Mid West Music Fest 6 is almost upon us and there is a ton of talent coming to Winona April 23rd-25th. Here is our list of 10 bands (in no particular order) that are must see this year.

1) Ruben- Friday, April 24th @Broken World Records front room (21+) 11:00 pm- This 4-piece from Stillwater, MN really brings a house down. With a classic rock n’ roll feel with their own twist, Ruben packs big 4-part harmonies on top of killer melodies that will have you singing along the whole show. www.rubentheband.com

2) Ali and the Scoundrels- Thursday April 23rd @Eagles Club (18+) 10:30 pm- Ali and the Scoundrels is a soul band hailing from Minneapolis, MN. The duo of female vocals bust out lush harmonies over one of the tightest rhythm sections in the land. Not to mention 3 horn players that simply do not mess around. Oh yeah, and they all went to SMU (Cardinal Pride am I right?). www.aliandthescoundrels.com

3) Frankie Lee- Friday April 24th @Ed’s (no name) Bar (21+) Midnight- If you are in the mood for a little Americana fix at the fest, look no further than Sounds Like School alum Frankie Lee. With his laid back style and unique style of country music, it will be a great way to cap off your Friday night at the festival. www.frankieleemusic.com

4) Circle of Heat- Saturday April 25th @VFW (21+) Midnight- Groove? Check. Ripping guitar licks? Check. Destructive solos? Also check. This list could continue for the remainder of this page, but that would just be silly. C.o.H puts on a high energy show that seamlessly fuses together influences of fusion-jazz, funk, prog-rock, and jam music. If you want a show that is going to make you shake, shout, and dance like crazy, get to the VFW Saturday night. You will be glad you did. www.circleofheat.com

5) General B and the Wiz- Friday April 24th @Broken World Records back room (21+) 8:00 pm- This group is all over the spectrum. With their blend of psych-rock, blues, and a few other things sprinkled in, this band will make you feel the feels with songs like “Love You Year Round” and then turn it around and bring the house down with scorchers like “Skeleton.” Also if you are lucky, the bearded front man will give you cookies. It happened…trust me. generalbandthewiz.com

6) Koo Koo Kanga Roo- Saturday April 25th @Wesley UMC (all ages) 7:30 pm- Like to dance, sweat, sing about cats? Well now you can do all three at the same time with Koo Koo Kanga Roo! This duo brings the energy with an interactive show that will have you singing and dancing along in no time. So brush up on your moves, grab your fanny packs and be sure to get over to the Sounds Like School stage and catch the show. Also, more SMU alums (we are all about that cardinal pride here). kookookangaroo.com

7) Chris Kendall- Saturday April 25th @Acoustic Cafe (all ages) 3:00 pm- More of the SMU family performing at the fest this year (seriously, so much cardinal pride. We are all about it)!  Kendall is a folk artist who has Minnesota in his heart. Be sure to stop by Acoustic to check out a set of catchy, toe tapping originals to kick of your Saturday at MWMF 6. www.chriskendall.us

8) The Weathered Heads- Saturday April 25th @The Masonic Temple (all ages) 6:30 pm- Fresh off their debut album release, this pop/rock group from Winona will be rocking MWMF for their 4th year in a row. Bringing the party with catchy melodies, huge harmonies, and lots of energy, The Weathered Heads get everybody grooving. And you guessed it…more SMU (half of this group have called SMU their home, and one still does. Cardinal Pride. Can’t say it enough). weatheredheads.com

9) Driftwood Bones-  Friday April 24th @Wesley UMC (all ages) 6:30 pm- These Winona natives bring fresh take on folk-rock to the stage. Their sound consists of two great singers over the top of piano, ukulele, guitar that blend together to create a fun sound that is perfect audiences of all ages. Go hang with em! driftwoodbones.bandcamp.com

10) DJ Abilities- Saturday April 25th @Broken World Records back room (21+) Midnight- Without a doubt one of the biggest names at the festival this year, and for good reason. As an underground hip hop producer and DJ, Abilities has been taking the Midwest by storm with his mixtapes, remixes, and high energy live shows. Sure to please and be another great option to close out MWMF 6. soundcloud.com/dj-abilities


These are just 10 acts and there are so many other bands that you should go and check out. MWMF is a beautiful thing, so go…experience it.


For the full lineup, tickets, and more information, head to the Mid West Music Fest website.




-Written by Nick Novotny – General Manager