Vinyl Theatre, Dead Horses Take Home Top Awards at 37th Annual WAMIs

Apr. 24, 2017
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dead horses
Dead Horses
If ever there was a testament to just how much territory the Wisconsin Area Music Industry Awards covers, it was this year's ceremony. No one artist—or for that matter genre—dominated this year's awards. Instead the awards were distributed almost evenly across nearly a dozen genres covering more or less the entire state. To the extent that there was a "big" winner, it was Dead Horses, the Oshkosh-born bluegrass ensemble, who took home an album of the year award for their LP Cartoon Moon and also claimed the Bluegrass/Americana category they seemed to be a lock for.

The extraordinarily popular-among-a-certain-age Fueled By Ramen electro-rock group Vinyl Theatre took the marquee Artist of the Year award, though the other category they were nominated in, Pop Rock Artist, went to Milwaukee's GGOOLLDD. And so it was across the board, with the results divided literally dozens of different ways, leaving no one runaway victor, just a whole bunch of deserving one-shot winners. Other honors went to The Pukes, Brett Newski, IshDARR, Tweed Funk, The Squeezettes and—oh hell yes—The Prince Experience, who took home the award in this year's unusually competitive Tribute category.

The complete list of winners is below:

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 N’ 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 
President’s Award: Marc Solheim 
  
People’s Choice Awards 
(Northeast)     Band: Hyde 
                        Fan: Chris & Anita Holloman 
                        Venue: Rocky & Tara’s 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 
  
The ceremony also inducted three acts into the WAMI Hall of Fame: Eric Benét, Short Stuff and Bryan Lee. 

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