fan alike.
GHWB originates from the historic rivertown/musical mecca LaCrosse, WI. Gregg Hall, founder of Deece Productions, has been a staple in the Midwest music scene for over a decade with his bands Mitgee Evers, Smokin’ Bandits, and outlaw country Minnesota legends the White Iron Band. Gregg Hall and the Wrecking Ball is his first solo project getting back to his country life style roots and back woods upbringing. This band features some of the best musicians southwestern WI has to offer featuring: Gregg Hall (guitar, vocals), Laun Braithwiate (guitar, vocals), Matt Mahlum (drums), Andrew Steeno (bass), Mike Stidolph (lap steel, peddle steel, mandolin, & fiddle), and Johnny Peterson (keyboard, vocals). GHWB is just good Ol’ American country music. Buy our new album “This, That, and the Land” at https://www.cdbaby.com/cd/gregghall4.
Jaedyn James & The Hunger is a 11 piece, raw funk, rock n roll, soul band who burst onto the Minneapolis music scene in the fall of 2014.
Consumed by her passion Jaedyn James was determined to assemble a group of collaborative musicians who could cultivate music, acceptance, and empowerment. The Hunger is built on a foundation of friendship, honesty, and respect. This tantalizing group of weirdos has performed in warehouses, dive bars, and elite jazz clubs. No stage too small. No dance floor too sticky. The band loves to play.
The Hunger brings the heat; Jaedyn James, the fiery sparkplug- ignites her band and audiences. It’s obvious when seen live, JJ&TH takes their fun very seriously. In fact, you are expected to dance at a Hunger show. Self expression is encouraged, laughing is inevitable, standing still and staring at your phone is not option. #Stayhungry
Sunny, hazy, and a bit burnt out. "A gorgeous dose of indie-rock comparable to bands like Brooklyn's Woods and Chicago's Whitney. Recently named one of First Avenue's Best New Bands of 2016" - The Star Tribune (Mike Madden)
Tani is a musical force who has inspired an entire community of artists. With his Kamale n'goni, a West African ancestor to the banjo, and his plaintive singing, he never fails to drop the deepest blues around.
The Sharrows are an Americana band that have been based out Madison since 2012. They have recorded three different albums to date. Starting at the End (2013) was recorded at the family farm of multi-instrumentalist Joe Hermanson, the location being an initial practice place, musical hub, and inspiration as it continues to this day. In the winter of 2014, the band trekked south on self-booked tours and was led to Zebra Ranch (home and recording studio of the North Mississippi All-Stars and the Dickinson family) in Mississippi, which in turn cultivated the band's relationship with Kevin Houston, who worked with the band to produce Days of Yore (2014), and the most recent Gold Key to the City (2016).
Porky's Groove Machine is the intergalactic ambassador of Wisconsin’s silliest nerd funk. Since forming in the fall of 2011 in Appleton, we’ve spent five years playing around Wisconsin, toured the Midwest and East Coast twice, even opening for Guster at Indianapolis’s Old Egyptian Room! With a three-piece horn section and percussionist on top of a traditional rock rhythm section, our mature musicality but not-so-mature humor has been described by Julian Loida of Bloomington, Indiana's WIUX as "the vibe of the B-52's and the Flaming Lips combined with the sound of Phish, G. Love and Special Sauce, and New Orleans music." Releases include our 2016 presidential campaign platform, “Make America Funk Again”, "Magic Brunch" (May 2014) and "This Would Be A Great Present For My Grandma” (2011).
We're launching into 2017, ready to get sillier than ever before. We're proud to have joined the Omni Arts family, and are ready to take our brand of nerd funk to audiences across the region, nation, and cosmos!
A very special Thank You to our 2017's Sponsors