This year’s Manawa FFA Alumni Bluegrass Bash fundraiser is looking to be a barn burner.  The Bash is held October 13 & 14 at Bear Lake Resort, Manawa WI. Come and enjoy a great weekend of Bluegrass music as the Manawa FFA Alumni brings you some great Wisconsin bands.


Friday night roll in to enjoy Bear Lake's great Fish Fry and then at 9:00 Dig Deep with band Members, Oscar Noetzel-Banjo & Vocals, Alex Dalnodar-Vocals & Guitar, Pete Pagel-Bass & Vocals and Bob Weigandt-Mandolin & Vocals cranking it up with their own brand of String Band music, for a no cover charge Pre-Bash Party.


Saturday starts at 1:00 with The Soggy Prairie Boys with band Members

Kodey Feiner on the guitar, Jim Kvalheim on the mandolin, Tom Kazmerzak on the double bass, Kristen Kvalheim on the banjo, and Carl Rozas on the fiddle. “We all sing, except Kristen. Kristen doesn't sing.” The Soggy Prairie Boys have been playing together for over a decade! In 2002 the group formed as a band to play in the FFA Talent Competition where they were chosen to perform for the FFA National Convention in Louisville. In the time since then they have entertained thousands of people at countless events in Southern Wisconsin and around the Midwest. They play mostly bluegrass and country music as well as some original songs. Most of their songs feature four part harmonies and our instruments include guitar, mandolin, upright bass, fiddle, and banjo.


Next up is Miles Over Mountains is a progressive bluegrass band based in McHenry, IL. Their live shows are high energy, centered around an arsenal of original material and refreshing variety of cover songs served up in their own unique style.
The group consisting of AJ Knaack - Banjo, Caleb Peters - Acoustic Guitar,
Phil Hoffman - Upright Bass and Sean Shiel – Mandolin, provides the listener with a paradoxical calming, yet exciting experience. The band somehow has the power to ease one’s worries while also forcing the crowd into a frenzy of dance

We are very happy to bring Noah John and Ringing Iron based in southeastern Wisconsin playing traditional bluegrass and gospel music as well as country, Americana and folk. They blend driving banjo, powerful mandolin, steady rhythm guitar and tight harmonies to create a new, unique sound with a reminiscence of legends such as Jimmy Martin and Ralph Stanley.  The group is made up of Noah John on guitar and lead vocals, Gabriel Dettinger on banjo and tenor vocals, and Chris Mcdonell on Mandolin. These guys really tore it up at the Littlestock Music Festival this year.

Armchair Boogie formed in the heart of Wisconsin in 2014 as a banjo and guitar duo. After playing a handful of shows, Augie Dougherty (banjo) and Ben Majeska (guitar) recruited a well versed rhythm section to hold down the upbeat tempos and provide an extra oomph that’ll bring even the saddest uncle to a dance floor. This happened in October 2015; and in the few short years since, they've toured consistently around the Midwest, played with top notch artists such as Jeff Austin Band and Horseshoes & Hand Grenades, and played venues as big as The Majestic Theater in Madison. The sound has a newgrass feel that's not afraid to delve into realms like funk or country.

The Alumni are happy to bring to Wisconsin for a rare appearance, Frank F. Sidney's Western Bandit Volunteers. This is a high octane progressive bluegrass outlaw country band from Galesburg, Illinois. It's a big name, but it's a big band - sporting 6 members. The band consists of banjo player Neal Minella, bassist Pat Parrish, mandolin player Casey Robbins, guitarist and washboard player Corie “Cow” Weisenberger, guitarist Nathan Anderson and Lacy Rosenberry, who sings and also plays fiddle and washboard.
This Bargrass genre is all but unique mixing areas of bluegrass, country, Americana and rock. Their songs of whiskey, outlaws, scrapyards and bath salts (you read that correctly) mixed in with a few well-crafted slow songs to make the ladies hug their guys a little tighter. When you see a Frank show you’ll know they are influenced by Whiskey, Women, Backwoods, Double barreled shotguns, Moonshine, Pabst Beer and Greedy Ole' Bastards hoggin' all the loot. There are no comparable sets to a FRANK set.


Admission is $20.00 at the door. Included in the price is a raffle for a $100.00 first prize $50.00 second prize and 2 $25.00 consolation prizes. We run a silent auction at the event on Saturday along with a Paddle Raffle and a couple 50/50 raffles. We have many sponsors who help cover the cost of the bands. Due to the past generosity of our great sponsors for Bluegrass Bash X, the Manawa FFA Alumni was able to support agricultural education and our local FFA.  Last year, we were able to contribute $1350 ($575 for the World Dairy Expo Bus and $775 for the National Convention). So far this year (2017) we have awarded $5200 in scholarships and Entrepreneurial grants.