Industry professionals see strong diversity in La Crosse music scene

The 60th annual Grammy Awards honored some of the biggest names in the industry Sunday. While Grammy winners celebrate their accomplishments in New York, music industry professions in La Crosse say that musicians in the area have a lot to offer.

When The Root Note first opened its doors in downtown La Crosse in 2009, bands would mostly play at area bars.

“That’s kind of the fun part about this venue is it’s an all ages venue, which is great for a community this size,” said Dane Gonzales, co-owner of The Root Note.

It’s a community with a lot of talent where artists make names for themselves playing a variety of genres.

“It ranges anywhere from reggae to indie to folk,” Gonzales said of the bands that perform at the venue.

Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at the cafe are set aside for live performances. Because of it, the venue has drawn in local, regional and national artists.

“There are so many musicians that are coming through the Midwest– Minneapolis, Madison, Milwaukee, Chicago. La Crosse would normally get passed up,” Gonzales said.

That’s a shame for those artists. Brett Huus, owner of Sound Strations Audio Productions, says that western Wisconsin gives artists a lot to work with for inspiration.

“The bluffs and the river just make it kind of conducive scene to have really a creative atmosphere,” Huss said.

Huus works on EPs, singles and albums in the city. He says that people don’t need to be in a place like Los Angeles or New York to produce great music.

“We are going to see decentralization because the tools are not necessarily only in those cities, and the talented people are everywhere,” Huus said.

By sticking around the area, these artists continue to give back to the musical community.

“They’re involved in teaching or any number of things that are involved in the music scene,” Huus said.