- David E Jackson
- Dead Horses, Friday, Nov. 17, 8:30 p.m.; 1604 S. Cascade Ave., ivywildschool.com.
hen it comes to music, the birthplace of bluegrass and Americana is surely not Wisconsin, a state where the official dance is still the polka. But the city of Milwaukee can nonetheless lay claim to Lutheran preacher's daughter Sarah Vos, one of the finest singers you're likely to hear this year. Vos fronts the band Dead Horses, who swept this year's Wisconsin Area Music Industry Awards, earning first place honors for "Best Americana/Bluegrass Artist" and "Best Female Vocalist," as well as the "Best Album" award for their sophomore album Cartoon Moon. She and bassist/vocalist Daniel Wolff traveled down to Nashville to record the album with Wilco co-founder and producer Ken Coomer. The result is an album of gorgeous vocals, top-flight songwriting and arrangements that sound more contemporary and contemplative than their fiddle-driven 2014 debut. All of which shifts Dead Horses more toward the Americana end of the spectrum, a direction that clearly suits them well.