The Duke comes to Whitewater


Felicity Knabenbauer

A group of children on the stage playing instruments suuch as the cowbell, a tambourine and even a squeaking dog toy.

Felicity Knabenbauer, Assistant Editor

There is a man out there who claims to be a “playful wordsmith,” a spirited performer, a skilled guitarist and captivating tap-dancer’, all in one. This man, known as Duke Otherwise, was invited to Whitewater for a one night only music extravaganza to prove this to a group of Whitewaters most precious members: the children! On Sept. 1, 2022 Duke Otherwise performed in Cravath Lake Park for the annual Concerts in the Park & Family Fun Night. 

It was not just the kids that got up and danced however but the parents as well.

A little girl proudly shows off her tambourine made of tape, rice and an easter egg. (Felicity Knabenbauer )

Duke Otherwise bopping tunes and clever song writing brought even some of the oldest attendees to stand up off their lawn chairs and bust a move. Some of the most well perceived songs of the evening were, “Joy’s a Grump”, “Eats Like You” and “Ears and Nose.” These melodies were more than just unique with their ability to delight every person in the audience, be it young or old.

“I love kids and I love music. It doesn’t get better than that because they are a very appreciative audience and I love to write songs that are geared towards them and also their parents. I try to write music that the parents will enjoy as well. That is not just wheels on the bus kind of stuff. Something that will make them think a little bit,” said Duke Otherwise.

This evening would not have been made possible without these sponsors, GENERIC, W3 working for Whitewater’s wellness Inc., as well as the Irvin L. Young Memorial library who came with not only their support but also a craft for the children attending the concert.

“We have been coming to all the concerts in the park and have been giving out

Duke Otherwise showing off his tap dancing moves. (Felicity Knabenbauer )

information about the library, our upcoming events and everything else. We have also been doing crafts with the kids every week. Today I knew it was Duke Otherwise and he is awesome. I wanted to make a little egg shaker instrument for the kids so they could use it during the concert. We will be here next week too and will still have all our library info as well as another craft,” said Programming and Marketplace Librarian Sarah French.

After a decade of performances you would think Duke Otherwise would have slowed down or gotten tired of matching all these bubbly childrens energy. This is not the case however and he continues to put on one gratifying performance after another, each and every summer.

“I do what I do because of that relationship with the kids. After the shows they often approach me and ask fun questions. They say kind things and I get to say kind things back. I have actually made quite a few different friends with the families through this show that I never would have met otherwise. It’s also kind of fun to see the kids grow up in these last ten years,” said Duke Otherwise.

There is one last show left in the season for Concerts in the Park. The 4-piece band, “The Dang-Its” will be putting on a show Thursday, Sept. 9, 2022 from 7pm to 9pm at Cravath lake Park. So write the date in your calendars and prepare for folk, country blues, Cajun, bluegrass, classic country, rockabilly, country swing, and more​​ to be heard throughout the park in the days to come.