|TDS ROCK STAGE||Located on West Side||THE DIAMOND CENTER 96.3 STAR COUNTRY STAGE||Located on East Side|
|Driveway Thriftdwellers||5:00 – 5:30 PM||Smithfield||5:00 – 5:30 PM|
|The Mascot Theory||6:00 – 6:45 PM||Devin Dawson||6:00 – 6:45 PM|
|The Verve Pipe||7:15 – 8:15 PM||Michael Ray||7:15 – 8:15 PM|
|The Jayhawks||8:45 – 10:00 PM||LOCASH||8:45 – 10:00 PM|
THE TDS ROCK STAGE – West Side
THE JAYHAWKS – American alternative country rock band The Jayhawks will headline the rock stage located on the west side of the Monona Terrace. The Jayhawks were definitely swimming against the tide when they emerged from a crowded Minneapolis music scene halfway through the 1980s. Forging a rootsy sound that wasn’t quite rock or country — “Hank Williams on speed” somebody once memorably called it — The Jayhawks quickly turned into one of the most important bands of the post-punk era. Over the course of two decades, several albums, countless memorable live shows and enough personal drama to fill a couple of Behind the Music episodes, this beloved band soared to heights few ever achieve while wining the hearts and minds of numerous critics, fans and peers in the process. To read more, click here.
THE VERVE PIPE – American rock band The Verve Pipe will take the rock stage prior to The Jayhawks. The band, with a reputation for spectacular live performances, formed in Michigan in the early 90s. Their first major label release was 1996’s Villains, which featured the #1 single ‘The Freshmen’, one of the most successful multi-format tracks of 1997. To read more click here.
THE MASCOT THEORY
A high-energy dose of toe-tapping Americana folk-country rock drenched in tight harmonies spewing lyrics of love, loss, regret, death, and hope. With groups like Mumford & Sons, The Avett Brothers, and Dawes setting the tone, the sub-genre of acoustic folk rock made its way to mainstream radio and captured an incredible and very loyal fan base. With the release of their Nashville-recorded album Hand Me Down Miracles, the Esperanto EP, and the most recent Trust and Bones album, The Mascot Theory is set to be the next band in that category to make a major impact, as they have quickly moved up the popularity ranks of Madison’s music scene with their infectious songwriting and energetic live shows. They balance on an alternative folk influence and pull it together with a rootsy bluegrass blended Americana feel to give something that fits alongside their counterparts, but also has enough freshness to it to give it a unique spin and create their own sound as well, with a sonic backbone of 4-part harmony swells. To read more, click here.
Starting out as a few guys who just wanted to play some Flying Burrito Brothers tunes, the Driveway Thriftdwellers have emerged as a top original act in Wisconsin’s Country and Americana music scenes.
Named 2017 WAMI Country Artist of the Year, the Thriftdwellers have toured the past year in support of their critically acclaimed debut album “Cutover Country,” named a top 10 Milwaukee area album of 2016 by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel declared the Thriftdwellers’ 2017 Summerfest performance a “Best Of” performance for the festival, and called the band a must see live act for Summer 2017.
To read more, click here.
THE 96.3 STAR COUNTRY STAGE PRESENTED BY THE DIAMOND CENTER – East Side
natives of Baltimore, Maryland, and Indianapolis, Indiana, respectively. With a sound that fuses
modern Country and classic heartland Rock with an edgy vocal blend, the independently-
minded partners are revered as “one of Nashville’s hardest-working acts” (Rolling Stone) whose
live show “has consistently been among the most energetic and entertaining in the country
music genre” (Billboard). To read more click here.
MICHAEL RAY – He may have a pair of number one singles to his name, but Michael Ray knows better than most how to best cultivate a dedicated fanbase. “Nothing is better than doing it one fan at a time,” the country singer says with steely determination. The man speaks from personal experience: before breaking out with his 2015 self-titled debut, an eclectic musical articulation of a time-tested talent featuring twin smash singles in “Kiss You in the Morning” and “Think a Little Less,” Ray spent years building a hardcore audience in his native Florida. With one name-making show after the next, the Eustis, Florida native built a grassroots following never caring the size, scope or reach of his show. Nonetheless, his rowdy, high-energy and rock-influenced live performances, which drew inspiration from Garth Brooks’ use of passion and spectacle, soon took hold and quickly saw him selling out 2,000-seat venues in cities from Orlando to Tallahassee. But he was never satisfied: as he’s proven in the years since, having moved to Nashville and grinded for years as a songwriter before leading a major-label record deal, hard work doesn’t scare Ray. It’s why even now, as he readies to release his much-anticipated sophomore album, anchored by its fast-rising lead single “Get To You,” the singer still believes each live show he performs is undoubtedly essential.
To read more, click here.
DEVIN DAWSON – A tattooed former metal head with a poet’s soul, Devin Dawson is not your typical country artist. His look is dark and bold. His sound is sleek and raw. And his songs speak the language of a new generation – fans with no use for genre labels.Poised as the next bolt of lightning to hit country’s family tree, Dawson is an edgy study in contrast who can literally hear colors. But make no mistake; he’s more than a curiosity. With a knack for razor sharp stories that cut straight to the heart, full of detail and clever turns of phrase, he is establishing a reputation in Nashville as one of the most exciting modern singer-songwriters around.
Signed to Atlantic Records / Warner Music Nashville, Dawson’s approach to country is not different on purpose, it’s different with purpose. It won’t be for everyone, and he wouldn’t have it any other way.