Sterling Main Street Music Fest returns to the Grandon Civic Center on Saturday July 23, 2016


Sterling, IL – On Saturday, July 23, 2016 Central Memorial Park and the Grandon Civic Center will once again become the home for Sterling Main Street’s 5th Annual Music Fest, presented this year by Midland States Bank and CGH Medical Center.  This all-ages festival will be the “can’t miss” event of the summer.  This year’s event features 5 great regional bands – The Eskimo Brothers, Miles Nielsen & the Rusted Hearts, Bad Bad Hats, Ottawa and The Dirty Beet Brothers.

The Eskimo Brothers are a high energy honky tonk music trio based out of Nashville, Tennessee.  This reckless and manic show has been battle tested and polished from over 3000 gig hours in the honky tonks of Nashville’s historic Lower Broadway and nearly three years of monthly shows on Beale St. in Memphis.  The band extensively tours throughout the Southeast, Midwest, branching up the East Coast and a tour building out West in 2016.

Rockford, IL-based Miles Nielsen has spent nearly a decade enthralling audiences with music that draws force from the prime years of Western-influenced rock music and classic ‘60s soul. Claiming influences as diverse as Otis Redding’s classic soul and Jellyfish’s cult power pop recordings, Nielsen has thus far released two albums – his debut in 2009 as a solo artist, and then his sophomore album in 2012 as Miles Nielsen and the Rusted Hearts – to critical acclaim and an ever-growing fanbase. The Rusted Hearts’ hot streak will continue this year with their upcoming third LP, Heavy Metal.

Bad Bad Hats is an indie rock band from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Kerry Alexander (vocals, guitar, wisdom), Chris Hoge (drums, courage), and Noah Boswell (bass, power) met while attending Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minn. Kerry and Chris began writing songs together in 2010, recording a collection of demos that would later become their first EP. The addition of their friend Noah in 2012 solidified the line-up. The indie rock trio’s songwriting quickly caught the ear of Minneapolis label Afternoon Records, whose alumni includes Yellow Ostrich, Now Now, Haley Bonar, and One for the Team, among others. Afternoon Records signed the trio and released their It Hurts EP in early 2013. Two years later, the band is ready to release their bold debut LP, Psychic Reader, due out on July 17th.

Since the release of It Hurts, the three friends have performed around the Midwest, working on new material that expands upon the homespun sound of their previous work. Psychic Reader is the result of their sonic growth. Bolstered by the experimental touches of the album’s producer, Brett Bullion, Psychic Reader draws from the influences of all three members, exploring a number of musical styles over the course of 33 minutes. Kerry’s strong vocals and lyrical sensibilities tie the songs together as a cohesive unit, making for an album that is both surprising and universal.

Through high school friendships, two Craig’s List ads (Musicians Wanted, not Missed Connections), and a few years of trial and error, OTTAWA was born on Cleveland’s west side in the winter of 2014.

Since then, lead singer Dale DeLong, guitarists Will Hooper and Tim Czajka, drummer Steve Crobar and bassist Chris Williams have developed a sound described by Cleveland Plain Dealer reporter Troy Smith as “a brand of garage pop that merges elements of indie-rock, blues and new wave that’s quite melodic and hypnotizing.”

That unique sound is a result of the band’s diverse influences, including The Killers, Oasis, Fleetwood Mac, The Velvet Underground, and even 90s pop groups.

According to DeLong, good music “stops you in your tracks and paralyzes you for a moment,” and the band’s debut EP, “Random Lights,” released in December 2014, is a collection of songs that do just that. Throughout the EP,  Ottawa’s dynamic sound shifts from the adrenaline-pumping “The Good Kind,” to the contemplative “Lie to Me,” and has been hailed as “one of the best debut albums of 2014.”

In 2015, “Tempo” was featured on the premiere of the Food Network’s “Top 5 Restaurants,” and tracks from Random Lights have appeared on the Bravo show “Flipping Out” throughout its seventh season.

Judie Vegh of Midwest Action also praised the EP and Ottawa exclaiming that, ”Every now and then a band is born with the creative potential to thrive and succeed in the music industry…Random Lights proves that this band is just getting started on their path to success. Ottawa is certainly a random light that shines ever so brightly among all the others.”

Ottawa took to the road in the summer of 2015 to promote their latest single, “Roman Candle.” The Roman Candle Tour included stops in Chicago, New York City, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and other major cities throughout the northeast. The band is currently working on their sophomore EP, to be released in the summer of 2016.

Local favorites, The Dirty Beet Brothers, will open the festival this year.  A high energy band with a focus on creating fun, original music, the Dirty Beet Brothers are influenced by all genres of music, and their sound defies typical traditions. The result is a perfect blend of Bluegrass, Blues, and good old American Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Food & beverage vendors will be onsite for all ages, and a variety of domestic & craft brews will be available for purchase for patrons over 21.    Gates open at 1:00 p.m., and the cost is just $5.00 for ages 13 and up.  12 and under are free with an accompanying adult.  No outside food or beverage allowed, and no pets please.

Tickets are on sale now at, or by contacting Sterling Main Street at 815/626-8610 or  Tickets will also be available at the gate.  Additional event information is available at

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