Rising Stars 2011


The weather looked daunting as the 4th annual Rising Stars Music Competition crew arrived for setup. Not to be intimidated by the weather, Mary, Martan, Ben, Jef, Kaleb and Tamara began assembling all of the equipment for the 22 musical acts that were to take place on the Willow Tree Stage as the vendors began their setup around the perimiter of the stage. This was going to be an epic year. More vendors than ever before, more non-profits represented.. and more musical acts.

Our famous MC and Radio Commercial voice, Martan began the show by introducing the judges.. Erika Brewer, T.J. Elton, Eddie Vedolla Jr. and Darrin Michaels. The sponsors were recognized, the staff and vendors were pointed out, and the party began!

The crowd was entertained throughout the day by acoustic artists, duets, and full bands. The Acoustic Artists brought their melodious sounds to the stage, followed by the Rock Groups energetic perfomances. After a mid show performance by II Big, the Hip-Hop artists thrilled the crowd and the Metal Bands rocked the stage. Every participating act received prizes donated by Russian River Records. 1st place in each category received studio time from Russian River Records and a $50 gift certificate at dig! Music. At midnight, the overall winners were announced. 3rd, 2nd and 1st place received studio time at Russian River Records and cash.

Guitarist, Michael Hael is a local musician that has been playing for over 30 years. He has played at Ukiah Idol, Pumpkin Fest, Ukiah Brewing Company, Club Calpella, and the Himalayan Café

Morgan Ammerman started singing in a choir 8 years of age and has been singing ever since. She has been playing guitar on and off for 2 years.

Aaron and Jessica met about four years ago and started dating. They found they had a common love for music very early on and began playing music together. It was at an open mic at the Ukiah Brewing Company that Aaron proposed onstage resulting in their wedding in June.

Whether Steven Bates plays acoustic or electric he performs his own music along with some all time favorite songs. He grew up in Fort Bragg and has lived and played in Santa Barbara Los Angeles and Texas. Steven also plays in a rock and roll band and is one of the busiest performing artists in the area!

Travis Rinker started playing guitar at age thirteen. Admittedly Travis says that it first sounded like fingernails on a chalkboard. But after much practice, he has found that guitar is his passion. Travis is a regular feature at every Rising Stars along with various gigs throughout Lake and Mendocino Counties.

Born and raised in the Ukiah Valley, Madsen/Johns Project is a nephew and uncle duo. Doug has been writing songs for at least 30 years. Josh has been writing songs for approx. 7 years. They've been playing together here and there for those 7 years.

Earreverence is a acapella group made up of Bill Bordisso, Carol Cole-Lewis, Nick Reid, Valerie Reid. Earreverence is an eclectic mix of Jazz, Pop and comedy sung A Cappella, because as children they were too lazy to practice their instruments.

Milk Steak was born out of a experimental jazz group formed in 2008. After their first show in May 2009, they changed their focus to rock. Its members include: Treaston Schmuckley, Brian Eldredge, Eddie Bortz, Alobar Morris, and Ian MacGreggor

The Kent Stephenson Band is a Original Western Rock Band, featuring the original songs of Kent Stephenson and obscure covers of Outlaw country, Southern rock, Soul, Rhythm & Blues,etc Members include: Kent Stephenson, Steve Carvalho, Lauren Kaplan, Joe Munch and Michael Cantwell

GDX, is the latest hybrid of Hard Rock from Northern California. Members include; Shawna White, Rik Pietrewicz, Bob Greene, Paul Siderakis and Steven White. All together it drives and flows effortlessly to give the listener a fresh earful of hard rock GDX style.

The Rose Knight Band is an Alternative Rock/Pop band originally from Nashville, Tennessee and now reside in Mendocino County. All members have rocked other bands but now grace Rose Knight with their musical abilities Members include; Rose Knight, Denny Knight, Steve Garrison, James Dexter and Marcel Guarachi

At the young age of 14, Lil 100 Rack$ has already opened up for bay area artists including YS, Napalm, Rydah J Klide, Skillz and Lil B. He holds a reputation as a positive poet and is well liked by peers at Ukiah High.

K-Town Ent is comprised of 3 young men with a lot of energy and hip hop beat that will get you out of your seat. Add their dance crew and this is an act that you dont want to miss! Members include Preacher Man, JD, and front man, Tajie D.

Mendo Dope has a very unique, new style in rap that is made from the ground up by Old E and Bleezy B in there backyard studio, all original music that stands out from the rest. This is a style that reaches out to all ages, with real life stories, and positive vibe's. Music with a message not just words

Local Hip Hop group, Some of The Truest comes straight out of the hills, bringing a positive message to the people via lyrical skills. They are constantly evolving to be a unique Hip Hop group that is conscious and can move their audience, emotionally and physically. Members include; Powahouse, OT, Sergio, and DJ Big Time

Zero Tolerance are currently a cover band and they play other genres. They have been working on originals and are energetic band with stage acrabatics:) and humor. Members include; Gabe Ramos, David Lopez, Damon Jonas, Anthony A, and Justine

G.F.L. is a three piece band from Lakeport, Ca. All the members are self taught musicians. It all started with Dylan Car's dream for a band that is a little different, add twin brother Evan and long time friend Juan, and you have G.F.L.

Iron Assault doesnt have much history, they started this band only a few weeks ago and already know multiple songs! They have a passion for Metal music and comes out in their performance. Members include; Josh Eaton,
Ronnie Biagi, and Ben Smith

In December of 2000, two old-school, longtime friends/Metalheads, joined together & combined their views, thoughts, feelings, opinions, love & support for the music they enjoy the most along with two more local, hard hittin', straight to the point fellow supporters of the cause & the outcome has become Controlled Violence of Action. Members include; Mike Ray, Mike Berry, Mike Johnson and Keith Vidra.

Spawned in the year of Twenty Eleven, in Ukiah, Members of Goreskin Coffin began to write and rehearse new original material, influenced from the likes of many styles. Members include; Dean Rice, Justice Reckis, and Dustin Stark.

Featured performances at Rising Stars 2011 include:
II Big- Self proclaimed Brand New Classic Rockers who bring an strong rock presence to the show. Being one of the longest standing bands in the area, II Big has played many venues, biker shows and benefits. Members Aubrey Hansen, Indiana Slim, Derek Soderquist and Ken Ingels give a stage performance not to be missed.

2010 Rising Stars 1st Place winners, Stand Out State (Formerly Slice Of Summer) have been performing in many Sacramento area venues. They are making the trek to Ukiah to perform in their place as the winners of last year’s Rising Stars as the featured act at the end of the night. SOS plays popular punk rock music and have been entertaining crowds since they formed during their school days in Potter Valley.

At the end of the evening, 2010 1st Place winners, Slice Of Summer performed in a featured performance.

A great time was had by all, the weather mostly behaved with stern warnings from Mary.. and we are proud to present the 4th Annual Rising Stars winning artists


The winners of this event were:

First Place: K-Town Ent
Second Place: The Rose Knight Band
Third Place: Travis Rinker

Acoustic: Travis Rinker
Rock: The Rose Knight Band
Hip-Hop : K-Town Ent
Metal: Controlled Violence of Action

We had some very talented photographers taking pictures of the whole day!

Check out some of the pictures on Facebook