Card Reader, Stephen Hull Experience and Billie Jo Take Home First Ever Interstate Music Awards

Interstate Music presents a pop-punk band from Long Island with first place music award.

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – (January 27, 2021) – After hundreds of submissions from U.S. bands, solo artists, and musicians, Interstate Music has tallied thousands of fan votes in preparation to celebrate the first-ever Interstate Music Awards. The winners were announced in a special Facebook premiere hosted by Interstate Music Co-Founder/CEO Jeff Peterson on January 25. The show featured live performances and interviews with award finalists and musicians.

The 2021 Interstate Music Award winners are:

Grand Prize / First Place Winner: Card Reader (Long Island, New York)

Card Reader is a pop-punk band known for songs “Familiar Voices,” “True Enemy,” and “Mental Scars” – now streaming on all music platforms. The group took home $5,000 in gift cards and will receive generous national exposure reflected in today’s music scene, including the chance to play the Interstate Music stage in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Second Place Winner: The Stephen Hull Experience (Racine, Wisconsin)

Stephen Hull from The Stephen Hull Experience, is a self-taught blues artist since age 14, dubbed a young B.B. and Albert King. Hull and his band earned the second-place spot after submitting performances of “Call It Stormy Monday” by T-Bone Walker, “Big Legged Woman” by Freddie King, and “Killing Floor” by Howlin’ Wolf.

Third Place Winner: Billie Jo (Grand Saline, Texas)

Billie Jo is a proud native of Texas, a singer, songwriter, and recording artist blending traditional country vocals with honest songs. Billie Jo released her first country single back in October of 2018 called “Favorite Place To Be,” – which was also nominated for Song of the Year in 2019 at the Texas Country Music Awards. Her current single out is called “It Scares Me.”

“We believed in our chances, and we believed in ourselves. We are super proud to be listed among so many great musicians, grateful for this opportunity, and are looking forward to working with the amazing folks at Interstate Music,” said Card Reader member Tom Petito during the award night premiere. “It’s all about sharing this moment right now with everyone who voted – thank you. You guys made this happen. Thanks to you, our future just got a lot brighter!”

In November 2020, Interstate Music sent out the call to look for artists who wanted to bring people together through their music with the first-ever Interstate Music Awards. Musicians from all across the nation submitted set videos to be considered. Fans were then asked to cast their vote online for their favorite band or artist.

“This remains to be such a challenging time for new music and bands to be discovered, but we wanted to be here for them. We wanted to adapt to their needs and show musicians that Interstate Music is here to stay and support them,” said Jeff Peterson, CEO at Interstate Music. “We’re thrilled for all who participated, and we can’t wait to offer the chance for others to win in the future. All of our finalists will be receiving gift cards from Interstate Music to help keep the music going. We hope to see them and others in 2022 for the second annual Interstate Music Awards.”

Sponsors for the first-ever Interstate Music Awards include Blackstar, Blue, D’Angelico, Fender, Focusrite, Gibraltar, König & Meyer, KORG, Line 6, Ludwig, MXL, Nord, Novation, On-Stage, Pearl, Pigtronix, Shure, Vox, and Zildjian.

Music fans can watch the award premiere show on Interstate Music’s Facebook page.


About Interstate Music: The roots of Interstate Music were founded in 1946 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, earning a five-star reputation by musicians and educators for over 75 years. Today, Interstate Music embodies both social and experiential opportunities for music lovers and musicians. We do this through information, instruments, and all things trending and with a relentless mission to develop a movement of people, ideas, cultures, and, most importantly, connect artists with everything they need to feel creative, supported, and needed.