Summer in Milwaukee means music lovers have a great selection of outdoor festivals and events around the city where they can hear local bands. This year’s Summer Soulstice Festival on the East Side of town – set for June 22 on North and Murray Avenues – offers one of the most diverse and talented line-ups of the season.
The 2013 installment celebrates the festival’s 13th anniversary and is presented by the East Side Business Improvement in partnership with Made in Milwaukee.
This year’s performers come from all corners of the local music scene, and the free festival truly is a showcase of some of the great talent that the city of Milwaukee has to offer.
OnMilwaukee.com had the pleasure of speaking to two of the artists that will perform at the Soulstice this year – Hugh Masterson of Hugh Bob and the Hustle and Nick Amadeus of The Delta Routine – and got the hear their thoughts on what makes an East Side music festival special.
OnMilwaukee.com: Is this your first time playing the Summer Soulstice Festival?
Nick Amadeus: This is our first year playing, but I have been going for years. It's definitely one of the most attended festivals of the summer, and we're really excited to be a part of it this year.
Hugh Masterson: Last year was the first year that we played Summer Soulstice as Hugh Bob and The Hustle, but some of us have played it before in other bands that we have been in. This year will be our first time headlining the festival.
OMC: Hugh, your band’s self-titled debut was released in October to great reviews and generated a dedicated Milwaukee following. Are there plans to record any new material in the near future?
HM: You know, since we put out our first record I have been writing quite a bit and have lots of new songs. I think instead of making people wait for the next full-length you may be seeing us do a couple seven-inch vinyls and staggering them. Don't hold me to that! We will be busy working this first record for a while yet, but I'm always busy with new stuff and I get excited to share that.
OMC: OnMilwaukee: Similarly, the Delta Routine put out its third full-length record, "Cigarettes and Caffeine Nightmares" last fall, which received great reviews from The AV Club, Rocksposure and a whole slew of music blogs. Nick, can fans and festival attendees expect a new release anytime soon, or to hear any new music at the Summer Soulstice?
NA: We are actually in the process of writing our fourth album at the moment, no title yet, but we hope to have it done by late fall and available by early 2014. We're really happy with the songs and can't wait to get in the studio. Not sure if we're going to be ready to try out the new stuff by June 22, but who knows!
OMC: The Delta Routine has played/is booked to play a few of the top Milwaukee Music festivals this summer. What makes a festival on the East Side of town unique?
NA: If you are ever looking for a member of The Delta Routine, a good place to start would be North Avenue. From a happy hour at Yield to a late night Manhattan at HoFo or slice of buffalo chicken pizza at Ian's, we would definitely consider it to be our home turf. It is an area of town that truly offers something for everyone. It feels nice to be part of the celebration this year
OMC: There is truly an eclectic line up at the Soulstice this year. What other bands and artists would you recommend seeing?
HM: Honestly, no matter the time or the stage, you won't be disappointed. The organizers did a really great job picking music this year. If I have to play a few favorites I would recommend going to see Juniper Tar, Canopies, Heidi Spencer, and Hayward Williams. I'll see ya there!
NA: That's a tough question for me, as I know most of the performers this year, so I recommend all of the acts. It really is an amazing line up of the city's best talent. I definitely want to catch the Extra Crispy Brass Band; they are legit New Orleans-style awesomeness, and I can't get enough! I haven't seen I'm Not A Pilot or Heidi Spencer in a while, so I'll try and catch them. And come 10 p.m. and you'll find me over at the East Stage watching Hugh Bob and Hustle. They're one of my faves.
In addition to the great music at the Soulstice festival, attendees can also look forward to an arts and crafts fair, outdoor bowling, dodgeball, and a slew of other great activities. Food and spirits will be available from Rascals, Divinos, Two Bucks, Mr. Senor’s and Paddy’s Irish Pub, and gelato samples from Whole Foods.
See OnMilwaukee.com's Festival Guide article on Summer Soulstice for more details.