Country News

Featured Artist of the Weekend – Chris Stapleton

featured artist wltu stapleton.jpgThank you to everyone that participated in the contest last week, and to everyone that read the article. If you didn’t win this week, don’t worry, we are giving away two more tickets to the Songs, Stools, and Stories show again this week. Same rules as last week, just answer my question correctly, and you put yourself in for the drawing to win.


Those of you that are avid readers of my article, first off I would like to thank you. It is great to see so many people enjoying something that I have put so much time and effort into. I really cannot say it enough. Secondly, you know that I am admittedly more of a rock fan, but I have a passion for music of any kind. When someone says metal, I have a vision of what that sounds like. When someone says pop, I have a vision of what that sounds like. Same with country. To me, a song isn’t country unless it has a certain sound, and most country music today is missing that sound. Now I’m not saying there is anything wrong with modern country, I’m just saying that to me, country is more Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, and others like that. Not over produced. Not pop-y. In modern country, most of the songs could be played on any pop music station, and fit in, well except for that lyrical message I suppose but I digress. I didn’t believe there would ever be an artist that would embrace that sound, and feel ever again. My younger brother, Adam, knows how I feel, and agrees with me. We are 26 and 23 respectively, and we both listen to classic country. Totally not what anyone would expect. Anyway, he told me of a new artist by the name of Chris Stapleton.

Stapleton was born in Lexington, Kentucky, and was raised in the small town of Staffordsville. His father was a coal miner, and his mother work at the local health department. He is the middle child, with an older brother and younger sister. He graduated from Johnson Central High School and attended Vanderbilt University, but after a year he dropped out to venture to Nashville. Not long after arriving in Nashville, Stapleton signed a deal with Sea Gayle Music.

During his early years in with Sea Gayle, Stapleton wrote hit songs for the likes of George Strait, Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan, and Darius Rucker. He also wrote a song for Adele. Yes that Adele. She recorded and released “If It Hadn’t Been For Love” as a bonus track for her wildly successful 2011 album, “21”.

Although he was seeing success writing songs, Stapleton wanted to sing the songs he was writing, so in 2008 he formed a band called Steeldrivers. The bluegrass group gained quite a bit of notoriety within the bluegrass community. In 2009, the group was named the Emerging Artist of the Year by the International Bluegrass Music Association. They even received three Grammy nominations the following year. Again I had never heard of the Steeldrivers, but I just listened to a few of their songs. They are very good, and if you are a fan of Chris Stapleton, which I think you should be, I highly suggest checking out “Blue Side Of The Mountain” by clicking here, and “Midnight Train to Memphis” by clickinghere.

Despite the success the band was seeing, Stapleton left Steeldrivers in 2010, and formed the Jompson Brothers. Moving away from bluegrass, the band, led by Stapleton, had a Southern Rock sound. They independently released a self-titled album in 2010, and toured with many bands until 2013. It looks like no matter what Stapleton puts his stamp on, it will be amazing. I suggest checking out “On The Run” by clicking here, “Barely Alive” by clicking here, and “Secret Weapon” by clicking here. Jason Aldean uses “Secret Weapon” as an intro to his live shows. I honestly can’t blame him. That song could and should be played on rock radio with regularity. I don’t know how, but The Jompson Brothers never saw any chart success or any award nominations. Again after only a few years, Stapleton left the Jompson Brothers in 2013.This time to pursue a solo career.

In 2013, Stapleton signed to Mercury Nashville. His first single, “What Are You Listening to?” was a part of an album that was recorded but never released. That may be because the track didn’t gain the traction they were hoping.

Two years later, he finally released his debut album “Traveler” in May 2015. On this album he recruited the bass layer from the Jompson Brothers, J.T. Cure, and added a slew of new bandmates. His wife even recorded the harmonies. Stapleton didn’t take the task of putting together his band lightly. He made it clear that magic within the lineup was very important, and the familiarity he had with Cure and drummer Derek Mixon, added to the overall richness of making the album.

