2016 Nominees Announced



MILWAUKEE, WI – The Wisconsin Area Music Industry (WAMI) has announced the nominees and Hall of Fame inductees for their 36th Annual Awards Show. This year’s show will take place Sunday, April 17 at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center ( Doors open at 6 pm, with the Awards Show beginning at 7 pm.

WAMI will host a party celebrating the nominees on Sunday, April 3 at 7 pm at The Saloon on Calhoun, 17200 W. Capitol Drive in Brookfield. The event is free and open to the public.

In addition, People’s Choice Awards voting closes March 9 ( ). These awards represent a subset of the annual awards given by WAMI. They allow for statewide voting by anyone who wishes to nominate in the specified categories. A quadrant system is used to ensure representation from all areas of the state.

The award nominees with their respective categories, and Hall of Fame inductees are as follows:

Hall of Fame

Pee Wee King: Julius Frank Anthony Kuczynski (February 18, 1914-March 7, 2000), aka Pee Wee King, is best known for co-writing “The Tennessee Waltz” in 1946. Born and raised in Abrams, Wisconsin, he was touring with Gene Autry by the time he was in his 20s. He joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1937, recorded extensively for RCA and other labels, and went on to become inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970, followed by the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1974.


Lyle Mays: Acclaimed jazz pianist and composer Lyle Mays hails from Wausaukee, Wisconsin. He’s best known for his piano/keyboards/synth work as an integral member of the 11-time-Grammy Award winning Pat Metheny Group. With Metheny, Mays has also been co-composer and arranger for most of the group’s music during its 40+ year success.


Dave Steffen: Widely recognized for his guitar prowess and signature style of blues rock, Wisconsin native Dave Steffen has experienced continuing success with his band, the Dave Steffen Band, since the band’s inception in the ‘70’s. He’s been signed to both RCA and Mercury Records, with 11 albums released to date. His songs have been featured in movies and TV shows, and he’s toured extensively, working with Robin Trower, Huey Lewis, members of Santana, Journey and many others.


The 2016 WAMI nominees are:


Artist of the Year


Kyle Megna & The Monsoons


Vinyl Theatre



Album of the Year

Maritime – Magnetic Bodies/Maps of Bones

The Lately – “Old News”

Boxkar – “Five”

GGOOLLDD – “For The Night”

Tenement – “Predatory Headlights”

Midnight Reruns – “Force of Nurture”

The Jimmys – “Hot Dish”

Klassik – “Seasons”


Song of the Year

Webster X (feat. Siren) – “Doomsday”

Maritime – “Satellite Love”


Tigernite – “Empire”

Kiings (feat. Rae Cassidy) – “Feel”

Boxkar – “I’m Over You”

The Lately – “Old News”


