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One doesn’t have to travel far for the opportunity to hear incredibly talented singers and appreciate local bands.  Local establishments showcase musicians from the lake country and surrounding area every weekend and patrons flock to hear their favorite artists.

Wards House of Prime, Delafield 

“We have live music every Saturday night,” says Kim Jacobs, event coordinator. “The genre is usually upbeat, '80s and '90s pop favorites and is usually performed by a solo artist.”

“During the summer we add Tuesday nights and move the music outdoors onto the patio,” she adds. “Also in the summer, we trade off with Revere's for Saturday night entertaining.”

Monday nights in summer are dedicated to showcasing young performers.

“One of our most popular young artists is Jaid Ruffing who is a mere 12 years old, sings country songs and has an incredible voice,” Jacobs remarks. Any young singer is welcome to try out for a Monday night spot.

Mama D’s, Wales 

The music is magic at this cute coffee shop in downtown Wales.

“We have musicians performing on Thursday and Friday nights and on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.,” says Ali Thomas, event manager. “While most artists are solo, we have had duets and trios. Our place is relatively small and intimate, making it the perfect setting for acoustic guitar music. In summer we set up an outdoor stage that is more accommodating to larger bands.”

Open mic takes place on the second Wednesday of every month, and the cafe is never short of aspiring artists who wish to present their talents. If you ever wanted to be on stage, this is your opportunity.

Vino Ecetera, Oconomowoc 

On Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from 7:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m., local musicians captivate patrons while they sip wine and relax with friends.

“We have many regulars who come to enjoy the music week after week. Most of our artists come from a jazz or contemporary background, which adds much to the ambiance,” describes owner Linda Vlasak. “Additionally nice, if you book a private event in our downstairs rooms, your party is welcome to come and sit in on the show. The music is very well received.”

Splash Martini Bar, Oconomowoc 

Live music starts at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday nights and goes until midnight.

“We feature solo artists as well as small bands that play a variety of music, mostly pop and light rock,” says owner Dick Reinert. “Occasionally, we will accommodate an act on Friday nights. We list all of our upcoming artists on our web site.”

In summer, one can appreciate the music backdrop while sitting on the deck and enjoying a view of the lake. There is usually room for everyone; however, Reinert recommends coming a little early to secure a seat.

Nice Ash, Waukesha 

The music plays on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

“We usually have three- to four-piece ensembles that play a variety of music from rhythm and blues to classic rock, '80s and even Irish music,” describes bartender Brittany Rich. “A particular favorite is the classic soft rock style of Xeno and Joe (Xeno was the lead singer for Cheap Trick).”

Patrons can enjoy a cigar and whiskey pairing in a great atmosphere with popular local artists to entertain them.

Waterfront Wednesdays, Pewaukee 

It goes without saying; this is one of the more popular summer venues in the area. For 18 years, local bands have entertained crowds on Wisconsin Avenue along the shoreline of Pewaukee Lake. From June through August this is the place to gather to enjoy the sounds of great local musicians and spend time with friends.

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