Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Stuff Happens. Are You Checkin'?


Kudos! You’ve checked back. “Checking back in is good,” I said last time. And many times before. And now, here’s proof that my advice is good.

Because THIS Sunday, Mel Ford & The Fairlane will be plinking and plunking and crooning and warbling Blues music from 2:30 to 5 pm on the patio stage at Toffler’s in New Glarus (Wisconsin). (See Calendar below.) NOT a private performance! Totally open to the public!

See? If you hadn’t checked back, how would you know? Well, yes, you could have checked the Music Calendar at Isthmus.com (still the go-to source for arts and entertainment goings-on). Or you could have received BIG WES Turner's Newsletter via email, if you are on his mailing list. (If you’re not, why not? You are missing out on an infrequent and therefore mostly welcome and rewarding source of musical tidbits, heads-ups, and whatnots. Sign up already!)

The McMusical Calendar

Sunday, July 11

Mel Ford & the Fairlane (AKA Mel & Mc, AKA guitarist Mel Ford and bassist Tom McCarty) present classic Blues with swing and swagger, plus ballads and a Tin Pan Alley tune or two. Good food. Good music. Indoors if the weather turns nasty. 2:30 to 5:00 pm, Toffler’s in New Glarus.

Friday, August 6

The Birddog Blues Band, featuring guitarist Mel Ford and harmonica man Ken “Birddog” Olufs play The Capital Brewery from 6 to 10 pm. Hot young rhythm section Derek Hendrickson and Garrett Wartenweiler of The Family Business band hold down the grooves.

Wednesday, August 11

The Sparks Band revels in rockin’ hits from the 60s (mostly) for The Fest Haus at 106 Third Avenue in New Glarus. Early show, so don't be slow! 6:30 to 10 pm!

Friday, August 20

The Birddog Blues Band, (guitarist Mel Ford, harmonica man Ken “Birddog” Olufs, plus Derek Hendrickson on drums and Tom McCarty on bass) plays from 6 to 9 pm at Camp Beef Butter BBQ on Hwy M (where the White House restaurant once stood).

Saturday, August 21

Former members of Dr. Bop & The Headliners return to Madison for a concert in memory of recently departed members. The Sparks Band will anchor and accompany. Performances from Ena Anka, Al Kraven (The White Raven), Cleveland St. James, and many MORE!!! From 2 to 6pm at The High Noon Saloon. Open to the public.

Will other stuff happen? Could be. Probably will. Better check back. But why wait for stuff to happen when you could be making it happen? Plan your party and call on BIG WES Turner’s Trio or any of the bands mentioned above.

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Private Practice

Congratulations! You’ve checked in again, just as we encouraged you to do. (Unless you’re here for the first time, which would beg the question: Are you lost?)

Checking back in is good, because things DO change. Heck, they’re changing all the time, even when we don’t notice. And we, too, are ever a-changing, belonging as we do to the general “thingyness” of the universe.

It’s easy to forget about that. We wander off to our own little corners, engrossed in our private pursuits. But now and then we are thrust out and about, answering the call of a calendar freshly rearranged. Thus with the revised calendar below, featuring the annoying inclusion of THREE private events. Yes. Unless you are already on the guest list, you’re S.O.L.

So why include this information here? Not to engender frustration and resentment (you have “social” media for that). No. Rather to illustrate that all those previous reminders that Mr. McMusic and colleagues ARE available for private functions (at surprisingly reasonable rates!) was not merely idle chatter. So what are you waiting for? Give us a shout and let’s start the party planning NOW.

The McMusical Calendar

Tuesday, June 29

Mel & Mc (that's guitarist Mel Ford and bassist Tom McCarty) provide classic Blues with a Kansas City-style swing for a certain group’s gathering around fine wine and food. If you’re part of said group, we’ll see you there.

Thursday, July 1

The Sparks Band revels in rockin’ hits from the 60s for a select gathering of individuals at an iconic Madison venue. We can say no more. Except that you’ll be pissed that you couldn’t be there.

Saturday, July 3

The Birddog Blues Band entertains at a reception for a pair of Blues-loving newlyweds in a bucolic southwestern Wisconsin setting. If you’ve been invited, we’ll see you there.


Wednesday, August 11

The Sparks Band revels in rockin’ hits from the 60s for The Fest Haus at 106 Third Avenue in New Glarus. Early show, so don’t be slow.

More stuff is likely to come up, so keep checking up. Better yet, make something happen! Plan your party and call on BIG WES Turner’s Trio or any of the above mentioned musical menageries.

Monday, June 7, 2021

Here and Barely There

 If a tree falls in the forest, did I chop it down?

Not if nobody saw me, I didn’t.

Just like if nobody heard it fall then it didn’t make any noise (and you can’t prove it did). And the same could be said if I had planted the seed and nurtured the sapling and had come back year in and year out to witness its transformation into a mighty oak. Only me and the acorns will ever know.

