Heart Society    $10
8:00 PM20:00

Heart Society $10


Love.  Equality.  Music.

Heart Society is the Mississippi-based wife-and-husband duo of Teneia Sanders-Eichelberger and Benjamin Eichelberger. Founded in Phoenix, AZ in 2014, the couple initially performed limited engagements while Benjamin pursued a full-time career as a pilot and flight instructor. Increasingly discouraged with a lack of fulfillment in their lives, the two realized they wanted to share their music and message of positivity with a much larger audience. In 2015, the duo completed a successful crowdfunding campaign to buy a 32-foot travel trailer (a.k.a. The Tiny Musical House), then took a huge leap of faith: Benjamin quit his job, the two sold most of their possessions, and together they set out in pursuit of their musical dreams.


Heart Society is more than a band; it's a movement. They celebrate the ties that bind humanity together, while prizing the beauty of individuality. Their groove-heavy blend of Folk/Soul Rock 'n Roll will make you want to get out of your seat and dance, and their inspiring journey and message of equality will stir your heart. The band’s debut EP Wake the Queens speaks clearly about female empowerment and unapologetic authenticity, and is an invitation for every listener to shed convention and become a powerful force for good in the world.

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The Comedy of Nick Hart   $5
8:00 PM20:00

The Comedy of Nick Hart $5



Nick Hart, fresh off his late night TV debut on CONAN, hosts his bday show, headlined by fellow Madison comedy alumni David Leon. Also performing are Allie Lindsay, Frandu, Jake Snell, Shawn Vazquez, and Antoine McNeail

Originally from upstate South Carolina, Nick Hart has been performing comedy all over the country at clubs, bowling alleys, wine bars, and casinos for the past eight years.
Nick was a quarter-finalist at the The Laughing Skull Comedy Festival in 2011, LaughFest 2014, Cape Fear Comedy Festival 2014, as well as the winner of the 2017 Madison's Funniest Comic Competition. He has shared the stage with the likes of Marc Maron, Bobcat Goldthwait, Kyle Kinane, and Dave Attell to name a few. He combines that southern storytelling tradition with a paranoid eye on society that both grandmas and anarchists alike find endearing and hilarious.

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Scott Mickelson   $10
8:00 PM20:00

Scott Mickelson $10

“It’s American folk-Rock with a post punk edge, rustic but scarred.” 

Through a career that spanned five full-length releases with his band Fat Opie, a struggle with a long-term illness and a career as a children’s book author and fine artist, Scott Mickelson has persevered. In 2015, Mickelson released his debut full-length Flickering which made the GrammyBallot in two categories, “Best Folk Album” and “Best Roots Music Performance”.

Mickelson appears in numerous publications both nationally and locally including NPR RadioJimmy Lloyd Show (NBC), Huffington PostCBS Morning ShowNo Depression, PasteGlide MagazinePopMattersTheBayBridged, Alternative Press Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle,SF Weekly, and with the Folk Alliance. He also gained national recognition after winning a band search contest sponsored by MTV/7-Up with a prize of $15,000 and a song in the feature film Along The Way.

In the nineties, Fat Opie was managed by the legendary manager Elliot Roberts/Lookout Management (Neil Young, Tom Petty). While under contract in LA he had the opportunity to work side by side with Grammy arranger Jimmy Haskell (Steely Dan, Chicago, Simon & Garfunkel). At age seventeen he signed his first record deal with DSM Productions in NYC while playing infamous clubs like CBGB's. His colorful earlier years in NY included playing with Dave Van Ronk and receiving career guidance from Sid Bernstein (Beatles promoter).

Born and raised in Massachusetts, Mickelson has lived in the Bay Area since the 80’s. In San Francisco, Mickelson can be seen performing at the top venues including The Fillmore and Great American Music Hall. When not on tour, Mickelson produces from his Marin studio.

Mickelson’s second full-length record A Wondrous Life will be released in May of 2018. Unlike Flickering which featured more than twenty of the best musicians in the Bay Area, A Wondrous Lifeis truly a solo effort. On it, he was not only the producer and engineer, but also performed nearly all the tracks except drums/horns. A Wondrous Life leans more towards an Alt-Rock sound and is his finest work to date.

Mickelson has opened for acts that include David Bromberg Quintet, Matt Nathanson, Larry Campbell and Terese Williams (Grammy producer), Jim Lauderdale (Grammy artist), Griffin House, Nick Lowe, Dr. John, Smashmouth, Jonathan Richman, Peter Case and Rob Hotchkiss (from Train, Grammy artist).

““I call it anthemic when a band or chorus hits all the notes just right and the sound becomes bigger than it should be and Mickelson hits it often enough on this album to make it worthy of the highest of recommendations.” 


If there were an instruction manual on how to survive the demands of the ever-changing music industry, Scott Mickelson could write it. Like a character in a John Steinbeck novel, whose work resonates with Mickelson, his experiences developed him as a person and are what create the story of his life as a musician. Being his own travel companion, Mickelson’s story follows him as he ventures down a long, dusty road, holding tightly to the bags he packed, and never letting go of them on each stop along the way. Mickelson moves from one harbor to another, each turning into a distant memory as his footprints trail behind him, a connection to each place he’s been.

It was 1982. The first promising stop on Mickelson’s journey started with a record deal in New York at age 17. His band was playing CBGB’s, Bitter End, and Kenny’s Castaways, a contract was signed, and two singles recorded. Then the contract was broken, yet a manager waited for them in Los Angeles. They played every high school and college in SoCal as well as infamous LA clubs like Madame Wong’s West and Gazarri’s. Their dues were paid. Then they signed two production deals, the second being recorded in Sunset Studios. Eventually, the band broke up. With a glimpse of the lonesome highway still ahead of him, he walked until he found something new: San Francisco.

It was the 90’s, and Mickelson’s band, Fat Opie, signed to Lookout Management (Neil Young, Tom Petty). They released their first CD and received the promise of being on Neil Young’s label and touring with him. Two records later, Fat Opie won a national talent search for MTV/7-Up. A live broadcast on MTV and $15,000.00 were supposedly theirs to be had. But the promise of touring with Neil Young - as well as the MTV broadcast - never came to be. Much like a bus changing its schedule without any notice, Mickelson and his band waited at the station for a ride that never came. With no ride home and pocketful of busted promises, Fat Opie called it quits. There he was again, alone on that road. Still gripping those bags, relying on his own two feet to move him forward down a path he could barely see anymore. This chapter in Mickelson’s career encompassed the rising action, the climax, and the downfall of his story all at once.

It was in 2003 that Mickelson was diagnosed with clinical depression, although he had suffered with it since childhood. Soon to be the father of a baby girl, his wife convinced him to go to art school. He remained traveling down the road as he walked towards another destination, a faint, approachable blinking light up ahead. He graduated, worked in Francis Ford Coppola’s art department, and got fired. He wrote and illustrated a children’s book called “Artichoke Boy” and signed a book deal before deciding to focus on fine art. Like any classic story, the main character meets someone who might provide a resolution to the downfall. Mickelson met this person at a one-man exhibition of his paintings. The gallery owner, a Fat Opie fan, asked the band to get back together to play at the opening.

It was 2010. After they played, Mickelson decided to put the paintbrushes down, pick his bags back up, and turn yet another page of the story of his life as a musician as he stepped back onto the uncharted path. Fat Opie recorded their record, Victoryville, received some great press, and Mickelson toured solo.

It was 2015, and with an all-new band, Mickelson released his debut full-length Flickering, which made the Grammy ballot in two categories, “Best Folk Album” and “Best Roots Music Performance”. He began producing regularly for other artists.

It’s now 2018. Every step, every success, every failure has led him to his magnum opus, the second full-length record A Wondrous Life. He explains, “My decision to do A Wonderous Life by myself rather than with a ton of other musicians wasn't based on ego, it was because I'd become so busy as a producer I had to squeeze my own work in whenever I could. A few hours here, late at night. It was out of necessity. I didn't realize at the time that it would enable me to explore a much broader range of skills that I hadn't yet tapped into or had not in many years.” Unlike Flickering which featured more than twenty of the best musicians in the Bay Area, A Wondrous Life is truly a solo effort. On it, he was not only the producer and engineer, but he performed nearly all the instrumentation on the tracks except drums/horns.

For Scott Mickelson, there is an ironic optimism in all of the roadblocks that have appeared before him. With each barricade he stopped, took a detour, and read the signs that ultimately got him back on track. That road still goes on for Mickelson. The book is not yet closed, and the dirt on his boots is a reminder of each step he has taken along the way, still clinging tightly to the same bags he packed.


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Oak Street Ramblers & Frogwater   $10
9:00 PM21:00

Oak Street Ramblers & Frogwater $10


Though their influences hail from much further south, the Oak Street Ramblers call home the East Side of Madison, WI. A bluegrass band in the tradition of Flatt and Scruggs, Jimmy Martin, and Hazel Dickens, the Oak Street Ramblers specialize in bluegrass stompers, classic country weepers, and originals that, lyrical content aside, wouldn’t sound out of place at a barn dance circa 1954.

Tight vocal harmonies figure prominently into the Oak Street Ramblers’ sound, and the group features no less than five singers ready to take the microphone at any given time.

