Spirit of Camaraderie Is Perennial Winner at Review Music Awards

Annual Music Event’s 38th Year Showcases Regional Wealth of Talent

    Additional Reporting by
    icon May 16, 2024
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Bob Hausler doesn’t recall the exact year he took home his first Review Music Awards statuette; he believes it was 1990 or so. While the recognition humbles him, for Hausler  the night has always been about high-fiving the music community rather than fist-pumping personal achievements. Judging by the electric atmosphere throughout the venue the entire evening, 2024’s show at The Westown continued that tradition in stellar fashion.

This year, Hausler was honored as Best Multi-Instrumentalist, Blues Songwriter (tied with William Patrick Hystad), Best Blues Video for the song “They’re Coming For You,” and Best Country Songwriter (tied with Renee Belden). In addition, Twenty Dollar Dog, the band in which he plays keyboards, was recognized as Most Innovative Band. 

As Hausler sees it, the entire community – musicians and fans alike – benefits from the annual event, the culmination of a weeks-long voting period that registered more than 8,500 votes this year. With the top 5 finalists in 60 categories invited to attend, the night inevitably leads to reunions in the crowd and dynamic performances onstage. 

“We all win,” says Hausler. “It’s a great party, and it draws a lot of attention outside the music community.” 

Though Hausler has no idea how many REVIEW awards he’s accepted over the years, he has been recognized in every category except Hip-Hop and Rap. “I mostly got nominated for jazz in the early years,” says Hausler, whose songwriting prowess has earned him accolades in various national and regional competitions.


Hausler joined Twenty Dollar Dog in 2021, and he has a blast playing keys with the band. “It’s a really cool unit,” he says, adding that singer/guitarist Bob Wall is the driving force behind the band’s direction. Other performances Hausler “got a kick out of” during the evening were Kush Robinson (who won for Best Funk Band and tied with Adaboy! for Best Rock Band) and Vlad’s Skeletal Circus.

“It was cool to see Pat Cronley play [keyboards with the Jeff Grassl Soul Summit]. I think that may have been the first time he’s played at the REVIEW Awards.”

Bay City quartet Winaschnitzel is an area band that is enjoying recognition as they continue to evolve. Since being honored in 2021 as Best Female Rock Singer and Best Rock Drummer, respectively, brother-sister duo Shannon Schnettler and Steven Schnettler have made yearly returns to the REVIEW Awards stage. In 2024, Steven repeated as Best Rock Drummer and the band took home statues for Best Music Video, Best Rock Video, and Best New Album Release for “Extended Stay.”

As the sole member of the band who was able to attend this year’s ceremony, Shannon Schnettler echoed Bob Hausler’s sentiments about the dynamic performances and positive energy that filled the room. 

“The most memorable part of the night for me was Twenty Dollar Dog’s set,” she says. They’re true innovators. I was also really happy to see my friends in Kush Robinson get some recognition. They’re very deserving.”

Shannon and Steven attended their first REVIEW Awards in 2018 when Winaschnitzel performed as a duo. “It was the first year we were nominated,” she recalls. “I didn’t really know much about it before then. She’s been back every year since, as the band has been nominated for at least one award every year.

Over the years, Bob Hausler has had the opportunity to perform at many REVIEW Awards shows, mentioning his performances playing keys with guitarist Darin Scott with the mid-Michigan Songwriters’ Guild showcases he put together in the late ‘90s and 2000s. His favorite performance, though, was several years ago with Laurie Middlebrook’s band. “It was during a time when original music wasn’t really prevalent around here and we got to showcase a bunch of original songs that went over really well.”

Ever evolving, like the music it celebrates, the REVIEW MUSIC AWARDS  will continue to highlight the cream that rises to the top of the mid-Michigan music microcosm.

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