Thursday, October 29, 2015

Barely Ballyhooed (pre)Halloween Extravaganza

This just in from the Department of Repetitious Redundancies:
Beer! Live music!
Consume both tonight (Oct. 29) with Big Wes Turner’s Trio at the Essen Haus. (Isthmus always we start says 9, but we always start at 8:30, thus accommodating the early-to-bed crowd.)

Big Wes T’s drummer Rick Becker continues to recuperate from a carpentry accident. Go-to preeminent percussionist Rich Larson fills in. Becker will be back on stage on Nov. 5, but guitarist Gary Hendrickson will be on the road. Fear not! Grammy-winner Billy Flynn steps in. Don’t miss it!

Up next:
Nov.  5, Big Wes Turner’s Trio at the Essen Haus, Madison, WI. (8:30)
Nov. 14, The Jim Liban/Joel Paterson Band at the Grand Opening of the WMRC studio (Williamson Magnetic RecordingCompany), Williamson St., Madison, WI.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Live Beer and Music

Beer + live music! Doesn’t that sound good? (Yes. It does.) 

Indulge in both this Thursday (Oct. 15) at the Essen Haus, and still get home in time to tuck yourself in like the sensible adult you are (the Isthmus listing always says we start at 9, but we have always started at 8:30). Or show up late and stay late (we play 'til 12:30).

Breaking news! Big Wes Turner’s Rick Becker suffered a carpentry accident that requires recuperation. Go-to drummer-about-town Rich Larson fills in this Thursday. Becker to be back for our Essen Haus pre-Halloween extravaganza on Oct. 29.

Up next:
Oct. 24, Birddog Blues Band at The Club Tavern, Middleton, WI.
Oct. 29, Big Wes Turner’s Trio at the Essen Haus, Madison, WI. (8:30)
Nov.  5, Big Wes Turner’s Trio at the Essen Haus, Madison, WI. (8:30)
Nov. 14, The Jim Liban/Joel Paterson Band at the Grand Opening of the WMRC studio (Williamson Magnetic Recording Company), Williamson St., Madison, WI.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Tests and Tweaks

Will anyone out there notice that a new name has been added to the list?

The Maintainers have already played one gig, and it could have been a flash in the pan, had it not been so darned much fun. Another gig has been booked (same venue as last, more on that later), and that darned near makes it official. Official enough to add to the list.

Madison's Blues Tradition Resurgents! Is that last a word? I don't care. I like the sound. Of the word and the band. Stay tuned.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Rauckin' the Haus

Things got a bit raucous at Ye Olde Essen Haus last night. Thanks to the annual Dairy Expo, a host of out-of-towners were gnoshing schnitzel and wurst and imbibing brews whilst Big Wes Turner’s Trio mashed the Americana.
“Greg,” a cool dude of substantial presence, was out with his comrades to pass boots in preparation for his upcoming Saturday nuptials. Hale fellows all, and well met. Big Wes’s best wishes go out to the happy couple.

Sarah and Jim, longstanding friends of the Midwesterners Trio and new friends of Big Wes Turner’s Trio, were there to keep dust from gathering on the dance floor, and when Sarah wants to hear Wagon Wheel, we happily comply.*

Other requests required some deep digging in the memory vaults—King of The Road, Jambalaya, Yellow Submarine, Amarillo By Morning—it got a little crazy.

Up next: The Birddog Band invades Illinois to play The Great Pumpkin Fest in Highwood on Friday, Oct. 9, and Timothy O’Toole’s on Saturday, Oct. 10.

*Regarding Wagon Wheel. The landscape of American popular song is marked with successes that go on to suffer for it (when was the last time you really listened to Wilson Pickett’s Mustang Sally?). They reach a tipping point, they become too universally recognized, they lose all exclusivity, they get covered to death, and then they feel a backlash. To paraphrase the pattering of estimable singer/songwriter Blake Thomas at a recent Isthmus Sessions show, “Hey, it’s not a bad song! It’s not hurting anyone!” Hear, hear! The infectious Dylan-inspired chorus has caught on for a reason. It’s catchy. In the best sense. Come on people! Save your hate for more worthy targets.