“Traveler” reached number one on both the U.S. Country chart and the Billboard 200, and has already been certified platinum. Knowing all that, these following stats may seem a little weird, and they are to me as well. Only one of the songs on the album reached number one, and it wasn’t even one of the two singles. The singles, “Traveler”,  and “Nobody to Blame” only reached number 17 and number 13 respectively, although as of writing this, “Nobody to Blame” is still at number 15. The only number one song off of the album is a cover of George Jones’ “Tennessee Whiskey”. Five other tracks charted, but none broke the top 25. This is a travesty to me. While writing this, I have been listening to the entire “Traveler” album, and there isn’t a bad song on it. There are very few albums out there that I can say that about. Even my favorite band. They just put out a new album, and I absolutely LOVE their sound, and there are a couple songs I skip. This album is complete. There aren’t any filler songs. Every song is poignant and meaningful.

The album did win Stapleton several award though. At the 2015 CMA Awards, he won Album of the Year, New Artist of the Year, and Male Vocalist of the Year. He also performed “Tennessee Whiskey” with Justin Timberlake at the show. I know it seems like an odd pairing, but Timberlake is an incredible talent. He is one of the few pop stars that can sing live, and doesn’t need to be auto tuned to death on his albums. This is, in my opinion, the best crossover song I have ever heard. Check it out by clicking here. At the Grammys, he won Best Country Album, and Best Country Solo Performance for the song “Traveler”. The 2016 ACM Awards haven’t been handed out yet, but Stapleton is nominated for Album of the Year, Song of the Year for “Nobody to Blame”, Songwriter of the Year, New Male Vocalist of the Year, and Male Vocalist of the Year.

Stapleton said that the album was inspired by a road trip he took after the passing of his father in 2013. The title track was written while on that road trip with his wife driving down Interstate 40 from Phoenix to Nashville.

Chris Stapleton is by far my new favorite singer/songwriter. His talent is a rare one. Very few people can transcend genres as gracefully, and effortlessly as Stapleton. Bluegrass, Southern Rock, and Country are no match for this incredible musical talent. I bet he could write and perform an opera and it would be incredible. The only issue I have with Chris Stapleton’s career is that he is not being recognized for his talent with chart success. If you are a fan of true, raw talent, and vocal ability, support this amazing artist. I know I will definetly be buying “Traveler”, as well as the Jompson Brothers album as well. Support true talent so we can get back to getting truly talented artists back on the air.

Time for the Songs, Stools, and Stories Show giveaway. The question is this. What did I say, in my opinion, was the best crossover song I have ever heard? To answer, email me You will have until Sunday night at 11:59 pm to answer. On Monday, I will randomly select a winner out of everyone that gets the answer correct. Make sure the subject line says “Featured artist question of the week” so I can easily spot it. In the email also include your name and a phone number. Good luck!

(courtesy of Ryan B)

Lakeshore News

Lincoln High School Senior Chosen to Tour with Kids from Wisconsin in 2016

KIDS 2016 Hometown1 (2).jpgMichael Burish, a senior at Lincoln High School, will join the Kids from Wisconsin troupe. Kids from Wisconsin showcases the most talented youth in a full musical revue for all ages, consisting of 20 singers/dancers and a 13-piece show band that performs inspiring, entertaining, musical productions to over 100,000 people each summer.

Michael was the lead trumpet in Lincoln’s production of Guys and Dolls and has performed at the State level for Solo and Ensemble. Michael’s high school choir was selected to perform with the Milwaukee Symphony this winter.

Michael will be attending UW- Stevens Point in the Fall in Music Education and Jazz Studies and was selected as part of the UWSP State Brass Quintet.

Michael has studied with and would like to thank Mr. Jack Naus for the last nine years of trumpet instruction and his family for their support. He is excited and happy to be traveling with the KIDS for his third season.

Michael’s hometown show will be in Manitowoc on July 14 at the Capital Civic Center at 6:30 p.m. To view the entire tour troupe and the complete Kids from Wisconsin tour schedule, visit


Lakeshore News

Bail Set for Newton Man Charged with Sexual Exploitation of a Child

Bail is set at $5000 cash for a 31-year old Newton man on charges of sexual exploitation of a child as a repeater and possession of child pornography.

