All posts by Purdy

Klondike Cheese Company “Crown Sponsor” for the 2018 Monroe Balloon and Blues Festival!

Klondike Cheese Company of Monroe, Wisconsin is announced as “Signature Crown Sponsor” for the 2018 Monroe Balloon and Blues Festival!

Built on 4 generations of outstanding Wisconsin cheese making, Klondike is the maker of award-winning and much sought-after products as their signature Feta, Muenster, Brick, Havarti & Greek Yogurt family. They have been crafting cheese on the factory’s original site established in the rolling hills of Green County during the late 1800s and it shows in every product they make.

The Buholzer family’s six Wisconsin Master Cheesemakers have continually combined their expertise and creativity to meet the needs of the U.S. consumers by crafting many styles of specialty cheese.

Today Klondike Cheese Co. boasts four Wisconsin Master Cheesemakers. They are recognized nationally for their very authentic Feta, a constant award winner, made with local cow’s milk and state-of-the-art equipment to ensure they provide superior and uncompromising quality and consistency for all cheeses.

Monroe Balloon and Blues is presented by The Arc of Green County – a non-profit organization devoted to opportunities and advocacy for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Arc salutes the dedication of devotion to the outstanding quality of the entire Klondike family and is very proud to be able to have Klondike as Crown Sponsor of this year’s event!

Alex Wilson Band

The Monroe Balloon & Blues Festival is proud to announce that the Alex Wilson Band will be playing live Friday June 15th 8:30-10:00pm

ALEX WILSON grew up in a family of talented musicians.

Alex’s grandmother, Rosa Saviano was a renowned professional jazz singer in Chicago in the 1940’s and 50’s. Tom Wilson, Alex’s father, is a multi-faceted musician who has had the distinct pleasure of accompanying nearly every blues performer to pass through the Milwaukee/Chicago music scene in the last thirty years. Marc Wilson, Alex’s uncle AND drummer, is one of the most sought after drummers in the country. He’s played with B.B.King, Big Walter Horton, Buddy Guy, Jimmy Rodgers, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Susan Tedeschi, Anson Funderburgh and Sam Meyers to name but a few.

Alex picked up the guitar at five years old and never put it down. Immersed in the Milwaukee blues scene, Alex was surrounded, and influenced by such local luminaries as Stokes, Lee Gates, Jim Liban and Milwaukee Slim.

Alex formed his own garage band at thirteen. By seventeen he began to dig deep into the blues, learning the songs and styles of masters such as Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter, Buddy Guy, Jimi Hendrix and Magic Sam.

At seventeen Alex began playing professionally and by twenty-one he had joined Milwaukee’s Blue Rubies and was performing regionally while still playing part-time with his own band. Playing up to 25 gigs a month, Wilson honed and sharpened his skills as a singer/songwriter, guitar player and over all entertainer.

In ’05 and ’06 Alex began to focus solely on his own project, booking shows, finding his own sound and the right players from the mid-west music scene to take his show on the road.

With Alex’s uncle Marc Wilson on the drums, and Alex’s brother Matthew singing harmonies and playing bass, Alex is running with one of the toughest bands on the scene today. It’s no surprise that they won the 2007 WAMI (Wisconsin Area Music Industry) Award for blues group/artist of the year. After playing a series of shows for the Chinese New Year in Beijing with Grammy nominated blues harmonica player Charlie Musselwhite, Alex returned to the states to find himself a triple nominee for the WAMI Awards in 2008!

A versatile musician, Alex effortlessly switches between genres. He plays everything from sweet Beale Street blues to West coast swing. From hard Texas grinders to stone cold Chicago grooves with a feeling that’s said to be timeless. Alex’s style and tasty originals matched with his undeniable stage presence and unmistakable guitar style will drive you to the dance floor.

His long-awaited and freshly nominated debut CD, Tell Me Why, has been released on “Rathskeller Records”.
To say that Alex Wilson is one to look out for down the road is an understatement. Taking the Midwest by storm, this young musician is a force to be reckoned with.

Check him out at:



The Monroe Balloon & Blues Festival is proud to announce that the Stackhouse will be playing live Saturday June 16th 2:30-4:00pm

Stackhouse is a Soul & Blues trio featuring Xavi Lynn, Garrett Wartenweiler, and Derek Hendrickson! Bound to make you get down!

“Xavier Lynn is one of the best young guitar players I’ve ever met. He plays with an intensity and poise that you will rarely see in such a young musician. Xavier possesses the technical skill and confidence of someone twice his age. He is like a sponge constantly soaking up any style of genuine American music he sets his mind to play including jazz, blues, soul, gospel, and funk.” (Joe Nosek, Cash Box Kings)

Don’t let his age fool you, 18-year old Xavier Lynn is as well traveled as any seasoned bluesman. Originally born in London to American and British parents, Xavier grew accustom to life on the move, subsequently making his home in San Diego, CA, Austin, TX, Geneva, Switzerland, Madison, WI, and Cleveland, OH where he currently resides. While he was drawn to blues and gospel from an early age, his travels led him to learn and embrace a diverse array of musical styles.

In Geneva, he was introduced to music from Africa and the Caribbean, learning to play Central African gospel music and soukous, a popular form of dance music originating in the Congo Basin; as well as exploring the music of Guadeloupe with vocalist and francophone superstar Francky Vincent. Living in Geneva also afforded Lynn the opportunity to regularly attend the world-renowned Montreux Jazz Festival, where nightly jam sessions allowed him to sit-in with some of music’s biggest names, including the Roots, Jon Batiste, Nigel Hall, and Sam Smith. Ironically, the musician who most influenced him while in Europe was another American – drummer Vic Pitts of the late 60’s Milwaukee R&B group Vic Pitts and the Cheaters. From Pitts, Lynn gained a deeper understanding and appreciation of funk and R&B and was also introduced to Cheaters’ guitar player Van Patterson.

A 2014 move from Geneva to Madison, WI, enabled Lynn to further his relationship with Patterson who happened to still be living in Milwaukee. While working with Patterson, Xavier focused on gospel quartet and soul, and learned to tastefully incorporate his diverse musical background into the blues. Presently, Xavier is regularly playing throughout the Midwest and Europe, captivating audiences with his energetic stage shows and authentic enthusiasm for performance. In addition to fronting his own group, Lynn has also performed with the Jimmy’s, the Cash Box Kings, Russel Thompson (of the O’Jays), and the late Clyde Stubblefield of the James Brown Band. His debut solo album is set to be released in summer 2018.

Check them out at: