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No wonder DIRECT HIT! is all smiles: They were nominated for Artist, Album and Song of the Year by WAMI. (PHOTO: DIRECT HIT! Facebook)

WAMI announces 2017 awards nominees

Today, the Wisconsin Area Music Industry (WAMI) announced the nominees for the organization's 37th annual awards show, hosted this year at the Turner Hall Ballroom at 7 p.m. on Sunday, April 23.

The nominees are as follows:

Artist of the Year

  • Reyna
  • DIRECT HIT!
  • The Pukes
  • PHOX
  • Vinyl Theatre
  • B~Free
  • Dead Horses
  • Pizzle

Album of the Year

  • DIRECT HIT!, "Wasted Mind"
  • Conniption, "Relentless Tides"
  • Pizzle, "Grand Design"
  • Dead Horses, "Cartoon Moon"
  • B~Free, "Ode 2 a Luv Affair"
  • Steve Grimm, "Bad Boys Bad Girls"
  • The Pukes, "Revenge of The Pukes"
  • NO/NO, "Sound and Light"
  • Space Raft, "Rubicon"

Song of the Year

  • Reyna, "Spill Your Colors"
  • Brett Newski, "DIY"
  • Devil Met Contention, "Fire"
  • Ordinary Heathens, "Winterset"
  • Steve Grimm, "You and Me Against The World"
  • Gabriel Sanchez, "Immortal By Sound"
  • NO/NO, "Whatever"
  • Midwest Death Rattle, "Tacoma Narrows"
  • DIRECT HIT!, "Paid in Brains"

New Artist of the Year

  • Spiders From Milwaukee
  • J-Council
  • The Kelsey Miles Band
  • Derek Sallmann
  • Vertigo
  • Totally Neon
  • Camel Toe Truck
  • Crank The Radio

Male Vocalist of the Year

  • Travis Schinke
  • Erik Kjelland
  • Kris Crow
  • Jon Wheelock
  • Joe Gleesing
  • Chris Tischler
  • Kurt Gunn
  • Rich Hoffman

Female Vocalist of the Year

  • Jennifer Schafer
  • B~Free
  • Sarah Vos
  • Alexis Walton
  • Erin Krebs
  • Amileigha Blue
  • Beth Kille
  • Jamie Lynn Fletcher

Singer/Songwriter of the Year

  • Jay Matthes
  • Brett Newski
  • Jason Moon
  • LJ & Bill
  • Phil Norby
  • Ricky Ganiere
  • Stephanie Tschech
  • Kurt Gunn

Rising Star of the Year

  • Jaid Ruffing
  • Savannah Rose
  • Ebony Loren
  • Parker Collar
  • Jonah Roth
  • Eminence
  • Genevieve Heyward

Alternative Rock/Rock Artist of the Year

  • Field Report
  • Space Raft
  • Dr. Chow's Love Medicine
  • The Family Business
  • The Chocolateers
  • Steve Grimm
  • Green Screen Kid
  • Kyle Megna & The Monsoons

Bluegrass/Americana Artist of the Year

  • Dead Horses
  • The Mad Polecats
  • Horseshoes & Hand Grenades
  • Mascot Theory
  • Copper Box
  • The Whiskeybelles
  • Nordland & The Nomad Assembly

Christian/Gospel Artist of the Year

  • Koine
  • Night Divine
  • Masonic Wonders
  • Cory Cifax
  • Tae Spears
  • Paul F. Trebian

Blues Artist of the Year

  • Reverend Raven & The Chain Smokin' Altar Boys
  • Jonny T-Bird & The MP's
  • Max Jones & The A-Tones
  • Big n Tasty Blues
  • The Jimmy's
  • 3rd Coast Blues Collective
  • Altered Five
  • Steve Cohen

Country Artist of the Year

  • Rebel Grace
  • Bella Cain
  • Road Crew
  • Driveway Thriftdwellers
  • Stetsin & Lace
  • FM Rodeo
  • Spitfire Rodeo
  • Grand Union

Cover Artist of the Year

  • The Presidents
  • Hyde
  • Boogie & The Yo-Yo'z
  • Almighty Vinyl
  • The Love Monkeys
  • Metal Men
  • Cherry Pie
  • Star Six Nine

Folk/Celtic Artist of the Year

  • Devil Met Contention
  • Sugar Ransom
  • Whiskey of the Damned
  • Ian Gould
  • The Roving Scallywags
  • Killarney Blarney & The Paddy Wagon
  • Reilly

Hard Rock Artist of the Year

  • Gabriel Sanchez
  • Red Light Saints
  • Bad Habitz
  • Imperial Fall
  • Leading the Blind
  • Stradlin' Rosie
  • Chief
  • Lords of the Trident

Metal Artist of the Year

  • Cold Black River
  • NORTHLESS
  • Conniption
  • Killing Rapunzel
  • Thrasher
  • Evoked
  • Memories Wither
  • Burial Ritual