The band is comprised of Ian Alderman on guitar and dobro, Willie Jones on mandolin, Jeff Kunkle on bass, Betty Stattelman-Scanlan on guitar, Mark Schlutt on banjo, and Tina Thompson on fiddle.

The Ramblers started playing out at the legendary Wonder’s Pub in 2004, and they currently have a monthly residency at the Harmony Bar and Grill. They have acquired a solid fan base, sold thousands of copies of their two albums, and have been voted a favorite Madison-area folk/bluegrass band on multiple occasions.

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Tony Castenda Latin Jazz Sextet  $10
9:00 PM21:00

Tony Castenda Latin Jazz Sextet $10


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. 

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Cash Box Kings   $10
9:00 PM21:00

Cash Box Kings $10


“One of the best blues bands in the land.” – Living Blues

“Virtuoso musicianship…rocking and irresistible.” –No Depression

“Gloriously retro with an inspiring eloquence and grace.” –Vintage Guitar

With deep feeling and top-shelf talent, houserocking blues masters The Cash Box Kings play tough, real deal classic Chicago blues with boundless energy. They also deliver raw, passionate Delta blues, jumping proto-rock ‘n’ roll, and steamrolling “bluesabilly,” their original mix of Chicago blues and Memphis rockabilly. As anyone who has ever been to one of the band’s raucous performances will testify, The Cash Box Kings know how to throw a party. They’re fueled by the powerhouse harmonica work of Madison, Wisconsin-based songwriter Joe Nosek and the huge, gritty vocals of Chicago bluesman Oscar Wilson. Their original songs range from humorous stories of Internet love to harrowing tales of Chicago’s violent gun epidemic. Every song they perform—be it a striking original or a scorching Chess, Sun or Vee-Jay cover—explodes with contemporary authority and radiates old-school authenticity. According to Grammy Award-winning blues legend Charlie Musselwhite, “The Cash Box Kings play with real taste and feel. Not only is it good blues but it’s a jumping good time, too! I ain’t lyin’!”

Joe Nosek founded The Cash Box Kings in Madison, Wisconsin in 2001 and, since 2007, has co-led the band with the charismatic, larger-than-life vocalist Oscar Wilson. Over 20 years apart in age and coming from vastly different backgrounds, the two form an unlikely pair, combining Wilson’s indisputably authentic inner city Chicago blues vocals with Nosek’s harmonica, songwriting and singing talents. The music they create is brilliantly displayed on The Cash Box Kings’ Alligator Records debut, Royal Mint. According to Wilson, “The Cash Box Kings is a throwback to the golden age of blues with some kickin’ fresh young blood. Joe is my best friend in the music world—the band is a marriage made in heaven for both of us.” “Oscar is godfather to my oldest son,” says Nosek. “We have each other’s backs. We’re family.”

Royal Mint features 13 hard-hitting songs, including six impressive originals. From the wry, politically-charged Build That Wall to the chilling Blues For Chi-Raq to the funny and too true If You Got A Jealous Woman Facebook Ain’t Your Friend to the timeless versions of songs by Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Junior Wells, Clifton Chenier, Amos Milburn and Jimmy Reed, Royal Mint shuffles, jumps and gets down and dirty, fueled by the band’s unmatched musicianship. According Nosek, “Royal Mint is our strongest album. The band is at its absolute best.”

Nosek refers to the group of top-notch traditional players who comprise The Cash Box Kings as “a blues collective.” Live and on record, members of the “collective” appear in different combinations for different performances, creating an anything-can-happen experience. In addition to co-leaders Nosek and Wilson, the full ensemble includes world-class guitarists Joel Paterson and Billy Flynn, drummers Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith and Mark Haines, bassist Brad Ber with newest member Lee Kanehira (replacing their longtime pianist, the late Barrelhouse Chuck) rounding out the band.

In their first six years, The Cash Box Kings won a large and loyal audience across the Midwest. Wilson joined the band in 2007, bringing with him an instantly commanding stage presence and an authoritative vocal style that gives fire-breathing power to the music. A self-taught musician and singer with an encyclopedic knowledge of almost every blues song known to man, Wilson—standing 6’1” and weighing over 300 pounds—is a natural-born entertainer and a perfect foil for Nosek and the band. Born in 1953 on Chicago’s 43rd Street (aka Muddy Waters Drive), Wilson grew up in the company of many famous blues artists. Junior Wells, Elmore James, Big Smokey Smothers and close family friend David “Honeyboy” Edwards were all regulars at weekly Friday night fish fries/jam sessions at the Wilson home. Throughout his adulthood, Wilson held regular jobs but was always welcome sitting in with Chicago blues mainstays Melvin Taylor and Johnny B. Moore. His vocal inspirations range from Muddy Waters, B.B. King and Albert King to Jimmy Reed, Jimmy Rogers and Little Walter but he mostly sings like Oscar Wilson. Award-winning harmonica giant and vocalist Rick Estrin (leader of Rick Estrin & The Nightcats) says, “That guy can really sing.” 

A self-described blues fanatic, Nosek, born in Wisconsin in 1974 and raised in Chicago, spent his youth soaking up as much blues music as he could hear, both live and on record. In his teens, he began sneaking into blues clubs to watch Junior Wells, James Cotton, Otis Rush, Jimmy Rogers, Sunnyland Slim and others. Nosek recalls, “Seeing those guys work made a huge impression on me and propelled me into wanting to learn how to play the blues.” He took up harmonica, quickly cultivating his own aggressive, fluid style.

After moving to Madison in the early 1990s, he began sitting in with artists such as Clyde Stubblefield and Luther Allison. Finding like-minded musicians hell-bent on playing raw, rough-edged, hard-charging blues, Nosek formed The Cash Box Kings. They released their first album, Live! At The King Club, in 2003, instantly earning praise from critics and fans, and gaining a reputation as one of the hottest live bands on the circuit.

The Cash Box Kings have earned devoted fans in both Chicago and Madison, the two cities where band members live. They regularly headline Chicago venues like Buddy Guy’s Legends and Rosa’s Lounge, and have played major festivals across the U.S. and Europe. They’ve blown away audiences at the Chicago Blues Festival, the Tampa Bay Blues Festival, the Doheny Blues Festival, the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, the Cincinnati Blues Festival, the Cambridge Folk Festival (UK), the Moulin Blues Festival (Netherlands), the Lucerne Blues Festival (Switzerland), the Baltic Blues Festival (Germany) and the Edmonton Blues Festival (Canada). They have also performed in Belgium, France, Spain and Uruguay.

With eight previous releases to their credit and hundreds of live performances under their belts, The Cash Box Kings have won widespread acclaim throughout the blues world. Their 2013 release Black Toppin’ won the 2013 Blues Blast Music Award for Traditional Blues Album of the Year. It was also nominated for a 2014 Blues Music Award in the same category. Their last release, Holding Court, was nominated for two 2016 Blues Music Awards (Best Traditional Album and Album of the Year) and the band was also nominated for the Band of the Year Award. They’ve been featured on NPR Music as well as in the pages of No Depression, The Chicago Tribune, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Living Blues, Vintage Guitar, Blues Blast and many other publications. Living Blues said, ”This accomplished band of musicians captures the vibe of traditional blues and flawlessly spins it in innovative ways.”

According to Alligator president Bruce Iglauer, The Cash Box Kings are a natural addition to the label. “I love this band because they combine the classic Chicago blues style with contemporary lyrics, true blues vocals and terrific musicianship. Oscar Wilson’s voice is a soulful roar like Muddy Waters’ and Joe Nosek plays powerhouse harmonica in the James Cotton tradition. Billy Flynn and Joel Paterson are world-class blues guitarists. The whole band can deliver jumping party shuffles or down-in-the-alley gritty blues. Their fresh songs bring wry humor to subjects like current politics, the pitfalls of social networking and life on the tough streets of Chicago.”

Nosek agrees, saying, “We’re very happy about finding a new home with Bruce Iglauer and the good folks at Alligator Records. As blues musicians who grew up in Chicago, becoming a part of the Alligator roster is a great honor for us. It’s the label that has released some of our all-time favorite blues records.”

With blasting harmonica, soul-deep vocals, original songs and sizzling guitars, The Cash Box Kings boast an array of talent to satisfy blues lovers of every shape and size. On Royal Mint they make old blues new as they continue to create new blues classics, with, according to Elmore magazine, “just the right amount of juke joint grit.” Living Blues says The Cash Box Kings are “straight from the golden era of the blues,” boasting “an impressive line-up of A-list players. Joe Nosek feels Little Walter and Slim Harpo in the essence of his soul. Singer Oscar Wilson could be right out of [Chicago’s famed] Checkerboard Lounge in its glory days. The Cash Box Kings are a dancing and listening pleasure.”


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Shawn Maxwell Jazz Quintet  $10
9:00 PM21:00

Shawn Maxwell Jazz Quintet $10


★★★  -  Downbeat Magazine

“Bravo.” – Bobby Reed, Downbeat Magazine

2 time Editors Pick – Downbeat Magazine

“Nobody writes like this.” – Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune

“This is bold music. Maxwell isn’t afraid to try out new ideas and take chances….that risk-taking pays off—big time.”- Frank Alkyer‚ Downbeat Magazine

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Tribu Baharu   $10   Advanced tickets: Brown Paper Tickets
8:00 PM20:00

Tribu Baharu $10 Advanced tickets: Brown Paper Tickets

Brown Paper Tickers: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3502556


“There are very few guarantees in life. But one of them must — must! — be that as soon as you hear "Made in Tribu Baharú," you'll start moving. (I promise.)”

