Water City Racket Fest announces final group of 2019 bands, unveils new festival website


Water City Racket Fest has announced the final set of music artists who will perform at the Feb 14-16 event in downtown Oshkosh, for a total of 29 sets.  Here are the first two announcements (group 1 and group 2).

The festival has also launched a new website – www.watercityracket.com – providing a one-stop spot for festival news and band information.

Listen & Learn Series at the Oshkosh Public Library:  New in 2019 is a series of 35 minute educational sessions at the Public Library Saturday morning February 16.  The free, all-ages sessions will take place under the dome and will expose curious budding musicians and fans to an array of instruments including the accordion, mbira, upright bass, guitar, african percussion, and more.  Musicians will also talk about about song composition, the poetry of music lyrics, and inspirations for their work. (recommended age 6 to adult)

  • 9:15am:  Luke Bassuener of ASUMAYA
  • 10am: Danny & Michelle Jerabek of Copper Box
  • 11am: Carl Nichols & Johanna Rose of Nickel&Rose

Offbeat Press on design:  In the coming week Racket Fest will be unveiling their 2019 poster, with design work by the team at Offbeat Press, who returns as the festival’s design sponsor for a second year.

Racket Fest Radio Playlist on Spotify: Check out songs from musicians who will be performing in 2019 at Racket Fest, along with tracks from artists that performed in 2018 at Racket Fest and at the Independent Racket Nights series. We recommend using Spotify only as a source to find new music, and to directly support the sounds and artist you like by purchasing their music.


Here is group 3 of the bands:

Good Night Gold Dust (Mankato, MN): Two sets, including a full band set Friday night at the Algoma Club and a pared down acoustic lunchtime set at Fletch’s on Saturday.

Good Night Gold Dust is engulfed with digital impression, and is highly adept at crafting catchy guitar lines that blend well with heavy, dark synthesizers.  Together this draws you into the often dreamy musical realm navigated by the ethereal yet strangely powerful vocals of the bands two lead singers.  The listener is only grounded by the shifting percussive rhythm moving you forward.  The sound is big, and serious. 


Redshift Headlights (Oshkosh): Playing Friday night at the Algoma Club.

Oshkosh band Redshift Headlights features vibes, guitar w/ lots of pedals, drums, second guitar, bass with occasional fuzzy pickle, keys, synth, drums, trumpet, singing, and infrequent timpani. The band released their second full length album in as many years.  The sound is complex and layered, yet accessible.   Redshift Headlights close out the Algoma Club Friday night following a loaded evening that also includes Adelyn Rose, Bottom of the Lake, CONTROL, and Good Night Gold Dust.  


CONTROL (Madison): One set on Friday night at the Algoma Club.

CONTROL are burlap sacks filled with dub and surf and punk and a million sharp shale pieces. A girl runs to the front of the stage and turns the dilettantes’ eyes to jelly. The others keep their heads going up and down in time, shaking the sacks. The music of it’s hard and delicate and softly purposeful. It cuts and heals. Riots break out: Drums, bass, guitar, a voice sometimes searing the surface. The girl’s got her shirt up now and the dilettantes all leave to get her a drink. The songs becomes a watery noose and the stage goes empty because the stage has always been empty. Everyone covers their heads in burlap, drawing in raw, sustaining air and excavating their own private darknesses. They shake. And they try to predict what will come next


Danny & Michelle Jerabek of Copper Box (Oshkosh): Facilitating on of the Listen & Learn sessions at the Oshkosh Public Library on Saturday morning.

Danny and Michell Jerabek from Copper Box will be at the Oshkosh Public Library for an engaging 35 minute session Saturday morning talking about their instruments and songwriting.  Copper Box has been playing for more than 17 years and has remained a favorite live band of communities throughout the midwest.


Redhawks (Appleton): Playing the late night show on Saturday evening at the Reptile Palace.

An interesting blend of folk rock, alt country flavor, and colorful psychedelic hymn progressions, along with a swell dose of trumpet and fügelhorn. Their live sound is sharp, cohesive and full of Fox Valley rock goodness.  A duo from the Redhawks featuring Freddie Hass and Tate Sampson are also performing at Fletch’s Tap House on Saturday afternoon around 1:30pm for a free lunch set.


Steev Baker (Madison): Kicking off the music on Friday with a 5:15pm set at Manila Resto.

Steev baker is a singer-songwriter from rural Wisconsin. He has rambled around the music scenes in Oshkosh, West Bend, Milwaukee, and Madison over the past 20 years playing songs about faith, doubt, anxiety, love, and the places we call home.


Sighs (Appleton): Playing on Saturday at Manila Resto with a 5:15pm set.

Sighs is Todd Vandenberg (aka Todd MOHE aka Emo Todd aka Heller Mason). It didn’t start at punk rock but it might as well have.  Todd began playing solo in 2001 and in his past musical life recorded a couple albums in the singer/songwriter vein but has since picked up the classical & electric guitar and learned how to execute alternate tunings to please his ears.  With these new “songs” comes something different so enters a new musical moniker…say hello to Sighs. Sometimes it’s the only way to answer. 


Cricket (Oshkosh): Opening the late night session Saturday at the Reptile Palace.

Three noise boys from Oshkosh who are just trying to do their best, opening up the late night Saturday session at the Reptile. For fans of: Unwound, Frodus, Fugazi, Drive Like Jehu etc.. 


DJ Night: Peabodys is hosting the Friday late night session with an evening of record spinning (artists tba).

Peabody’s will be hosting a late night DJ session on Friday evening, with artists yet to be announced.  Music starts after 10pm and runs well into the AM. 

Stay connected with current Racket Fest News and information at the Oshkosh Music Facebook Page.


About Author

Justin R. Mitchell

Justin is the founding editor of the Oshkosh Independent.

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