A city police detective said in the criminal complaint that officers conducted a search warrant of Sean Berry’s residence and seized his computer’s external hard drive. Berry is alleged to have recorded-a-video of his sexual assault of a female child in order to watch it in the future for sexual gratification. He also reportedly used his cellphone to make videos of children at a public pool.

Conditions of bail include that Berry report to the Manitowoc Police Department for photos and fingerprints within 24 hours of release—no contact with anyone under 18 except his son—not to be on premises where children are present such as schools and playgrounds—possess no internet capable device and/or audio or video recording device.

His initial appearance is scheduled for March 28th at 2:30.


Community Events, Lakeshore News

2016 Street Sweeping Parking Ban

The mission of the City’s Department of Public Infrastructure is to clean city streets to provide safe conditions for all modes of transportation and to help keep our lakes and rivers clean. Many of the storm sewers lead directly to Lake Michigan, the Manitowoc River, Little Manitowoc River, and Silver Creek. It is important to remember that anything that is put into the street is ultimately going to end up in the lake or river. In an effort to reduce the amount of material that enters the storm sewers and ultimately our waterways, to keep streets clean, and to cost effectively meet the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resource’s Municipal Storm Water Permit requirements, the City has a street sweeping program and parking ban in place.
The Street Sweeping Parking Ban will begin this year on April 1, 2016. Warning tickets will be issued during the week of March 21, 2016. To avoid being ticketed, check the City website,, under Municipal Code 10.430 or Department of Public Infrastructure – Street Sweeping for the Street Sweeping district map. Please only park on the street after the posted time on the street sweeping sign. Even though you may have seen the sweeper go by once, it may need to go by for a second pass. If possible, please avoid parking on streets in the area being swept during the morning hours. Crews can do a better job when cars aren’t blocking their access to the curb.
It is important to remember that sweeping grass clippings into the street is not only bad for our local lakes, creeks and rivers; it is also a violation of city ordinance. Grass along with other organic materials that are washed into the storm drain system, end up in our local water bodies. These materials decompose and release phosphorous into the water. Algae use this nutrient to grow, which in turn could turn your local waterways green.
Please help to keep our lakes, rivers and drinking water sources clean. For more information please contact the Department of Public Infrastructure – Streets and Sanitation at 686-6550.
Sign up to receive important information about the City of Manitowoc by text or e-mail. Go to Click on the Notify Me button in the lower left hand portion of the page. Follow the directions at the top of the page and under the News Flash category, choose whatever categories you are interested in.


Lakeshore News

Workshop on Purple Martins

Eleven PM perchingDN.jpgEach year many Wisconsinites anticipate the return of purple martins making a 5,000-mile flight from South America to their backyard during April.  Purple martins are one of the earliest spring migrants.  They are semi-dependent upon people to provide housing & security for their reproduction to be successful.  Because of this close association with people,purple martins need proprietors to be educated to prevent Wisconsin’s sinking population from afar.

On Saturday April 2 at the Heckrodt Wetland Preserve in Menasha,a freestatewide workshop will be presented for interested future, current and former proprietors on purple martins.  This need is to keep current colonies vibrant, encouraging new colonies and prevent failure of colonies.  Learn from actual mentorsand the statewide organization Wisconsin Purple Martin Associationabout purple martin ecology, how to attract martins, predator control, maintenance of existing colonies, how to counter weather related problems,being a responsible caretaker and many more martin related items.

Information is available online at Wisconsin Purple Martin Association or Heckrodt Wetland Preserve in Menasha.

Purple martins are the largest members of the swallow family weighing a little over 2.25 ounces with an overall length of 7-8 inches.  Martins are colonial nesting, raising one brood per year laying up to eight eggs.  They migrate over 10,000 miles yearly with an average adult life span of around 3-4 years.  Once a colony has been established, they are true to returning to the exact spot of the housing.  Since 2013in Wisconsin, purple martins are listed as a species of special concern.  Annual surveys conducted for nearly 50 years (1966-2013) have shown purple martins have declined 6.35% per year in Wisconsin while declining 2.48% per year within the decade from 2003-2013.  Simply stated, annual route surveys went from 591in 1971 to 34 in 2014.As we approach the time of migration,landlords need all the tools to secure their colonies and benefit from the mentors giving the workshop.

