Spirited Strings

2019 WAMI Christian/Gospel Artist Nominees

MILWAUKEE - The Wisconsin Area Music Industry (WAMI) Awards returns to Milwaukee's Turner Hall on Sunday, April 14, 2019.

Artist of the Year:
Lex Allen
Chris Kroeze
Unity The Band
Horseshoes & Hand Grenades
Field Report
Feed The Dog
Dead Horses

Album of the Year:
Field Report – "Summertime Songs"
Horseshoes & Hand Grenades – "The Ode"
Lorde Fredd33 – "Norf: The Legend of Hotboy Ronald"
Feed The Dog – "Tenderloin"
Warrior Songs – "Women at War: Warrior Songs Vol. 2"
Yipes! – "Yipes!!!"
Lex Allen – "Table 7: Sinners and Saints"
Keith Pulvermacher – "45 Story"

Song of the Year:
Amanda Huff & Peter Thomas – "Only In Dreams"
Reyna – "Heartbeat"
Calliope – "Sea of Red"
Buffalo Gospel – "18 Wheeler"
Trapper Schoepp – "On Wisconsin"
WebsterX – "Feels"
Abby Jeanne – "Be In The Sun"
Vinyl Theatre – "Masterpiece"

New Artist of the Year:
The Docksiders
The First Wave
Block Party
Brett and The Dandys
Spirited Strings
Jessie Marie and the Rippers

Male Vocalist of the Year:
Rich Hoffman
Steve March-Torme
Chris Hodgson
Andre Beaudot
Julio Reyes
Jeff Taylor
Sean Jones
Eddie Martinez

Female Vocalist of the Year:
Kaylee Pecha
Erin Krebs
Jennifer Schafer
Paige Baker
Jackie Brown
Michele McCarthy
Anastasia Lee

Singer/Songwriter of the Year:
Ben Wagner
Keith Pulvermacher Kyle Feerick
Laura Petersen
Kurt Gunn
Sammy Ray Marshall Joe Richter
Alyssia Dominguez

Rising Star of the Year:
Figure It Out
Jenna Kopitske
Lilie Fouts
Parker Collar
Ebony Loren
Sadie Jo Schwefel

Alternative Rock/Rock Artist:
Sliver Amberstein
More Then Merry
Chris Haise Band
Horace Greene

Bluegrass/Americana Artist:
Wise Jennings
Feed The Dog
Horseshoes & Hand Grenades
Mascot Theory
The Fainting Room
Dead Horses
Chicken Wire Empire
Zach Pietrini

Christian/Gospel Artist:
Spirited Strings
Kevin Hayden
Night Divine
Mike Westendorf
Masonic Wonders

Blues Artist:
Reverend Raven & The Chain Smokin´┐Ż Altar Boys
Altered Five Blues Band
Robert Allen, Jr.
Madtown Mannish Boys
The Blues Disciples
Jay Edward Tallan
Noble Latz
David Miller Band

Country Artist:
Grand Union
Rebel Grace
Dexter Road
Buffalo Gospel
Driveway Thriftdwellers
Stetsin & Lace
Madison County

Cover Artist:
Panic Station
Star Six Nine
Almighty Vinyl
The Now
The Toys
33 RPM
A-Town Unplugged
Bella Cain

Folk/Celtic Artist:
The Roving Scallywags
Warrior Songs
Killarney Blarney
Trapper Schoepp
John Stano
Derek Byrne and Paddygrass

Hard Rock Artist:
Lords of The Trident
The Homeland Conspiracy
Last Crack
Imperial Fall
Sons of Kong
Cyanide Son
Stone Crow
Killing Rapunzel

Metal Artist:
Memories Wither
Metal Men
Jungle Rot
Morta Skuld
Monorail Central

Punk Artist:
Slaughter Party
The Cherrypops
Direct Hit!
The First Rule
Solid Freex!
Fox Face

Jazz Artist:
KWT featuring Tom Washatka
The Jazz Orgy
Randi Fay
The Bill Schmidt Jazz Ensemble
Match Stick
Mike Standal Quartet
Jerry Grillo
Meade St. Collective

Polka Artist:
Val Sigal
Happy Schnapps Combo
The Squeezettes
Alpine Blast
Tuba Dan Jerabek
The November Criminals
Steve Meisner
Rhythm Playboys

Pop Rock Artist:
Brett Newski
Xposed 4Heads
Well-Known Strangers
Rocket Cat
Gin, Chocolate & Bottle Rockets

Hip Hop/Rap Artist:
Vincent Van Great
DJ Milo
Zed Kenzo
Shle Berry
Lorde Fredd33

R&B/Soul Artist:
Charles Walker Band
The People Brothers Band
Tweed Funk
Eddie Butts Band
Valerie B. and The Boys
Lex Allen
The Pocket Kings

Luma Knotty
Unity The Band
De La Buena
The Us Project
Salsa Manzana
Sista Sensi & The B Easy Band
Natty Nation
Something To Do

