Monday, August 7, 2017

The One (Month) That Got Away

Wait a minute! Where did July go? We're only days into August and it all seems somehow so long ago and far away! The mind (what’s left of it) reels!! For those who give a shhhh..., a recap of last month’s McMusical events can be found below.

But FIRST, a preview of upcoming events!

Friday, August 11, The Maintainers (Tom, Rick, Mel, Frankie) return to The Varsity Club Bar and Grill deck. Grooves will be gotten on from 6 to 10 pm as the sun sets and the fish fry. Half a mile from Wisconsin’s ONLY free car ferry!

Saturday, August 12, The Cashbox Kings play the second annual Blues and Brews on 66, in Joliet, Illinois. (Tom plays bass.)

Tuesday, August 15, The Midwesterners, yes, the whole band—Richard, Ernie, Mark, and Tom—reunite for an outdoor concert at Lake Marion, just east of Mazomanie. Bring your lawn chair.

Thursday, August 17, The Sparks Band plays a private party. Wait! If it’s private, why bother mentioning it? So you can eat your heart out? No. So you know that you can hire these slick 60s revivalists for YOUR next event.

Friday, August 18, The Sparks Band, again, this time at the Hody Bar and Grill in Middleton. Drinkin’ and dancin’.

Saturday, August 19, The Birddog Blues Band at Tofflers, New Glarus (in the commodious back yard if the rain don’t fall and the creek don’t rise).

Friday, September 1, The Sparks Band returns to The Varsity Club Bar and Grill to lay down that 60s soundtrack from 6 to 10 pm whilst hungry patrons chow down on a fab fish fry.

Saturday, September 2, Big Wes Turner’s Trio at Tyranena Brewing. Billy Flynn joins Tom and Rick for what may be the last show of the season on Tyranena’s expanded outdoor area. Early show (6 to 9 pm) and food cart on site. Needless to say, the best beers in Wisconsin. Bring your growler.

Nothing else on the calendar except an overseas sojourn, but we’ll talk about that later. Check back.

RECENT HISTORY (The Month That Got Away)
In July—Chicago Blues cats the Cash Box Kings released a brand new album of songs, their first since signing to venerable Chicago blues label Alligator Records. The core of the Kings, singer Oscar Wilson and harmonica player Joe Nosek, were joined by associates Tom McCarty (on bass) and Mel Ford (on guitar) for a performance at the wonderfully restored Mineral Point Opera House on July 7, and next night at the lovely lakeside band shell in Clear Lake, Iowa. The annual Bicycles, Blues, & Barbeque Festival had all that—professional bike racers, great barbeque (ask Oscar), and the inviting environs of historic Clear Lake (the Lake Geneva of Iowa). Well worth crossing the Mississippi and navigating those seemingly endless miles of cornfields.

On the last day of the month, Tom rejoined “The Kings” for a “Blue Monday” performance at S.P.A.C.E. in Evanston, Illinois, a great performance venue and a full house of hardcore Chicago Blues fans. Original “Kings” drummer Kenny Smith gave the crowd plenty of what they wanted, and “Little Frank” and Chicago Blues HOFer Billy Flynn delivered a guitar double whammy. The following night put “The Kings” at the famous Fitzgerald’s in Berwyn, Illinois, for a monthly blues night and live radio broadcast. Regular “Kings” drummer Mark Haines and everyone’s first-call guitarslinger, Joel Paterson, made it a musical night to remember.

Tom and singer/songwriter extraordinaire Paul Otteson of Faux Fawn made a rare duo performance at the Art In art gallery and performance space on July 12. A High Noon Saloon patio show featuring the entire Faux Fawn lineup was rained out on August 3, but a quick backup plan brought band, friends, family, and a fine selection of brews together for an east-side house party. That’s livin’!

Travel Wisconsin! So says the Tourist Board, and they ain’t wrong. Tom was heading North to join friends Mo Jo and The Flipside for a July 20 gig in Iola. Great band, great gig, and a great excuse to bring along the beloved for two nights of fun and frolic on Waupaca’s lovely chain of lakes. We could easily have stayed longer.

On July 22, The Maintainers (Tom, Rick, Mel, Frankie) answered the call to fill in for a calendar mix-up at the Knuckle Down Saloon, Madison’s friendly home of blues. Great crew and crowd!

On July 27, The Birddog Blues Band (Ken, Tom, Derek, Mel) were joined by organist/keyboardist extraordinaire Todd Phipps, for an thoroughly enjoyable evening of music-making at Quaker Steak & Lube in Middleton.

What about The Sparks Band? The scions of the 60s soundtrack set it up and laid it down at The Varsity Club Bar and Grill on July 28, then did it all over again the next night on The Nautigal‘s sumptuous lawn overlooking the landing at Wesport. On August 4 the 60s repertoire couldn’t have found a better audience than West High’s reunited class of ‘67, spread out on the spacious Sprecher’s deck. 

No comments:

Post a Comment