“Purple martins bring an intimate connection to backyard wildlife.  Any silence of the melodious call shows our neglect of our historical roots in caring for this species”, said Dick Nikolai, a retired biologist with the state Department of Natural Resources”.  He can be contacted at for further information.


Kevin Harvick Foundation Park Unveiled

2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick has teamed up with baseball’s Cal Ripken Junior and recently cut the ribbon to unveil the Kevin Harvick Foundation Park in his hometown of Bakersfield, California. The event was part of Harvick’s ongoing commitment to supporting his hometown. His foundation joined with the Cal Ripken Senior Foundation to open the multi-purpose youth development park which will provide a clean, safe environment in which children can play, learn and grow. It’s the second collaboration between Harvick and Ripken, who opened a similar facility in Greensboro, North Carolina, in November 2015.



Martinsville Track Facts

After five weeks of competition primarily on superspeedways and intermediate ovals, NASCAR is preparing to come out of the upcoming Easter break with its first short-track weekend of the season. The Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck Series are heading to Martinsville Speedway for a doubleheader the weekend of April 2nd and 3rd. Jimmie Johnson is the only Cup driver with multiple wins so far this season and heads to the Virginia half-mile as the winningest active driver there with eight victories, including a stretch of three straight in 2006 and 2007 … In the Truck Series, Toyota has won six of the last seven Martinsville races. Two-time series champion Matt Crafton was victorious in the tour’s last visit there last fall.


Lakeshore News

Wisconsin Mother Accused of Biting School Director

Witnesses say a mother wasn’t taking no for an answer — and that’s why she attacked the school director at Pewaukee Lake Montessori Academy.  Jessica Uriniuk got mad when she was told she couldn’t leave her sick child at school.  Academy director Antonietta Schneider says the mom bit her arm, scraped her face, started hitting her and then kicked her at least twice.  Schneider had to be treated at a hospital for internal bruising.  Uriniuk has been charged with battery and disorderly conduct.


Lakeshore News

Cancellations & Closures – 3/24/16


St. Peter Lutheran Church in Mishicot is cancelling their Thursday worship service.

Boelters Jewelers is closing at 1 pm today.

The Parkinson’s Support Group scheduled for this afternoon has been cancelled, with the next one scheduled for April 28th.

Melnik Presbyterian Church has cancelled their 7:00pm service tonight.

Bethany Lutheran School in Manitowoc is closed all day today.  Their 7th and 8th grades will still sing at the 4pm service this afternoon, though.

Calvary Lutheran Church has cancelled Maundy Thursday worship for Thursday, March 24, 2016

Two Rivers Senior Center is closed.

Manitowoc & Kewaunee County Meals on Wheels is cancelled.


School Closings:

Algoma Public & Parochial

Bethany Lutheran in Manitowoc

Brillion School District

Chilton Public & Parochial

First German Lutheran in Manitowoc

Hilbert Schools

Howards Grove Schools

Immanuel Lutheran School in Manitowoc

Kewaunee Public & Parochial

Kohler Schools

Lakeland College in Sheboygan

Lakeshore Technical College

Manitowoc Lutheran High

Manitowoc Schools

Reedsville Schools

Sheboygan Area School District

Sheboygan Area Lutheran High School

Sheboygan Christian School

St John’s Lutheran School in Manitowoc

St Mary Catholic School Algoma

Two Rivers Schools

Valders Schools

Wrightstown Public & Parochial



Lakeshore News

Manitowoc School Bus Crash Names Identified

The drivers from Monday’s Manitowoc County school bus crash have been released.

The Sheriff’s Office identified the bus driver as Edward Morrow, 70, Manitowoc. Investigators said Morrow suffered serious head and back injuries in the crash.

The truck driver is identified as Michael J. Mastalir, 38, Kewaunee. He was treated for minor injuries at the scene.

Six Monroe Elementary students suffered minor injuries and most were able to return to class.

No citations have been issued at this time, but the crash remains under investigation. The Wisconsin State Patrol is working on a reconstruction report.