Club/DJ/Dance/Electronic Artist:
No No Yeah Okay
DJ Zello
DJ Flux

Horn/Big Band Artist:
FBI & The Untouchable Horns
The Jimmys
Extra Crispy Brass Band
Water City Jazz Orchestra
Big Mouth & The Power Tool Horns
Big Style Brass Band
Cold Sweat and The Brew City Horns
Hot and Dirty Brass Band

Tribute Artist:
The Prince Experience
Master of Puppets – A Tribute to Metallica
Light Up
Steely Dane
The Rush Tribute Project
Project Pink
The Hellion

Danny Walters
Johnny Washday
Ken Gore
Jim Sorensen
Fred Velpel
Chris Hanaway
Craig Neuser
Mary Farmer

Mark Anastasi
Matt Gieseke
Chris DiDomenico
Dean Tassone
Jim Winter
Adam Hatton
Andrew Lynch
Jim Kube

Sean Williamson
Jeff Mitchell
Paris Ortiz
Angie Swan
Kyle Stair
Jay Stulo
Tom Theabo
Miles McConnell

Rebecca Kettler
Noah Harmon
Shawndell Marks
Logan Dier
Jimmy Voegeli
Josh Becker
Theo Merriweather
Sam McClain

John Vollmar
Ross Catterton
Michael Clobes
Jack Naus
Jamie Beckman
Ben Hohenstein
Greg Balfany
Matt Antoniewicz

Chauntee Ross
Thea Morton
Vorass Kayla Potter
Russ Greeley
Joe Ketchum
Tim McIlree
Monique Ross
Angela Licari

Best Studio Engineer/Producer:
Eric LaBrosse
Jeff Hamilton
Marc Golde
Joe Hite
Geoff Wilbourn
Gary Tanin
Michael Mann
Steve Hamilton

Best Recording Studio:
Musicmann Studios
Stories Studio
Rock Garden
Cherry Pit Studios
Tanner-Monagle, Inc.
Hi-Five Studio
Renwood Messenger Studio
Makin' Sausage Music

Best Live Club/Venue:
Shank Hall
The Saloon On Calhoun
The Cold Shot
Gibson Music Hall
North Star Casino
Potowatomi Fire Pit Sports Bar
Dundee's Roadhouse

Best Live Engineer Sound/Lights:
Todd Fink
Cole Grygny
Tom Mussa
Dan Henszey
Jon-Paul LeClair
Craig Vetrone
Steve Fry
Jason Lueck

For decades, the WAMI awards show has included a "Christian/Gospel Artist of the Year" category to express gratitude to those who work hard every year to create music that lifts up the name of Jesus. Thank you WAMI, we appreciate that! We also love the fact that musicians from all over the state of Wisconsin are choosing to use their talents to give thanks to the One who provided them in the first place.

"For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."
- Ephesians 2:10

Please pray for the continued growth of all these musical ministries in Wisconsin and join us in congratulating the 2019 nominees for WAMI Christian/Gospel Artist of The Year!

Spirited Strings (Winner!)

WAMI Winner 2019

Spirited Strings--which is a part of "Alicia Michelle Music"--is a group of Christian siblings who use string instruments to glorify God. Concerts include music played on the violin, viola, cello, fiddle, guitar, mandolin, hammered dulcimer, psaltery, and mountain dulcimer.

Official website:


Koine is combining century-old hymns with a modern accompaniment. With their arrangements, Koine strives to find a unique balance between the familiarity of the classic hymn melodies and the raw instrumentation of the new arrangements.

Official website:

Kevin Hayden

Kevin Hayden is an American drummer and producer currently residing in Milwaukee WI. Kevin's signature sound fuses jazz and gospel and he currently plays at various jazz clubs and music festivals across the mid west. Collaborative efforts have included shows with the Robert Glasper Experiment and Snarky Puppy.

Official website:

Night Divine

Night Divine has played in a variety of venues over the years, from churches to outdoor festivals and even taverns with one goal in mind: spread the message of Jesus Christ in a fun and engaging way.

Official website:

Mike Westendorf

Since 2007, Mike's music and ministry has touched the lives of thousands of people through various concerts, worship services and speaking engagements. As a WELS worship leader, Mike has worked with dozens of churches over the years to present the heart of the story of God's faithfulness in fresh and meaningful ways. Mike is part of the Ministry at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Muskego, WI

Official website:


WithoutExcuse is a group of energetic and talented musicians who have come together to create uplifting and encouraging music with a message. WithoutExcuse has shared the stage with artists such as Disciple, Summertime Dropouts, Project 86, Icon For Hire, Silverline, Loftland, Bright Light Parade, A Life Set Apart, and more. They have played at noteworthy places including Summerfest, Lifest, and Bratfest.

Official website:

Masonic Wonders

The Masonic Wonders have been singing together since 1956.

That's 63 years!


Wisconsin Area Music Industry

The Wisconsin Area Music Industry (WAMI) is a volunteer organization whose purpose is to educate and recognize the achievements and accomplishments of individuals in the Wisconsin music industry.

Official website: