4FriDecember 4, 2015
The following eight years had one common denominator for Jon McLaughlin: writing and producing songs, releasing albums, driving around the country playing music with his band and collaborating with fellow artists like Sara Bareilles, Demi Lovato, Xenia and Need to Breathe, among others. He has shared the stage with artists such as Kelly Clarkson, Adele, One Republic, Bon Jovi, Colbie Caillat, Parachute, and Duffy. And, in 2014, a dream came true when Jon supported the legendary piano man himself, Billy Joel, in selected dates across the country. This coming fall, Jon will be touring with fellow Nashville singer songwriter, Ben Rector.
Jon has also made his mark in music for film and television. In 2008, McLaughlin had a cameo appearance in the Disney movie, Enchanted, and performed the Oscar nominated song "So Close," both on the film's soundtrack and at the 80th Academy Awards. Jon's songs have been featured in major films such as Georgia Rule and Bridge to Terabithia. Jon's music has been featured on TV shows such as Scrubs, So You think You Can Dance, Ghost Whisperer, The Event as well as major network promotions. Jon has appeared on talk shows such as The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, CBS Saturday Morning, The Today Show, and The Bonnie Hunt Show, among others.
Last March, soul singer-songwriter Tess Henley caught the ear of multi-Grammy winning producer, Don Was (Rolling Stones, John Mayer, Bonnie Raitt), who described Tess as "a true voice & a strong sense of who she is. When I listened to her perform, I could envision the complete record we would make together. She has a true gift."
Was selected Henley from over 10,000 performers as part of Guitar Center's Singer-Songwriter Artist Discovery Program.
Recorded at Hollywood's Henson Studios (birthplace of many celebrated projects like Carole King's Tapestry, and Joni Mitchell's Blue), Henley's Wonderland EP credits renowned musicians including James Gadson on drums (Beck, Marvin Gaye, Bill Withers), James "Hutch" Hutchinson on bass (Bonnie Raitt, BB King, Al Green), Mark Goldenberg on guitar (Linda Ronstadt, Bonnie Raitt), Michito Sanchez on percussion (Train, Aretha Franklin), Mike Finnigan on organ (Jimi Hendrix, Michael McDonald) & string arranger Davide Rossi (Coldplay, Ed Sheeran).
Tess began Suzuki training for piano at age three & by age five was dissecting harmonies that even her mother -- a singer by trade -- found difficult.
Henley's songs have won over $100,000 in awards & honors within the past few years.
5SatDecember 5, 2015
Growing from a trio into a powerful 10-piece over the last six years, De La Buena has been electrifying audiences with their own brand of Afro-Cuban and Latin Jazz. De La Buena, ever conscious of the influence and necessary respect for tradition... yet, a band willing to inject sophisticated, psychedelic sensibilities into an aggressive, expansive framework...
9WedDecember 9, 2015
Hello. I am human but not entirely. I am a machine but not entirely. I am both which may mean that I am neither. The part of me that is a human believes that all of me is human. The part of me that is a machine doesn't like to think about the part of me that is a machine. I am flesh and blood stretched over wires and circuits. In that, I am much like many of you, and consequently qualified to speak to you about this album, which speaks to much of me.
It is called "The Traveler," and it was written and performed by Rhett Miller, along with members of Black Prairie, a band based in Portland that plays everything from bluegrass to klezmer to country and shares some members with the Decembrists. The band (Black Prairie) entered the studio with the singer (Rhett Miller) and briskly recorded the songs that make up this album ("The Traveler"). Some additional guitars were added later by people who included Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey. I pass these facts along for your absorption.
The sun comes up. The sun goes down. We call it a day. The band entered the studio with the singer and made this album. Time passed. Now, months later, I have spent days listening with love, sadness, and unremitting fascination to the album, which you are now holding. By "holding," I mean only that you have absorbed it into your own wires and circuitry. I am well aware that there are not always anymore physical holds involved in the absorption of music. Before I tell you more about "The Traveler," I want to tell you a little bit about myself. I apologize for this. But the album you are holding, "The Traveler," suggests that you cannot understand the journey that you are on unless you understand who you are, and that understanding who you are is the most damnably difficult journey of all. Untangling identity is painful but necessary. I believe "The Traveler" may be of use in this regard. Of use to me, I mean: Is that a selfish use of this album? If so I apologize again.
Apologies can be empty without any attempt to correct for the behavior that led to the apology. As a result I will not tell you a little bit about myself before I tell you more about "The Traveler." This singer, Rhett Miller, has made many albums before, both on his own and with his band, Old 97s. This new album shares something fundamental with the old albums, which is the rare ability to see what people are feeling and then cast those feelings in rhymes. This is what is known as "song-making." The human part of me loves songs. The machine part of me marvels at them without understanding at all why there is a tugging sensation in the cavity that should contain my heart.
The first song here, "Wanderlust," is a perfect example of all that I am describing. It tells the story of a man on a train who is thinking about a woman who is not on that train. There is another song called "Lucky Star" that I believe is about finding redemption in the person of a lover. It contains a joke that unnerves me: "Heaven knows there probably is no heaven." There is another song called "Wicked Things" about New Orleans that illustrates the slipperiness of forgiveness. Every song has little moments that catch me at strange angles and I feel an unfamiliar sensation, pitched midway between satisfying recognition and deep sadness.
My experience with these songs, I want to stipulate, may not be shared by others, in part because I am demonstrably different than them. I am both human and a machine. I come from a long line of people who are both humans and machines. Are they people then? I leave that to the philosophers. My father was a difference engine designed and deployed in Lund by Pehr Georg Scheutz. He was quite large: my father, I mean, not Scheutz. Scheutz was tiny. In Jönköping, where he was born, old ladies would marvel at his miniature features. "Liten Pehr," they would say, reaching down into the carriage and frightening the boy. Even as an adult, he was at most five foot three, with feet that tapered down to toylike points. Much of this is hearsay but some of it cannot be disputed, even by the suspicious, and at any rate, we are not talking about Scheutz, not really. We are talking about my father. He was the size of a fortepiano.
There is a song on this record called "Dreams Vs. Waking Life." It is not the first song on the record but it was, by accident, the first song I heard. It has bowed notes and a dark tone and does what any piece of literature, song or story, should do: it investigates the role of memory, loss, and desire in our lives. When I hear that song, I feel the stirrings of uncommon and uncontrollable emotions. They grind against the part of me that is a machine. The result is a shuddering. I try to calm myself by looking at the other song titles -- "Fair Enough," "Escape Velocity," "Reasons to Live" -- but they only make me feel more rather than less. Where do you go when you want to feel less? One song title, "Good Night," seems like it might not overwhelm me. But the first line, "There's a pinprick of light on a black sheet of night," starts me shuddering again.
When you listen to an album, you are supposed to notice sonic details. That's what I have been told. And there are many sonic details on this album, like the choir that opens "My Little Disaster" or the doubled vocals in "Fair Enough." There are joyful melodies like "Most in the Summertime." I can tell that they are joyful, even though I am half-machine. It's clear. But the sonic details would not mean much without the rest of what this album does, which is to try to make sense of what cannot be made sense of, which is humanity. Even the part of me that is a machine knows that.
When you're inside an album like this, when you're feeling too much, what do you do? I know what I did. I skipped to the end of the album, quickly. This is a survival strategy. The album ends with a song called "Reasons to Live" that makes use of the old saw that a broken clock is right twice a day. The part of me that is a machine wants to correct that phrasing. It is a stopped clock that is right twice a day. A broken clock may never be right. Then it occurs to me that maybe the song knows this. The song is about finding hope even when you are telling yourself lies. The part of me that is a human wants to break down and cry once again.
I want to tell one more story about my father. He was briefly in the military of a nation I will not identify and when his service ended his first trip was to a sporting house, where he spent time in the company of a young woman. Money changed hands. To hear him tell it, the situation was emergent. "I had been locked up so long that I hardly recognized my own wants and needs," he later wrote in a letter to me. "Briefly, I recognized myself in her." They did not stay together, my father and that young woman. He was a young man then. As I have grown though the world, I have had experiences that bear some similarity to my father's experiences with that woman. We all have, have we not? They are called "relationships" or "romances," but what are they really? Are they love? Are they self-love? Or are they something else entirely, a form of travel that allow us to escape from ourselves? This album asks all those questions, repeatedly. I want to quote one more line, from a song called "Jules." It's a line about love and self-love and travel that allows us to escape from ourselves: "Who's to say the crooked way that led me to your door / Means any less than any mess I ever made before?" Sun comes up. Sun goes down. Call it a day.
