More Music! Your Midwest Nominations

Kanye West performing at SXSW 2011. Photo by David Wolf via Flickr.

We asked, and you answered. Here are more of your nominations for the Best from the Midwest. Any current band or performer with Midwest roots is eligible. (More suggestions? Post them in Comments.)

From Chicago and Illinois:

Kanye West is from Chicago, Illinois. He’s already received 14 Grammy awards, and often asserts that he deserves even more.

Rapper Common is also from Chicago and also has a couple of Grammy awards under his belt, as is Lupe Fiasco.

Songwriter and multi-instrument player Andrew Bird also hails from the Windy City, as does Steve Goodman. Illinois also gets the credit for American country/folk singer John Prine, from Maywood.

Cleveland and Ohio:

The home of rock and roll — and home city of Changing Gears partner ideastream is also well represented in this latest round of Twitter and Facebook votes. Among the best known is the industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails founded in Cleveland in 1988. They have earned two Grammys, plus an additional Golden Globe and an Oscar for front-man Trent Reznor (along with Atticus Ross) for the score of The Social Network.

The group that produced the ultra catchy song I Know What Boys Like is also from Cleveland – that would be the new wave band The Waitresses. Recently reunited power pop group The Raspberry’s are Clevelanders, as is the band The James Gang. That latter group is perhaps best known for their guitarist, Joe Walsh, who later went on to become a part of The Eagles. Musician, DJ and politician Michael Stanley is also from the Cleveland area.

Detroit and Michigan:

One Changing Gears fan noted that we would be remiss not to mention musician and activist Ted Nugent, from Detroit Michigan. Bob Seger of Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band was born in Dearborn and grew up in Ann Arbor, home to partner station Michigan Radio. You can catch Seger on tour now.


John Mellencamp, best known for his heartland rock, was born in Seymour, Indiana.

And then there’s Prince…

Though the Changing Gears coverage area is generally Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Wisconsin, we’re bending the rules for some notable exceptions this time around. Michelle Norris, co-host of NPR’s All Things Considered, nominated Prince from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Prince has earned himself seven Grammy awards , one Golden Globe and an Oscar for Best Score too. American musician, poet and painter Bob Dylan calls Duluth, Minnesota home.

We also had a few nominations for musicians who aren’t from the Midwest but still had a big impact on the area’s music scene. Chief among those is McKinley Morganfield, otherwise known as Muddy Waters. He’s from Mississippi but is better known as the Father of Chicago blues.



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