Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Shhh! It Happens

Thanks to Forrest Gump for that enduring meme and its persistent evocation of the tension between the seemingly random activity of all the bits in our universe and the persistent insistence on the part of some semi-sentient fellow creatures that everything happens for a reason (talkin’ predestination).


For instance, just when we were expecting the post-summer slowdown in musical activities, whadaya know? Not only did The Birddog Blues Band luck into a fun car show/fundraiser for UW Children’s Hospital event in picturesque Argyle last week, Mel and Tom got a late call to sit in with the acclaimed Cashbox Kings this weekend, not to mention a last-minute Labor Day afternoon booking for the above-mentioned Birddog Blues Band. See below, then pack up and go.


The McMusical Calendar


Friday, September 2
Birddog Blues Band boogies at Wisconsin Brewing, 1079 American Parkway, Verona WI. Spacious indoor and outdoor spaces for roaming around or imbibing brews. 6 to 9 pm

Sunday September 4
The Cashbox Kings plays a special Sunday afternoon (4 to 7 pm) gig at Tyranena Brewing in Lake Mills, WI. Chicago-style Blues and Wisconsin-style beer.

Monday, September 5
The Birddog Blues Band plays Labor Day afternoon (2 to 5 pm at Club LaMark (on Hwy 51 just half a block north of E. Washington Ave. in Madison.

Saturday, September 17
Mel Ford & the Fairlane, PRIVATE PARTY*, Madison, WI.
*(WAIT! Why are we telling you about a party if you’re not invited? Just to remind you that Mr. McMusic and associates are happy to bring live music to your neighborhood hall or your very own home, at surprisingly reasonable rates.)

Saturday, October 8
Birddog Blues Band at Full Mile Brewing in Sun Prairie, WI.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Because It’s True

Let’s get serious for a minute. About elections.

I know people who work the polls at election time. In fact, I am one of them. And I have always been impressed with how seriously the people around me take their tasks, how careful and conscientious they are about getting it right, and how the system is set up so that even if someone makes a mistake, or if someone tries to cheat or game the system, there is a paper trail that is clear and will always lead to the simple, numerical truth of who got more votes and who got fewer.

In the 2020 Presidential election, in Wisconsin, Biden got 20,682 more votes than Trump. Two piles of paper ballots and the Biden pile is higher by 20,682. Counted and recounted. Biden won. Trump lost.

Anyone who says there is voter fraud in my state is either ignorant or a liar. If you are ignorant, then you owe it to yourself and your fellow citizens to educate yourself. If you are a liar, you should be ashamed and you should knock that shit off.

Now, let’s make a little music.

The McMusical Calendar




































Friday, August 19
Birddog Blues Band warms up the stage for some band called The Jimmys (never heard of ‘em) 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.

Thursday, August 25
Birddog Blues Band at Lone Girl Brewing Company, Waunakee, WI. Blues that’s fresh and sweet, up on the roof (weather permitting). 6 to 9 pm

Saturday, August 27
The Birddog Blues Band entertains at Goodfellows in Argyle WI. Car show and fun fundraiser for a great cause. 3:30 to 7

Friday, September 2
The Birddog Blues Band plays the Blues (what else) at Wisconsin Brewing, 1079 American Parkway, Verona WI. Spacious indoor and outdoor spaces for roaming around or imbibing brews. 6 to 9 pm

Sunday, September 4
The Cashbox Kings play Chicago-style Blues at Tyranena Brewing in Lake Mills WI. Special event.

Saturday, September 17
Mel Ford & the Fairlane, PRIVATE PARTY*, Madison, WI.
*(WAIT! Why are we telling you about a party if you’re not invited? Just to remind you that Mr. McMusic and associates are happy to bring live music to your neighborhood hall or your very own home, at surprisingly reasonable rates.)

Saturday, October 8
The Birddog Blues Band returns to Full Mile Brewing in Sun Prairie, WI.

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Red Alert

RED ALERT! This coming Friday (August 12) is your last chance to hear Tom on bass with The Sparks Band. It’s also a great chance to enjoy a guest appearance by the incomparable Ena M? Will there be swinging and swaying and 60s music (including Motown) playing? Fer sure. 7 to 10pm

Good thing you checked in here, huh? (You can always check the Music Calendar at Isthmus.com. Isthmus is still the go-to source for arts and entertainment goings-on in the greater Madison area.)

