This year we wanted to share the stories about the bands, so you can get a taste of who they are and the background about them!
Sister Hazel is an alternative rock band from Gainesville, Florida, whose style also blends elements of jangle pop, folk rock, classic rock 'n' roll and southern rock. Their music is characterized by highly melodic tunes and prominent harmonies. Most of their songs have optimistic lyrics. The band's instrumentation often features abrupt shifts among electric, acoustic and a cappella, with striking use of tacets. Though often described as alternative, Sister Hazel leans toward an upbeat sound and away from the clashing punk discordance often associated with the alternative rock genre. There have been no changes to the band's main line-up after over 20 years, although non-original member Dave LaGrande has been touring with them since 2012.
By Kevin Wilson
The first band to take the stage at this year's Riverfest figures to be one of the most eclectic the venue has seen.
Big Spoon, a Milwaukee-based group specializing in album rock, funk, party rock and hip
hop, kicks off the four-day festival on
"We pretty much run the gamut," Big Spoon vocalist Tom Wegner said. "We play a very wide swath of music and try to appeal to everyone … Pink Floyd to Hall and Oates to Tool to Michael Jackson. Usually one of things we hear is, 'Wow, you guys really do a large variety of music.' They're smiling. We hope they kind of liked it."
Big Spoon formed 3 1/2 years ago and features Wegner, Paul Pachniak on keys and vocals, Dan Faherty on guitar, Ben Titus on bass and Andrew Lynch on drums. The group has performed at festivals around the Milwaukee area including the Wisconsin State Fair as well as clubs, including Vinnie's Rock Bottom in Jefferson.
"A bunch of us have known of each other and jammed with each other here and there," Wegner said. "We finally came together as a group. Everyone else has played all over the place and been on national bands. One guy's band was on MTV and another guy was in a band that opened for Mumford and Sons and Wilco. They wound up (moving) here. It was serendipity that we all got together. We're new on the scene. We feel like this could be a breakout year to be an all-out festival band. We've been working toward that. We all love the band. We're excited for what the future holds."
Performances by the band can be seen on its website at , from www.bigspoonband.com. The group also has a Facebook page at www.facebook.com/bigspoonband.
Wegner, a Watertown native who graduated from Watertown High School with the class of 1996, clearly has fun dancing with the music and entertaining a crowd in those performances.
"We like to keep the energy at a pretty high level," Wegner said. "For Riverfest, we're going to bring out our heavy hitters. We'll definitely do some Floyd and our greatest hits. We're really looking forward to that."
Anytime a Watertown native gets a chance to perform at Riverfest, it takes on extra meaning. It's no different for Wegner.
"I've always wanted to play Riverfest ever since I started going," Wegner said. "When I started playing in this band, people would ask, 'When are you going to play Riverfest?' and I would say, 'One day, one day…' When I finally got the call this year, I was ecstatic. It's definitely something on my bucket list, pretty high up there.
"Riverfest isn't just a festival, it's a lifestyle to people who live in town. We're the first band on the schedule, and hopefully we will kick it off right. I'm inviting everybody and their mother. I will be taking roll call. I will know if you didn't show up."
Reprinted from the Watertown Daily Times.
The Vic Ferrari Band, a seven piece ensemble featuring a mix of classic rock from the 1960s to today with a little bit of country music thrown in, will be the main act
on the opening night of Riverfest. The band will take the stage at
With no more than a name originating from Andy Kaufman's character in the hit television show "Taxi" and a big dream, the Vic Ferrari Band was founded in 1988. The dream would turn into over 26 years of entertaining audiences in every type of show imaginable.
With over 2,300 shows under its belt, the band has played a large assortment of venues ranging from Rockfest, Octoberfest, and Summerfest to weddings, casinos, and corporate events across the U.S., the Caribbean, and Mexico. on .
The band excels in winning over any audience. Playing a mix of classic rock from the '60s to today, and even tossing in a little country, the Vic Ferrari Band prides
itself as sounding as good as the original artist and sometimes even better.
In an effort to find a new and exciting way to entertain, the band has created the "Symphony on the Rocks." The show is played five times a year with a 28 piece symphony combining forces to create a unique awe inspiring spectacle unlike anything else ever seen.
Learn more about the band at its website at http://vicferrari.com/ or visit the group's facebook page.