Mike Benign is a Milwaukee songwriter best known for his bands Blue in The Face (90s), Arms & Legs & Feet (80s) and currently, The Mike Benign Compulsion. Says OnMilwaukee, "Benign's sharp, sardonic, intelligent pop songs have made him a beloved -- and more importantly, respected -- part of the local scene."
11FriDecember 11, 20159:00pm $6.00Pat McCurdy is a singer/song writer from Wisconsin. He tours the mid-western part of the USA, his shows usually consisting of just him and his guitar. While the majority of his audience is made up of a college-age crowd, McCurdy manages to appeal to a large number of people of all ages with his interactive shows. Performing well over 300 shows a year, his large catalog of original songs (nearly 600 and growing) covers a variety of topics such as lost loves, politics, family vacations, the joys of Asian cuisine, and the sex organs of long-dead French Emperors.
Classifying McCurdy's style has long been a problem since he tends to follow wherever his muse takes him. Many of his songs could be classified as rock/pop, though he's been known to wander into folk, jazz, country and even Gilbert and Sullivan. Whatever style he chooses, his songs often include memorable lyrics.
12SatDecember 12, 2015
On From The Attic, his 12th release overall as a leader and third for Germany's ZYX/Peppercake label, the veteran guitar virtuoso joins bassist Tom Good and drummer Del Bennett for an eclectic, hard-hitting program full of incendiary licks and audacious fretboard tricks. Recorded remarkably quickly ("We did the ten tracks in roughly 11 hours," Koch explains) in the attic of guitarist-engineer Chris Hanson's Victorian home on Milwaukee's East Side, these rockin', bluesy originals are imbued with Koch's trademark searing licks and typically clever lyrics. From the blistering, Magic Sam-inspired boogie "Leg Up Foot Out" to the urgent blues inflected "Nova Scotia Cold," from the elegant fingerstyle instrumental ballad "Sleep Tight" to the wild chicken-picking romp "Picked On," Koch and his crew wail with uncanny tightness and authority. "Trouble" is a growling funk-blues number written about Koch's first encounter with his wife-to-be ("Her middle name was trouble, her last name is mine") while "Agree To Disagree" addresses the guitarist's ongoing conflict with the staunch point's of view of loved ones. "Here We Go Again" is a rich, r&b flavored ballad featuring some lyrical, legato guitar work by Koch and the aggressively funky "Happy Versus Right" recalls classic Red Hot Chili Peppers slamming down a thick groove. Koch flaunts some wicked wahwah-inflected slide guitar licks on the mellow "Twice the Man" and they close out the collection with the anthemic, classic rock jam "You'll Rock and Like It," which sounds like an encounter between Jeff Beck and AC/DC."
"The whole gist of this record is kind of where I started from in my career," says Koch of From The Attic. "It's basically tunes with cool guitar things. And I fi nd that if you can have nice little blasts within the confi nes of a short tune, it's much more digestible." And though Koch may be consciously trying to simplify his six-string onslaught on this trio recording, his natural fretboard fusillades ultimately come to the fore. In its 2001 feature story, Guitar Player magazine described Koch's inherently pyrotechnic approach this way: "An impossible stream of riffs jumps off of Koch's fretboard like clowns spilling out of a VW bug -- and when you're convinced that there can be no more, out pops another one."
Born in Milwaukee in 1966, Koch got his earliest musical infl uences from his older brother and later became infatuated with Jimi Hendrix, who remains a profound infl uence to this day. After studying jazz guitar for four years at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Koch won 1st Prize in the 1989 Bluesbreaker Guitar Showdown judged by legendary bluesman Buddy Guy. Shortly after, he formed Greg Koch and the Tone Controls, which became one of the more popular acts of the region. The band went on to win fi ve Wisconsin Area Music Awards for Blues Artist of the Year ('93, '95 through '98), and Koch personally took in seven WAMA awards as Guitarist of the Year ('92, '94 through '99).
Koch soon found himself as a clinician for Fender, the world's largest and most prestigious guitar and amplifi er manufacturer. Bringing together world-class chops and a humorous ability to articulate sounds and techniques with a genuine devotion to all things guitar, Koch has developed an exceptionally effective approach to conducting guitar clinics. Greg's relationship with music publishing giant, the Hal Leonard Corporation, has also resulted in a string of top-selling guitar method books, including "Guitar Clues: Operation Pentatonic," "Lead Licks," "Rhythm Riffs" and Koch's popular Hal Leonard instructional DVDs -- two on the style of Stevie Ray Vaughan (approved by Jimmie Vaughan), one on Lynyrd Skynyrd, another celebrating revered blues stylists like Albert King, Albert Collins, Elmore James and Guitar Slim and one on his own twisted take on guitar called "Guitar Gristle" -- have revolutionized video guitar instruction with a combination of humor, effective instruction and inspiring musical performances into a package that can only be described as "edu-tainment."