It's summertime and, sure, there’s lots of stuff going on (see Calendar below) and, yeah, we all want to get going. But, there’s also lots of stuff still going around. Keep your mask handy for crowds and crowded rooms and keep up the good hygiene habits. Wash your hands frequently and stop diggin' around in your skivvies. Let’s help each other stay healthy. Being sick sucks.

The McMusical Calendar

Friday, August 12

The Sparks Band w/Ena M. plays the stuff out of 60s stuff at Chiefs Tavern, Cottage Grove Rd. Madison WI. 7 to 10

Saturday, August 13
Birddog Blues Band plays from 4 to 5:15 at the Waukesha Rotary BluesFest (held at Naga-Waukee Park in Delafield (half a mile north of I-94 on Hwy 83). The rest of the Saturday lineup includes The Spectaculars, Tonic Roots, Altered Five Blues Band, The Blues Disciples, and headliner Sue Foley. Get advance tickets at www.waukeshabluesfest.com.

Friday, August 19
Birddog Blues Band warms up the stage for some band called The Jimmys at the 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.

Thursday, August 25
Birddog Blues Band gets down on the roof at Lone Girl Brewery, Waunakee, WI. 6 to 9 pm

Friday, September 2
Birddog Blues Band boogies at Wisconsin Brewing, 1079 American Parkway, Verona WI. Spacious indoor and outdoor spaces for roaming around or imbibing brews. 6 to 9 pm

Saturday August 27
Birddog Blues Band plays at Goodfellows in Argyle WI. Come for the car show, stay for the brews and blues. 4 to 8 pm (ish).

Saturday, September 17
Mel Ford & the Fairlane, PRIVATE PARTY*, Madison, WI.
*(WAIT! Why are we telling you about a party if you’re not invited? Just to remind you that Mr. McMusic and associates are happy to bring live music to your neighborhood hall or your very own home, at surprisingly reasonable rates.)

Saturday, October 8
Birddog Blues Band at Full Mile Brewing in Sun Prairie, WI.

Monday, July 11, 2022

What We Know, When We Know It

When we know, we say so.
'Til then, we zip our lip and kick back at the shack.
All of which is to say...  as little as possible.
Just enough to prime your prying eyes for the latest updates to the calendar below.


McMusical Calendar


Friday, July 29
Birddog Blues Band at Tyranena Brewing, Lake Mills, WI. 6 to 9 pm

Saturday, August 6
Birddog Blues Band at Tofflers in New Glarus, WI. 8 to 11 pm

Saturday, August 13
Birddog Blues Band plays the Waukesha Rotary BluesFest (held at Naga-Waukee Park in Delafield (half mile north of I-94 on Hwy 83) from 4 to 5:15 pm. The rest of the Saturday lineup includes The Spectaculars, Tonic Roots, Altered Five Blues Band, Stephen Hull Experience, and headliner Sue Foley.
Get adance tickets at www.waukeshabluesfest.com.

Friday, August 19
Birddog Blues Band warms up the stage for some band called The Jimmys at the 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.

Thursday, August 25
Birddog Blues Band at Lone Girl Brewery, Waunakee, WI. 6 to 9 pm

Friday, September 2
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.

Saturday, September 17
Mel Ford & the Fairlane, PRIVATE PARTY*, Madison, WI.
*(WAIT! Why are we telling you about a party if you’re not invited? Just to remind you that Mr. McMusic and associates are happy to bring live music to your neighborhood hall or your very own home, at surprisingly reasonable rates.)

Saturday, October 8
Birddog Blues Band at Full Mile in Sun Prairie, WI.

Thursday, July 7, 2022

Eleventh Hour Update

The Birddog Blues Band will NOT be playing at Lone Girl Brewing in Waunakee this evening (July 7). Somebody in the band, and we won't name names (it was Mel), came down with COVID. He feels bad and feels bad about messing up the performance schedule. We say, "que sera, sera."

The Bill Roberts Trio rides to the rescue for those who want to hear music while quaffing brews on the Lone Girl rooftop.

McMusical Calendar

Sunday, July 10
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.

