The Go Stops Here

May. 12, 2009
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In the end, "American Idol" voters opted for two finalists with more commercial appeal than Danny Gokey, the soft-rocking Milwaukeean who likely would have cut a Christian pop album had he won the big prize. Not a shocker, really. In the end, my autographed 8' by 10'' of Joe Biden will remain on my wall, where it belongs. It was a fun ride while it lasted, though, giving Milwaukee something to talk about and some welcome national publicity.

Watching Gokey give a free concert at the Summerfest grounds last Friday (DJ Hostettler and Steven Hyden have a great write-up at Decider), I was struck by how much Gokey sounded like any other act you'd see playing the Harley-Davidson Roadhouse at 5 in the afternoon, crooning Earth, Wind and Fire covers.

That alone speaks to why he shouldn't have won, but I suspect we'll be seeing plenty of Gokey at Summerfest in the future, even long after the rest of the country forgets about him (and, to be sure, it will). Milwaukee has a way of taking care of its own, and Gokey's engendered enough good will in this city to earn an annual gig opening for The BoDeans.

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