Quotes

Well-Known Strangers masters the balance between free spirit music you can't help but dance to and profound lyrical storytelling...each song on their rookie album "Found" takes you through a rhythmic journey to being just that.

Melissa B. (Fan)

Wow, GREAT composition and production! Nice mix of adult contemporary, pop and country. This could be a big crossover hit!

Joe K. (Fan)

Really moved by the lyrics and depth of this song. The message touches so many of us that have struggled with a relationship, seeking out the correct path, looking for a brighter scenario. Excellent beat, melody, and structure.

Stacy A. (Fan)

This is amazing. Another Sun crosses a number of genres and the cello pushes so many emotions throughout the incredible lyrics. What an impressive debut.

John C (Fan)

About Well-Known Strangers

Well-Known Strangers founder, chief songwriter, and guitarist Joe Adamek, had developed a respectable musician profile penning songs for a number of artists, playing in several excellent Midwest bands, and headlining at prestigious music venues and events, when he had an artistic epiphany. He envisioned creating a modern pop-rock band around powerful and emotive female vocals and stately cello. His bold ideas have enabled him to build a collaborative band around some of the scene’s finest musicians.

“The name has two layers,” Joe explains. “One layer refers to the band—how everyone in the band is sort of well known in the local musical scene but a few of the members didn’t really know each other on a personal level, so we’re strangers in a way. The other layer refers to the content of some of the songs. Much of the content in these songs is about people and life elements that while intertwined, are sometimes disconnected and, in a way, ‘strangers’ with inexplicably meaningful connections.”

Well-Known Strangers is Joe Adamek (guitar/songwriting), Betsy Ade (vocals/songwriting), Roger Gower (drums), Sacia Jerome (cello), Ted Koth (lead guitar, and John Kulas (bass guitar). Joe is the band’s creative spark, introducing songs and guiding band’s overall artistic direction, though Betsy is an essential creative foil. Her songwriting and rich lyric gifts are essential in the band's overall sound and direction, and her vocal delivery is unmatched. Members of the alt-pop collaboration have collectively played well over 250 shows around the Midwest, including Chicago-Metro, Milwaukee, Madison, Rockford, and Minneapolis. The group mines a sophisticated but accessible sound that recalls Goo Goo Dolls, 10,000 Maniacs, Annie Lennox, and Matchbox 20. Distinguishing Well-Known Strangers from those bands are the one-two punch of Betsy’s vocal power, sass, and swagger, and Sacia’s classically trained cello playing.

Outside of Well-Known Strangers, Sacia is an actively working orchestral and chamber music musician who plays with pit orchestras and regional symphonies including Festival City, Racine, Kenosha, Oshkosh, and The Wisconsin Philharmonic. Betsy, Roger, and Ted also remain active in other successful regional / local music projects. In addition to these formidable artistic merits, the band is also built around the talents of gifted of multi-instrumentalists. Joe plays rhythm guitar, took formal piano instruction, and spent just over a decade playing drums and bass guitar in several bands. Betsy is a powerful vocalist, an excellent rhythm guitarist and can play mandolin. Sacia brings accordion talent in addition to her stunning cello capabilities. Roger plays a wide variety of percussion and is a DW loyalist and fanatic. Ted plays lead guitar and adds his talented singing and songwriting to the mix. John Kulas is an all-around excellent guitarist, including lead guitar, but is focusing his skills on bass. All members of Well-Known Strangers are vocalists.

The group came together in September 2014 in a fevered pitch of creative inspiration. “I was thinking of the Goo Goo Dolls, Guster, and even the Beatles’ ‘Eleanor Rigby,’ —using the orchestral fullness of the cello in a pop-rock context,” Joe says. During his busy schedule, Joe began testing the waters with his new originals. The songs Joe was writing were elegantly simple and built around showcasing Betsy’s vocals, the richness of the cello, and infectious hooks. They certainly weren’t vehicles for flashy musicianship or flexing chops.

“The first time Sacia came down, I heard the sound I had been searching for, the songs went up 10 levels,” Joe says. Drummer Roger Gower adds: “As we played through the first song, the sense was we were embarking on something bigger than we imagined.” The band quickly recorded two songs into an iPhone and soon garnered interest from major music industry players.

Well-Known Strangers’ foundational tracks are the mesmerizing “Another Sun,” a graceful pop-rock mid tempo track with chiming guitar and a balmy chorus, and the hauntingly sensual “Take You There.” “Take You There" has a lot of tension and innuendo. It’s two people in other relationships that feel a deep connection. There is a telling line in there that goes ‘if you want my thoughts just read my eyes,’” Joe explains. Though his writing explores complex relationships, Joe also writes powerfully about challenges in adult life such as beating cancer, which in fact Joe beat. The pulse-pounding and soul-touching song “Release Me” details his successful battle with cancer and will round out the group’s initial demo. Lastly, their song "Aligned" is the demo's liberating track that gives Well-Known Strangers' album a bittersweet but hopeful feel to it.

Currently, Well-Known Strangers has released their debut EP Found, and is prepping to play shows. In addition, they're headed into the studio to record their 5th single, "Mirror". Pausing to contemplate his quest for an innovative artistic ideal, Joe says: “It’s been really gratifying as the word has gotten out people and have been so enthusiastic about the band. It feels incredible and very validating.”

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