- NPR Music

Hailing from Bogotá, Colombia,  Tribu Baharú is an afro-champeta music crew whose sound has evolved from the Colombian Caribbean and is influenced by the "Pico" (sound system) culture of Barranquilla and Cartagena.

Champeta is a term that refers to a knife used by fishermen to remove fish scales and has been used to describe the music of Colombia's Atlantic Coast that have taken it's influences from Colombian folk music, Central African Soukous-Rhumba (congo), Soweto Township-Jive, and other Carribbean originated musics such as zouk, calipso, soca, compa and reggae.

Founded in 2009, Tribu Baharú has evolved to become - arguably - the most important Afro-Champeta ensemble on the current international scene.   

Amongst the list of prestigious events, theaters and festivals where Tribu has performed include:

globalFEST 2016 (Jury Selected Artist) - New York, NY

WOMEX 2014 (Jury Selected Artist) - Santiago de Compostela, Spain

John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts - Washington, DC - 2016

American Folk Festival - Bangor, ME - 2016

El Gran Festival Colombiano! - Chicago, Il 2015

PanAmerican Festival - Toronto, Ontario - 2015

Montreal Jazz Festival - Montreal, Quebec - 2015

Sunfest - London, Ontario - 2015

Festival Internacional Quimera 2016 - Mexico City, Mexico

Festival Centro - Bogota 2014

Clausura Festival MINEC - San Andres 2014

Gala de Premios Shock, Bogota 2013

Showcase Boom music market, Bogota 2013

Festival Colombia al Parque, Bogota 2012.

Festival Sonparei, Barranquilla 2012.

Showcase V Mercado Cultural del Caribe, Cartagena 2011.

Full performance link of Tribu Baharu concert at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC:

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Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley   $15 advance tickets, $20 door
8:00 PM20:00

Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley $15 advance tickets, $20 door


 Based on a mutual love of bluegrass, country, blues, western swing, and other string band music of all kinds, the partnership of dobro player Rob Ickes (who also plays superlative lap steel guitar in the duo on occasion) and acoustic/electric guitarist Trey Hensley continues to delight and astound audiences of traditional American music around the globe.  Since the duo decided to join forces and make their collaboration the focus of their touring and recording careers in 2015, after cutting their first album on Compass, Before The Sun Goes Down (nominated for a Grammy), they have continued to bring their music to venues near and far. They’ve performed in places as close to home as Nashville’s world famous Station Inn—a frequent and favorite showcase– and as far away as Denmark’s Tonder Festival as well as an impressive number of the most prestigious US  music festivals, including Rockygrass, ROMP, Wintergrass, Bluegrass Underground, and the Freshgrass Festival, just to name a few.  They have toured the European continent four times, as well as England, Ireland, and Australia.  Their second album on Compass, Country Blues, released in 2016, testified to the growing diversity and expansion of their collaborative talents and repertoire. The duo were key players on “Original,” the recent highly lauded Compass album by bluegrass giant Bobby Osborne; their participation garnered a Recorded Event Of The Year Award for Bobby’s version of “Got To Get A Message To You” on that album at this year’s IBMA Awards; they also were on the 2016 Recorded Event winner, ”Fireball,” featuring  Special Consensus, in 2016.  Upcoming news includes Rob and Trey sharing a number of concert bills, beginning in the fall of 2017 with the great and influential mandolin master David Grisman and Australia’s fleet finger picking guitarist Tommy Emmanuel, both enthusiastic admirers of the duo.


     Rob and Trey continue to leave their singular–and ever growing—footprint on the world of traditional music of America–be it bluegrass, traditional country, acoustic—and electric– blues, or jazz. Of their collaboration, Rob has said this: “It works in so many different ways…Trey and I have always clicked, and when he and I know what’s going on, everyone else just grabs on—and that’s kind of the fun of the gig; it’s constantly changing.”  Whether they’re appearing as a duo, with a bass, or with bass, drums, and fiddle, they never fail to kick up some musical dust.  The excitement at their gigs is palpable, it is contagious, and it is constant. Their sets tend to be a heady mix of the familiar and beloved and the new and unexpected.  Trey’s list of powerful original songs has grown quickly since the two started working together, and Rob invariably plays several sparkling instrumentals, both on dobro and lap steel, new and old..  He is also on record as saying that one of his great satisfactions as a dobro player is accompanying a great vocalist, something the partnership allows him every night.


     Rob, who grew up in California’s Bay Area, cut his teeth on traditional bluegrass, since several family members   played.  He fell in love with the dobro—or more precisely, the resophonic   guitar—almost immediately, after his brother Pat played a tape of the legendary Mike Auldridge for him. After moving to Nashville in the early ‘90s, he quickly became one of the instrument’s acknowledged masters.  He soon began touring with several top bluegrass acts, and also became a familiar face at recording studios in town. His fluid, lyrical, yet stinging style has graced the recordings and concerts  of bluegrass artists as diverse as Earl Scruggs, Alison Krauss, The Cox Family, Tony Rice, and more, plus such mainstream artists as Vince Gill, Alan Jackson, Toby Keith, Reba McEntire, and even erstwhile rocker David Lee Roth on his ‘bluegrass’ album. Additionally, Rob has won the Dobro Player of The Year Award from the IBMA an unprecedented FIFTEEN times. He was also a founding member of the critically acclaimed bluegrass ‘super group’ Blue Highway for twenty one years.  Fulfilling a lifelong dream of not only meeting but playing with his personal number one hero, Rob was a key member of the band who backed fellow Californian Merle Haggard on Merle’s 2007 album The Bluegrass Sessions.


     Trey shares Rob’s admiration for the legendary Hag and features several of his songs in his repertoire.  In fact, his rich, resonant baritone voice can sound at times uncannily like The Okie From Muskogee…but he is capable of far more than that. He also plays blues and rhythm and blues  on both acoustic and electric guitar, from the repertoires of artists as diverse as The Allman Brothers, Ray Charles, Charlie Daniels, and Stevie Ray Vaughn…and Rob and Trey’s rendition of The Grateful Dead’s Friend Of  The Devil needs to be heard live to be fully appreciated. Trey also shares Haggard’s well known love of western swing, and he sings it and plays it with authority; Rob loves playing it, too, often on lap steel guitar. Trey is also a talented writer; the band’s repertoire is dotted with his original compositions.  Both he and Rob have what is called in the trade ‘big ears,’ and this musical curiosity has enhanced their music immeasurably.


     Even more precocious than his musical partner, Trey grew up in eastern Tennessee, one of the cradles of traditional music. He doesn’t seem to have ever doubted what he was meant to do, and in fact, when he was eleven years old, he was brought onstage by Marty Stuart to play with Marty and Earl Scruggs—at the Grand Ole Opry. He was making music—and albums—with famous players before his voice changed. He has played onstage or opened for artists as diverse as Johnny Cash, Charlie Daniels, Steve Wariner, and Peter Frampton. It was his singing on what was meant to be a scratch vocal on a Blue Highway album that first brought him to the attention of Rob Ickes.  Ultimately, the vocal stayed on the album, Trey moved to Nashville, and in partnership with Rob, they began to make all manner of exciting music. Shortly after Trey appeared on the scene in Music City, bluegrass Hall Of Famer Roland White was heard to remark in wonderment, that he had a new favorite guitar player in Nashville—and Roland knows a few things about guitar players. Needless to say, Roland is not the only fan Trey has made in Nashville. In many ways, this musical partnership is the ideal vehicle for both partners.  Their excitement at playing together continues unabated; as their enthusiasm charges the creativity of their collaboration on a nightly basis.  It is the audience who stands to be the big winner.

