By Joey Bear

The sweet sounds of live outdoor music will soon be heard in Wauwatosa.

Growing in popularity each year the Tosa Tonight Summer Concert Series is now in its 17th season providing family-friendly and affordable summer fun.

The series will open its run at Rotary Performance Pavilion in Hart Park June 14th and have now expanded to eight concert evenings.

Opening acts begin at 6:00 p.m. and the main act at goes on at 7:30 p.m. rain or shine.

Wednesday, June 14:
State Street Station presents The Novelists, with guests the Mike Benign Compulsion
The main act on opening night features an act that has been described as acoustic and electric, cliffhanger storytelling, multiple lead singers, and their signature four-part harmonies. Engaged in several national tours in 2017, The Novelists have been a fixture on the West Coast college, festival, and house concert circuit.
The Mike Benign Compulsion will kick things off for the season with their brand of melodic, well-crafted, driving, alt guitar pop that rocks.

Wednesday, June 21:
Maxie’s | Blue’s Egg | Story Hill BKC presents The Grammy Award-Winning Rebirth Brass Band, with guests O.W.’s Exalters
Headliners Rebirth Brass Band are a grammy winning ensemble from New Orleans. Formed in 1983, the band has evolved from playing the streets of the French Quarter to playing festivals and stages all over the world. While committed to upholding the tradition of brass bands, they’ve also extended themselves into the realms of funk and hip-hop to create their signature sound.

Opener O.W.’s Exalters has traveled all over the country and sung with many nationally recording artists, They recently played at Turner Hall for a benefit show where it was described that they “brought the house down.”

Tuesday, July 4:
The Wauwatosa Civic Celebration presents Dancing Queen | ABBA Salute
An ABBA cover band will be the only artist playing on our most patriotic holiday. The band will begin playing at 6 p.m. and fireworks will blast off when the band ends their set.

Wednesday, July 12:
Meijer presents The Motels, with guest Hayward Williams
the Motels80’s act, Los Angeles native and new wave band Martha Davis & The Motels will take the stage July 12. The band recorded several hits including “Only the Lonely,” “Suddenly Last Summer,” “Total Control,” ” Mission of Mercy¨”, “Shame” and “Danger” and two gold albums.

Hayward Williams will open things July 12. Williams recently recorded an album called “The Reef” which has been described as having a “vibey, electric feel, vanishingly rare in contemporary recordings.” In 2015, Hayward opened a night of music in Hart Park but this time around he will be joined by a full band.

Wednesday, July 26:
Miller Lite presents Motherfolk, with guests Well-Known Strangers
Headliner Motherfolk brings a high-energy live performance and an infectious musical persona that has become one of the most exciting rising success stories in the indie music scene.

Racine’s own Well-Known Strangers infuses a cello into an alternative pop/rock and country based sound. They take the stage in the early slot for the last Wednesday in July.

Wednesday, August 9:
American Transmission Company presents Sour Bridges, with guests Devil Met Contention
Hailing from Austin, TX, Sour Bridges combines a mix of rock and bluegrass that the band has termed “hand clapping, foot stomping Browngrass.”

Local act Devil Met Contention combines country, folk and blues into a distinctive sound that brings to mind Nick Cave, Tom Waits and Johnny Cash.

Wednesday, August 16:
The Milwaukee Irish Fest Foundation presents Celtica Pipes Rock and Aoife Scott
The annual celebration of Irish Fest will have Celtica Pipes Rock perform their most recent production ‘Steamphonia’.
Dublin Folk singer-songwriter Aoife Scott (pronounced AY-FEE) will play the opening notes on this night.

Wednesday, August 30:
88Nine Radio Milwaukee presents Trapper Schoepp, with guest Mike Mangione
The Minnesota-born, Wisconsin-based Trapper Scdhoepp returns to the Rotary stage performing songs from his second record Rangers & Valentines with his band the Shades. That LP earned notices in Rolling Stone, American Songwriter and Paste, with the folks at Huffington Post calling him a “master storyteller” and PBS hailing his “story songs that explore and explode the conventions of rock and roll.”

For almost a decade, Milwaukee-based artist, Mike Mangione has been writing and performing “orchestral folk music” using lush instrumentation and harmonies, bringing listeners into a place of spiritual awakening.

80s music & a bit of “Browngrass”

The music from the 1980’s is still largely popular today.

With that in mind lead singer Martha Davis has embarked on an extensive tour that will stop in Wauwatosa July 12 as part of the Tosa Tonight series.

“We’ll be coming to share some firefly fun with y’all,” Davis said. “I can’t wait to get there and enjoy some of that Wisconsin wonder.”

The Motels have played in the Milwaukee area before with the likes of local band Mrs. Fun and Davis said she enjoys the people of Wisconsin.

“There’s this cheese and beer thing you guys do,” Davis said. “It creates very creative people because for half the year because everyone is stuck inside and you have to figure out something to do.”

Davis and the Motels have been playing with their current lineup since 2003. They released a double album of b-sides recorded over the span of their career and will be dropping a new album this coming September.

“It will be good to be back in Wisconsin,” Davis said. “I have always loved Wisconsin.”

Austin based band Sour Bridges is led by lead singer and band manager Bill Pucci. This act was seen by someone associated with Tosa Tonight in an Austin bar and news made its way back to organizer Rick Bauer.

Pucci has never been to Wisconsin but is looking forward to bringing his version of Americana music he called Browngrass to our state.

“Its like bluegrass only a little dirtier,” Pucci said. “It sounds to me like y’all know how to do it up there.”

This will be the first show on a mini-tour for the band that will see them head to Colorado after they complete the Hart Park show.