Punk Artist of the Year

  • The Pukes
  • The Cherrypops
  • DIRECT HIT!
  • Work
  • Walt Hamburger
  • Avenues
  • Sedated - A Tribute to the Ramones
  • Appleseeds

Jazz Artist of the Year

  • Vivo
  • Jamie Breiwick
  • KWT featuring Tom Washatka
  • Ellen Winters
  • Erin Krebs
  • The Jazz Orgy
  • Jamie Lynn Fletcher
  • Rändi Fay

Polka Artist of the Year

  • The Squeezettes
  • Happy Schnapps Combo
  • Steve Meisner
  • Gary's Ridgeland Dutchmen
  • The Rhythm Playboys

Pop Rock Artist of the Year

  • Vinyl Theatre
  • GGOOLLDD
  • Doozey
  • Midwest Death Rattle
  • Ian & The Dream
  • Blue Light Scene
  • Verona Grove
  • PHOX

Hip Hop/Rap Artist of the Year

  • AUTOMatic
  • Pizzle
  • Lorde Fredd33
  • IshDARR
  • Handz Onn
  • WebsterX

R&B/Soul Artist of the Year

  • J. Council
  • B~Free
  • Tweed Funk
  • Shonn Hinton & Shotgun
  • The People Brothers Band
  • Charles Walker Band
  • Eddie Butts Band

World/Reggae/Ska/Latin Artist of the Year

  • King Solomon
  • Unity The Band
  • Salsa Manzana
  • Phocus
  • The US Project
  • Max & The Invaders
  • De La Buena
  • Kojo

Club/DJ/Dance/Electronic Artist of the Year

  • Melvv
  • Antics
  • Aubrey Lee
  • Kiings
  • NO/NO
  • DJ G-Spot

Horn/Big Band Artist of the Year

  • Pam The Bear
  • Big Mouth & The Power Tool Horns
  • The Extra Crispy Brass Band
  • Dead Man's Carnival
  • Cold Sweat & The Brew City Horns
  • F.B.I. and the Untouchable Horns
  • Bill Sargent Big Band

Tribute Artist of the Year

  • The Rush Tribute Project
  • Headknocker
  • Motley Brue
  • 5 Card Studs
  • The Prince Experience
  • Separate Ways
  • Project Pink
  • Steely Dane

Bass of the Year

  • Matt Danbeck
  • Mike Lelo
  • Jeff Brueggeman
  • Fred Velpel
  • Craig Neuser
  • Chris Hanaway
  • Jeff Hammes
  • Scott Lowe

Drummer of the Year

  • Ben Hans
  • Mike Underwood
  • Ryan Seefeldt
  • Mike Malone
  • Matt Birschbach
  • Quinton Kufahl
  • Matt Liban
  • Dylan Koch

Guitarist of the Year

  • Sean Williamson
  • Bill Heck
  • Chris Gess
  • Max Jones
  • Aaron Zepplin
  • Travis Nechuta
  • Aaron Baker
  • Dave Zettle

Keyboards of the Year

  • Aaron Zinsmeister
  • Noah Harmon
  • Joe Hite
  • Alex Chilsen
  • Marcell Guyton
  • Theo Merriwether
  • Josh Becker

Reeds/Brass of the Year

  • Stephen Cooper
  • Danny Jerabek
  • Michelle Jerabek
  • Ross Catteron
  • Michael Clobes
  • Cass Struve
  • Brian Dudor
  • James Beckman

Strings of the Year

  • Kimberly Unger
  • Joe Ketchum
  • Adrian Ramos
  • Stephanie Tschech
  • Gina Romantini
  • Russ Greeley
  • Thea Morton Vorass

Best Studio Engineer/Producer

  • Jeff Hamilton
  • Marc Golde
  • Jeff Wilbourn
  • Michael Mann
  • Justin Perkins
  • Joe Hite
  • Gary Tanin

Best Recording Studio

  • Rock Garden
  • Makin Sausage Music
  • Mystery Room Mastering
  • Cherry Pit Studios
  • Musicmann Studios
  • Tanner Monagle

Best Live Club/Venue

  • High Noon Saloon
  • Shank Hall
  • Mill Creek
  • Northstar Casino
  • The Saloon On Calhoun
  • The Metal Grill
  • The Fire Pit at Potawatomi
  • Deja Vu

Best Live Engineer Sound/Lights

  • Mike Freeland
  • Steve Funke
  • Todd Fink
  • Dave Steinberg
  • Jeremy Boerson
  • Jacob Stankowski
  • Jason Lueck
  • Glenn Ottenbacher

Voting is still open for the WAMI People's Choice Awards and will stay open until March 9. Go to WAMI's official website to tally your favorite Milwaukee and Wisconsin musicians and artists.

The doors will open at 6 p.m. for the official awards show on April 23. Meanwhile, there will also be a party for the nominees – free and open to the public – hosted at The Saloon on Calhoun at 7 p.m. on Sunday, April 2.


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