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Fareed Haque & His Funk Brothers   $12
8:00 PM20:00

Fareed Haque & His Funk Brothers $12



"Best World Guitarist." – Guitar Player Magazine 2009 Readers' Choice Awards

"Classical and jazz, East and West, the future and the past, the brain and the booty all come together in glorious harmony via his fleet fingers and freewheeling spirit." – Guitar Player Magazine

"A finely honed classical technique and a deep well of experience in pop music makes Haque a singular figure in music." – Chicago Tribune

"A jazz-fusion and classical player known for stunning guitarmanship." – Vintage Guitar Magazine

"This show was incredible. The variation in sound over the course of the show was staggering." – Chicago Jam Scene

"The dust started stirring early on Saturday, May 26th as Summer Camp 2012 was moving forward at full speed. We first made our way down to the Jagermeister Starshine Stage for Fareed Haque's MathGames!. If you are not yet familiar with this band, than you are missing out on an innovative and impressive musical adventure. Fareed's guitar leads the group of tremendously skilled musicians who mix musical styles from funky jazz to electronica, which must be why MathGames! is known for "Taking you to space while time traveling dimensions." Thier sound is beautifully unique and it will will without a doubt mess with your brain while making you wiggle at the same time." – Ashley Downing, The Roving Festival Writer

 "Across the park, Fareed Haque & MathGames practiced their trigonometry and algebra with the folks of the Starshine Stage. Greg Fundis' work on the drum kit was pretty much unsurpassed by another drummer the whole weekend while Fareed's renowned talent paved a path of stellar exploration." – Mike Kaiz, Summer Camp Music Festival 2012 Review, Jambands.com

"Stemming from Haque's compositions based upon out-of-the-box ideas like the fibonacci sequence, MathGames!'s primary jam-vehicle is funky jazz-fusion that grooves to the highest degree." – Greg Molitor, Music Marauders

"Fareed Haque – man, he just kicked my ass. He's got this band Garaj Mahal, and I was kind of familiar with him and I got a chance to play with him at the High Sierra Festival. Man, he's my new hero. I'm going to Chicago in a couple of weeks and I'm gonna call ahead so I can sit down and get a couple of lessons." – Karl Denson, Blue Note Recording Artist

 "...a showcase for the jaw-dropping talents of the four bandmembers, Mondo Garaj provides a snapshot of how these four gifted individuals — each of whom could be a band leader in his own right — combine into a fine-tuned unit." – Hal Horowitz, All Music Guide Dec 2003 

"3 ½ stars – This perfectly good American jam band with jazz smarts takes things to the next exciting level when looking to the land south of the Himalayas about half the time on their first studio album. Fareed Haque, of Pakistani blood roots, lets loose with his considerable imagination as guitarist and composer – "Beware My Ethnic Heart" rekindles the Mahavishnu inner mounting flame and three more of his songs reach the ears in a terrific surge of well-played sitar guitar, bass (Kai Eckhardt), drums (Alan Hertz) and keyboards (Eric Levy). The band is worthy of the touching of the guru's feet." – Garaj Mahal Mondo Garaj Review in Downbeat Magazine, 19 April, 2004

"Garaj Mahal have a toe in the 'jam' pool (largely evident in Alan Hertz' 4-on-the-floor drumming, the Medeski, Martin & Wood-via Jimmy Smith organ parts, and the occasional drone-based piece) but these guys can all play their butts off, they have an excellent grasp of songwriting dynamics, and they also know when to stop soloing...A fine long-player overall, lots of surprises..." – Ken Egbert, Jazznow magazine, Feb 2004

"...the freewheeling fusion of jazz-rock explosion Garaj Mahal.... soulful drummer Alan Hertz and funky, street-smart keyboardist Eric Levy....bespectacled virtuoso Fareed Haque, and worldly bass extraordinaire Kai Eckhardt [is a] gorgeous, exploratory, mind-frying, bass-flogging booty shaker....Mike Matray, Down Beat Magazine, July 2002 ... Garaj Mahal is a loose, rocking beast of a band... Labels and preconceived constrictions don't matter because "now its just music". – Michael Deeds, The Washington Post, April 16, 2003

"This jazz outfit takes the best of the old-school and new-school formats and creates a genre that busts out, fusing traditional grooves with modern rock riffs... Garaj Mahal is leading the pack." – Wendy Kale, Colorado Daily, November 2002

"...this quartet gives new meaning to the concept of a group being bigger than the sum of its disparate parts... Garaj Mahal has the X-factor that wows audiences. They achieve this through a combination of powerful chops laden instrumentation, collective groove and improvisational chance taking. Garaj Mahal's rhythm section is as dynamic and entertaining as the best in the business, and the band's melodic voices go way outside the box. Jam band fans and anyone else with an interest in seeking out a "thinking musicians band" will be more than delighted with a night spent boogieing to Garaj Mahal." – Ted Silverman, Jambase, 04-06-01

"Modern jazz has never sounded so good. The four members that make up jam band sensation Garaj Mahal have the combined performance experience and technical knowledge of an army of musicians, not to mention a natural talent for improvising great grooves... Garaj Mahal is like a recipe for a really tasty, unique dish." – Anne-Marie Campbell, Whistler This Week, 11-28-02

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The Claudettes
8:00 PM20:00

The Claudettes



LOUDER THAN WAR (Manchester, UK)   A magnificent melange of masterful musicianship and multifarious melodies…as infectious as it is eclectic…start with some Delta blues, add a bit of old-time jazz/swing, sprinkle on some rockabilly guitar here and there and add a smattering of punk attitude….The music is joyous, a celebratory fusion of the best of the different styles that make up the melting pot that is “Dance Scandal at the Gymnasium!”

FRANK GUTCH JR, NO DEPRESSION           Holy Mackerel…I hear so many levels of what I consider amazing creativity…The Claudettes give me that same rush I get every time I hear Gruppo Sportivo…this album will end up on a very special list at the end of the year…I hear touches of Jerry Lee Lewis at his most manic…of cinema…of multiple genres wrapping around one another…These guys are the B-movies of the music world—maybe not understood now, but in the future, the kings and queens of the universe!

FRED MILLS, BLURT                                            The quartet…musters more per-capita energy across these dozen tunes than most any garage combo you’d care to mention…epic in feel…cinematic…a kind of cross between Dr. John-styled N’awlins rock and Krautrock-laced psychedelic punk….a musical magician’s act, primarily based around hi-nrg blues-jazz compositions for piano, bass, drums, and vocals, and a helluva lot of fun.

BLUES MAGAZINE (The Netherlands):            Soul, rhythm & blues and heavily fuzzy, sometimes psychedelic, sound walls. Garagesoul!….The Claudettes have succeeded in mixing this catchy ’60s pop and soul sounds with their quirky bluespunk sound!

SOUL AND JAZZ AND FUNK (UK)                  The intriguing new album from off-the-wall Chicago band the Claudettes….The foursome steadfastly refuses to categorize their music…though you might detect vaudeville, punk, blues and ’60s soul influences…interesting attempts to marry the classic girl-group sound of the Brill Building Era with Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound.

BILL BENTLEY’S BANDSTAND, THE MORTON REPORT             They’ve got firepower to spare, a bushel of original songs…that can be detonated at will, and in lead singer Berit Ulseth someone that sounds like they’ve been waiting their whole life to front this band. There is simply no way to lose…a place not often visited these days by rock & rollers….These are a dozen songs played for keeps…guaranteed to turn everything from a gymnasium for juveniles to a geriatrics ward into a hothouse of delirious delight. Wear it out.

GARY GRAFF, BILLBOARD                                The Claudettes begin a whole new era with Dance Scandal at The Gymnasium! The 12-song set showcases a different lineup of the band…but that’s only made the Claudettes’ distinct and idiosyncratic blend—punk, blues, R&B, rockabilly, some jazz—more potent.

JEFF ELBEL, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES              The band honors its disparate roots while crowding the palette even further on the new album….New Orleans stroll, roots, jazz, krautrock and rockabilly are swirled into the delightfully confounding mixture….Zach Verdoorn plays frequently feral bass and guitar. Berit Ulseth’s supple, jazz-schooled voice is a natural fit for the band….Iguana deploys his piano as a blunt-force instrument.”

CONCERTO MAGAZINE (Austria)                 Chicago piano blues-punk, spiced up with a pinch of jazz, psychedelic music and soul…quite an unusual listening experience…eccentric…Ulseth is an extraordinary singer…Blues, but of the extraordinary variety. (4 out of 5 stars)

SPILL MAGAZINE (Toronto):            The Claudettes are…putting out music that sounds unlike like anything out there now….Berit Ulseth is the siren singer of the group, with a voice that just lures you in….They have roots in the bluesy jazz groups of the past, the classic rock ‘n’ roll from the beginning, current folk influences, some country mixed in, and something special that is simply impossible to place….Their newest album really is a true masterpiece….It’s unlike anything I’ve heard before. 10/10.

NICK CRISTIANO, PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER     The title of the band’s album, Dance Scandal at the Gymnasium!, hints at the kind of kitschy fun percolating under this audaciously genre-defying set….From roots to pop to punk, the musical strains span decades as well as styles, making for a mash-up delivered with deft musicianship and flair.

RICK MASON, MINNEAPOLIS CITY PAGES             Trying to parse the sprawling, shapeshifting, intoxicating gloop that Chicago’s Claudettes concoct would be “Utterly Absurd.” That’s the title of a noisy, twisted stomp on the quartet’s new albumit sounds like psychobilly night at New Orleans’ Dew Drop Inn. Blues, punk, and vintage rock slip up top, swirling around the piano antics of blues/art-rock vet Johnny Iguana….Berit Ulseth’s jazz-schooled, country-edged vocals add another dozen intriguing dimensions—Minneapolis City Pages

SCENE POINT BLANK                                          The punk vibe stems from the energy that pours out of your speakers….A brilliant production from Mark Neill….What really lured me in is Berit Ulseth’s vocals…she is the real star of the album…I can only advise you to give the new Claudettes album a spin. I think I’ll leave it on repeat…8.0/10

DISCO CLUB (ITALY)                                           These Claudettes intrigued me…a cross between rock, diverted R&B and instrumental virtuosity…complex and fascinating melodies…also the vocal harmonies, almost like the Beach Boys, are formidable….If you want to do an experiment in a parallel world where pop is out of any pattern, try this Dance Scandal At The Gymnasium. I do not know if they make scandal, but good (and strange) music, surely.