There ya go, Grasshopper.

Don’t forget! BIG WES Turner’s Trio has severed all ties with Mark Zuckerberg and his evil enterprise (Facebook). It’s not that we’re not sociable, or that we oppose networking. It’s just that our mentor and main-man Big Wes has a policy against aiding and abetting such anti-human assholery. We urge all to free themselves of the FB tyranny.

Keep up by checking in. Right here. Or get yourself on the mailing list. It’s easy.

The McMusical Calendar

Friday, June 18

The Birddog Blues Band plays Camp Beef Butter BBQ from 6 to 9 (weather permitting!). The “Camp” is set up right behind the location of the old White House restaurant on Hwy M (next to the Summit Credit Union branch). If it rains, the event is canceled. If it doesn’t rain, grab some great food, choose from the selection of Wisconsin beers, grab a picnic table and enjoy some funky Blues from mouth harpist Birddog, guitarist Mel Ford, bassist Tom McCarty and drummer Mark Haines. Plenty of parking, people!

Wednesday, August 11

The Sparks Band plays rockin’ hits from the 60s (mostly) to The Fest Haus at 106 Third Avenue in New Glarus. Early show, so don’t be slow.

More happenings in the works. Check back.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

The Good, The Bad, The Better

Where wisdom prevailed in our fair state of Wisconsin, the taps of live music performance were shut off right around about a year ago. The close quarters of those favorite taverns where so many of us feel warm and welcome were just too damn welcoming to the pesky pandemic virus. But for the few outdoor venues that could accommodate a dispersed audience, BIG WES and other noise-ical muse-makers would have been completely silenced in the year 2020. Instead, they were just mostly silenced.

That’s too bad, but the real bad news is that over 657,000 Wisconsinites have gotten sick, and 7,473 of those have died (!!!) as a result of contracting the COVID-19 virus (as of April 27). Chances are good that you knew at least one of them.

But there’s good news, too. You and I have survived thus far, and those of us who have been vaccinated have vastly improved their odds of aging to ripeness. And those that hang in with mask-wearing and keeping a reasonable distance from their fellow humans, especially indoors, are improving the odds that COVID illness and death will grind to a halt sooner rather than later. Perseverance, citizens!

Perhaps the best news of all is that Tyranena Brewing of Lake Mills starts up their summer series of outdoor musical performances on Friday, April 30, and on Saturday, May 8, BIG WES Turner’s Trio will be there (from 6 to 9 pm) with Grammy-winning guitarist and FOW (friend of WES) Billy Flynn.

Billy Flynn

The spacious, partially covered patio and sprawling grassy knoll area offer plenty of room for comfortable placement of people pods. It bears repeating that Tyranena's brews are the best in the state. (Best! In! State!) Mask up and line up at the service window for your pour. If you get hungry, one of a rotating array of food carts sets up on site.

The weather will need to turn most foul indeed before any cancellations. Do your double-checking at Tyranena’s website.

Friday, February 12, 2021


We might have mentioned the word “hibernation” in a previous post. Who knew then how deep and long the suspense of that inanimate state would endure.

Well, the snow is still deep and the thermometer is still reading single digits (some with a minus sign in front), yet signs of Spring are popping up. We’re not just talking about earlier sunrises and later sunsets; Tyranena Brewing in Lake Mills, Wisconsin, has posted their schedule for a summer of entertainment for fans of fine brews. Check it out.

Portable heaters have kept the spacious Tyranena patio amenable to the hardiest of Wisconsin beer imbibers throughout the winter. Starting the last weekend of April, the same experience will require fewer layers of clothing and will be accompanied with LIVE MUSIC!!!

Tyranena’s expansive patio and grassy knoll area leaves plenty of room for keeping distance between people pods. You can bring your own food or sample tasty fare from the rotating cast of food cart vendors. Tasty Tyranena brews are served out of the patio-side service windows. Multiple porta-pottys allow discreet and distanced answers to the calls of nature. It’s as pandemic-safe a situation for enjoying an outdoor musical performance as we can imagine. Musicians perform under a permanent awning, so the shows go on except in the case of weather most foul.

Best of all, BIG WES Turner’s Trio will be there for a 6 to 9 pm performance on Saturday, May 8, along with our good friend, Grammy-winner and Chicago Blues Hall of Fame inductee, Billy Flynn playing guitar.

So stay safe. Put on your mask, wash your hands. See you there.

Note: If you’ve been looking for BIG WES Turner’s Trio on Facebook, stop it. Wes don’t go there no more. Why? Because Mark Zuckerberg pissed off the big fella one too many times.

S'okay. You can keep up with the world of Wes by checking back here, or by signing up for BIG WES Turner’s Newsletter. Just drop your email address in the bucket at any Big Wes Turner’s Trio gig.