Friday, July 29
Birddog Blues Band at Tyranena Brewing, Lake Mills, WI. 6 to 9 pm

Saturday, August 6
Birddog Blues Band at Tofflers in New Glarus, WI. 8 to 11 pm

Saturday, August 16
Birddog Blues Band plays Blues at the Waukesha Blues Fest (held in Hartland).

Friday, August 19
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.

Thursday, August 25
Birddog Blues Band at Lone Girl Brewery, Waunakee, WI. 6 to 9 pm

Friday, September 2
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.

Saturday, September 17
Mel Ford & the Fairlane, PRIVATE PARTY*, Madison, WI.
*(WAIT! Why are we telling you about a party if you’re not invited? Just to remind you that Mr. McMusic and associates are happy to bring live music to your neighborhood hall or your very own home, at surprisingly reasonable rates.)

Saturday, October 8
Birddog Blues Band at Full Mile in Sun Prairie, WI.



We fill in details here as soon as we hear about them, or when we get around to it. So check back.

And...remember that Mr. McMusic and colleagues ARE available for private functions (at surprisingly reasonable rates!) So what are you waiting for. Give us a shout and let’s start the party planning NOW.




Sunday, June 26, 2022

Sh*ts and Gigs

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

Friday, July 1
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

Saturday, July 2
Birddog Blues Band again, this time at Madison’s famous Club LaMark, on 51 just N of East Wash.

Thursday, July 7
Birddog Blues Band at Lone Girl Brewery, Waunakee, WI. 6 to 9

Sunday, July 10
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.

Friday, July 29
Birddog Blues Band at Tyranena Brewing, Lake Mills, WI. 6 to 9 pm

Saturday, August 6
Birddog Blues Band at Tofflers in New Glarus, WI. 8 to 11 pm

Saturday, August 16
Birddog Blues Band plays Blues at the Waukesha Blues Fest (held in Hartland). Big bad Duke Robillard headlines.

Friday, August 19
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.

Thursday, August 25
Birddog Blues Band at Lone Girl Brewery, Waunakee, WI. 6 to 9 pm

Friday, September 2
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.

Monday, June 6, 2022

Summer Air

 

Music is in the summer air, and that air is more likely outdoors, because that’s where that pesky COVID virus is less likely to spread. Yes, the nasty little bug (actually, a submicroscopic infectious clump of protein and smaller than any bug) is still around. Being vaccinated doesn’t mean you can’t still catch it or spread it, but being fully vaccinated does mean you’re less likely to get sick, and if you do get sick, more likely that you’ll be far less sick. 99.99 doctors out of a hundred say so, so take their word. Likewise for masking in close quarters.



Okay then. Now we can get out there and enjoy the summer music season. Let's go!


McMusical Calendar

Thursday, June 9
The Sparks Band rides again to Vintage Brewing in Sauk City, overlooking the mighty Wisconsin River. Weather permitting, we’ll be ruining the view out on the spacious patio. Eat, drink, and bop along to hits from the 60s (mostly). 7 to 9

Friday, June 24
Birddog Blues Band at Tofflers Pub & Grill New Glarus, WI. Evening in the backyard (weather permitting). Ken ‘Birddog’ Olufs, Mel Ford, Derek Hendrickson, and Tom McCarty. 7 to 10

Saturday, June 25
The Sparks Band (with special guest Ena M.) opens up for WAMI winners Bella Cain at Celebrate Waupun at Tanner Park in Waupun (WI). 4:45 to 6:45 (or so)

Friday, July 1
Birddog Blues Band at Wisconsin Brewing, at 1079 American Parkway, Verona WI. Spacious indoor and outdoor spaces for roaming around or imbibing brews. 6 to 9 pm

Saturday, July 2
Birddog Blues Band rocks the Blues at the notorious Club LaMark, Madison, WI. Evening.

Thursday, July 7
Birddog Blues Band grooves while you hang out on the roof at Lone Girl Brewery in Waunakee, WI. 7 to 9

Friday, July 29
Birddog Blues Band samples great Wisconsin brews while playing the Blues at Tyranena Brewing, Lake Mills, WI. 6 to 9 pm

Saturday, August 6
Birddog Blues Band at Tofflers, 200 5th Ave. in New Glarus, WI. Bluesmuzik in the backyard on the patio behind the deck with the guitar. 8 to 11 pm

Saturday, August 16
Birddog Blues Band warms up the stage for modern Blues star Sue Foley at the Waukesha Rotary Blues Fest held in Hartland, WI.

