Who’s got WAMI fever? Thursday morning, the folks behind the Wisconsin Area Music Industry awards unveiled the nominees for their 40th annual shindig, set for Sunday, April 19 at Turner Hall Ballroom. Covering everything from artist/album/song of the year (whole lotta Milwaukee here, per usual) to best polka and tribute act, the nominees are sure to delight, entertain, and occasionally confound. It wouldn’t be the WAMIs any other way.

WAMI will host a free party celebrating the nominees on Sunday, April 5 at Brookfield’s Saloon on Calhoun (up for Best Live Club/Venue, as always). Voting for the People’s Choice Awards, meanwhile, is live through the end of the month.

Oh yeah: This year’s WAMI Hall of Fame inductees are Milwaukee mainstays Semi-Twang, 107-year-old drumming legend Viola Smith, Drivin N Cryin’s Kevn Kinney, and Milwaukee’s R&B legends The Esquires. Go Viola!

Artist of the Year
Zach Pietrini
Unity The Band
Rose of The West
Them Coulee Boys
The Jimmys
Trapper Schoepp
Chicken Wire Empire

Album of the Year
Black Belt Theatre – “Power Petting”
Stulo – Thiel – “Ghosts Around Here”
Chicken Wire Empire – “What Moves Mountains”
Goran – “Under A Nashville Sky”
Testa Rosa – “Testa Rosa IV”
Klassik – “Quiet”
Wisconsin Vinyl Collective – “Volume Three”
Kurt Gunn – “Northern Town”

Song of the Year
The Keystones – “2010”
Bascom Hill – “Our Love Burning”
Nickel & Rose – “Another Man’”
Betsy Ade & the Well-Known Strangers – “Light Up My Summer”
Zach Pietrini – “Like the Pain”
Zed Kenzo – “Not Froze Yet”
Krestfall – “Where Do I Belong?”
Rose of The West – “Loves Lies Bleeding”

New Artist of the Year
Boy Bjorn
The Last Bees
Ben Harold and The Rising
The Midnight Purchase
Laura Jean Bomber
The MilBillies

Male Vocalist of the Year
Rich Hoffman
Ben Mulwana
Stephen Cooper
Bobby Rouse
Mike Wendland
Dave Adler
Andrew Balistreri
Vincent Black

Female Vocalist of the Year
Katie Mack
Genevieve Heyward
Michele McCarthy
Jackie Brown
Jennifer Schafer
Betsy Ade
Sammy Ray Marshall

Singer/Songwriter of the Year
Phil Norby
Kurt Gunn
Chris Haise
Mark Croft
Barbara Stephan
Kyle Megna

Rising Star of the Year
The Waxlips
Twisted Chords
Parker Collar
Lilie Fouts
Cherry Punch
Amelia Hopfensperger
Mackenzie Moore

Alternative Rock/Rock Artist
The Keystones
Flat Teeth
Jamie Fontaine & The Level
Marielle Allschwang & The Visitations

Bluegrass/Americana Artist
Dig Deep
The Honeygoats
Trapper Schoepp
Chicken Wire Empire
The Whiskeybelles
Them Coulee Boys
Feed The Dog
The Mascot Theory

Christian/Gospel Artist
The Band Eden
Brendan Brooks
Danen Kane
Samuel Elias
Branches Band
Night Divine

Blues Artist
Dirty Deuce
Altered Five Blues Band
Reverend Raven and The Chain Smokin’ Altar Boys
The Jay Stulo Band
Blind Fiction
Cash Box Kings
Jimmy Crimmins

Country Artist
Tangled Lines
Grand Union
Bella Cain
Madison County
Buffalo Gospel
Gregg Hall & The Wrecking Ball
Jay Matthes
Rebel Grace

Cover Artist
Face For Radio
Johnny Wad
Almighty Vinyl
The LoveMonkeys
Five Card Studs
The Presidents
The Cougars
Radio Radio

Folk/Celtic Artist
The Roving Scallywags
Derek Byrne & Paddygrass
Blackthorn Folly
Nickel & Rose
Killarney Blarney
Jesse Voelker

Hard Rock Artist
The Homeland Conspiracy
Black Belt Theatre
Sir Real
Leading The Blind
Last Crack

Metal Artist
Imperial Fall
These Fading Visions
Under Aegis
Morta Skuld
Lords of The Trident

Punk Artist
Platinum Boys
Size 5’s
Indonesian Junk
The First Rule
Fox Face
Bad Year

Jazz Artist
Mark Thierfelder & Janet O’Mahony
Mr. Chair
Match Stick
Erin Krebs
The Meade Street Collective
Harmon Brothers
Jamie Breiwick
Randi Fay

Polka Artist
SugarBush Boys
The November Criminals
Ralph Thull The Goodtime Dutchmen
The Squeezettes
Val Sigal
Alpine Blast
Steve Meisner
Stas Venglevski

Pop Rock Artist
Rose of The West
Testa Rosa
Fuzzy Surf
Laurel Sulfate & Her Ladies of Leisure
Rocket Cat
Xposed 4Heads

Hip Hop/Rap Artist
Genesis Renji
Kaylee Crossfire
Zed Kenzo
Von Alexander
Shle Berry

R&B/Soul Artist
The Style
Bryon Cherry
Lex Allen
Barbara Stephan Band
Charles Walker Band
Ms. Lotus Fankh
Cigarette Break
The Pocket Kings

Brewtown Beat
Unity The Band
King Solomon
Something To Do
The Carlos Adames Group
In Black ‘n White

Club/DJ/Dance/Electronic Artist
Immortal Girlfriend
MC Whitehorse
DJ Shawna
Crystal Knives
DJ Bizzon
DJ King James
DJ Milo

Horn/Big Band Artist
Stephen Cooper and The Nobody Famous
Extra Crispy Brass Band
Hot & Dirty Brass Band
Cold Sweat & The Brew City Horns
FBI & The Untouchable Horns
Big Band Reunion
Mama Digdown’s Brass Band
The Jimmys

Tribute Artist
The Prince Experience
The Salford Lads Club
The Docksiders
Aces High – A Tribute to Iron Maiden
The Glam Band
Steely Dane
The Rush Tribute Project

Nick Smith
Dave Maurer
John Wartenweiler
Cedric LeMoyne
Matt Hammen
Craig Neuser
Ben Titus
Andy Mertens

Candy Dax
Dan Cable
Devin Drobka
Patrick Wydeven
Kim Zick
Steve Vorass
Mike Malone
Mike O’Hara

Angie Swan
Sean Williamson
Pat Stillman
Raine Stern
Tom Raspanti
Dean Arndt
Matthew Schroeder
Rodney Zimmerman

Dan Palmisano
Samuel P. McClain Jr.
Joe Hite
Kristopher Crow
Shawndell Marks
Jamie Fletcher
Josh Becker
Mitch Cooper

Matt Ostlund
Pete Ross
Katie Del Giacco
Michelle Jerabek
Matt Antoniewicz
Kevin Van Ess
Nick Zoulek
Peter Neumer

Cameron Fair
Tim Mcilree
Holly Rognstad
Marisa Rose Sheppard
Ernest Brusubardis IV
Chauntee Ross
Tony Sturino
Corinn Bonkalski

Best Studio Engineer/Producer
Shane Hochstetler
Kevin Arndt
Eric LaBrosse
Ian Olvera
Marc Golde
Gary Tanin
Aaron Zinsmeister
Tom Washatka

Best Recording Studio
Howl Street Recordings
Steel Moon Recording Studio
Kneeverland Productions
The Exchange Recording Complex
Cherry Pit Studios
National Recording
Subsidized Housing Records
Tanner-Monagle, Inc.

Best Live Club/Venue
Short Branch Saloon
The Saloon on Calhoun
Lyric Room
Cactus Club
High Noon Saloon
Deja Vu Martini Lounge
Paulie’s Pub & Eatery
Anodyne Coffee Roasting Co.

Best Live Engineer Sound/Lights
Craig Vetrone
David Dec
Steve Wiegert
Trevor Powers
Justin Abuya
Steve Funke
Tim McClutchy
Michael Grassman

About The Author

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Co-Founder and Editor

Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.