Male Vocalist

Rich Hoffman

Christopher Szebeni

Kyle Megna

Tony Goff

Travis Schinke

Lucas Cates

Michael Brigham

Michael Sean


Female Vocalist

Annie Buege

Molly Lutz

Alexis Walton

Amy Jo Doty

Stephanie Vogt

Jen Schafer

Erin Krebs

Amileigha Blue

Chanel LeMeaux


Alternative Rock/Rock Artist

Field Report

The Family Business

Life in a Tree

Dr. Chow’s Love Medicine


The Lately

The Delta Routine

Meghan Rose & The Bones



Dead Horses

The WhiskeyBelles

Horseshoes & Hand Grenades

Mad Polecats

The Ditchrunners

The Mascot Theory


Blues Artist

Big ‘n Tasty

Reverend Raven & The Chain Smokin’ Altar Boys

The Jimmy’s

Aaron Williams & The Hoodoo

Katz Sass

Altered Five

Paul Filipowicz

The Blues Disciples




Masonic Wonders

Night Divine

David Nunley


Country Artist

The Pat Watters Band

Rebel Grace

Bella Cain

Spitfire Rodeo

Raised Reckless

Grand Union

Madison County

Georgia Overdrive


Cover Artist


Boogie & The Yo-yo’z

The Presidents

Cherry Pie

Rabid Aardvarks

The Now

Ask your Mother




Whiskey of the Damned

Killarney Blarney and The Paddy Wagon

The Kissers

John Stano

Coventry Jones


Hard Rock/Metal

Red Light Saints


Burial Ritual


Living Several Deaths



Lords of the Trident

Moon Curse


Jazz Artist

The Jazz Orgy

Dick Eliot

Roxi Copland

Jack Grassel and Jill Jensen

Jamie Lynn Fletcher

Randi Fay



The Squeezettes

Happy Schnapps Combo

Vern & the Originals

Rhythm Playboys

Gary’s Ridgeland Dutchmen


Pop Rock Artist

The Middle Ground


Green Screen Kid

Sexy Ester

Vinyl Theatre


The Vitrolum Republic


Hip Hop/Rap Artist

Handz Onn

Webster X

Rob DZ




Queen Tut


R&B/Soul Artist

Milwaukee Soul

The People Brothers Band

Tweed Funk

Shonn Hinton & Shotgun

Charles Walker Band


Keep’n It Clean



Max & The Invaders


De La Buena

King Solomon

Natty Nation


Salsa Manzana



Club DJ/Dance/Electronic



The Demix

DJ G-Spot

Aubrey Lee


Horn/Big Band

Cold Sweat and The Brew City Horns


Big Mouth & The Power Tool Horns

Extra Crispy Brass Band

All-Star SUPERBand

The Jimmys

Hip Pocket

The Bill Sargent Big Band


Tribute Band

Separate Ways

The Prince Experience

No Quarter

Project Pink

Almighty Vinyl

Metal Men

Billy Bon Scott

The Rush Tribute Project


Bass Player

Matthew Wilson

Timm Buechler

Jon Wheelock

Dan Wolfe

Jeff Hammes

Andrew Mertens

Derek Nechuta

Nicholas Rodello



Mike Underwood

Mark Budwit

Josh Rudolph

Scott Berendt

Logan Penington

Mark Marsh

Quinton Kufahl

Pat Wydeven


Guitar Player

JD Optekar

Brad Warning

Wade Fernandez

Jason Busse

Mike Hoffman

Michael Brandenburg

Peter Mac

Dan Johnston


Keyboard Player

Jimmy Voegeli

Raymond Tevich

Jamie Lynn Fletcher

Thomas Pibal

Sam McClain

Alex Drossart

Aaron Zinsmeister


Reeds/Brass Player

Andrew Spadafora

Stephen Cooper

Ross Catterton

Jake Crowe

John Vollmar

Mary Rodgers

Michelle Jerabek

Dan Zaffrann


Strings Player

Peter Thomas

Kimmy Unger

Thea Morton Vorass

Wendy Lynn Staats

Stephanie Tschech

Adria Ramos

Joe Ketchum


Studio of the Year

Rock Garden Studio

Cherry Pit Studios

Studio H

Cave Studios MKE

Makin’ Sausage Music

Trax 52 Recording Studio


Studio Engineer of the Year

Tony Anders

Marc Golde

Joe Hite

Sam Farrell

Gary Tanin

George Renner


Live Engineer Sound/Lights

Paul Hanson

Todd Dorschner

Jason Lueck

Kelly Klaus

Trevor Powers

Mike Freeland

Kurt Reffke

Todd Fink


Live Club/Venue

Linneman’s River West Inn

Milwaukee Ale House

Shank Hall

Vinnie Rock Bottom Saloon & Eatery

High Noon Saloon

Mill Creek

Short Branch Saloon

Headliner’s Bar and Grill

Rising Star

Genevieve Heyward

Jonah Roth

Parker Collar

Hannah Gellar
Bad Habitz

Blake Welhouse

The Healy Sisters

Generation Z



Nora Collins

Sam Luna

Annette Bzdawka

Kurt Gunn

Ryan McIntyre

Jay Matthes

Rob Anthony

Jason Moon


New Artist


Andi & Alex

Pam The Bear

Party Anthem


Strip ‘D: An Acoustic Trip Back To The 80’s

Sunset Trip


The Wisconsin Area Music Industry is a volunteer organization whose purpose is to educate and recognize the achievements and accomplishments of individuals in the Wisconsin music industry. The group also utilizes its funds to provide a Youth Music Showcase and provide monies to organizations which serve young emerging artists. For more details go to

For more information contact Sue Schrader (

at Blonde Ambition Public Relations, 262.377.4180.