Betsy Ade & the Well-Known Strangers have been entertaining Midwest audiences with their cello infused, alternative pop/rock sound. Members Joe Adamek (acoustic guitar), Betsy Ade (lead vocals, guitar), Cameron Fair (cello), Roger Gower (drums/percussion), Brittany Lumley (multi-instrumentalist, supporting vocals) and John Kulas (bass guitar) released released their latest EP “Path Away” on May 4th, 2018 and radio stations around the country are spinning & streaming their single “Sidewalk”. Together, the band members have an amazing mix of musical knowledge and education that provides a unique sound that is reminiscent of familiar of music from the ‘90s while being expressively groundbreaking and melodically rich. They have been humbled by their success and performing with acts that include Blind Melon, Blue October, Candlebox, and many more. While Ade and Adamek do most of the songwriting, it’s the band’s creative spark and sonic diversity that are the driving force behind their sound.
Well-Known Strangers grew out of a 15+ year friendship between Ade and Adamek. Then, after performing at a mutual friend’s wedding in May 2014, the two discussed the possibility of a music collaboration and began seeking out talent. In February 2015, Well-Known Strangers were born. Their name comes from the idea that they were all individually “well-known” in the local music scene when they got together, but on a personal level some of them were “strangers” to one another. Proud supporters of the fight against human trafficking, LGBTQ community, and the ongoing battle against cancer, Well-Known Strangers continue to raise awareness of these important issues through community events and their talents as musicians and artists.
Fronting Well-Known Strangers, Ade’s rich lyrical gifts are essential and her vocal delivery is simply unmatched in contemporary pop/rock music. A proud member of the LGBTQ community, Ade is passionate about cancer research, after losing her mother to Hodgkin’s disease when she was just 9 years old. In 2004, Ade won the Wisconsin Area Music Industry’s (WAMI) “Female Vocalist of the Year” award and in 2017 won Shepherd’s Express “Female Vocalist of the Year”. She is also a contestant on The Voice Season 16 (Spring 2019) and got chair turns from Adam Levine and John Legend.
Adamek plays rhythm guitar and has spent over a decade playing drums and bass guitar in several bands throughout the southeast Wisconsin area. Adamek is a cancer survivor, who is also deeply passionate about cancer research. In addition, Adamek is a decorated Gulf War veteran, having fulfilled eight years of active service in the US Navy and was honorably discharged.
Cam has been playing cello for about 12 years, in addition to experience with bass and ukulele. Cam is currently attending UW-Parkside working towards a bachelor’s degree in Cello Performance and a Computer Science certificate. After college, Cam intends to start working on his Master’s in Cello Performance.
Gower plays a wide variety of percussion, is a DW loyalist and has been very successful in establishing his percussive reputation with several regional projects. Roger is endorsed by SoulTone Cymbals.
Kulas, an all-around excellent guitarist, utilizes his diverse abilities to hone his talent on bass, and is the driving force behind the band’s social media successes.
She is a talented guitarist with some mad vocal skills that blend beautifully with Betsy’s voice. Brittany has been working hard with the band to get ready for the summer music season (shows to be announced).
Brittany began playing guitar and writing songs in high school. While she was in college at UW-Madison, she performed and recorded with both an Indie Folk band and a Math Rock band in addition to her work as a solo singer songwriter. Brittany also sang with a jazz music ensemble at UW-Madison which has influenced her smooth, yet bold vocal style and her ability to improvise.
Betsy Ade & the Well-Known Strangers have been recognized through numerous awards and nominations, including the following (in addition to those listed above) winners of the 2019 Wisconsin Area Music Industry Rock/Pop Band Category and the 2017 Milwaukee A-List “Best Local Band,” Runner-up 2017 and 2018 Shepherd Express “Best Band,” and 2018 WAMI awards for “Best Rock/Pop Band” Betsy Ade & the Well-Known Strangers music can be found on iTunes, Spotify, and Amazon and heard on Pandora and Apple Music.
Sidewalk : Official Video
Press & Reviews
May 10, 2016 – Milwaukee Summer Concerts!
Apr 28, 2016 – Anniversary Bash!
Mar 17, 2016 – Journal Times: National Recognition
Feb 03, 2016 – All Things Next
Jan 23, 2016 – CBS58 Video – Racine & Me
Jan 19, 2016 – “Voices Against Trafficking”
Dec 03, 2015 – WKS in Barron, WI
Dec 02, 2015 – WKS Stirring Up The Music Industry
Nov 11, 2015 – IndieNation Blog
Oct 03, 2015 – Comic Pop Library EP Review
Sep 30, 2015 – TMFC Charts – Release Me STILL Charting!
Sep 29, 2015 – Women of Substance Podcast 224
Sep 26, 2015 – Songshooter “Song of the Day”
Sep 13, 2015 – Women of Substance Featuring WKS!
Sep 05, 2015 – WKS Featured on Director’s Cut Radio
Aug 30, 2015 – EthnoCloud: Surprise from the Midwest
Aug 27, 2015 – Indie Obsessive: Strangers of Various Types
Aug 26, 2015 – The Great Record Chase Interview
Aug 26, 2015 – Modern Mystery: Getting familiar with WKS
Aug 25, 2015 – Indie Obsessive: Strangers of Various Types
Aug 17, 2015 – Great Record Chase: Another Sun Review
Aug 09, 2015 – CD Giveaway: CelebrityCafe.com
Aug 04, 2015 – Middle Tennessee Music EP Review
Aug 04, 2015 – TMFC Weekly Radio Chart (Release Me #1)
Aug 02, 2015 – #7 for July 2015 – Unsigned Charts
Jul 30, 2015 – Vents Magazine Interview
Jul 29, 2015 – The Dutch Guy Q&A w/ WKS
Jul 28, 2015 – Music Street Journal Another Sun Review
Jul 27, 2015 – Indie Lady A Interview w/ WKS!
Jul 24, 2015 – TMFC Weekly Radio Chart (Release Me #1)
Jul 23, 2015 – Heath Andrews EP Review
Jul 22, 2015 – Radio Random Network Interview
Jul 17, 2015 – TMFC Radio Top Ten Chart (We’re #1)
Jul 16, 2015 – RealSoundsOK Q&A
Jul 12, 2015 – Examiner.com Another Sun Review
Jul 08, 2015 – SongwriterUniverse “Song of the Month”
Jun 27, 2015 – Creative Spotlights Feature Article
Jun 27, 2015 – Matheson’s Entertainment Blog Review
Jun 26, 2015 – TMFC Radio Top Ten Chart (Finished #2)
Jun 26, 2015 – AntiMusic.com’s “Singled Out!” Review
Jun 13, 2015 – The Bugcast
Jun 11, 2015 – Independent Artist Buzz Review
Jun 03, 2015 – BreakingDownSound.com Review
Jun 02, 2015 – MusicExistence.com Review