The 39th Annual Wisconsin Area Music Industry Awards (WAMIs)
Subtitle: Amazing Talent on Display at the 2019 WAMIs
Written and photographed by Brooke Billick
The Wisconsin Area Music Industry announced the winners of its 2019 WAMI Awards Sunday night, April 14, at a ceremony at Turner Hall in Milwaukee. This year’s awards, representing the 39th annual awards selection, celebrated the depth and diversity of the Wisconsin music industry.
The Wisconsin Area Music Industry was founded in order “to educate and recognize the achievements and accomplishments of individuals in the Wisconsin music industry.” The organization is best known for its annual awards for Wisconsin musicians from various genres of music. It also hosts seminars and workshops on subjects related to music and the music industry, such as performing, recording, and marketing.
Milwaukee-area artists were well represented and received a number of awards, with singer Lex Allen winning Artist of the Year.
Paul Cebar has been a stalwart on the Milwaukee scene for decades, first as a solo performer and later with The R&B Cadets and his bands The Milwaukeeans and Tomorrow Sound.
The Sheboygan vocal quartet, The Chordettes, charted big in the 1950s with songs like “Mr. Sandman” and “Lollipop.” The WhiskeyBelles provided the musical tribute to The Chordettes.
Milwaukee progressive thrash metal band Realm was active in the 1980s and early ’90s, having released two albums and touring the nation.
A touching part of the evening involved a remembrance of the Wisconsin music talents who left us during 2018, including R&B singer-songwriter, producer and bandleader Harvey Scales, widely regarded as Milwaukee’s Godfather of Soul. Among his many other accomplishments, Scales co-wrote “Disco Lady,” which was the first platinum single in the history of the Recording Industry Association of America.
Performances were given at the awards ceremony by 2019 WAMI Hall of Fame Inductees Paul Cebar and Realm, Conniption, The WhiskeyBelles, 2019 WAMI Artist of the Year Lex Allen, Ifdakar, Geoff Landon, Black Belt Theater and The Seven Sounds—A Tribute to Harvey Scales.
Crowd favorite and 2019 WAMI Hall of Fame Inductee Paul Cebar performing for the audience.
The WhiskeyBelles performing their tribute to 2019 WAMI Hall of Fame Inductees, The Chordettes.
2019 WAMI Hall of Fame Inductees Realm exploding on the stage.
2019 WAMI Artist of the Year Lex Allen crooning to the crowd.
R&B and soul artists, The Seven Sounds, playing their tribute to founder and WAMI Hall of Fame Member Harvey Scales.
Many of the performers honored during the evening gave acceptance speeches.
2019 WAMI Master of Ceremonies Len Nelson.
Paul Cebar accepting the award for his induction to the 2019 WAMI Hall of Fame.
Beth Kille introducing the 2019 WAMI Song of the Year, Album of the Year and Artist of the Year awards.
Lex Allen accepting the award for 2019 WAMI Artist of the Year.
Accepting the 2019 WAMI Album of the Year for Women at War: Warrior Songs Vol. 2. Warrior Songs is a charitable organization dedicated to helping veterans heal from the wounds of service through music and the creative arts.
Milwaukee jazz legend Janet Plante (Janet Planet) awarding the 2019 WAMI Jazz Artist and Singer-Songwriter of the Year awards.
Keith Pulvermacher accepting the award as Singer-Songwriter of the Year and dedicating the award to his father, Jeffery Pulvermacher, who recently passed away. For a Shutter 16 article about Keith, click here.
Amberstein accepting the award as 2019 WAMI Alternative Rock/Rock Artist.
2019 Folk/Celtic Award winner Reilly.
Michael Clobes accepting the award as 2019 WAMI Brass/Reeds Artist.
Revolution X accepting the award as 2019 WAMI Metal Artist
The complete list of winners is below:
Artist of the Year: Lex Allen
Album of the Year: Warrior Songs – “Women at War: Warrior Songs Vol. 2”
Song of the Year: Amanda Huff and Peter Thomas – “Only in Dreams”
Best New Artist: The Docksiders
Male Vocalist: Andre Beaudot
Female Vocalist: Erin Krebs
Singer-Songwriter: Keith Pulvermacher
Rising Star Award: Parker Collar
Alternative Rock/Rock Artist: Amberstein
Bluegrass/Americana Artist: Horseshoes & Hand Grenades
Christian/Gospel Artist: Spirited Strings
Blues Artist: Jay Edward
Country Artist: Buffalo Gospel
Cover Artist: Star Six Nine
Folk/Celtic Artist: Reilly
Hard Rock Artist: Lords of the Trident
Metal Artist: Revolution-X
Punk Artist: The Cherrypops
Jazz Artist: Jerry Grillo
Polka Artist: The November Criminals
Pop Rock Artist: Well-Known Strangers
Hip-Hop/Rap Artist: Zed Kenzo
R&B/Soul Artist: The People Brothers Band
World/Reggae/Ska/Latin: Luma Knotty
Club/DJ/Dance/Electronic Artist: LUXI
Horn/Big Band Artist: Extra Crispy Brass Band
Tribute Artist: Project Pink
Bass: Chris Hanaway
Drummer: Jim Winter
Guitarist: Angie Swan
Keyboard: Noah Harmon
Reeds/Brass: Michael Clobes
Strings: Joe Ketchum
Studio Engineer/Producer: Steve Hamilton
Recording Studio: Tanner-Monagle Inc.
Live Club/Venue: Shank Hall
Live Engineer Sound/Lights: Jason Lueck
President’s Award: Beth Kille
Southwestern Wisconsin People’s Choice Awards
Band: Cherry Pie
Teacher: Jan Baker
Radio Station: WGLX-FM 103.3
Venue: HollyrocksFan: Jaeden Piller
Northwestern Wisconsin People’s Choice Awards
Band: The Dweebs
Teacher: Brian McLaughlin
Radio Station: WIFC-FM 95.5
Fan: Leanne Booher
Northeastern Wisconsin People’s Choice Awards
Teacher: Mark Budwit
Radio Station: WAPL-FM 105.7
Venue: Stone Toad Bar & Grill
Fan: Doris Budwit
Southeastern Wisconsin People’s Choice Awards
Band: Almighty Vinyl
Teacher: Jim Walski
Radio Station: WHQG-FM 102.9
Venue: The Saloon on Calhoun
Fan: Bradley John