The Rising Fortunes of Denim Matriarch
Twin Cities band wins Emerging Artist award at Summerfest. Our photos capture the action.
Although the headliners at Summerfest grab most of the spotlight, remember that the nationally known music fest is also a chance for dozens of new bands to get their break in front of a large audience. The Emerging Artist series, at the Johnson Controls World Stage, is one of the best reasons for Summerfest to exist. It is the breeding ground for the future MainStage — and national — talents.
One such band, Denim Matriarch, traveled from Minneapolis to play SummerFest for the first time. They are a four-piece alt-rock band whose members, Nathan Levin, Jon Lindquist, Will Burnton and Sam Ruff, served up a twisted, deeply funky, pretty original sound that garnered them the Emerging Artist first prize on the first day of Summerfest. This kind of honor could enhance their reputation nationally, leading to more opportunities to develop their sound and performance chops.
Another fortunate development is they have a friendship with Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith. The Peppers were playing the main stage that night so Chad visited with Denim Matriarch and introduced the band before their performance.
All of which made it a magic day for Denim Matriarch. They hope to return to Summerfest again and again. As with so many bands before them, Summerfest is now one of their best musical memories.