MINNPOST (Minneapolis)                                          You could throw a lot of descriptors at the Claudettes, and they would all stick: Windy City blues, punk blues, jazz, roots, rockabilly, soul, juke joint….Johnny Iguana is a hardcore piano banger; vocalist Berit Ulseth has a clear, sweet voice with a spine of steel. The music is fierce and the lyrics are wicked. If you’re on the hunt for something you haven’t heard before, this Chicago-based band is probably it.

BILL KOPP, MUSOSCRIBE                                 They look like a jazz trio and vocalist; they sound not at all like that…I can’t think of another group that combines barrelhouse piano and female chanteuse vocals with heavily-effected electric guitar and slamming drums…draws as much from hard and psychedelic rock as it does from N’awlins piano boogie…you must listen to the Claudettes…I liked these guys when they started out, and I think I love them now.

THE SECOND DISC                                                 The Chicago group…introduces vocalist Berit Ulseth’s smoky stylings….blends crunchy riffs with rhythm and blues, sixties-style pop and soul, and plenty of attitude….The sound is raw and immediate….This Scandal boasts punk spirit, earworm melodies, and a neo-retro sound that’s loaded with appeal.

THE VINYL DISTRICT                                          The Claudettes have been tagged as punk-blues, but on this CD immediately connect as something other/more than growled-out Willie Mabon covers slathered in amp gristle. If steeped in tradition, the Claudettes aren’t a replication (or, as said, a mere dirtying up) of it, instead exuding comfort with contemporary motions (Mark Neill produced) as new vocalist Berit Ulseth shines, especially on “Pull Closer to Me” and “Death and Traffic.” Iguana’s skills are fully showcased on the title track. A-

TROY MICHAEL, INNOCENT WORDS         The first album for the Claudettes to feature their touring band…pays off handsomely….featuring raw and unencumbered musicianship…the 12-track album features the soul of the ’60s, psychobilly punk of the early ’80s and vaudevillian blues. Like an angel’s voice hovering over the music is one of the band’s multiple singers, Berit Ulseth. (She) has a booming voice, but is able to reel it into a soft sensual tone as she commands your attention….One of the most entertaining and unique albums of this year.

DETROIT METRO-TIMES                                  Psychobilly might be an unfamiliar term to some, but when describing Chicago cabaret rockers the Claudettes, it’s pretty damn accurate….The sultry, retro moodiness captured on the band’s latest record sums up what makes the Claudettes’ twisted ragtime vibe stand out from your typical revivalists….The Claudettes are well versed in whimsy, and throwing listeners for a loop.

GRANT BRITT, NO DEPRESSION                  A spacey mix of themes, styles, and genres…offering up a mash-up of Fess and Tuts Washington carnival barrelhouse boogie. But The Claudetttes never do anything straight up, so Iguana and his cohorts stir in a Middle Eastern vibe as well courtesy of the ghostly ululations of vocalist Ulseth….Whatever else he brings into the equation, Iguana can’t stay away from Fess too long, paying him instrumental homage on the title cut. But Ulseth takes this one out of the New Orleans streets and into a Middle Eastern casbah with her haunting moans.

IMPOSE MAGAZINE                                              Sets the stage for a prom full of suspense, mystery & strangeness….The old-timey meets the modern scandal showcase of ‘Naked on the Internet’…before shutting down the entire time-warping dance party with “Utterly Absurd.” The new Claudettes record is one worthy of repeated listens to enjoy a variety of different facets from what is ultimately a complex piece of performance concept pop.

BLUESBUNNY (Glasgow, Scotland)                        Manic barrelhouse mania…a search and destroy mission….’Pull Closer to Me,’ with the intoxicating voice of Berit Ulseth out front, soon becomes the song that will steal your heart…An album with hipster appeal but, for those of us with a heart, it is what resides beneath the fast-flowing waves of musical energy that will make our day. That, in case you haven’t guessed it already, is soul.

EMERGING INDIE BANDS (UK)                     Welcoming and warm dirty blues that grinds its way through the speakers filling the room with music that invites the listener to tarry in its company, like an invitation to share a drink in a ramshackle bar offered to a stranger in town—and long before the first song has run its course the audience feels The Claudettes are long-time travelling companions.

GIRL UNDERGROUND MUSIC                         With elements of blues, soul, punk, and flat out noise, the quartet have something truly unique that you have to hear to understand—even if it only succeeds to confuse you more.

THE ALTERNATE ROOT:                                   Psychobilly, ’60s rock ’n’ soul and vaudeville blues blare from the bandstand…frenetic piano…big-band-era harmony…amphetamine drive…whirling ’60s girl-group pop…cyclonic rhythms…jackhammer groove…as the Claudettes theatre-whisper the news for Dance Scandal at the Gymnasium!

THE GINGER QUIFF (UK)                                  “There were moments in Twin Peaks (when) I sat and wondered what the hell I had just seen. I had similar experiences listening to the Claudettes—what on earth did I just hear?…A joy to behold….From first song to last, the whole album is masterful….If you aren’t shattered with a huge grin on your face after listening to this album, you haven’t been listening hard enough.

KNOXVILLE NEWS-SENTINEL        The Claudettes clobber convention with ‘Scandal’….a complex amalgamation of blues, jazz and organic rock with an adult lyrical bent and stunningly melodious vocals by primary singer Berit Ulseth….As engaging as the vivacious and often romping instrumentation is, Ulseth’s commanding vocals, steadfast and dulcet, flood the songs with humanity….Bands like The Claudettes make it easier to cope with a crazy world. (4 out of 5 stars)

MINNEAPOLIS STAR-TRIBUNE      Another alluringly idiosyncratic mélange of blues, jazz, pop, rockabilly, punk and soul with a sometimes noirish vibe (“Don’t Stay with Me,” “November”) and a sometimes kinetic kick (“Influential Farmers,” “Taco Night Material”)—or both (the title track). Berit Ulseth has the right blend of mysteriousness and sweetness for this material, which is skillfully spiked by veteran Johnny Iguana’s versatile and enthusiastic keyboards.

JP’S MUSIC BLOG                                                    You are instantly drawn in by the sweet, soulful vocals of Berit Ulseth. They incorporate a ’60s R&B vibe in the groove of “Give It All Up For Good” and the nostalgic jazzy vibe of “Naked On The Internet.” The band shines beautifully on the sensual ballad “Pull Closer To Me.

KEYBOARD MAGAZINE:                                    Blues with the ferocity of punk….The piano takes center stage in the band’s music and songwriting, as it does on their new song “Don’t Stay with Me,” our featured track this week.

TOM HAUGEN, DAILY VAULT                         An unlikely meshing of blues, rockabilly, jazz and ’60s pop, all with traces of burlesque and vaudeville spirit….The new tunes are highlighted by Ulseth’s seductive pipes….’Dance Scandal at the Gymnasium’ is both reserved and ignited, sophisticated and reckless, and it contains some of the best elements of every notable genre of music since the ’60s….There aren’t too many albums that can remind you of both the Cramps and Patsy Cline. A-.

COLORADO SPRINGS INDEPENDENT        Chicago’s eclectic blues weirdos the Claudettes rely on Berit Ulseth’s soaring vocals to infuse their music with punk and rockabilly elements. For this new album, the band relied on Black Keys engineer Mark Neill to combine a Phil Spector-style wall of sound with the cheesy ambience of your high school hallways. The results, while initially puzzling, yield a dozen pesky earworm tracks.

AXS                                                                                 Audiences looking for an album that will grab them by the ear and not let go will want to check out this record.

BEEHIVE CANDY                                                    The band have a delightfully unique musical sound…the musical hooks are everywhere. Not being certain of what each piece might bring adds to the excitement. This really is an album worth some time digging into.

THE AUTUMN ROSES                                          Dizzying rhythms dance as elegant, vintage melodies cloak its dramas in cool. Then a quiet, warm romance glows with an enchanting warmth. “Don’t Stay with Me” and “Pull Closer to Me” are both polished, independently minded jewels.

INDIE VOICE BLOG                                                Chicago has long been on the cutting edge of the blues, and the Claudettes are one of the finest bands we have ever heard that originated in the Windy City. The smoky hot vocals of Berit Ulseth and the scorching piano of Johnny Iguana ignite to set their music on fire…its sound will remain with you long after….The Claudettes must be a dynamic live band, because that performance energy comes through on every track. Run, don’t walk to your nearest retailer and get this one today.

INDIE BAND GURU                                                Packed full of soul and spice….We are swooped into a dream world full of romantic vibes….The Claudettes is a band not found often in our time. It mixes the old and the new and spins what is a beloved genre and morphs it into a hailstorm of vocals and instruments in the best way.

BUZZ MAGAZINE (Champaign, IL)            Brimming with soul and funk…a fun and exciting listening experience….Ulseth’s voice sounds like an old friend’s, and that helps to create a deeper understanding….(They show) off their musical prowess while creating a well-rounded album that is a delight.

THE ALTERNATE ROOT                                    The piano of Johnny Iguana sets the pace, the rhythm, and guides the Claudettes into the promise of “Give It All Up for Good” on a brutal beat.

