Your Picks For The Best Midwest Music

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio.

Who are some of the best bands and performers in the Midwest? The results are rolling in.

Before we list the nominees, though, here’s a reminder that our big event, “Living for the City: Reinventing the Region with Music and the Arts” at the Rock Hall in Cleveland is coming up next week.

In anticipation of that discussion, the Changing Gears team looked at what’s happening to the Midwest Music scene these days.

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Can Music Boost the Midwest Economy?

Dylan Baldi of Cloud Nothings at the store Music Saves, as he celebrates the release of his new album. (Photo by Dan Bobkoff)


Cleveland coined the term Rock and Roll. People still talk about Detroit and Motown. And, Chicago is known for the Blues. Yet, despite evidence that music can revitalize rust belt cities, that it can raise property values, and make these places more attractive to workers and companies, the music industry doesn’t seem to be a priority here.


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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.

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Best Band in the Midwest — UPDATE

We’re thrilled to hear from so many bands interested in our Best Band in the Midwest contest. This spring, WBEZ, Changing Gears and Sound Opinions will team up to sponsor a search for the region’s best band or performer. Details are being finalized and as soon as we have more information, we’ll post it here.

In the meantime, if you or your band are interested in entering or knowing more, send an email to ChangingGears (at) We’re compiling a list and we’ll get back to you once everything is in place. Stay tuned and keep rocking!

Making It In The Midwest (Musically Speaking)

Changing Gears is teaming up in 2011 with our friends at Sound Opinions for Making It In The Midwest. It’s a music contest to find rising Midwest talent — and a look at what it takes to have a successful music career.

The winners will get to perform next spring at a very special spot. We’ll also be reporting on whether our musicians can thrive here at home or have to go coastal.

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