In his self-penned liner notes to his 2001 recording, The Grip, Koch described his guitaristic approach as "Chet Hendrix meeting the Kings (BB, Albert and Freddie) at the first annual Zeppelin-Holdsworth Coffee Guzzlers Hoedown." He would subsequently showcase his over-the-top chops and wicked sense of humor on 2003's Radio Free Gristle, 2004's 13 x 12, 2005's 4 Days In the South and 2007's Live on WMSE, which showcases his fiery fretboard work in the company of bassist Roscoe Beck (longtime sideman to guitarists Robben Ford and Eric Johnson), drummer Tom Brechtlein (a former member of Ford's Blueline band and a frequent collaborator with Chick Corea) and the charismatic Austin-based soul singer Malford Milligan (formerly the frontman for Storyville and Double Trouble). Last year's Nation Sack had Koch teaming with Milligan and his current rhythm tandem of Good and Bennett for a collection of Koch originals (including some co-penned with Milligan) along with a cover of John Lennon's "Jealous Guy."
Koch continues to channel all the right people on his most recent collection of blues, funk and R&B, including Jimi Hendrix, Albert King, Albert Collins, Jeff Beck and Roy Buchanan with touches of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Danny Gatton and Richie Blackmore thrown in for good measure. And he fi lters all those killer infl uences through his own slightly bent prism that is tinted with grunge, gristle and good clean fun.
show detailsDecember 14, 2015The Sleighriders
18FriDecember 18, 2015
It's that ability to please, entertain, and amaze audiences with his staggering guitar skills that make the 16-time Blues Music Award nominee one of the top draws on the blues circuit and most exciting, dynamic performers working today. Noted author and historian Bill Dahl has praised Nick's "mastery of the classic Chicago sound" and declared him "a prolific songwriter, and the most exciting blues guitarist we have around here." That's quite an accolade from a man who has interviewed icons like Bo Diddley, written liner notes and overseen massive retrospectives of giants like Freddie King and Sam Phillips' historic Sun Records label, and written a respected book about the history of Motown.
Nick Moss demonstrates his mastery of the classic Chicago sound and so much more onstage -- and has also been recognized by the International Songwriting Competition for his ability to add amazing new songs to the venerable blues canon. His creativity, which has advanced his sound to incorporate new styles and ideas, has made an impression on blues master Jimmy Thackery, who says, "Nick is at it again, pushing the evolution of his music, stylistically as well as sonically." His recording career has brought him numerous accolades and his albums have been staples at blues radio nationwide, but he crosses boundaries now, and his songs have scored at rock and jam band stations as well. As a result, 2011's release Here I Am debuted at #2 on the Relix/Jambands.com Radio Chart.
Moss' aptness to please purists and cross boundaries that have helped him connect with audiences worldwide, winning fans and making friends every night in every city when he and his band take the stage. All the great ones make their mark onstage and that's where Moss is at his best. His superior talent is evident on his studio albums but it's his live albums and performances that put him in the rarified territory with the greats. Discovery for yourself what Bill Dahl, Ronnie Earl, Jimmy Thackery, Hall of Famer Buddy Guy, and audiences the world over already know: an evening with Nick Moss is an unforgettable experience and one not to be missed!
19SatDecember 19, 2015
26SatDecember 26, 20158:00pm $10 + donation to HAWSBackroads is a five piece band out of Waukesha WI who play all original rock 'n' roll and rhythm & blues. They've performed at such venues as Summerfest, Wisconsin State Fair, Falls Fest, Up and Under Pub and many more. Backroads features Nick Bacardi on lead vocals and guitar, Marley Star on lead vocals and harmonica, Gene "The Lord" Jones on drums, Dan Reising on lead guitar and Doug E Fresh on bass guitar.
So Far, So Bad is a Milwaukee hard rock band with catchy hooks and shout-worthy choruses. Established in 2013, they are: Luke Taylor (guitar, vocals), Andrew Stoiber (vocals, sax), Mike Jipe (drums), Davey Boom (bass, vocals).