Friday, August 19
Birddog Blues Band warms up the stage for some band called The Jimmys at the 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.

Thursday, August 25
Birddog Blues Band at Lone Girl Brewery, Waunakee, WI. 6 to 9 pm

Friday, September 2
Birddog Blues Band at Wisconsin Brewing, 1079 American Parkway, Verona. Spacious spaces for roaming around or imbibing brews. 6 to 9 pm

Check back often and frequently for more updates.

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Catching Up




Time marches on, they say, and with a good drummer, the passage is a pleasure. Words to live by, say I. 

But, try as we may to stay in step as the world turns, we’re only human. Everybody misses a cue now and then. Right? (Mea culpa.)

For example, take ye old McMusical Calendar. New gigs to report and one or two that somehow escaped our earlier attentions. Thus we make amends directly. (Pictured: The 602.)


McMusical Calendar

Saturday, May 28
Birddog Blues Band at Tofflers Pub & Grill, 200 5th Ave. in New Glarus, WI. Ken “Birddog” Olufs, Mel Ford, Derek Hendrickson, and Tom McCarty. In the back yard from 8 to 11 pm.

Saturday, June 4
Birddog Blues Band at Full Mile Beer Co. & Kitchen, 132 Market St. in Sun Prairie, WI. Beer? Check. Food? Check. Blues? Double-check. What more could you want? 7 to 10 pm

Sunday, June 5
Mel Ford & the Fairlane* Tofflers Pub & Grill, 200 5th Ave. in New Glarus, WI. Afternoon on the deck. 2:30 to 5 pm.
*(Mel Ford & the Who? Suffice it say that back in the day, ‘round about Y2K, guitar wiz Mel Ford carried around a quartet of sidemen cleverly monikered “The Fairlanes,” bringing Bluesmuzik to the bars, bistros and beer tents of the Midwest. That was then. These days the estimable Mr. Ford pops up on occasion with the last 25 percent of the Fairlanes, bassist Tom McCarty (aka Feral Lane). Hey. They sing. They play. They’re good enough and, gosh-darn-it!, people like ‘em.)

Thursday, June 9
The Sparks Band play hits from the 60s (and immediately adjacent decades) at Vintage Brewing in Sauk City. On the deck (weather permitting) and early (7ish to 9ish). Eat, drink, and watch the Wisconsin river flow.

Thursday, June 16
Birddog Blues Band plays Blues at the Cottage Grove Firemen’s Festival in Cottage Grove, WI. Ken ‘Birddog’ Olufs, Mel Ford, Derek Hendrickson, and Tom McCarty. What time? Ask a fireman.

Friday, June 24
Birddog Blues Band at Tofflers Pub & Grill New Glarus, WI. Evening in the backyard (weather permitting). Ken ‘Birddog’ Olufs, Mel Ford, Derek Hendrickson, and Tom McCarty. 7 to 10

Saturday, June 25
The Sparks Band opens up for WAMI winners Bella Cain at Celebrate Waupun at Tanner Park in Waupun (WI). 4:45 to 6:45 (or so)

Friday, July 1
Birddog Blues Band at Wisconsin Brewing, at 1079 American Parkway, Verona WI. Spacious indoor and outdoor spaces for roaming around or imbibing brews. 6 to 9 pm

Saturday, July 2
Birddog Blues Band at Club LaMark, Madison, WI.

Thursday, July 7
Birddog Blues Band at Lone Girl Brewery, Waunakee, WI. 7 to 9

Friday, July 29
Birddog Blues Band at Tyranena Brewing, Lake Mills, WI. 6 to 9 pm

Saturday, August 6
Birddog Blues Band at Tofflers 8 to 11 pm

Saturday, August 16
Birddog Blues Band among a stellar line-up at the Waukesha Rotary Blues Fest held in Hartland, WI.

Friday, August 19
Birddog Blues Band warms up the stage for some band called The Jimmys at the 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.

Thursday, August 25
Birddog Blues Band at Lone Girl Brewery, Waunakee, WI. 6 to 9 pm

Friday, September 2
Birddog Blues Band at Wisconsin Brewing, 1079 American Parkway, Verona. Spacious spaces for roaming around or imbibing brews. 6 to 9 pm

Check back often and frequently for more updates.