Nickel&Rose is an American folk-music duo made up of Upright Bassist Johanna Rose and Guitarist Carl Nichols. They formed in the summer of 2016 and spent their first winter and the following spring traveling Europe, playing dozens of shows in France, Czech Republic, Germany, Romania, Poland, and Ukraine. While in Berlin they recorded their EP, Oh Sweet Love, released in April 2017. Oh Sweet Love, is a sweet-sounding auditory souvenir of Nichols’ and Rose’s four month European journey and a recorded testament to the two-piece’s ability to turn tough times into something vibrant with help from a traveling companion.
Nickel&Rose have influences that span the spectrum of American music. Carl’s background brings elements of West African music and Blues while Johanna brings her experience playing Bluegrass, Folk and Jazz. From loss to heart break to love, Nickel&Rose address the human experience with gentle harmonies and soul stirring cries. With a shared appreciation for traditional music and a desire to break rules, the two have have created a unique sound that embodies Americana's past and future.
The Betsy Ezell Quintet will present and celebrate the release of their full length album, Voices, on Friday, January 25 at North Street Cabaret. They'll perform the original compositions and arrangements from the album, well known standards and personal favorites written by women jazz artists and more. The quintet features Betsy Ezell on vocals, Becca May Grant on keys, Richard Hildner on guitars, Laurie Lang on bass and they are thrilled to welcome Chris Sandoval on drums. John Becker, an extraordinarily talented local multi-instrumentalist and composer, will join in on vibes as a special guest for the evening.
The Betsy Ezell Quintet presents a diverse sound, ranging from straight ahead jazz, to blues, to Latin jazz, to gospel-infused soul. The original music is hopeful and thought-provoking and the band members bring a range of musical backgrounds to give the live performances compelling twists and turns.
Many of the original songs from Voices were composed as part of a writing and recording project called Feminine Blue, supported in part by a grant from the Greater Madison Jazz Consortium. The project explored women's perspectives and unique voice in jazz, as well as broader cultural themes like the #metoo movement. The music was composed collaboratively, with the writing led by Betsy and edits, additions, input and support by Laurie and Becca, which was an intentional and decidedly feminine way of creating music. Well known, prolific jazz artists Roberta Piket (piano/organ) and Virginia Mayhew (sax) guest performed on two tracks on the album.
Inspired by the rhythms and melodies of flamenco, jazz, classical, rock and the Balkan region, this performance features the unrivaled guitar artistry of two of the finest players of their respective generations. Their music is carefully balanced between blazing virtuosity and sheer beauty.
Goran Ivanovic and Fareed Haque recorded two CDs together, Macedonian Blues and 7 Boats, to great critical acclaim, even getting the nod as top best acoustic guitar albums 2004 from acoustic guitar magazine. Both have both been so busy that they have not been able to play again together for years.
Three remarkably accomplished young musicians come together in TMonde, the Acadian phenomenon that Offbeat Magazine has called a creative fusion of classic country and out-of-the-way Cajun. With a combined 10 GRAMMY nominations between members Drew Simon (the Pine Leaf Boys), Megan Brown, and Kelli Jones (Feufollet), TMonde brings influences ranging from early Country music to ancient French and Creole ballads to present day Cajun music. Born out of friendship and a shared love for the music, TMonde has developed a unique sound that is unmatched in Cajun music today. With their latest album, Yesterdays Gone, the band showcases their influences and musicianship which makes their sound so special.
Sam Ness EP Release
Nate Meng and The Stolen Sea
Corey Mathew Hart
This is the one and only night to get your hands on a copy of the "Lullabies & FaerieTales" Limited Extended EP signed and numbered! There will only be 100 copies printed, and when they're gone, they're gone.
Corey Mathew Hart:
From the time Corey Mathew Hart started singing at a young age, his voice has amazed audiences. “The human voice is such wonderfully complex instrument. So often, words can fail to portray the whole meaning or idea you are trying to get across, but in song you can convey more emotion and add more depth and dimension to the written word,” says Hart. And he does just that with a voice and songs that earned Hart two MAMAs (Madison Area Music Association awards) in 2011, one for best male vocalist and the other for best Folk/Americana album. Most recently, Corey won the Overture Rising Stars competition in 2014 and has been selected as a finalist in the 2015 NewSong songwriting competition. His latest project, Lost Lakes, is turning heads both locally and nationally.
Nate Meng and The Stolen Sea
Four sailors lost on a stolen sea
Find strength in collective energy
a sound, undefined,
at times, unrefined
To be understood must be seen.
Nate Meng and The Stolen Sea are a band. They are individuals. They are love and anger. They are the thrill of a chaotic universe. They write songs about all of us.
Brown Paper Tickets . https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4032469
Paul Cebar Tomorrow Sound are the latest in Fresh Venerable. Benefitting from years of unassuming and understated hipness, they bring forth a funky, lyrically charged racket that sits comfortably with soulful sounds the world over.
Intricate but free-swinging, explosive yet intimate, fresh and green as grass.
Taking cues from the dance bands of western Louisiana (and his native Midwest,), the streets (and 45’s) of New Orleans, touring African and Caribbean combos and the soul, funk & blues of his youth coupled with early , teeth-cutting experience in the verbal hotbeds of the coffeehouse scene, Cebar is a masterful synthesist of rhythmic culture
Tomorrow Sound are an elite crew of offhand adepts who bring plenty of their own wood to the fire. Drummer Reggie Bordeaux, casts his nets with a mystifying subtlety bringing his own fleet-footed refinement and grease. Multi-instrumentalist Bob Jennings, lends his bandleader the luxury of implying a much larger ensemble with his multi-hued contributions on keys and reeds. Bassist Mike Fredrickson (a distinguished singer-songwriter in his own right) anchors and prods with the best of them.