MICHAEL DOHERTY’S MUSIC LOG               I wasn’t prepared for the wild ride this disc took me on…the music feels outside of time…This band really has its own sound, its own perspective, its own vibe. And it has something to say.

RECORD DEPT. MUSIC REVIEWS                  Combines musical styles for a retro vibe with modern tongue-in-cheek humor….Both the Claudettes and their genre-blending Dance Scandal at the Gymnasium album are fascinating and ever-evolving.

 RAGE MONTHLY                                                                    An intelligent mix of songs that speak to today and never stop pushing the boundaries of their musical expression.

GARY GRAFF, OAKLAND (MI) DAILY TRIBUNE  An idiosyncratic blend—punk, blues, R&B, rockabilly, cabaret, some jazz—that’s both indescribable and undefinable.

DAGGER ZINE                                                                          I have to admit it took me a little while to wrap my head around this record….an enticing mix of soul, blues, folk, and punk…loose, occasionally loud and lascivious…”Don’t Stay With Me” features some rolling and rollicking piano while “November” is all late night lounge lizard swing.

 THE DELI MAGAZINE (Chicago)                The band blends blues, soul, punk, and more into a sound that is all their own. It’s somewhere on the venn diagram of Little Richard, Fiona Apple, and Nirvana.

FLOORSHIME ZIPPER BOOTS                        A rocking version of urban blues that is stylish and sultry. Frontwoman Berit Ulseth wows with vocals as smooth as a chocolate shake….The band colors its sound with some heavy rock and jazzy touches to create an album as strong as the Chicago winter. This is a must have.

DAILY HERALD (Chicago)                                            If you drew a Venn diagram illustrating the overlap between bawdy blues, rowdy rock and manic punk, you could very well find Chicago’s The Claudettes at that intersection. I can think of no better way to describe the soulful and engaging songs this band conjures up.

COOL CLEVELAND                                                The Claudettes mix up musical styles and eras with insouciant glee. Rockabilly, punk, classic soul, vintage burlesque house jazz and piano-driven jump blues all bubble up in their cauldron of sound.

PASADENA WEEKLY                                           They may be hell for agents to market, but the unpredictability of eclectic bands like this is refreshing….(they) imaginatively stir blues, New Orleans jazz, grungy rock and pop, shifting time signatures with abandon.

REXBASS.COM                                                         The Claudettes are hard to pin down to any one genre….There is a definitely a blues influence, but there is also a heavy jazz theme, and to lesser degrees you will hear rock, boogie-woogie, punk, and god know what else. All of these elements add up to a wonderful slice of Americana….These guys can really play: Iguana has a killer dexterity and a righteous touch on the keys, Verdoorn is ultimately versatile and has wicked bass and guitar tones, and Torre is a frickin’ drumming machine. Damn.

ILLINOIS ENTERTAINER                                They pull out all the stops on their latest album….12 eclectic tunes run the gamut…piano-driven Chicago blues and improvisational soul/jazz with a heartfelt punk rock attitude, played with a quirky tin-pan alley, neo-vaudevillian swagger.…(Berit Ulseth is) endearing and seductive…immense musical chops…Iguana’s social commentary and character-based storytelling are equally impressive….The band covers a broad musical spectrum


PULL CLOSER TO ME: Live in the Piano Room review:

JEFF BURGER, THE MORTON REPORT     Three fine songs by the Claudettes’ Johnny Iguana…plus four covers that you’d never expect to find in one place: T.Rex’s ‘Cosmic Dancer’; Pink Floyd’s ‘Us and Them,’ combined, if you can believe it, with a whistled portion of Otis Redding’s ‘(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay’; Ruby and the Romantics’ 1963 hit, ‘Our Day Will Come’; and the Sundays’ ‘Here’s Where the Story Ends.’ Everything here is excellent but the latter two tracks, both featuring sublime vocalist Berit Ulseth, are particularly arresting.



GREG KOT, CHICAGO TRIBUNE   A revelatory blend of jazz and blues, stirred with punk brio. There are also dashes of classical and world music, and enough stops, starts and hairpin turns to suggest the giddiness of Raymond Scott’s cartoon music…How do they do it?

Johnny talks with Greg Kot in an extended Chicago Tribune interview

Greg also picks The Claudettes’ NO HOTEL as one of his top Chicago albums of 2015

MINNEAPOLIS STAR-TRIBUNE  A skewed cabaret band of jazz, blues and rockabilly…A sensibility that feels equal parts James Dean and David Lynch.

JEFF ELBEL, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES  Chicago’s premiere punk-blues piano band are back in high gear. Their fusion of sounds (ranges) from Otis Spann to the Minutemen and from Ray Charles to Raymond Scott…(and they) do wicked things to standards.

NEW CITY (CHICAGO)   Definitely one you should be spinning…there’s enough energy going on to power your average Third World airport…barreling, hyper-saloon piano banging…you have to hear it to believe it…Chicago’s own neo-vaudeville barnstormers!

ELMORE   An album that makes you feel like you’ve stepped into the past, yet it’s very much fresh and energizing. The Claudettes bring on the roots scene as you have never heard it before. Yana’s pop-soul voice is straight out of the ’60s and blends so well with the drumsticks, piano hammers and vintage swagger.

PHILADELPHIA WEEKLY   Heavyweight piano man Johnny Iguana, drummer Michael Caskey and singer-dancer Yana create a kicked-up mix of blues, jazz and soul you’ll remember long afterward.

NO DEPRESSION   The Claudettes attack the blues with the ferocity of punk rock on their sophomore album. NO HOTEL puts the rock ’n’ roll in the rhythm & blues…a 45-minute barn-burning party that you never want to end. Move over, Mose Allison, the Claudettes have arrived to give the blues a much needed kick in the ass.

BIG CITY BLUES MAGAZINE   An entirely reconfigured Claudettes with the very welcome addition of the captivating, nay sultry, vocalist/dancer Yana. The trio move deftly from the Roaring Twenties to the 1940s to the 1960s…soulful…jazzy…hypnotic…hot-rod drums…shades of Cecil Gant crossed with Otis Spann…Yana needs her own album, she’s that good.

TONY SARABIA, WBEZ (CHICAGO NPR) Call it “Brother Ray Meets the Ramones,” “Barrelhouse Thunder,” “Chopin Meets the Minutemen”…or maybe, just call it great music.

INNOCENT WORDS   Imagine a 1920s New York jazz supper club where Bessie Smith is owning the stage, and in the back there is another room where Ray Charles is playing 1960s soul, and off in the distance is a beautiful black lady singing French songs. That is the beauty of NO HOTEL by Claudettes. If Keith Moon had played the piano, he would have been Johnny Iguana…he is taking the piano to a whole new level…hot damn!

TIM QUINE, RUBBER CITY REVIEW (AKRON, OH)   Pianist Johnny Iguana is the real deal. Together (with Caskey) they make a powerful sound, steeped in the legendary blues duets of Otis Spann and S.P. Leary but also weaving in strains of cabaret, vaudeville and even punk rock.

THE HOLLER (NEWS OF THE COLORADO BLUES SCENE)   The blues turned inside out. Imagine Roosevelt Sykes mixed with David Bowie, only with soul. Polyrhythmic boogie-woogie piano from Iguana with freestyle drumming from Caskey. A dynamic, swinging approach to music. If you have a chance to see the Claudettes, do it.

The Claudettes selected as Bluesbreaker of the Week by Dan Aykroyd (a.k.a. Elwood Blues) on Bluesmobile!

The Claudettes featured on Sound Opinions, “The World’s Only Rock and Roll Talk Show”!

DOWNBEAT   Hits listeners upside the head with a mash-up of Otis Spann blues, Albert Ammons boogie-woogie, Ray Charles soul and “Fess” Longhair New Orleans R&B. Catch them in a chaotic ballroom!

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES   Fuses blues and punk, and all points between….The hectic boogaloo of “Deep Soul for High Society” pays rowdy homage to Ray Charles…prodigious skill, but not purism.

BG (BUDDY GUY’S BLUES AND MUSIC NEWS)   Uninhibited, wild, exciting…yet deep-rooted Chicago blues. A very powerful and impassioned album done as only true Chicago blues masters could do it. With this album, Johnny could easily inherit Big Moose Walker’s mantle as the piano wild man of Chicago blues. A pair like the Claudettes really shows the continued vitality and possibilities of Chicago blues in the 21st century.

COLOSSAL POP   Beautiful and chaotic and wildly impressive all at once….If you would have told me three weeks ago that the most played album in my rotation would be a piano and drum instrumental album, I would have laughed….I’m all in. I love this album and the Claudettes may be my new favorite band!

BLUES MUSIC MAGAZINE   Like Keith Moon chasing a crazed, punked-up Little Richard… greasy rhythm and blues that makes the dance floor so slippery you need to sprinkle sawdust on the floor to keep from falling down…a great ride, one that’ll leave you shaking and laughing and wanting more the next time this rowdy carnival comes to town.

BLUES BLAST:  Their ambition and hard work have been rewarded with a fabulous album…unquestionably danceable and refreshingly unique…40 minutes of high-energy fun.

