Who’s The Best in Midwest Music?

Next week, Changing Gears teams with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to look at the future of the Midwest music scene. This week, we want to hear about your favorites out there today. Who’s the best band or performer with Midwest roots?

Tell us why you like their music — and include any links you want, from YouTube to a URL. We’ll take all suggestions — singers, duos, groups. Indie or big stars, up and coming artists and veterans. Post them below, or tweet @ChGears with #MidwestMusic.

We’re thinking rock, but if there’s somebody else you think we ought to know about, like a country band, jazz singer or rapper, let us hear about them. We’ll put together a list and add to it as you suggest more.

Having trouble thinking of artists from the Midwest? Here are a few videos to get you started.

10 Replies to “Who’s The Best in Midwest Music?”

  1. In my opinion, the best rock band TODAY out of the Midwest is Chicago-based Wilco, with current members hailing from Illinois, California, Louisiana and elsewhere. From their roots in the alt-country band Uncle Tupelo, Wilco has emerged into a substantial commercial and critical success, a rock/blues/pop powerhouse that can pack an arena or an outdoor festival while maintaining the support of original fans and attracting thousands of new converts with every record release. I’ve seen them live 15-20 times over the years, and they never disappoint.

  2. The Midwest is rich in great music. But the best band is an easy pick: WILCO! We are fortunate to have a hundred great runners-up. But WILCO covers all popular genres.

  3. I believe that the greatest Midwest band of today is President Fluid. They perform all genres of Rock, and Keep it original, with an outrageous variety of instruments in this 6 person band, and an amazing live performance if you ever get a chance to check them out in the south east WI/ North East IL area.
    MYSPACE: http://www.myspace.com/presidentfluid
    FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/President-Fluid/387422680485
    TWITTER: http://twitter.com/#!/presidentfluid
    They Rarely do covers, which makes this video clip so rare of them performing N.E.R.D’s She wants to move:

  4. The best band I know of in the Midwest, from the Midwest, STILL in the Midwest, is the Milwaukee-based group “Semi-Twang.” Their story is remarkable, from their signing with Warner Bros. Records in the late-80’s to their regrouping and incredible revival within the last year. Now they have a new CD available, and it’s great. Please check out their website: Semi-Twang.com.

    I’m not in the group, but I was a fan in the late 80’s and I’m an even bigger fan now.


  5. You make a great point, Bryan, about the Midwest having a bunch of other great bands in addition to Wilco. I attend 20 to 30 concerts and festivals a year around the country, though mostly in the Midwest. Specifically related to “rock” music, I just objectively can’t think of another Midwest rock band that has surpassed Wilco in achieving and maintaining both commercial and critical acclaim over a long run. Tweedy and the boys continue to do it their way, making music that sustains, is unlike anyone else, is simply terrific (by and large), and appeals to all ages of fans. Wilco is now pretty much an all-star band at every position, they only give a damn about the music, and they leave nothing in the tank at their live shows. I first saw them right after the release of A.M., way back in 1995, and I was one of the few original fans of Uncle Tupelo, so I have a good understanding of where they came from. I keep waiting to hate one of their records. And while I’m not a huge fan of Sky Blue Sky, I don’t come close to hating it.

  6. Milano is by far the best rock band in the midwest!!!  They were runners–up two years in a row for the best local Chicago band and deserved every bit of it!  They seem to bring out a new style of rock with their funky beats and instrumentation… definitely worth checking out!

    Check their music out here: myspace.com/hearmilanomusic

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