Despite never having had a commercial hit in their 23 years, The Nadas have independently cultivated a career by relying on solid song writing, memorable lyrics, outstanding musicianship and a fiercely loyal fan base. The Nadas, Iowa’s signature alt-rock-country band, fronted by founding members Mike Butterworth (vocals, guitar) and Jason Walsmith (vocals, guitar) who have deftly handled co-lead and co-writing roles since forming in 1993, are superbly backed by Neil Stoffregen (keys), Brandon Stone (percussion) and Brian Duffey (horns and bass).
The boys in the Billy’s have been playing together for over 20 years and they still haven’t lost their sense of fun and wonder in making music. Equal parts country, rock and just about anything in between – the Billy’s are just as happy playing original tunes for a loyal cadre of fans as they are requested cover tunes to a roomful of strangers at somebody else’s wedding. the Billy’s are where Roger Miller meets Paul Simon meets Billy Joel meets Blue Oyster Cult. And as strange a brew as that may seem at first glance, with 15+ years under their belt – the Billy’s formula has proven oddly and charmingly successful.
THE USUAL THINGS
Proudly from Minneapolis, MN, The Usual Things mix power pop melodies with midwestern story telling. Singer/songwriter Aaron Shekey references his own experiences with relatable ambiguity; tales that push the simple, upbeat melodies of the band into darker territory. Their influences range from the story telling of Drive-By Truckers, to the guitar-based melodies of early Radiohead, to the straight-forward rock fervor of the Foo Fighters. It’s a Shame About Ray by the Lemonheads rarely leaves their van’s CD player.