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Best Folk Performer(s)

1st Place: The Shillelagh Lads
2nd Place: Mike Perry & The Long Beds
3rd Place: Brian Bethke

The Shillelagh Lads – an Eau Claire-based folk band led by Michael Rambo that provides engaging, Irish-style shows in pub environments – took the top spot this year. They’ve been on the Best Of list since 2011 and consistently draw large crowds to their entertaining shows at Houligans, where they’re the house band, and elsewhere. Runner-up Mike Perry & The Long Beds are led by best-selling author Michael Perry; their music has been described as “country-folk” or “folk-twang” and their periodic performances in the Chippewa Valley are always well received. Second runner-up Brian Bethke has been a long-time folk favorite. He is the only performer who has been a winner in this category every year since it was created in 2011. He’s released seven albums and continues to impress his fans. –Lindsey Quinnies

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