BLUES BYTES (SURPRISE PICK OF THE MONTH, NOVEMBER 2013)   One of the freshest discs that has crossed my ears in a long time…an amazing find…Iguana and Caskey play their instruments like men possessed.

AMERICAN BLUES SCENE   Johnny Iguana sounds like a saloon pianist from the Wild West brought to the future, his own vaudeville style modernized alongside Caskey’s sweet and delectable drumming, blending blues, jazz and a good time, creating an album unlike any other on the market.

EDEN BRENT (VIA FACEBOOK)   Has all the sophistication of 21st-century serious music with a helluva sense of humor….Most interesting piano album in my collection since Brubeck’s Take Five.

CAUGHT IN THE CAROUSEL   They come across like a ragtime White Stripes, tearing through the 13 numbers here with an undeniable musical velocity….Truly one of the most refreshing musical experiences of the year.

FOLK AND ACOUSTIC MUSIC EXCHANGE   Some of the most startling music you are going to hear…you are in for a wild ride. They seem like two madmen…but they are two madmen in beautiful tight rhythm.

BMAN’S BLUES REPORT   A nonstop piano riot….With Hound Dog Taylor Taylor intensity, the two men create a rockin’ frenzy….Iguana has a lot to say and says a lot without saying a word.

SEPIACHORD   Soon to be classic…a vintage vibe that should find ears with neo-hipsters, old-school cool cats and contemporary greasers alike.

POP MATTERS  Greasy keyboard-based barrelhouse blues with a side of heavy beat that evokes early Chicago R&B/rock…makes you jump and dance…a little scary, but that’s just part of the dangerous thrill.

CASCADE BLUES ASSOCIATION  Definitely nothing remotely blues-rock. There is a timeless feeling meshing the great pianists of the past with a modern flair that resembles nobody else.

THE ISTHMUS (MADISON, WI)  The Claudettes are your new favorite party band. The Chicago quartet is rooted in “Windy City piano blues,” but their sound also includes elements of rockabilly, punk, burlesque and vaudeville, resulting in a band you’d be likely to hear at the speakeasy version of CBGBs.

Photo by Jaka Vinsek

Website by Todd Zeldin

©2016 The Claudettes. All rights reserved.

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Caravan Gypsy Swing Ensemble   $10
8:00 PM20:00

Caravan Gypsy Swing Ensemble $10


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.

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Alex Mercado Trio   $10
6:00 PM18:00

Alex Mercado Trio $10


Alex Mercado - Piano, Bob DeBoo - Bass , Rodrigo Villanueva - Drums

Alex Mercado: A pianist with astounding technique and boundless imagination, Alex Mercado is acclaimed for his ability to write striking compositions and create vibrant sonic landscapes that have resonated with critics and audiences alike in his native Mexico and internationally. On his fourth album and latest release Paisajes (2017) after Refraction (2016) Symbiosis (2014) and 2012’s The Watcher, Mercado takes us on a journey through a vibrant musical world full of engaging melodies and the dynamic improvisations that typify the finest in contemporary modern jazz.

Alex Mercado, a Yamaha artist, has recorded and performed with Antonio Sánchez, Scott Colley, Bryan Lynch, Sachal Vasandani, Eric Alexander. Magos Herrera, Camila Meza, Luca Santaniello, Emanuele Cisi among other and has toured extensively in Europe, Asia, and his native Mexico. 

Bob DeBoo: Based in Saint Louis, Missouri, bassist Bob DeBoo has played for audiences all over the country for the last twenty years. He has worked with many notable jazz artists including Matt Wilson, Ronnie Burrage, Seamus Blake, Peter Martin, Montez Coleman, Terrance Blanchard, Marquis Hill, Byron Stripling, Tony Desare, Christopher McBride, Houston Person, and many more. He is also active in jazz education as a teaching artist with JazzSTL's 'JazzU' program, and Peter Martin's 'Open Studio Network.'

Rodrigo Villanueva: Drummer, composer, producer, and director; Rodrigo Villanueva holds a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Jazz Studies from the University of North Texas. He has played and recorded with many jazz, classical and pop artists from Mexico, Peru, Brazil, Korea, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia and the U.S. Among them are Stefan Karlsson, Lynn Seaton, Eddie Gomez, Fareed Haque, Ed Saindon, Ben Sidran, Liam Teague, Rodolfo SanchezLee Tomboulian, Hiro Morozumi, Jangeun Bae, Carlos Guedes, Takayoshi Yoshioka, Jon Anderson, Carlos Prieto, Roberto Limón, Sandra Kaye, Carla White, Tony Monaco, Reggie Thomas, Craig Butterfield, Anders Svanoe and Latin Pop singers: Lucero, Shaila Durcal and Alejandro Fernandez. Rodrigo is currently a full professor of jazz studies at Northern Illinois University where he teaches jazz drumset, jazz arranging and directs the NIU Jazz Ensemble. Rodrigo performs regularly with his jazz trio and quartet, the Eddie Gomez Trio, the NIU Jazz Faculty Group Nucleus, Liam Teague’s Panoramic, Alex Mercado and Anders Svanoe. 

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Joyann Parker Band   $10
8:00 PM20:00

Joyann Parker Band $10


"Hard To Love" is a  colorful musical tapestry woven by a consummate artist out of the warp and wool of jazz, soul and blues. Parker's passionate vocals deliver what might be one of the best albums of the year so far." (Henry L. Carrigan/Living Blues Magazine)

"Blasting forth defiantly ('You say you're gonna change/But I ain't staying to find out') with the throbbing 'Memphis,' the Minnesota blueswoman throws down a guantlet and sets a highbar of expectations that the rest of this 13-track album generally meets. It showcases her as a singing, songwriting (with guitarist Mark Lamoine), guitar-playing, self-producing, self-aware powerhouse, but the driving force is unquestionably her voice - a formidable instrument she wields with soul and taste. RIYL Shemekia Copeland and Janiva Magness." (Bliss/Pasadena Weekly)

“There’s some serious singing and musicianship afoot here...she's got the pipes and comes across honestly and passionately...on firmly planted ground singing the smoldering, slow-burning Stax-like ballads.” - Jim Hynes/Elmore Magazine 

"this woman has found the inner meaning of the word SOUL and she has made it her purpose to explore it thoroughly." (Bob Gottlieb/No Depression)

"the next great Twin Cities blues singer...Joyann Parker is the best Twin Cities blues singer you've never heard. Imagine a sober Janis Joplin. And that's a good thing. Imagine a taller Shemekia Copeland without the my-dad-was-a-blues-star pedigree. And that's a really good thing. There's pain in Parker's heart - and in just about every song she writes and sings. And, onstage, the grimace on her face, the clenched fists and the ache in her roar let listeners know that she knows hurt...Whatever she plays, Parker owns it." (Jon Bream/Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

“Parker's voice is mesmerizing...this album is one of the year's best.”  — Richard Ludmerer, Making A Scene 

"The immense, propulsive bass notes that open the album are the first hint that we are in for a treat with Hard To Love...Promising that, "By the time I get to Memphis, you'll be gone,' Parker (producer, guitar, piano and trumpet) wastes no time establishing her power as a vocalist and bandleader. Her blend of blues and roots includes plenty of Memphis-Muscle Shoals spirited soul, and with just a hint of country in her voice...Like the best soul-enriched blues, Hard To Love contains tales of trouble, misplaced devotion, and broken vows and shattered hearts. Some songs simmer with desire ('Jigsaw Heart' and 'Home') while other songs shade their passions behind a danceable beat that few this side of the late Sharon Jones can manage ('Dizzy' for example). Like the best of songwriters, Parker takes her experiences and threads them through those of others, creating relatable songs containing universal truths. And, you can dance to it! (Donald Teplyske/Fervor Coulee)

"some of the smokiest, smokingest green eyed soul you are going to encounter.  Killer stuff throughout."  - Chris Spector /Midwest Record

"Joyann Parker's voice is sensously soulful and it raises the temperature on a wide variety of blues styles here...The title track, 'Hard To Love,' is an emotion-packed torch song. It could have been a standard from the Great American Songbook....her sound is hot, hot, hot!" (Paul Freeman/Pop Culture Classics)

"we are dealing with a future big star here....the rawness of a female singer like Elkie Brooks and the soul of female vocalists like Joss Stone and Dusty Springfield...very soulful...impressive." (Peter Marinus/Blues Magazine NL)

"By opening full-throated and scorned, 'Memphis' immeidately disintegrates any illusion of demureness that Hard To Love's lace and lipstick cover might mistakenly relay. Joyann Parker is the fiery femme fatale...And besides tripling up on guitar and trumpet, the Minneapolis-based pianist writes darn-good tortured love songs." (Dennis Rozanski/Baltimore BluesRag)

"a powerful, sassy, soulful singer who also plays guitar, piano and trumpet and wrote all 13 of the songs on Hard To Love...Ms. Parker really shines...Her voice just plain soars." (Bill Mitchell/BluesBytes)

“If you want music with a whole lot of soul and passion, music that can move your heart one moment, then move your feet the next, check out the new release from Joyann Parker, Hard To Love.”  — Michael Doherty 

“Fans, they don’t write just any blues songs–this duo creates soulful, passionate trips into the listener’s heart, just the way they wrote ’em back in the days of Sam, Dave, Aretha, Dan, and Spooner.”  — Don Crow, Nashville Blues Society

"The new Queen of the Blues! A global star is born and she shines on the horizon." - Rootstime.be

"Joyann Parker's voice is a revelation, what an instrument she processes. It is sublime, passionate, sensual, guttural, powerful, breathtaking, mesmerizing." - Peter Merrett, PBS 106.7

"Joyann Parker... has a stage presence you cannot resist. Parker will pull tears out of you no matter how hard you fight it, make you smile and love the one you’re with. Resistance is futile with this big, solid band." - Wausau City Pages

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Paul Cebar Tomorrow Sound  $15 - Brown Paper Tickets
8:00 PM20:00

Paul Cebar Tomorrow Sound $15 - Brown Paper Tickets

Brown Paper Tickets https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3560726


Paul Cebar Tomorrow Sound bring forth a funky, lyrically charged racket that is explosive, yet intimate.