By Emily Walsh
A day of tossing clubs, knives and flaming torches in the air while riding a 6-foot unicycle is typical for juggling professional Chris Vogt, who will be performing at this year'sRiverfest in August.
"I just love putting smiles on people's faces of all ages," said Vogt, who began his
career at age 11. "I give 110 percent into every show. I treat every show as if it's my last."
Vogt has street-performed at Milwaukee's Summerfest and Irish Fest, as well as Wauwatosa's Fourth of July and St. Patrick's Day parades.
"Street performing is my favorite because I get to make a stage out of any area and interact with the audience in close proximity," said Vogt.
"I very much enjoy juggling at halftime shows as well. Juggling inside a stadium of any size always gives me chills."
As a global competitor at the International Juggler's Association in Buffalo, New York, and a performer for the Milwaukee Wave professional indoor soccer team at halftime in December 2016, Vogt does it all, with no ending to his success.
Vogt's juggling is inspired by, "Seeing others actively engage in their passion. I use that as fuel to push my own abilities," said Vogt.
If that isn't a tough act for any to follow, Vogt is also known in his performance to balancing a 6-foot ladder on his chin.
"I hope to bring them (audience) inspiration which they can use in their own passions in life," Vogt added.
Vogt will be roaming the grounds of Riverside Park Friday, Saturday and Sunday during Riverfest weekend.
Reprinted from the Watertown Daily Times.
Bringing back a timeless piece of history with the right mix of melody and harmony, the Midwest's only tribute to Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, The Four C Notes,
will be featured at Watertown's Riverside Park on the last day of Riverfest.
Based out of Chicago, the Four C Notes features John Michael Coppola from the hometown Broadway production of the record-breaking musical "Jersey Boys."
"After playing in Chicago's 'Jersey Boys' for 2 1/2 years, and the show's closing in 2010, I created a solo concert that of course has a fair amount of Frankie Valli songs," said Coppola, reminiscing about the group's beginning.
"Soon I was being requested for more Four Seasons material, but I needed three more guys. We did one gig and word started getting around that there was a Four Seasons
tribute in town. That was in 2013 and we haven't stopped since."
The Four C Notes is composed of four authentic sounds made up of Coppola, who sings the lead vocals once sung by Frankie Valli, along with Justin Brill, David Wilner and Adrian Aguilar.
With Coppola's experience in "Jersey Boys," he was able to pass the knowledge down to the group, bringing back a true authentic sound in tribute to the Four Seasons.
"We bring that same feel and experience to the same fans they played to 50 years ago, and of course new generation fans of 'Jersey Boys,' whose ages vary as early as in their 20s."
The Four C Notes have been seen all over the country from Des Moines, Iowa, to Omaha, Nebraska; Baltimore, Maryland, to Washington, D.C., to Maine. Songs from one of the biggest iconic groups of all time will be heard, including "Sherry," "Walk Like a Man" and "Big Girls Don't Cry." Each member of the Four C Notes shares their thoughts and excitement in their first upcoming show in Watertown.
"It doesn't get much better than singing and dancing to these timeless songs," said Aguilar. "The icing on the cake is looking into the crowd and seeing how much happiness it's bringing to everyone. It's truly a unique bond between the audience and the performers for that one brief moment in time," he added. "Sharing never gets old."
Brill describes his love of singing these classic tunes, with "tight harmonies, a great groove, plus you add in the live band. I think it's as much fun for us to perform as it is to listen and dance along."
"It has always been about the creation of a shared emotional experience that keeps me wanting to keep doing this year after year," Wilner added.
A tasteful tune-up of the Four C Notes will begin , at
Tangled Lines is infused with the drive of the northern back roads and the smooth voice from the hills of Wales. Coming from varying pasts yet chasing the same dream, they stumbled upon each other and found their sound. With many different musical backgrounds, their "sound" is simply their expression of their love of music.
Dexter Road is a country rock band from Horicon, Wisconsin formed in 2012. We bring years of musical experience and great harmonies. Musical influences include: Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Led Zeppelin, Eagles, Jerry Reed, Blake Shelton, Johnny Cash, Toby Keith, Justin Moore, Eric Church, Zac Brown Band, Montgomery Gentry, Merle Haggard and Brantley Gilbert.
