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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Joliet’s Hopstring Fest welcomes back Miles Nielsen & the Rusted Hearts

By Ted Slowik

Hopstring Fest  welcomes back Miles Nielsen & the Rusted Hearts to the mainstage this year to perform a set from 6:20 to 7:05 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23, in Joliet’s Silver Cross Field.

Tickets for the 12 and a half -hour celebration of live music, food and craft beer are $20 and are available through and at Chicago Street Pub, 75 N. Chicago St., Joliet. Festival hours are 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Miles Nielsen & the Rusted Hearts are a quintet fronted by Miles Nielsen, son of Cheap Trick guitarist and songwriter Rick Nielsen. The Rusted Hearts are Daniel James McMahon on guitar and vocal; Adam Plamann on clarinet, saxophone, percussion, keyboards and vocals; bass player Dave McClellan; and drummer Jeff Werckle. Nielsen also co-owns The Midwest Sound recording studio on the outskirts of Rockford, Ill., with McMahon. The duo composed the soundtrack for “Undefeated,” which earned the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature in 2011.

The band has shared stages on multiple occasions with such other Hopstring Fest mainstage artists as Cracker, Ed Anderson and The Steepwater Band. Nielsen attended Illinois State University for a time and struck up a longtime friendship with Anderson, a Bloomington, Ill., native, in the late 1990s.

“He was doing Backyard Tire Fire around that time that we first bonded, and then became even tighter,” Nielsen told the Bloomington Pantagraph in 2013.  “We both started at ISU playing in cover things that were not necessarily artistic. We both came out of a situation and began creating our own music as a way of life, and now I would say that we’re musical brothers.”

Nielsen has been performing in bands since he attended high school in Rockford. He released his debut album, "Miles," in 2009. The group released the album "The Rusted Hearts" in 2011 and posted a video on their website in February about writing and recording a new album at the Acorn Theatre in Three Oaks, Mich.

Visit to learn more.

If You Go
What: Hopstring Fest
When: Saturday, Aug. 23, 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Where: Silver Cross Field, 1 Mayor Art Schultz Drive, Joliet
Who: Local talent and headline bands like Cracker
How much: Tickets are $20 presale/$30 at the door