Friday, March 18, 2022



Perfunctory Preface

Here’s where we normally string out a few pearls of wisdom and/or wit to edify you and lead you to the calendar of musical events below.

It’s also an opportunity for me to consider this question: What’s on my mind? Well, in addition to handling the basics of food, shelter, clothing, and the makings of music, these days the old mental landscape is laden with a fair amount of fear and loathing. 

The fear is for the future, as in, will there be one for our children? The loathing is for bullies, be they on the street corner or across an internationally recognized border, and for the tendency among some to cheer bullies on, or convince themselves that it’s none of their business, or that the victims had it coming. Anyone can be human, but being humane takes courage.

I hope we can all enjoy some summer fun very soon (suggestions just below), but I hope even more that we have the courage to do the right thing when it’s our turn.

McMusical Calendar 

Friday, April 1
The Sparks Band play the big hits from the 60s (and a few misses) at Chief’s Tavern, 300 Cottage Grove Road in Madison (right across from Buck’s Pizza, and, yes, they deliver!) Will the band be joined by a special guest? Word is, quite possibly. 7 to 10 pm

Saturday, April 30
The Gentlemen Reunion at Chief’s Tavern (see address above). Back in the day (the 60s), The Gentlemen were Wisconsin’s premiere purveyors of British Invasion rock and roll. Nobody played the Beatles repertoire better. They have long since scattered to the corners of the globe (and beyond, ask Mr. Shaw) but original band members Bob Kension, Bruce Shaw and Chuck Scalia are back in Madison for an evening of (mostly) Beatles music, joined by Mark and Tom from The Sparks Band. 7 to 10 pm

Saturday, May 21
Birddog Blues Band at the Timber Lake Playhouse outside of Mount Carroll, IL. Sponsored by The Crossroads Blues Society. The ‘Dogs’ set runs from approximately 3 to 4:30 Details on other artists performing will be available soon. Check back.

Friday, May 27
BIG WES Turner’s Trio rides again, thanks to Grammy-winning guitarist and Chicago Blues Hall-of-Famer Billy Flynn, who literally dragged drummer Rick Becker and bassist Tom McCarty out of their respective caves. Hear them hop between hip musical genres (Blues, Country, R&B, Rock, Surf!) at Tyranena Brewing, 1025 Owen St. in Lake Mills, WI. Enjoy the spacious, welcoming patio and backyard, not to mention the best and boldest Wisconsin brews. (A light drizzle won’t stop this semi-protected outdoor show, but weather most foul will, so keep an eye on the sky.) 6 to 9 pm

Saturday, June 4
Birddog Blues Band at Full Mile Beer Co. & Kitchen at 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* at 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. Hey. They sing. They play. They’re good enough and, gosh-darn-it!, people like ‘em.)

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 WisconsinBrewing, 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 at Hartland Blues Fest

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

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.

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