Paul Cebar cut his teeth musically in the coffeehouse folk scene of the mid-’70s in Milwaukee. First paying gigs took place in late ’76 with an emphasis on solo recasting of small combo jump-blues and other early R&B. Upon graduation from New College in Sarasota, Florida, with a thesis addressing rhythm & blues varieties featuring a hearty emphasis on Louis Jordan and Buddy Johnson, Cebar dedicated himself to trodding the boards in earnest and spent substantial amounts of time testing the waters out New York way while exploring band dynamics with a soul and New Orleans-minded crew called the R&B Cadets back home. The Cadets ranged about from 1980 to 1986 and featured the grand original tunes of John Sieger alongside the winning assortment of B sides and obscurities that were the fruits of Cebar’s research. Concurrently, he kept alive the spark of his solo work with a small group which came to be known as The Milwaukeeans. Throughout the early 80s, this combo featured Rip Tenor on tenor sax, Alan Anderson on upright bass, Robyn Pluer on vocals and Paul on acoustic guitar and vocals, and drew most of its repertoire from ’30s, ’40s and ’50s jazz and R&B.
With the demise of the Cadets in mid-1986, Cebar and Pluer, Tenor and Anderson welcomed drummer Randy Baugher and early Cadet saxophonist/vocalist Juli Wood to a new dance-floor fortified version of The Milwaukeeans which reflected Paul’s ongoing and deepening fascination with African, Latin American and Caribbean rhythm & blues analogues. Rambling about the Midwest for the remainder of the ’80s with occasional forays east and south, The Milwaukeeans began to rely more and more upon the original material that began to emerge in the aftermath of years of interpolation and grappling with favorites.
The first studio album, “That Unhinged Thing,” which was culled from a number of years of recording, finally saw the light of day in 1993. It sparked a wider itinerary in the touring department, with initial forays to the west coast and Canada, as well as returns to the east and south. Following the release of the record and six months of touring, founding member and estimable vocalist Robyn Pluer left the band to attend to le private life.
Rebuffing the command of the record label, Shanachie, that he add a female vocalist, Cebar and cohorts ventured forth into the storm without a label umbrella for what turned into two years of enthusiastic touring with much attendant hand-wringing. Finally, they landed on the shores of a little label that could (for awhile), Don’t Records, a Milwaukee-based, heart-driven indie. In the summer of ’95, they set about making “Upstroke for the Downfolk,” while upon its release in the fall of that year began to make inroads at adult album alternative radio outlets nationwide. The single “Didn’t Leave Me No Ladder” ushered the fellows to a new level of visibility and the vans rolled on.
A six-song EP, “I Can’t Dance For You,” followed in the spring of ’96 and was superseded by “The Get-Go,” a full-length recording released in the fall of ’97. Radio support was more sporadic, though the fan corps kept growing. But halfway through ’98, Don’t’s distributor declared bankruptcy and its inventory was impounded. With its merchandise out of reach, Don’t found it increasingly difficult and ultimately impossible to carry on.
In 2001, 15 1/2 years into the dance band incarnation of The Milwaukeeans, the fellows presented, “Suchamuch”,a long-requested live album recorded at Martyr’s in Chicago and continued to offer their multifarious wares to all and sundry. The present day incarnation of Tomorrow Sound took shape with the arrival (8 years back) of bassist, Mike Fredrickson, joining 22 year veterans Reggie Bordeaux on drums and Bob Jennings on saxophones and keyboards.
The peripatetic pageant continues unabated with renewed focus on “the song ” in the context of the increasingly forceful rhythmic exploration that is at the heart of Cebar’s quest. Stripping back to 4 pieces has opened up space for the understated command of Bob Jennings’ keyboard and saxophonic thinking. Field Marshall Cebar’s pithy guitar musing comes to the fore building upon the muscular rhythmic lattice laid by Reggie and Mike. With an ever-deepening appreciation for the funk and the polyglot rhythmic conception that is their trademark, Paul Cebar Tomorrow Sound said More! More! More! in 2004. Way to thrive in 2005! Dipped their wicks in 2006, Partied like ’11 in 2007, and have their wild heads on straight in 2008. Fine fine Fine into 2009! funked it again and again and again and again in ’10, made like 2107 in ’11, and have packed up the worry they shelved in ’12, incorporated the added vim they were flirtin’ with in ’13 and are full-on sportin’ A-team in ’18
Presently spreading the word with their gangling, headlong and insouciant record,”FINE RUDE THING”, Paul Cebar Tomorrow Sound want and need you to come on out and help them get down.
Many musicians have graced the stage with Paul in the course of the aforementioned wander. He’d like to thank them all again for the loving spirit they brought to bear on the music. A partial list would include: Rip Tenor, Alan Anderson, Robin Pluer, Guy Hoffman, Juli Wood, Randy Baugher, Peter Roller, Tony Jarvis, Greg Tardy, Mac Perkins, Paul Scher, Michael Kashou, Michael Walls, Ethan Bender,Patrick Patterson, Romero Beverly and the present day crew, Bob Jennings, Reggie Bordeaux,and Mike Fredrickson. Viva le Musicianers!!!!!!!
Brown Paper Tickets
Claudia Schmidt & Dean Magraw
We here at Mad Folk get to see Claudia Schmidt almost annually, but this February brings an even bigger treat…she’ll be traveling with virtuoso guitar player, Dean Magraw.
Claudia and Dean have been intersecting musically for almost 30 years. The dance of Claudia’s soaring vocals, dulcimer and 12-string with Dean’s ultra-fluid guitar style is breathtaking, taking the listener deep and wide. Their joy and merriment onstage is positively medicinal, and the music, be it Dean’s or Claudia’s originals, jazz standards, blues, or spoken word, is a wonderful moment in time that will leave the listener buoyant and refreshed. These two don’t get to work together that often, so don’t miss this opportunity!
Almost four decades as a touring professional have found Michigan native Claudia Schmidt traversing North America as well as Europe in venues ranging from intimate clubs to 4,000 seat theatres, and festival stages in front of 25,000 rapt listeners. She has recorded fourteen albums of mostly original songs, exploring folk, blues, and jazz idioms featuring her acclaimed 12-string guitar and mountain dulcimer playing.
“To say that Schmidt is simply a performer with a talent to entertain would be a miscarriage of understatement. Schmidt takes her audiences into her world as easily as the child who discovers the endless universes that exist in a cardboard box. From lying on sandy beaches under an endless barrage of northern lights, to the expected anguish and frustration of spinning tires on cars stuck deep in snow, from the age-old struggle of change between adolescence and adulthood to the observation of sheer idiocy, she leaves it to the imagination of her audience to conjure their own images of her storytelling and song. No interpretation of a Claudia Schmidt song or story is wrong-she invites audiences to tie their associations to her style. Schmidt weaves her way through her concert in much the same manner as a jester. Interwoven anecdotes, revealing her past and present, bring people to expect a relationship between themselves and memories driven deep with the passage of time. The concert is an endless display of self-realization through humor and longing, leaving audience members yearning to become an integral part of her world.”
--Door County Advocate Composer/Guitarist Dean
Magraw’s musical passion transcends all boundaries, yet the vital essence of his distinctive style remains, while performing and recording solo, with numerous regional ensembles, and on projects with international notables as diverse as Japanese shamisen prodigy Nitta Masahiro, classical violinist Nigel Kennedy, South Indian virtuoso Nirmala Rajasheker, epic songstress Ruth MacKenzie, Irish super-group Altan, radio personality Garrison Keillor, jazz bassist Anthony Cox, and many others (obviously including Claudia Schmidt).
“Dean Magraw…so liquid, lyrical and effortless it’s like listening to a dancer.”
“Dean Magraw unveils soulful melodic melodic grooves intricately designed to heal the broken dancer, confuse the boldest mathematician, and eradicate ennui in our lifetime.”
Big, funky Afrobeat band out of Madison, WI. Laying down serious rhythm & bringing all the people together onto the dance floor.
BAnd members: Matt Manske, Peter Baggenstoss, Ryan Lammey, Tim Patterson, Paddy Cassidy, Tony Barba, Jamie Kember, Mike Kelly, Bryan Elliott, Paul Dietrich, Djam Vivie
n September 2017 three veteran Madison musicians, vocalist Jodi Jean Amble, singer and guitarist Tom Waselchuk, and multi-instrumentalist Doug Brown, put together a set of material for a one-and-done performance at the annual Spring Green BeatleFest. Their set was enthusiastically received. The players came away feeling the spark of a kindred musical spirit, and so began The Honey Pies. A year’s worth of performances has only confirmed each member’s initial feeling that they’d stumbled onto something special.
To mark their one year anniversary The Honey Pies introduced bassist and vocalist Matt Rodgers to the band. The Honey Pies apply crystal harmonies and virtuoso instrumental skills to the best of traditional, contemporary, and original Americana music.
The Madtown Mannish Boys are a Madison-based Blues band who are steeped in Chicago-style Blues, including artists like Muddy Waters, Junior Wells, Otis Spann, Paul Butterfield, and Little Walter. They perform with raw exuberance and driving rhythms that make you want to boogie. Some of their tunes are harmonica-driven, played with gritty fervor and intense energy. Others are soulful ballads, heavily influenced by the likes of Otis Redding and Sam Cooke. This mix of styles and genres makes for an entertaining and dynamic show that you won’t want to miss.
Andy Smith has a powerful and soulful voice, reminiscent of some of the greats from Blues and R&B. Paul Schwoerer wields his harmonica with a chip on his shoulder and his vocals are gripping and yet smooth. Jesse “Honey Boy” Steinberg injects melodic flurries of guitar riffs into the lively grooves laid down by Tim Payne (bass) and Nate Morenek (drums). Adam Pryor (keys) is one of the most sought-after Blues keyboardists in the Midwest, with endorsements from Hammond, Korg, Rev33, and Stay Stands. The Boys are frequently joined by Jason Schultz (trombone), Jim Feuling (saxophone), and Dan Resnick (saxophone).
Carrie Nation & the Speakeasy is a high-energy "Brass 'n' Grass" sextet from Wichita, KS. The band, whose sound has been described as “...a stagecoach in overdrive”, has brought their eclectic blend of bluegrass, ska, punk, and dixieland to packed clubs, basements, and festivals across the US since their inception in the spring of 2007.
CNS has built a solid following playing 47 states and 5 countries with their energetic live show and ability to fit on the bill with acts ranging from bluegrass to rockabilly; punk to ska. As the banjo rolls over rhythmic guitar, breakneck mandolin solos melt into blaring trombone and trumpet lines, while the standup bass and feed-bucket-trap-set churn out driving rhythms that carry the force of a Kansas freight train.
Brown Paper Tickets https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4025288
What will we do? For Lula Wiles, the trio made up of Isa Burke, Eleanor Buckland, and Mali Obomsawin, the question is central to the creation of their music—and it’s the title of their new album. “We wanted to make an album that reflected, in a current way, what we are all staying up late thinking about and talking about over drinks at the dinner table,” says Obomsawin. “What is everyone worried about, confiding in their friends about, losing sleep about?” On What Will We Do, the band’s sophomore album, the trio’s voices burn, twist together, mingle, and rise like smoke signaling changes to come. But anchoring that delicate touch is a mastery of folk music —and a willingness to subvert its hallowed conventions.
Long before they were in a band together, the members of Lula Wiles were singing folk songs and trading fiddle tunes at camp in Maine. “All of us were lucky to have access to the folk music community at a young age,” Burke says. “The music traditions that we’re drawing on are social, community-building traditions.” On those warm summer nights, playing music was just plain fun. But the members of Lula Wiles carry those early lessons of community and the meaning of shared art with them to this day, as they seek to create music that questions cultural virtues, soothes aching wounds, and envisions a better world.
Lula Wiles came of age in Boston, in the practice rooms of Berklee College of Music and the city’s lively roots scene. In 2016, the band self-released Lula Wiles, a sensitive, twang-tinged collection of originals. Since then, they have toured internationally, winning fans at the Newport Folk Festival and the Philadelphia Folk Festival, and sharing stages with the likes of Aoife O’Donovan, the Wood Brothers, and Tim O’Brien.
Now, the release of What Will We Do on Smithsonian Folkways Recordings places the group squarely in line with some of its deepest influences, from the protest anthems of Woody Guthrie to the trailblazing songs of Elizabeth Cotten and Hazel Dickens. (Even the band’s name is a twist on an old Carter Family song.)
Going into the recording sessions with engineer and co-producer Dan Cardinal at Dimension Sound Studios in Boston, the members of Lula Wiles knew how they wanted this record to feel: intimate, warm, with the edges left rough. “We really wanted this album to sound like three people making music in a room,” Buckland explains. The songs on What Will We Do draw their power from small moments captured in real time, like the scrape of pick against string or the collective inhale at the start of a verse. The musicians take turns in different roles––Burke and Buckland on guitar and fiddle, Obomsawin on bass, all three singing—but no matter who’s playing what, they operate in close tandem, buoyed by the nimble touch of drummer (and frequent collaborator) Sean Trischka. In carrying on the folk ritual of innovation, they infuse their songs with distinctly modern sounds: pop hooks, distorted electric guitars, and dissonant multi-layered vocals, all employed in the service of songs that reclaim folk music in their own voice.
At its core, What Will We Do is an album centered around songcraft. The lyrics are sharp and the melodies finely wrought. You can hear, too, a growing maturity, a widening worldview. These aren’t your typical lovesick country tunes. “Last night we held a lie between our lips/ Another dead-end kiss,” Buckland sings about the end of a relationship on “Love Gone Wrong.” These are songs of stinging insight, of weary acceptance, of growing resilience.
The songs on What Will We Do speak to the issues of the day, even as they riff on folk music’s tropes. “Is this land yours/ Is this land mine/ The fault lines crack/ And the fists they fly,” Burke sings on “Shaking As It Turns” in a nod to the country’s deepening political divisions. Obomsawin punctures cowboy song nostalgia on “Good Old American Values,” a searing rebuke of American expansionism: “Good old American cartoons/ Indians and cowboys and saloons/ It’s all history by now/ And we hold the pen anyhow.” Sometimes, the best thing to do with an old idea is to turn it upside down.
That’s not to say that no traditional material made it onto What Will We Do. The title track is an Irish ballad—although the band couldn’t resist adding a twist of their own. Says Burke, “We wrote the verse about marrying the banker and redistributing all his money.” Lula Wiles brings new perspective to age-old traditions––above all, the people’s practice of sharing their communities’ struggles through songs. The band exists in the tense space where tradition and revolution meet, from which their harmonies rise into the air to create new American music.
Graminy is an award-winning ensemble that creates a unique and engaging soundscape they call “class-grass”. We fuse components of grassroots and classical traditions, creating performances that are energetic and inquisitive, with quick changes and generous improvisation. Our instrumentation blends a classical string trio (violins, viola and cello) with elements of a bluegrass rhythm section (mandolin, guitar and banjo) to create something, “…both complex and immediate, elusive and apparent.”
Graminy presents original compositions that reflect themes of environment and place. Our 2013 album, Germinations: A Bluegrass Symphony in D, won “Classical Album of the Year” and “Classical Song of the Year” at the 2014 MAMAs (Madison Area Music Association). And then in 2016, our 2015 album Dance of the Plants won us a second “Classical Album of the Year” MAMA award and a second“Classical Song of the Year” MAMA award.
Graminy’s music focuses on themes of ecology and place. Our name derives from the botanical term for the grass family, Gramineae, as the music draws on the family of grassroots traditions, from all places and ecologies. We also play for dances and other non-concert events under the name Thirsty Roots.
Paul Perrilles, otherwise known as “the kid” (named by Ray Charles trumpeter David Hoffman), is a young professional musician who derives from the Peoria, IL area. Born in Peoria, Paul found his passion for drums at a very young age. The drums have been his family for 3 generations, and he picked up the drumsticks just like his father and grandfather did before him.
Using his sticks and his imagination, Paul is able to blend together a variety of musical genres to fit into any style he is playing in the moment. He has played with many bands playing several different genres from rock, to jazz, and even folk. His musical history includes a year-long stint with The Way Down Wanderers, a fast-paced, soulful americana band that derived from Peoria, IL. Paul can be heard on the album “Path to Follow” with this popular folk group.
Paul is now pursuing a new musical endeavor called The Perrilles Project with some of the best musicians in Chicago. The purpose of this group is to produce emotional genuineness within each listener.
“The first duty of love is to listen.” Paul Tillich
The Perrilles Project released their first EP in July 2018. It can be found on bandcamp through this link: https://theperrillesproject.bandcamp.com/releases
The public is invited to attend the opening reception of Café Expressions, an art show featuring work created by people with early Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. The opening reception is January 22 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at North St. Cabaret in Madison. The exhibit is hosted by the Alzheimer’s & Dementia Alliance of Wisconsin (ADAW). Tuesday night is Jazz night at North St. Cabaret - attend the art reception and stay for jazz!
The exhibit features artwork created by people who have attended ADAW Memory Cafés and their caregivers. Memory Cafés are gathering place for people living with mild cognitive impairment or other dementias. A dementia diagnosis often leads to social isolation, but Memory Cafés provide an outlet to socialize with others in a similar situation.
Medical research has shown creative expression such as art and music can help reduce stress in people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Creative expression is a powerful tool for giving people with memory loss an avenue for communicating, even when words or memories may fail.
“Alzheimer’s disease and dementia can steal some of our personalities, but it can’t take away a person’s innate creativity,” said Noreen Kralapp, Dane County Dementia Outreach Specialist for ADAW.
Yid Vicious was formed in 1995 in Madison, WI in order to ameliorate the woeful dearth of klezmer in America's otherwise pleasant heartland. Klezmer is Yiddish folk music, music for dancing and celebrating, and no band has caused more dancing and celebrating than Yid Vicious. Except Kool and the Gang, when they had that hit single about celebrating good times, come on; that caused lots of celebrating. But Yid Vicious is next, right after Kool and the Gang.
Indoors and out, at weddings, at Bat AND Bar Mitzvahs, on flatbed trucks, in ramshackle bars and luxurious ballrooms, on high festival stages and on bare sod, we've often driven crowds into flurries of freylekh-fueled dancing fury. Although our repertoire is drawn mainly from traditional secular Yiddish music, we strive to infuse the music with our collective aesthetic and experience. Rather than replicate a particular time and place, we celebrate the long-standing tradition of klezmorim incorporating new musical ideas into an organic and ever-evolving art form. Chew on THAT, Kool and the Gang!
All told, there are six members of Yid Vicious, our musical arsenal consisting of clarinets, fiddle, horn, vocals, guitar, accordion, tuba, drums and sometimes theremin. Yid Vicious, ever hungry for attention, is available for weddings, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, anarchist picnics, seances, boat shows, clam bakes, lumberjack competitions, corporate downsizings, highland games and other events.
Brown Paper Tickets https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3613045
These purveyors of Americana infused Gypsy Jazz just celebrated their 30th Anniversary and are continuing to take their listeners on a ride ranging from the music of the Hot Club sounds of Paris to the deepest blues of the Memphis Delta to the folk scenes across “every town” America into their 4th decade of existence. The Wail are sublime entertainers, great educators and they’ve mastered the art of lifting spirits.
Harmonious Wail is Sims Delaney-Potthoff, a mandolin virtuoso, bandleader, vocalist and master of all things behind the curtain, Maggie Delaney-Potthoff, vocalist extraordinaire whose percussive instrument of choice is a cardboard box, but who also has a knack for exploring the musicality of almost any household object, and Jeffo Weiss, master bassist who dazzles and mesmerizes on both upright and electric bass.
Every performance is played from the heart and infused with the perfect balance of ingredients that firmly proves that music truly does make the world a better place. Recognized as the “Dr. Feelgood” of Gypsy Jazz, Harmonious Wail has an knack for lifting the spirits of listeners of all ages. The Wail celebrates 10 recordings to date, the three most recent having been submitted for Grammy nomination consideration. Their upcoming project, currently in the works, finds them teamed up with a group of Gypsy Jazz all-stars.
Their gracious approach to music translates beautifully in any outreach program. They have honed their skills to provide excellent educational programs tailored to fit groups of varying skill and age. Popular topics have included; ”the instrumentation of Gypsy Jazz”, “how to succeed in the music biz”, and Maggie’s Method™ “If You Can Speak You Can Sing”.
Not only a touring band the ever-reaching Harmonious Wail has enriched their lives working with National Public Radio. They are honored to be recognized as “favorite house band” for the program “Says You” where they’ve matched their wits with the panelists. Their songs have graced the program “All Things Considered” and they have gifted their composition “The Money Song” to NPR stations across the country for annual fundraising programs. Their songs, “People Stuff and “ I Like to Feel My Bones” both received International Songwriters Award, and four of their Gypsy Jazz compositions were cleverly woven into the film score of the internationally acclaimed independent film, ”I Really Hate My Job”.
True warriors for musicians worldwide, they are founding members of the highly respected International Folk Alliance, have created their own foundation, the Henry Mac Fund, supporting the arts in their hometown of Madison, Wisconsin and are recipients of the 2017 Musicnotes Outstanding Musical Career Achievement Award.
Exchanging musical ideas with other musicians around the world gave them the inspiration and enthusiasm it takes to create their own festival. In 2004 the Midwest Gypsy Swing Fest (MGSF) was born – a fund raising invitational showcase of the world’s finest gypsy jazz musicians. This Euro flavored festival has tripled in size since its inception. The workshops have also grown and the Wail is now regarded as “the stewards of Gypsy Jazz in the Midwest”. Fueled by the energy of the MGSF and in their efforts to spread joy, in 2014 Harmonious Wail was proud to launch the Midwest Gypsy Swing Fest on-the-road, which is designed to present an outstanding evening of Harmonious Wail with a Midwest Gypsy Swing Fest headliner to sold out music halls across the country.
Harmonious Wail endeavors with each and every show, performance and workshop to not only showcase their talent, but to also touch each audience member’s or participant’s heart and soul and have them walk away feeling lighter in spirit.
Chicken Wire Empire began as a 4 piece traditional bluegrass band. After years of honing their trad skills, and performing an Old & In The Way tribute show, CWE realized that there was more to bluegrass than the 1, 4, and 5. Now Chicken Wire Empire blends old with new, and after gathering a following in Milwaukee, WI, enjoy playing throughout the region with their new quintet. Ryan Ogburn on mandolin, Jordan Kroeger on upright bass, Ernest Brusubardis IV on fiddle, Greg Brundage on guitar, and Jon Peik on banjo will take you on a journey through space and time, or at least help you escape for a moment.
SONiA - Final U.S. Tour!
SONiA has played many venues in Madison over the years as an individual artist and with her band Disappear Fear, including several Mad Folk events plus house concerts and block parties. Disappear Fear has 17 Award winning CDs including first round Grammy entries for several albums.
SONiA is a world class composer and artist. She is the recipient of the Coin Of Honor from a joint coalition of United States military for her humanitarian efforts. She received the Spirit of Folk Music Award (2017) by Folk Alliance International.
SONiAs latest double CD, LIVE at MAXiMAL was in the first round running Grammy for Folk Album of the Year. She is a featured artist (Hamburg 2018) for the VOICE PROJECT to free the imprisoned Nudem Durak who is jailed in Turkey for singing in Kurdish. This is also one of many projects SONiA embraces to live into the possibility that- when you disappear fear what you have is love.
From the Opera House in Sydney to the bomb shelters in the Middle East to the Kerrville Folk Festival, SONiA has shared the stages and studios with many of her heroes including Bruce Springsteen (Light of Day Benefit concert for Parkinsons disease) Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Nickel Creek, Green Day, Emma Lou Harris, GEORGE, John Fullbright, Sheryl Crow, Jewel, Lucinda Williams, Joan Jett, and many more. She is endorsed by 7 international manufacturers including the SONiA Signature Model Santa Cruz Guitar, Shubb Capos, Fishman Transducers, Audix Microphones, John Pearse Strings,and DAdarrio.
Says Rounder Records, The honesty of her songs touches the hearts and minds of people from a wide spectrum of social and ethnic backgrounds who share a positive world vision. Please join us again in welcoming her back to Madison on December 29th at the Cabaret Room, our newest venue that we are trying out this season.
Her songs are a vivid celebration of the human spirit in all its infinite manifestationsher music has a singular sound that makes labeling and categorizing a waste of time. - Don Kening, Chicago Daily Herald
“'Gas Station Guru', the latest release of Ted Hefko And The Thousandaires, has a true New Orleans sound, but in a unique way interpreted. Hefko has completely given its own twist and translated it to the time of today. That is why you not only hear the specific rhythm & blues and jazz sound that the city has always exuberated, but also the sounds of country, folk, roots and even a bit of cajun.”
Ella-Milou Quist, Blues Music Magazine, August, 2018
“years spent in devout study and constant gigging have paid huge dividends, as Gas Station Guru reveals Hefko as adept in songcraft—from lyricism to arrangements to production quality—creating an album that’s fun, funky and fulfilling.”
Frank Etheridge, Offbeat Magazine July 2018
“Hefko has a knack for good songs, and he concocts a gumbo of sounds that draw from blues, R&B, jazz, and that swampy vibe that is NOLA.”
Jim Hynes, Elmore Magazine, April 2018
“a well done roots-y, rhythm & blues, New Orleans R&B-jazz slice of music. I’m so glad this band finally crossed my path.”
Greg “Bluesdog” Szalony Blues Blast Magazine July 2018
“Gas Station Guru is a superlative release from Ted Hefko and The Thousandaires, who manage to capture everything that’s wonderful about the music and the city of New Orleans in just over 40 minutes and nine songs.”
Graham Clarke, Blues Bytes, July 2018
“Ted Hefko And The Thousandaires bring the sweet-tea taste of the Big Easy to this collection, meant for all us rodeo bums and son of a guns to find the “Gas Station Guru” that lives deep down in all of us!”
Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society
Ted Hefko leads his own flavor of New Orleans jazz… with the easy stride of the Night Tripper himself
Bman’s Blues Report, May 2018
“Ted’s songs bounce around musically, skipping like a stone on Lake Pontchartrain, through rhythm and blues, early jazz and folk music. The ripples they make linger in the best way, and after a song or two you’ll swear that you are back in the Crescent City.”
Greg Victor, Parc Bench Live, April 2018
“Hefko’s rich music is a breath of fresh air.”
Richard Ludmerer, Making a Scene, March 2018
What reviewers are saying about
Ted Hefko and the Thousandaires' Distillations of the Blues
Here’s something different and interesting for you: Ted Hefko and his Thousandaires deliver a classy collection of material with a throwback feel that bathes you in the feel of the New Orleans on every cut.
Marty Gunther in Blues Blast Magazine June 2, 2016
"[Distillations of the Blues] delivers introspective lyricism with a cabaret swagger, capturing a range of emotion - the star attraction here is Hefko’s showcase of multi-instrument prowess."
Frank Etheridge in Offbeat September 29, 2015
"Destillations Of The Blues". The album was recorded in Brooklyn and New Orleans and immerses you in an atmosphere bluesy, jazzy swing and country twangs. The album is a series of songs that will not leave you unmoved, the perfect backdrop supervisor of the balmy summer evenings, which will follow.
Eric Schuurmans www.rootstime.be june 10th 2015
" A wonderfully wild ride, this is a distillation of what it is to make an underground record that somehow everyone finds out about. From the heart and the gut as well as the cerebellum, this is simply a gasser that'll keep you on board and wondering if you heard what you think you just heard."
Midwest Record, May 18. 2015
"Everything that came from those speakers sounded right on: sometimes we knew every single word, sometimes we found ourselves with an “I don’t know this, but I like it” feeling. Either way, by the end of the night we knew that we’d love to have these guys come down ... and do an On the Hill Session.
Interview at Kettle Pot Tracks, January 27, 2015
"... the real showcase is Ted Hefko’s voice. It’s got the heft and gravitas of someone like Dr John while staying approachable and good-natured."
Calvin Powers, *AmericanMusicShow.com* Feb. 25, 2015
"... recorded both in Brooklyn and New Orleans, is bluesin' up the retro swayback, take-your-shoes off, ever-so-swingin’ country Cash-like twang with the saxiest menage of vocals and guitar..."
–Dionne Charlet, *Where Y'At* Feb. 15, 2015
What reviewers are saying about
Ted Hefko and the Thousandaires' If I Walked On Water
“For us, this is one of the most beautiful CDs that we have reviewed so far this year and the disc will certainly have a prominent place in our private collection. ”
Fred Celis - Rootstime (Belgium)
"You don't really have to think about them, but the lyrics still evoke feelings and imagery that strike deep and true. A lot of people try hard to be profound, it seems to be effortless for Ted and the Thousandaires."
Issac Story's Music Reviews - July 19, 2013
"Add a bit of straight-ahead jazz touched with New Orleans, a bit of stripped down folk and Americana, top it with some of the cleverest lyrics you've heard in some time, and you've got If I Walked on Water, the new album from Ted Hefko and the Thousandaires. If you like witty lyrics sung with style, if you like tuneful melodies played with some down home flair, if you like simplicity that may not be quite as simple as it seems, you'll want to give a listen... "
- Jack Goodstein, *blogcritics.org* (Sep. 12, 2012)
"Follow that brooding Southern-fried piper dripping with sass and eloquence, and one song leads to another. There’s a little romance. Foot tapping quickly escalates to a slow dance with a sound match made somewhere between Dixieland and heaven."
- Dionne Charlet, *Where Y'at *(Dec 01, 2011)
"Hefko and his Thousandaires are such a bright light in the music world that no mater your taste or period of music - jazz, folk, country, Dixieland, R&B - you'll find a connection to this collection. "
- Grady Harp, *Amazon.Com* (Jul 12, 2012)
"If I Walked on Water is a Ben Sidran / Mose Allision affair trading in a good deal of jazz edge for post-beatnik Greenwich folk cool gliding between generations but always hanging a flourish of Dixie and New Orleans right around the corner. Put on some sandals and a pair of cheaters and then tuck them Marlboros inside yer t-shirt sleeve as you saunter bemused alongside sunrays, sidewalk, and Sweet Sally. "
- Mark S. Tucker, *acousticmusic.com* (Aug 14, 2012)
"A sonic breath of fresh air, entertaining and a nice slice of Americana roots music without every coming close to the self indulgent pitfalls more common today by most artists"
- Brent Black, *Critical Jazz* (Jul 27, 2012)
"If I Walked on Water makes a welcome break from the legions of hot jazz combos blasting their way through one upbeat number after another: it draws you in rather than hitting you over the head."
- delarue, *Lucid Culture* (Aug 16, 2012)
"If I Walked On Water - has songs about trains, buses and taking steps to get some where you want to be. - They will make you laugh, dance and think"
- Oscar Brooks, *The Examiner* (Jul 30, 2012)
"Ted Hefko writes New Orleans inspired jazz that appeals to the NYC crowd. That's a tall order but he and his band, the Thousandaires, know how to make music that sounds upbeat, sophisticated, and fun while staying true to the spirit of New Orleans. Think of him as an urban Dr. John. "
- Calvin Powers, *Taproot Radio* (Dec 12, 2011)
"I'm not big into jazz, but I easily fell under The Thousandaires influence and soon found myself tapping my foot and snapping my fingers to the infectious beat of this record."
- Andre Ziehli, *Americana Gazette* (Dec 01, 2011)
What reviewers are saying about
Ted Hefko and the Thousandaires' Egyptland
"Placing disparate but complementary musical sounds side by side with a wide range of storytelling, Ted Hefko & The Thousandaires convincingly turn out a fine tribute to the Crescent City in Egyptland. "
- Jeff Boyce, *Jupiter Index* (Feb 06, 0010)
"When New Orleans grabs hold of a musician’s soul, the ties run deep, and there are ties of the deepest kind in Egyptland -a trek down Bourbon Street where the sounds drifting over humid cobblestones lead you in and out of a musician’s very soul. -Thousandaires are one in a million."
- Dionne Charlet, *Where Y'at* (Dec 22, 2010)
"Egyptland blends Jazz, Southern Funk, Blues, Folk, Rock and Latin styles in almost effortless fashion."
- Wildy Haskell, *Wildy's World* (Sep 11, 2009)
"Ted Hefko makes an illustrious mix of Jazz, funk, folk and blues"
- Johan Shoenmakers, *altcountry forum (Netherlands)* (Oct 05, 2009)
" Ted Hefko and The Thousandaires bring you a jazz infused, sometimes bluesy, sometimes folksy, mellow musical mixture. Ted has proficiently captured his individual laid-back style."
- Andrew Lockwood, *allgigs.co.uk* (Nov 11, 2009)
Funk & Soul Happy Hour
The Tony Castañeda Latin Jazz Sextet has been honoring and keeping alive the latin jazz tradition for over 10 years, playing the music of what some call the Golden Age of Latin Jazz. (1940's-1960's) Constantly searching for the obscure gems of that era, the band felt a responsibility to present these treasures to a new audience with new vigor and life! The Afro-Cuban Jazz arrangements of that period are outrageously timeless and remain on a par with any jazz music coming out today.
Caravan Gypsy Swing Ensemble is a world traveling instrumental acoustic jazz group based in Madison, Wisconsin. They are primarily influenced by the legendary Roma Gypsy Jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt. The ensemble also pulls influences from American jazz, European Folk Music, traditional Latin, Parisian waltz, and other vintage-jazz sources. Expect a range of tunes from the “Hot Swing" repertoire, originals, and standards done in uniquely arranged styles.
Since its inception in 2003 Caravan has had substantial experience with live performance. They have performed in a broad range of settings including concert halls, festivals, and jazz clubs. They have also had a wide variety of live radio and television performance experiences!
Caravan has five releases on HotStringSwing Records and songs featured on other compilation CDs. The band regards their most recent release “The Waiting Game” to be their best work to date! Caravan's recordings have been prominently featured as a soundtrack in films, television shows, YouTube shorts, and advertisements.
Caravan Gypsy Swing Ensemble has become an experienced, seasoned group with a diverse repertoire, and a unique voice in the Gypsy Jazz genre. Although the music of Django Reinhardt is still at the core of the band they have learned to take Gypsy Jazz in a broad range of directions.
Brown Paper Tickets https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3918067
The Ben Ferris Octet is an 8-piece band based out of Madison WI, playing music from 1920-Now with the sound of a big band and the clarity of a trio.
Members: Ben Ferris, Bass, Nicholas Bartell, alto sax, Jon Hoel, tenor sax, Luke Busch, Bari Sax, Paul Dietrich, Trumpet, Darren Sterud, trombone, Paul Meunch, piano and Michael Koszewski, drums
John Statz has been writing love songs lately, specifically about the kinds of romantic love that burn. Namely, all of them. When we first enter a new relationship we are filled with burning desire. Sometimes we later take those same relationships for granted and seemingly burn right through them. At the end we might find ourselves literally burning old love notes, or bridges, which turns out to be an excellent time to listen to that fire in our bellies. Hit the road, see something new, spend time on ourselves.The Fire Sermon is more than a meditation on romance in the 21st century, it is an assertion gleaned from trial by fire.
One of the more prolific and hard-working young songwriters working in the Americana genre, John Statz has released seven studio albums, and performed all over North America (including Canada and Mexico) and Europe, all in just a shade over a decade. Throughout that time he’s been writing the kind of songs that float through your mind and stay nestled in your thoughts long after listening (American Songwriter) and it’s been said that his songwriting can stand beside the best and above the rest (No Depression). Along the way John has attracted the attention of the likes of Americana scene heroes Jeffrey Foucault and Bo Ramsey (Lucinda Williams, Greg Brown), who separately produced his last two records. This latest is produced by fellow Denver songwriter Megan Burtt, whose instincts and backing band help bring forth an entirely new sound from Statz. The title of The Fire Sermon was taken from the third section of T.S. Eliot’s poem, The Wasteland, the name of which was borrowed from a sermon given by Buddha, in which he denounced the fires of passion, hatred, and infatuation with which the senses burn, according to Eliot’s endnotes. At the very end of the Fire Sermon section Eliot simply repeats, “Burning burning burning burning.”
John Statz was given a guitar by his grandmother when he was 15, which turned out to be perfectly timed for a teenager who, after ten years of piano lessons, had lost interest in classical music and had taken to learning John Lennon and Elton John tunes, first trying out his singing voice and turning towards rock and roll. Spending the rest of his high school years in southern Wisconsin attempting to play and sing like Neil Young and Cat Stevens, it wasn’t until Statz was 19 and attending university in Oshkosh that he began writing songs. The spark lit after attending a show at the storied Cafe Carpe in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin featuring Jeffrey Foucault and Peter Mulvey, who quickly became heroes, and, much later on, fast friends and colleagues. The first record, Dusk Came Slow, was engineered by a friend enrolled in the university recording program, and what followed for John has been 11 years of touring everywhere from Bellingham to Budapest, Fairbanks to Mexico City, all the while becoming a stronger songwriter, and a more compelling performer.
Bird’s Eye is a Madison six-piece creating funky hip hop with live instrumentation. Building cred steadily since 2013, they now fill venues alongside other prime acts locally and on tour. Shows are characterized by the band’s ability to engage a crowd and surprise even devoted fans when inviting guests to share the stage impromptu.
The rhythm section—featuring Evan’s explorative bass, Frankie’s refined drumming, and Lauren adorning the mix with keys, vocals and sax—builds a groove-driven foundation for Ra Fury’s cutting lyricism, Joe’s wah-wah counterpoint on guitar, and Hannah’s soulful lead-singing. All six are uniquely valued because everyone has a part in each song that makes it so recognizable. Bird’s Eye plays at least monthly in the Madison area and has demos posted on Soundcloud and Youtube. Show your support!
Sad Daddy began as the meeting of three musical minds -- Brian Martin (guitar), Melissa Carper (bass), and Joe Sundell (banjo). The dynamic songwriting of the original three members carried the group's 2010 self-titled release and won them a loyal following in and around the great state of Arkansas. However, with Carper and Sundell residing in Austin, TX and Martin far away in Ozark country the group's opportunities for collaboration and performance were few and far between. Now with the original members all back in Arkansas as well as the addition of standout fidller Rebecca Patek, Sad Daddy is embarking on the next chapter of their musical journey. Their follow-up album, "Fresh Catch" was released in fall 2016 to massive critical acclaim and the band has been touring extensively throughout 2017. While Sad Daddy's musicianship and stagecraft are worthy of mention, the songwriting of Martin, Carper, and Sundell, remains the cornerstone of the group's allure and allows them to connect with a wide range of audiences.