By Steve Sharp
OSHKOSH -- The Del Rays pride themselves on having a solid sense of rock history and plan to teach an entertaining lesson in it when they come to Watertown's RiverfestAug. 13 from
Bassist Lance Del Ray (in real life, Mark Gauthier) said he and his musical Del Ray
"brothers" are excited about being able to branch out for the first time to Watertown. Based in Oshkosh, they play predominantly in the northern half of Wisconsin, logging many stage hours at places
like the casino in Bowler.
The Del Rays have performed at numerous public and private parties such as the Miss Wisconsin Pageant, Sawdust Daze in Oshkosh and numerous concerts in the park for cities statewide.
According to media information from the band, the Del Rays are all former members of the Outta Style Show Band and are a four-piece group that has "a knack for getting the crowd involved and keeping them dancing all night long."
The band has also performed with national acts such as Sha Na Na, The Crystals, Bobby Vee, Fabian, The Fireballs, Bill Hailey's Comets, Chubby Checker, the Buckinghams and others.
Del Ray said he began playing in the Del Rays in 1984 after the band's formation in the late 1970s. The lineup has remained unchanged for the past 15 years and specializes in rock music from the 1950s, '60s and '70s.
"The Del Rays is our supposed last name -- the image is we are all brothers -- but we are not," he said. "People come up to us all the time and ask, 'Are you brothers?' 'Oh yeah, of course we are.'"
Songs that are mainstays in The Del Rays' set include "Run Around Sue," "That'll Be the Day," "Teenager in Love," Great Balls of Fire" and "At the Hop."
"We try to entertain. T.J., our singer, goes out with wireless mic and interacts with people," Del Ray said. We are looking forward to coming to Watertown Riverfest. We are looking forward to it -- and putting on a really good show."
Admission to Riverfest is free. The events run .
Reprinted form the Watertown Daily Times.
Yeah…the Rocky Mountain Oyster Band is a different bunch. Sort of, shall we say...an acquired taste. But hey…don’t knock ‘em ‘til you tried ‘em! Be prepared to hear & see a well polished show that keeps comin’ at ya whether you like to dance or wanna kick back & be entertained. Bringing great Country music and our pithy sense of humor.
Terra Guitarra is the internationally touring, award winning guitar duo of Bruce Hecksel and Julie Patchouli. Both are lifelong students of music
and accomplished multi-instrumentalists and they have performed together over 4,000 times, toured over a million miles on the road supporting 20 CD releases in 20 years. Bruce and Julie have won
songwriting awards, industry awards, performed on TV, Radio, in the US, Canada and Europe.
The debut Terra Guitarra ('08) album was followed by "Winter Solstice" offering instrumental guitar interpretations of traditional holiday music. The third album "The Mother Night" was released in 2010, "Dragonfly" following in 2012, their second Holiday album, "Auld Lang Syne" 2013. A new studio album "Firelight" released in 2015. Terra Guitarra "Live at the Big River Theatre" was released from a historic theatre performance on September 26th 2015. In January 2017 Terra Guitarra released their 8th album "Of Sea & Stars".
Is a 6-piece Tribute to one of the 80’s most influential bands – JOURNEY!
Formed in 2005 at the request of numerous agents throughout Wisconsin, “SEPARATE WAYS” has quickly become one of the most respected tribute bands in the market, winning the coveted 2012 AND the 2014 WAMI award for the best tribute band in Wisconsin.
Built around an arsenal of multiple WAMI award winning musicians, including the 2015 male vocalist of the year Paul Lent, “SEPARATE WAYS” incorporates forceful vocals with dynamic players, who together recreate the JOURNEY sound that we all love.
It’s that definition that is brought back to life with love and respect from not only the players on stage, but the crowd that waits in anticipation as well, As the lights go down and the crowd rises to their feet, an event is unfolding…
”Break those chains that bind you, one night will remind you how we touched and went our…SEPARATE WAYS.”
Last year was the biggest in the 31 year history of the event! Let's make 2017 even bigger!
Various businesses are starting to receive their tickets and more will be distributed in the near future.
The revamped raffle prize list and the $2 ticket price will once again be used for the raffle.
More prizes than ever!
Grand Prize $5,000
15 Prizes at $500 each
20 Prizes at $100 each
10 Prizes at $50 each
Over $15,000 in prizes will be announced at the drawing Sunday evening, August 14th, shortly after the final concert of the festival (8pm).
Support the 2017 Riverfest by purchasing raffle tickets from local businesses as well as the many individuals working on the sale effort!
Auto Show Sunday, August 13 from 9am-4pm.
850 Labaree Street