2018 WAMI Christian/Gospel Artist Nominees

The Wisconsin Area Music Industry (WAMI) has announced the nominees for its 38th annual Awards Show. This year's show was originally scheduled to take place Sunday, April 15, 2018 at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center in Appleton, Wisconsin. A strange April blizzard caused snow and icy conditions that day, so it has been rescheduled for Sunday, May 20. Doors open at 6pm, with the WAMI Awards Show beginning at 7pm.

Artist of the Year
Kyle Megna & The Monsoons
Unity the Band
Dead Horses
Abby Jeanne
The Mascot Theory
Platinum Boys

Album of the Year
Artists of Steel Bridge – Begging His Graces: The Songs and Sins of pat mAcdonald
The Fatty Acids – Dogs of Entertainment
Abby Jeanne – Rebel Love
Soul Low – Cheer Up
WebsterX – Daymares
Cory Chisel & Adriel Denae – Tell Me True
Tre Principesse – Getting To Know You
Wisconsin Vinyl Collective — Volume I

Song of the Year
Anima – “Ghosts in the Garden”
Altered Five Blues Band – “Charmed and Dangerous”
Lex Allen – “Never Look Back”
Black Belt Theatre – “Too Much Too Soon”
Whips – “Goldmine”
GGOOLLDD – “Excelsior Springs”
The Fatty Acids – “Digested”
J-Council – “We Gotta Move”

New Artist of the Year
Hot and Dirty Brass Band
Master of Puppets
Rocket Cat
Tre Principesse
Jay Edward Band

Male Vocalist of the Year
Rich Hoffman
Julio Reyes
Kyle Megna
Tom Thiel
Thomas Riddle
Erik Kjeland
Jedidiah Tuyls
Abe Foerster

Female Vocalist of the Year
Kelsey Miles
Katie Sanders
Erin Krebs
Beth Kille
Sammy Ray Marshall
Jackie Brown
Abby Jeanne
Stephanie Tschech

Singer/Songwriter of the Year
Sara Zacek
Kurt Gunn
Alyssia Dominguez
Rob Anthony
Keith Pulvermacher
Tom Thiel
Brett Newski
Jackson Mankowski

Rising Star of the Year
Shelby Keller
Jaid Ruffing
Lilie Fouts
Parker Collar
Savanna Rose
Maddie Stuyvenberg
Jenna Kopitske

Alternative Rock/Rock Artist
Lost Lakes
The Hook Up
American Zeros
Kyle Megna & The Monsoons

Bluegrass/Americana Artist
Zach Pietrini Band
The Raglanders
The Mascot Theory
The Whiskeybelles
The Listening Party
Ordinary Heathens
Horseshoes & Hand Grenades

Christian/Gospel Artist
Night Divine
MPS Community Gospel Choir
Katie DeNure
John Paul Larson
Isaiah 42:10

Blues Artist
Reverend Raven & The Chain Smokin’ Altar Boys
Tweed Funk
Big n Tasty Blues
Altered Five Blues Band
Jay Edward Band
The Jimmy’s
Donnie Pick & The Road Band
Lil Davy May

Country Artist
Bella Cain
Grand Union
Yellow Belly Sap Suckers
Bardog Sitters
Cow Ponies
Dexter Road
Rebel Grace

Cover Artist
Vic Ferrari
The Presidents
The Dweebs
Road Trip
Johnny Wad
Ask Your Mother
Almighty Vinyl

Folk/Celtic Artist
Old Soul Society
The Roving Scallywags
Copper Box
Coventry Jones
Killarney Blarney and the Paddy Wagon
Warrior Songs
Age of Fable

Hard Rock Artist
Sons of Kong
Imperial Fall
Leading The Blind
Black Belt Theatre
Homeland Conspiracy
20 Watt Tombstone
Sir Real
Bad Habitz

Metal Artist
Crush Point
Lords of the Trident
Killing Rapunzel
Metal Men

Punk Artist
Platinum Boys
The Hussy
Direct Hit!
The Cherrypops
Fox Face
The First Rule
Sedated – A Tribute to the Ramones

Jazz Artist
KWT featuring Tom Washatka
Rändi Fay
Mike Standal Quartet
Erin Krebs & Jeff Johnston
Jerry Grillo
The Group
Paul Dietrich Quintet
Bill Hill

Polka Artist
The Squeezettes
Those Damn Accordions
Steve Meisner
Gary’s Ridgeland Dutchmen
Val Sigal Polka
Alpine Blast
Peggy Hacker Mueller

Pop Rock Artist
Xposed 4Heads
Green Screen Kid
Well Known Strangers
Rocket Cat
Soul Low
The Electra Color
The Fatty Acids

Hip Hop/Rap Artist
Denny Lanez
Rue The Poet
Vincent VanGREAT
Handz Onn

R&B/Soul Artist
Lex Allen
The People Brothers Band
Charles Walker Band
Porky’s Groove Machine
Generation Z
Cigarette Break

Natty Nation
Salsa Manzana
Phocus Reggae
Something To Do
Wade Fernandez
Mas Soul
Unity The Band

Club/DJ/Dance/Electronic Artist
Aubrey Lee
Mr. Angelo

Horn/Big Band Artist
Swing Explosion Featuring Pete Sorce
Cold Sweat and The Brew City Horns
Live At Nine
Phat Phunktion
Extra Crispy Brass Band
Lighthouse Big Band
F.B.I. & The Untouchable Horns
Big Band Reunion

Tribute Artist
The Rush Tribute Project
The Prince Experience
Brain Stewed
Slow No Wake
Ants Marching
Separate Ways
Project Pink

Andy Mertens
Sara Lloyd
Tim Burton
Tim Perkins
Fred Velpel
Evil Evans
David Germanson
Chris Hanaway

Jerry Kruschke
Billy Wendt
Tom Hansen
Adam Hatton
Andy Zuraw
Erik Holmes
Dean Tassone
Caitlin Sweeney

Bobby Evans
Max Jones
Danny Wendt
Gary Shaw
Patrick Stillman
Ryan Gleason
Angie Swan
Scott Dercks

Mark Chartre
Jeff Eisberner
Adam Pryor
Noah Harmon
Shawndell Marks
Paul Moore
Logan Dier
Brett Schroeder

Matt Antoniewicz
Renee Millard
Ben Hohenstein
Andrew Spadafora
Kurt Shipe
Al Falasci
Danny Jerabek
Michelle Jerabek

Joe Ketchum
Russ Greeley
Thea Morton Vorass
Jess Lex
Chauntee Ross
Monique Ross
Emily Knutson
Mark Fowler

Best Studio Engineer/Producer
Tom Washatka
Marc Golde
Tony Anders
Tim Burton
Gary Tanin
George Renner
Vinny Millevolte
Joe Hite

Best Recording Studio
Rock Garden
Makin Sausage Music
Renwood Messenger
Cherry Pit Studios
Musicmann Studios
Steel Moon
Cave Studios MKE
Shane Olivo Audio

Best Live Club/Venue
Northstar Casino
The Saloon On Calhoun
The Source Public House
Gibson Music Hall
Paulie’s Pub and Eatery
Cactus Club
Short Branch Saloon
Headliner’s Bar & Grill

Best Live Engineer Sound/Lights
Jason Lueck
John Dougherty
Mike Fleury
Trevor Powers
Aaron Duesterhoeft
Brian Blankenheim
Kim Guibord
Kelly Klaus

For decades, the WAMI awards show has included a "Christian/Gospel Artist of the Year" category to express gratitude to those who work hard every year to create music that lifts up the name of Jesus. Thank you WAMI, we appreciate that! We also love the fact that musicians from all over the state of Wisconsin are choosing to use their talents to give thanks to the One who provided them in the first place.

"For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." - Ephesians 2:10

Please pray for the continued growth of all these musical ministries in Wisconsin and join us in congratulating the 2018 nominees for WAMI Christian/Gospel Artist of The Year!


Koiné is combining century-old hymns with a modern accompaniment. With their arrangements, Koiné strives to find a unique balance between the familiarity of the classic hymn melodies and the raw instrumentation of the new arrangements.

Official website:

Night Divine

Night Divine has played in a variety of venues over the years, from churches to outdoor festivals and even taverns with one goal in mind: spread the message of Jesus Christ in a fun and engaging way.

Official website:

MPS Community Gospel Choir

Milwaukee Public Schools Community Gospel Choir, from Milwaukee Wisconsin exists to share in the joy of music ministry to and with people of all ages, religions, races, cultures, and community settings.

Official website:

Katie DeNure

Katie DeNure has over a decade of experience teaching in public and private schools. In addition to teaching, Katie has had the opportunity to lead music for hundreds of special events, women's retreats, youth conference, and church services and continues to play and serve on a regular basis.

Official website:

John Paul Larson

John Paul Larson is a worship leader at Spirit of Life church in Fond du lac Wisconsin. He was a secular singer for local cover bands until he got the call to start an original rock band called From The Wreckage.

Official website:

Isaiah 42:10

Isaiah 42:10 is a Christian rock/praise and worship group from the Madison, WI area. The group has played at numerous venues such as: worship services, youth ministries, church functions, parties, festivals, and coffee shops. Isaiah 42:10 has opened up for nationally known groups such as By the Tree, Rush of Fools, John Schlitt (former lead singer of Petra), December Radio and Seventh Day Slumber.

Official website:


WithoutExcuse is a group of energetic and talented musicians who have come together to create uplifting and encouraging music with a message. WithoutExcuse has shared the stage with artists such as Disciple, Summertime Dropouts, Project 86, Icon For Hire, Silverline, Loftland, Bright Light Parade, A Life Set Apart, and more. They have played at noteworthy places including Summerfest, Lifest, and Bratfest.

Official website:

Wisconsin Area Music Industry

The Wisconsin Area Music Industry (WAMI) is a volunteer organization whose purpose is to educate and recognize the achievements and accomplishments of individuals in the Wisconsin music industry.

Official website: