Welcome to the Summerfest Blog. Your exclusive access to playlist recommendations, what it takes to plan the festival, and personal insights from guest writers from the local Milwaukee music community.
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Posted on June 21, 2016
You've likely heard "2 Heads" on the radio and wondered who's behind the electronic banjo-sampling dance hit. Meet Coleman Hell, the 27 year old Canadian musician who writes and produces his full sound through just his keyboard. After touring with Twenty One Pilots and Robert DeLong, he'll release his first full-length album later this year.
Posted on June 14, 2016
This week’s featured artist debuted in 2013 from the vibrant soul and Bay Area funk scene of San Francisco. Con Brio’s septet consists of musicians with diverse backgrounds and perfect chemistry, including a magnetic front man (Ziek McCarter) whose powerful vocals and funky dance moves have likened him to Michael Jackson and James Brown.
Posted on June 7, 2016
If energetic indie rock is what gets you moving, The Wombats are a must-see at Summerfest. The English band made their debut in Liverpool in 2003, giving fans a modern mix of melodic pop and dark rock. The trio released their third album, Glitterbug, in April 2015.
Posted on May 31, 2016
If you’re looking for uplifting or inspirational music, this week’s Fest Find will provide you with exactly that. Boston-bred Rachel Platten moved to New York after college and wrote songs for a decade before finally getting noticed. In 2015, her motivational hit "Fight Song" put her at the top of the charts and into the spotlight. She released her latest album Wildfire in January which features the hit song "Stand By You."
St. Paul & The Broken Bones
Posted on May 24, 2016
Alabama-based sextet St. Paul & The Broken Bones will thrill you with their mix of soul, gospel and southern-tinged blues. After forming in 2012, they recorded two EPs before releasing their first full-length album, Half The City, in 2014. The dynamic group recently opened up for The Rolling Stones on two dates of their Zip Code tour last summer.
Posted on May 17, 2016
It’s no surprise that this week’s featured artist has garnered some major critical acclaim for her debut album Cheers to the Fall. With a voice like Andra Day’s, soulful and uplifting, the listener has no choice but to pay attention. Combine that voice with her retro style and affinity for vintage jazz singers, and you have an artist who is as contemporary as she is deeply connected to the “old soul” classics.
Posted on May 10, 2016
You'll be hearing a lot more about Kane Brown, the country singer-songwriter who gained attention for his music through the power of social media. After auditions for American Idol and X-Factor, Brown took to Facebook with covers of popular country songs and gained over a million followers after his cover of a George Strait song went viral. He released his first EP, Closer, in 2015 after raising funds on the crowdfunding site Kickstarter. The latest EP, Chapter 1, came out in March 2016.
Making Noise With Rockonsin
Posted on May 5, 2016
We all know that the 11 days of Summerfest can offer up some major musical talent. But, our headliners aren’t the only ones bringing their skills to the stage. We also (literally) set the stage for some of the most promising up-and-comers to play “The World’s Largest Music Festival,” and they just happen to be 7th through 12th graders.
Posted on May 3, 2016
This week's featured act is Black Violin, a duo out of Florida who bring together the unlikely combination of classical and hip hop genres to form a very distinctive style. Black Violin features Kevin Sylvester (Kev Marcus) on the violin and Wilner Baptiste (Wil B) on the viola. The latest album, Stereotypes, adds social activism to their instrumental prowess, challenging the listener to give up preconceived notions of how their appearance affects their sound.
Posted on April 26, 2016
We're bringing you a band from our not-so-distant neighbors in Minnesota this week on Fest Finds. Hippo Campus is an energetic indie rock band that presents a dance pop sensibility with their catchy songs. The quartet has opened for artists such as My Morning Jacket, Walk The Moon and Modest Mouse. South, their sophomore EP, was released in October 2015.
Staff Picks: Favorite Prince Song
Posted on April 21, 2016
Over the span of almost four decades, Prince has been a major force in the music industry. His unique artistry and unwillingness to conform to certain standards have made him an icon who redefined genres. His passing on April 21, 2016 at the age of 57 is a devastating loss for those who were impacted and mesmerized by his musical genius. We asked the Summerfest Staff to share some of their favorite Prince songs in his honor.
Posted on April 19, 2016
This week’s featured artist is pop/rock’s bad girl Elle King, who’s debut single “Ex’s and Oh’s” took mainstream radio by storm when it went platinum, broke into the Billboard top 10 and earned her two Grammy nominations.