Music at the Zoo: Betsy Ade & the Well Known Strangers

Wed, August 14 | Doors Open: 5:30 PM | Show Starts: 7 PM

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Betsy Ade & the Well-Known Strangers (BAWKS) have been entertaining Midwest audiences with their cello-infused alternative pop/rock sound since 2015. Members Betsy Ade (lead vocals, guitar), Katie Todd (piano, keyboards, vocals), Joe Adamek (guitars), John Kulas (bass guitar) and Scott Fox (percussion), have released 5 CD’s. This includes a full-length album, several EPs, and an exciting range of fun and influential videos. 

Ade’s rich lyrical gifts are essential and her vocal delivery is simply unmatched in contemporary pop/rock music. In addition to Ade’s talents, the band members have an amazing mix of musical knowledge and education that provides a unique sound that is reminiscent of familiar music from the ’90s while being expressively groundbreaking and melodically rich. They have been humbled by their success, performing with international acts that include Melissa Etheridge, Nancy Wilson, Blind Melon, Shawn Colvin, Blue October, KT Tunstall, Lindsay Ell, Candlebox, The Gufs, Skerryvore, Cathy Richardson, Sebastian Bach, and many more. 2019 was an exciting year for BAWKS! Ade was a Top 24 Contestant on NBC's "The Voice", where she had the rare opportunity to work with 3 different coaches, including; John Legend, Kelly Clarkson, and Adam Levine. Ade’s experience on “The Voice” has brought international attention to the band’s talents and charitable efforts. 

Well-Known Strangers grew out of a 15+ year friendship between Ade and Adamek. Then, after performing at a mutual friend’s wedding in May 2014, the two discussed the possibility of a music collaboration and began seeking out talent. In February 2015, Well-Known Strangers were born. Their name comes from the idea that they were all individually “well-known” in the local music scene when they got together, but on a personal level some of them were “strangers” to one another. While Ade and Adamek have done most of the songwriting to date, it’s the band’s creative spark and sonic diversity that are the driving force behind their sound. BAWKS are proud supporters of the fight against human trafficking, LGBTQ community, first responders, Veterans, and the ongoing battle against cancer. Ade and Adamek are especially passionate about cancer research, after Ade lost her mother to Hodgkin’s disease when she was just nine years old, and Adamek having personally battled several cancers.. BAWKS continues to raise awareness of these important issues through community events and through their talents as musicians and artists.

BAWKS are now writing a new full-length album, "Dawn". This album's first single "Forever" was released on August 27, 2021. They've followed that single with the release of "Working Man", "Standing By", "I Don't Owe You" and "Get Up". In July 2022, BAWKS toured Scotland & England including several performances in the Tiree Music Festival. BAWKS followed up that tour with performances in the spectacular Mile of Music in Appleton, WI. In November 2021, BAWKS performed on The Melissa Etheridge Cruise with Melissa Etheridge, Nancy Wilson, KT Tunstall, Shawn Colvin, Lindsay Ell, and many other successful artists.

BAWKS have been recognized through numerous awards and nominations since inception. This includes, but not limited to; Winners of the 2019 Wisconsin Area Music Industry’s Best Rock/Pop Band, Finalist for 2023 Best of Milwaukee's "Best Rock Band" and an award for Best Song ("Aligned") on Songwriter’s Universe. Betsy Ade & the Well-Known Strangers music can be found on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Pandora, YouTube, Apple Music, and most music-related streaming platforms.

Racine Zoo

2131 N. Main St.
Racine, WI 53402