Some gigs are more “interesting” than others. A recent one was quite the head-scratcher. Far be it from us here at this menial media outpost to name names or otherwise speak out of school, and, having been repeatedly admonished in my youth that, “If you can’t say something nice about someone, don’t say anything at all,” we are left with little to say.
I can say this: I talked to the guitar player from this other band on the bill, a friendly young guy who seems genuinely devoted to his music-making. I like that in a musician. He was quick to tell me that pedal steel was his first love even though he left it at home when on the road with this outfit. “Cool,” I said, or words to that effect.
Had my wits been a little less dull that day I would have asked him how he felt about Speedy West. I’ve heard at least one other “steeler” dismiss Mr. West as a pedaler (get it?) of musical buffoonery, but for my money, even if Speedy were guilty of that, it doesn’t detract from his greatness.
Consider the StratosphereBoogie CD (on the Razor & Tie label), on which Speedy and guitar wizard Jimmy Bryant offer up 16 examples of high-energy hillbilly jazz. It makes me happy. Great music doesn’t need to be presented with glitter and bombast and painfully high decibels; all it needs is musicians devoted to their music.
The McMusical Calendar
The Birddog Blues Band takes the stage at Wisconsin Brewing (1079 American Parkway, Verona WI). Spacious indoor and outdoor spaces for roaming around or imbibing brews. 6 to 9 pm
Birddog Blues Band again, this time at Madison’s famous Club LaMark, on 51 just N of East Wash.
Birddog Blues Band at Lone Girl Brewery, Waunakee, WI. 6 to 9
Celebration and Commemoration for Ned Englehardt and Lonnie Bjornstadt! Two performers beloved for their parts played with Dr. Bop & The Headliners are fondly feted and fare-thee-welled by friends The White Raven (aka Al Kraven), Ena Anka (aka Ena), Troy Charmel (aka Bob Kenison), Cleveland St. James (aka Larry ‘3rd Degree Byrne), and others. At the High Noon Saloon from 2 to 6 pm.
Birddog Blues Band at Tyranena Brewing, Lake Mills, WI. 6 to 9 pm
Birddog Blues Band at Tofflers in New Glarus, WI. 8 to 11 pm
Birddog Blues Band plays Blues at the Waukesha Blues Fest (held in Hartland). Big bad Duke Robillard headlines.
Birddog Blues Band warms up the stage for some band called The Jimmys (?) at Mineral Point Blues and Roots Fest. Enjoy the surroundings at “Orchard Lawn” and the grounds of The Gundry House at Church and Pine in historic, picturesque Mineral Point.
Birddog Blues Band at Lone Girl Brewery, Waunakee, WI. 6 to 9 pm
Birddog Blues Band at Wisconsin Brewing, 1079 American Parkway, Verona WI. Spacious indoor and outdoor spaces for roaming around or imbibing brews. 6 to 9 pm
Check back for updates and future fun opportunities.