Local Milwaukee Music Scene
Milwaukee was where the TV shows "Happy Days" and "Laverne & Shirley" were based, although taped in Hollywood. The city is probably even more famous for being the home of Harley Davidson and the annual festival on Lake Michigan known as "Summer Fest." In the 2010 Census the metro area had a population of over 1.7 million people. The main campus is University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
The history of the Milwaukee music scene has included Les Paul, Liberace, Al Jarreau, Violent Femmes and Citizen King. The local music scene is covered by Milwaukee Journal Sentinal, Shepherd Express and MilwaukeeRocks.com. Some of the venues where local bands play live include The Rave, Whammy Bar, Tremor's Bar and Grille, Fixture Brewing Company, Down and Over, Fire on Water, City Lounge, Sunset Bar and Grille and Iron Horse.
Amerikas Addiction * Becca Richter * Charles Walker Band * Chester French * Endless Blue * Ethan Keller * Felix Langford * French Horn Rebellion * Gerald Walker * Haywyre * Jamie Brace * Joe Kennedy * LaCrusso * Light Asylum * Lyric Mitchell * Michael Wenzel * Nora Collins * October Soul * Fibonacci Sequence * Rupee * Samantha Branch * Scorpio 67 * Scott Nuron * Take Solace * Taneeshia Yvonne *
Milwaukee Local Music Scene History
All local festivals were cancelled in 2020 due to the coronavirus, so musicians moved to online streaming to showcase their music. The result was presentations such as "The Uncancelled Music Festival" organized by Milwaukee natives Ari Herstand and Andrew Leib. The festival series raised over $80,000 in less than two weeks, according to Leib in an article published by the Milwaukee Sentinel-Journal. Most of the revenue went to performers and venue owners.
The Appleton Public Library launched a new place for musicians to submit original music through a program called "FlipSide." It's open to artists with ties to the Fox Cities music community. Submissions will become part of the digital library, which allows members to download music.
"Backline" is the name of a music project from 88Nine Radio Milwaukee, announced on March 28, 2018. The station's site said that Backline will be offering $20,000 to four Milwaukee groups or musicians for recording, promotion and touring, based on reviewing applications submitted in June. The station has partnered with local business accelerator gener8tor to evaluate local musicians for grants. Backline will offer workshops on how to approach the music business.
"Milwaukee Day" was held April 14, 2017, billed as "The Greatest Day in the World." The media-driven extravaganza celebrating local culture, according to its website, aims to "create a better city at a grassroots level." It featured several events in various establishments, such as Turner Hall Ballroom, Harley-Davidson Museum, Pabst Brewery, Comet Cafe, Milwaukee Parks and Dope Folks Records. Local music performers included rapper Blax at the Cactus Club, Beatles/Metallica tribute band Beatallica at Club Garibaldi, Mrs. Fun at the Jazz Estate and Luxi opening for Paul's son James McCartney at Shank Hall.
Milwaukee Rocks is an online resource that serves as a directory of the local music scene and has been online since 1999. It lists many local acts and the venues where they play. It also includes a section for classified ads where musicians can find opportunities. It's a useful site for local artists, fans, DJs and other music industry people.
A summer day camp for girls called Girls Rock Milwaukee explores music education at UWM's Zelazo Center. Founded by punk rock fan Valeri Lucks and underground musician Ashley Smith, the volunteer organization provides mentors for girls ages 8 through 16. They help empower girls to learn about self-esteem and leadership skills.
Mil Street TV is a video platform for local talent through Milwaukee Community Media. They also have a weekly radio show on Triradio.net. The show was started by Kevin Valentine in 2010. The shows are a mix of music and artist interviews. The platform was written about by Geraud Banks in this 3/18/2013 article on Tap Milwaukee.
Revomatics - A surf band that brings back covers of 1960s surf hits. The lead guitarist is Drew Delutio, a Milwaukee High School of the Arts history teacher. Other members include Peter Flessas on bass and Jeff Schneider on drums. The band opened for Dick Dale at Shank Hall in October 2011. They have also played outside the region at Ohana Luau at the Lake in Lake George, New York. Their live performances include a cover of the Ventures' hit "Walk, Don't Run." They also do original songs such as "Hot Rod Strut" and "Summer Wave," which were recorded for their album of 14 songs called Rev It Up! The Revomatics were written about in a Piet Levy article 8/14/2013 in the Milwaukee Jounal Sentinel.
Wild Violets - A husband and wife duo consisting of Kim and Mark Albrecht who mix mostly original songs with rock covers. One of the places they have appeared a lot is the Blueburg Cafe. Their debut CD called Simple Life was released in 2013. They have played live throughout the state of Wisconsin. The duo was written about in a Bobby Tanzilo article 8/10/2013 on the site OnMilwaukee.com.
Several local acts reunited in 2015, such as the Promise Ring, the Squish and The Candliers. In January 2016 the Milwaukee Record published a list of 12 Milwaukee bands they wanted to see get back together in 2016. The list included the .357 String Band, Cougar Den, Die Kreuzen, Fable & The World Flat and Forstella Ford.