St. Louis band This is Energy is the winner of the 2010 Briggs & Stratton "Battle of the Bands," nabbing the title after a month-long online fan vote.
The band, which beat out 300 other contenders from such far-flung places as Italy and Finland, gets a gig at Summerfest at 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 26, opening for the Briggs & Stratton Bluesbusters and Gavin DeGraw on the (natch) Briggs & Stratton stage.
"It's been a long road, but we are so excited to make it to Milwaukee!" said singer and guitarist Adam Gardner.
"We entered the Battle knowing that it would be up to the fans around the world to vote us in, and we're so fortunate to have loyal admirers to get us this far! We're dedicated to ourselves and our fans, and are thrilled out of our minds to get to rock out for thousands of music lovers at Summerfest next month."
This is Energy comprises Gardner, drummer Britton Campbell, Charlie Springhart on bass and guitarist Dave Baronio. All hail from St. Louis, except Baronio who moved to the U.S. from Lille, France to pursue his rock and roll dream.
"This is the second time we've organized this contest, and again, we're amazed at the response," said Todd Teske, President & CEO of Briggs & Stratton.
"When we named our top three bands a few weeks ago, we knew music fans wouldn't disappoint. We were absolutely blown away by how many votes came in to the site, and also how close the vote was at the end. We know This is Energy is deserving of this winning title, and we're excited to see them here in Milwaukee."
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.