– Wisconsin’s top musicians and industry notables were recognized for their contributions to the state’s diverse music scene at the 37th annual Wisconsin Area Music Industry (WAMI) Awards Show, held Sunday April 23rd at Turner Hall in Milwaukee. Awards were presented in various categories, ranging from recognition for musicianship and recordings to industry-related technical areas, with recipients hailing from all areas of the state.


Award recipients are as follows:

Artist of the Year: Vinyl Theatre

Album of the Year: Dead Horses - “Cartoon Moon”

Song of the Year: Devil Met Contention – “Fire”

New Artist: J-Council

Female Vocalist: Sarah Vos

Male Vocalist: Travis Schinke, Erik Kjelland

Singer/Songwriter: Brett Newski

Rising Star: Eminence

Alternative Rock/Rock Artist: Kyle Megna & The Monsoons

Bluegrass/Americana: Dead Horses

Blues Artist: Big Nʼ Tasty Blues

Christian/Gospel: Night Divine

Country Artist: Driveway Thriftdwellers

Cover Artist: Almighty Vinyl

Folk/Celtic: Sugar Ransom

Hard Rock: Imperial Fall

Metal: Conniption

Punk: The Pukes

Jazz Artist: The Jazz Orgy

Polka: The Squeezettes

Pop Rock Artist: GGOOLLDD

Hip Hop/Rap Artist: IshDARR

R&B/Soul Artist: Tweed Funk

World/Reggae/Ska/Latin: King Solomon

Club DJ/Dance/Electronic: Melvv

Horn/Big Band: Cold Sweat & The Brew City Horns

Tribute: The Prince Experience

Bass Player: Jeff Hammes

Drummer: Mike Underwood

Guitar Player: Bill Heck

Keyboard Player: Aaron Zinsmeister

Reeds/Brass Player: Michelle Jerabek

Strings Player: Thea Morton Voraass

Best Studio Engineer/Producer: Geoff Wilbourn

Best Recording Studio: Rock Garden

Best Live Club/Venue: The Saloon on Calhoun

Best Live Engineer Sound/Lights: Jeremy Boerson

Presidentʼs Award: Marc Solheim

Peopleʼs Choice Awards

(Northeast) Band: Hyde Fan: Chris & Anita Holloman Venue: Rocky & Taraʼs Nut Haus Radio Station: WAPL 105.7 Music Teacher: Mark Budwit

(Northwest) Band: Spicy Tie Band Fan: Penny Perot Venue: Live On Main Radio Station: WIEC-LP 102.7 Music Teacher: Brad Burrell

(Southeast) Band: The Playlist Fan: Cindee May Venue: The Saloon On Calhoun Radio Station: 102.9 The Hog Music Teacher: Derek Machan

(Southwest) Band: Pat Watters Band Fan: Mark Breunig Venue: Fawn Creek Winery Radio Station: 97.1 WCOW Music Teacher: Kathy Wacker


There were three inductees into the WAMI Hall of Fame: Eric Benét, Short Stuff, and Bryan Lee. 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 fund to provide a Youth Music Showcase and provide scholarships to students and emerging artists.