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Mason Dixon Line moving forward with new singer

Local country act will introduce new singer at Knockin' Boots

Popular country act Mason Dixon Line will have a new lead singer in early 2023.

Nick Braun

Whatzup Features Writer

Published December 7, 2022

With the recent announcement that singer Kerry Schwartz was departing Mason Dixon Line, the band had the daunting task of finding a replacement that would keep this well-oiled country act going for years to come. 

Taking over the reins is Wes Garcia, a 21-year-old singer-songwriter from Leipsic, Ohio. 

Garcia brings experience, having four singles on Apple and Spotify, adding up to more than 300,000 streams. He has shared stages with Jon Langston, Sean Stemaly, and Parmalee

“I’m very humbled to be a part of this,” Garcia said. “The band has been very welcoming and each member has been a great mentor. I’m looking forward to making noise and meeting some new faces.” 

Mason Dixon Line will continue to perform Top 40 country and classic songs that fans expect, along with Garcia’s original music. 

You can catch the new lineup at Knockin’ Boots Saloon on Saturday, Jan. 7. Garcia and Schwartz will perform that evening for a goodbye/welcoming party.  

Penetrators guitarist retiring

Co-founding guitarist Joe Weber of the biker outfit Big Dick and the Penetrators has announced he’s retiring from the band. 

“We have enjoyed continued success because of Joe’s work ethic and professionalism,” vocalist/guitarist Joe Snyder said. “We show up on time, set up, and deliver the goods. As his founding partner, I approach this change and his blessing that the band continue to deliver the goods, but always keeping in mind the work ethic that got us here. I hope I am up for the job, I have big shoes to fill.” 

Weber’s final show will be at Wacky Jac’s in Angola on Saturday, Dec. 10, at 9:30 p.m. They are hoping past members and friends will come out for Weber’s farewell and celebrate a milestone of performing more than 20 years together. Those years included many backyard parties, clubs, weddings, graduations, a funeral, and opening slots for Night Ranger, Jackyl, and April Wine

Replacing Weber will be local standout Stevie Lunn who has been a mainstay at The Club Room with G Money Blues Jam. He will join the band on Saturday, Jan. 7, at Rex’s Rendezvous in Warsaw. 

Even though Weber will no longer perform with the band, he will continue to play out with Kurt Hoffman in Gray Matter doing their two-man acoustic show. Good luck, Joe!

Dan Smyth releases album

Eye Dream is the new album by singer-songwriter Dan Smyth, with the review featured in this week’s Spins on Page 15. 

“It’s a pretty different style from my gigs or my work with The Trainhoppers, so it might be surprising to someone who only knows me in those contexts,” he said. “Hopefully in a pleasant way.” 

The nine-track piece is available on your favorite streaming platform and can be purchased at The album features Colin Boyd on drums/percussion, Ed Renz and Pauline Benner on horns, and Chris Dodds on accordion. 

It was recorded and mixed by Jason Davis at Off the Cuff Sound and mastered at The Boiler Room. Stay tuned for upcoming dates so you can hear these new numbers live.

Disco dance band arriving on scene

One of the latest acts to hit the local scene is Hustle 54

This disco dance band performs tunes by Chic, KC and The Sunshine Band, Donna Summer, Bee Gees, Diana Ross, The Village People, and more. 

“I’ve been intrigued by the idea for a while,” guitarist Andy Pauquette said. “After I posted about it, it received such an enthusiastic response that I knew this would be cool.” 

In addition to Pauquette, the band is comprised of Renata Rio on vocals, Maurice Turner on vocals, Rolin Mains on keyboard, Matt Schuler on bass, and Scott Schwan on drums. Look for dates coming early 2023.  

Grave Robber in Christmas spirit

Horror punk outfit Grave Robber have released a Christmas CD, Xmas Is the Worst

This five-track gem is a followup to 2019’s Scary Christmas to You and features soon to be holiday classics “Last Xmas,” “Wonderful Xmastime,” and “I Want a Hippopotamus for Xmas.” 

Joining on keyboard was Skot Shaw of the Chicago goth rock band Leper

You can purchase the release at They even have a bundle with the CD, Nightbrew coffee, a mug, and an ornament. 

In other news, the band is seeking a bassist and drummer due to the departures of Joe “Carcass” Jones and Nick “Plague” Fairchild, who are both leaving on good terms. If you are the guy, hit Grave Robber up. 

Guitarist Kevin Kyle dies at 59

Guitarist Kevin Kyle of the area cover band Mentally Unstable unexpectedly passed away on Nov. 20 at the age of 59. 

The well-known musician was the owner of Professional Guitar Lessons LLC in Winona Lake, where he put to use his more than 35 years of playing and instructing. 

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