Since 1993, Art Stevenson & High Water have been keeping traditional bluegrass alive in Wisconsin and surrounding states. They have released seven CD recordings of well-chosen songs and original compositions, all of which received praise from reviews in the media, and frequent airplay by radio music show hosts around the country. The band’s mission is to preserve the hard-driving traditional bluegrass sound while including material from other musical styles. In 2021 High Water emerged from the pandemic with a new mission, and for the first time since 2001, a new member!
Guitarist, singer, and harmonicist Art Stevenson (Babcock, Wisconsin) has played in bluegrass bands since the late 1970s. Art learned bluegrass guitar after attending the Mole Lake Bluegrass Festival in 1976, and he has played harmonica since early childhood. Art organized Art Stevenson & High Water in 1993. Art is known for his powerful lead singing on traditional bluegrass, early country, and western ballads, and for his driving rhythm guitar playing. His harmonica renditions of fiddle tunes like Orange Blossom Special always bring the house down. Art is promoter of Bluegrass In The Pines, a long-running bluegrass festival in Rosholt, Wisconsin, and hosts Back To The Country on WORT 89.9 FM, Madison.
Dale Reichert (Custer, Wisconsin) has played banjo and Dobro in the High Water band since 1993. He is a hard-driving Scruggs-style banjo player, one of the best bluegrass banjo players in the Midwest. Dale also plays a soulful Dobro which lends itself well to the ballads and country numbers the band performs. In trio and quartet vocals, Dale pitches in on baritone or bass. Art and Dale have known each other since they met in 1985, and they have played in a number of other bands together throughout the years.
Bruce King (Wauwatosa, Wisconsin) joined High Water in 2001 on the mandolin. Bruce is a scholar of Bill Monroe’s compositions and knows dozens of mandolin instrumentals. He plays his instrument with a hard drive and keeps the rhythmic groove going when he’s not exploring the mandolin fretboard as a soloist. An excellent harmony singer, Bruce can take lead, tenor, or baritone vocal parts on trios, duets, or quartets. These days, Bruce sings most of the tenor harmony in our vocal arrangements.
In early 2020, Stephanie Stevenson decided to leave the band after 27 years on bass and vocals. Bruce Royal King (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) came on board as our new bass player in early 2021 as the band emerged from the pandemic. Yes indeed, he’s our mandolin player’s son! We’re very happy to have him in the band, and he brings with him several years of experience playing bass with other Wisconsin bluegrass groups. Along with his hard-driving bass groove, Bruce Royal sings lead and harmony, and we are working him into the vocal arrangements the band is known for.