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, Paul Cebar is a masterful synthesist of rhythmic culture.  His time spent in his second home of New Orleans, as a musicologist in Florida, and as a journeyman wanderer in Cuba, is reflected in his musical worldview.  

At the core is gifted songwriting, and the company Paul keeps bears it out:  Bonnie Raitt, Nick Lowe, Chris Smither, John Hiatt and Cesar Rosas are among his friends and admirers. 

Tomorrow Sound are an elite crew.   Drummer Reggie Bordeaux, New Orleans native percussionist Mac Perkins, and bassist Mike Fredrickson, throw down some of the best dance grooves in the business.  Multi-instrumentalist Bob Jennings adds the luxury of implying a much larger ensemble with his multi-hued contributions on keys and reeds. 

Paul Cebar Tomorrow Sound's latest album, “Fine Rude Thing” is out now. The songs “Baby Shake” and “You Owe it to Me” feature Cebar's unique mixture of R&B, Caribbean and New Orleans style.

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Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys $12 Advanced ticket: Brown Paper Tickets
8:00 PM20:00

Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys $12 Advanced ticket: Brown Paper Tickets

Advance tickets: Brown Paper Tickets https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3499755


Over the last three decades, Big Sandy and his Fly-Rite Boys have kept up a constant cycle of traveling back and forth across the lower 48, then hopping across the pond to Europe and beyond. They bring with them a brand of American music that has earned them an induction into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame, several national television appearances, guest spots on The Grand Ole Opry, and a slew of adoring fans.

"I truly love being out on the road, and I feel blessed to have the opportunity to sing my songs all over the world," said Sandy. "But when I'm away from the U.S. for too long, it's like I need a recharge... like I need a solid dose of everything Americana. Give me a Chuck Berry song while rolling down the interstate, or a truck stop conversation with a waitress who once danced with Lefty Frizzell, and I'm good for another three thousand miles".

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Darren Sterud's New Orleans Jazz Tribute   $10
9:00 PM21:00

Darren Sterud's New Orleans Jazz Tribute $10

Trombonist Darren Sterud and his Band join us for an energetic musical tribute to New Orleans! Mardi Gras!!
The New Orleans Tribute returns to the cozy Jazz Estate for their Post Mardi Gras Throw Down! The band brings it quintet sound PLUS ONE! 

Featuring members from some of Wisconsin's most popular jazz groups the band brings its authentic New Orleans jazz sounds mixed with brass band, R&B, funk and dixieland.

Darren Sterud on Trombone: Mama Digdown's Brass Band
Jeff Maddern on Trumpet: Mama Digdown's Brass Band
Tony Barba on Sax: Barbacoa/Youngblood Brass Band
David Stoler on Piano: Tony Castaneda Latin Band
John Christensen: Lesser Lakes Trio, Anthony Deutsch Group
Jordan Cohen on Drums/Percussion: Mama Digdown's Brass Band, Chants

Seats will go fast. Call ahead for details and we look forward to seeing you there!
Mardi Gras $10 Cover

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Michelle Coltrane   $15  Advanced tickets: Brown Paper Tickets
8:00 PM20:00

Michelle Coltrane $15 Advanced tickets: Brown Paper Tickets

Brown Paper Tickets https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3499760


Michelle Coltrane, will be performing with 4 members of the Milwaukee Jazz Orchestra. 

Michelle Coltrane was born in Paris, France, and is the only daughter of Alice and John Coltrane. While living in Japan Michelle worked as a DJ. She performed and arranged background vocals for prominent artists. Eventually, finding work in voiceovers, Michelle was featured on two Chevrolet commercials. She was also hired to write a song for the theme park called “Color the Night” which was featured at Space World Amusement Park in Japan.

She has toured the US and France as a soloist and has performed with such artists as Kenny Kirkland, Jeff Watts, Ronnie Laws, Billy Childs, Jack DeJohnette, Marvin Smitty Smith, Reggie Workman, The Gap Band and with the McCoy Tyner Trio at the Montreux Jazz Festival. Her first CD, I THINK OF YOU, is a classic and contemporary jazz collaboration with musician and composer Scott Hiltzik. The recording was well received by Jazz Times and won a YES Award, presented by blues artist Barbara Morrison. Michelle was a featured performer at the 2013 Panama Jazz Festival, and recent appearances include shows at The John Ford Amphitheater in Los Angeles, The Miami Jazz Festival, Vibratos in Bel Air Ca., H. O. M. E. (House of Music & Entertainment) Beverly Hills, Ca., Bar 1912 in Beverly Hills, Ca., Yoshi’s Jazz Club, Oakland Ca. and Fort Bend Indiana Jazz Festival 2017.

Michelle honed her skills as an Emcee to many John Coltrane Scholarship events at the Wiltern Theatre and The House of Blues in Los Angeles. During the late 1990s, Michelle co-hosted a radio program on 90.7 FM for 5 years, “Straight No Chaser” with Maggie Le Pique, interviewing artists such as Charlie Haden, Alice Coltrane, Ravi Coltrane, Freddie Hubbard, Elvin Jones, Stanley Clarke and many others.

Michelle’s new band a collaboration with Shea Welsh guitarist and MD. Michelle and Shea have composed new material and are arranging new and classic standards to create the bands unique modern and retro sound. Musicians who I have had the pleasure of working with this past year are: Gerry Gibbs who produced 4 tracks on “Awakening” Lonnie Plaxico, Alex Collins, others include Abe Lagrimas, Mahesh Balsooriya, Edwin Livingston, Paul Mc Donald, Ramon Yslas, Ravi Coltrane, Ron Jerome Avant, Miguel Atwood Ferguson and Shea Welsh.

Some of the new musicians we have been working with are Ryan Cross, Tim Lefebvre, Cameron Graves, and Kamasi Washington.

I have released my second recording on the Blu Jazz Record Label. The album is entitled “Awakening”.

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Josh Harty with Margot   $10
7:00 PM19:00

Josh Harty with Margot $10

Iain Patience, Elmore Magazine, 2016

“Josh Harty is a mid-West, singer-songwriter with a keen eye, observant lyrics and a fine, driving guitar-style that pulses with feeling and fire. . .Harty’s fretwork is crisp, zingy and always compelling, catching you unawares almost with hints of traditional country in the mix; Chet seems to hang in the background balance at times, followed by ole Doc Watson before he twists the tail, snapping free with a trace of Knopfler at his best and a clear grip of the very fundamentals of good quality modern country music/ Americana.. . . “

Margot is a six-piece Americana rock band from Minneapolis. Lyrically their songs harken back to the socially conscious folk music of the 60s and 70s, while their sound is a rock-n-roll infused Americana that’s just as likely to burst into wild three-part harmony as it is to wind down to somber acoustic performances. 

Troublesongs, the band's debut, was released in June 2018. Sonically the record moves between straightforward rock-n-roll inspired Americana to string-heavy singer songwriter alt-country. 

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The Gentlemen's Anti Temperance League   $10
9:00 PM21:00

The Gentlemen's Anti Temperance League $10


The Gentlemen's Anti-Temperance League is a swing sextet from Minneapolis, Minnesota. The GATL came together in the winter of 2014 to breathe new life into old music. A melting pot of hot jazz, swing, and latin rhythms, brought to a boil by soaring vocals and endless energy. Their second album, "Masquerade" was released on June 3rd, 2017. GATL's second full-length album is a masterful mix of old-time hot jazz and latin rhythms, held together by modern songwriting and layered stories. “The Gentlemen’s Anti-Temperance League take things all the way back to the 1930s with their Django Reinhardt-influenced gypsy jazz, and they do it damn well.” -Andrea Swensson, The Current "... takes the best style of music from each decade after Prohibition and creates a unique musical style." -CBS Minnesota “Some would call it “old-timey,” while others would argue “timeless.’’ -Duluth Homegrown

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Eilen Jewell  9 PM   $15 Cover  Brown Paper Tickets
9:00 PM21:00

Eilen Jewell 9 PM $15 Cover Brown Paper Tickets



The big tent of the blues encompasses a host of styles, and Down Hearted Blues runs the gamut, from the scorching electric fury of Otis Rush’s “You Know My Love” to the jaunty swing of Little Walter’s “Crazy Mixed Up World” – both penned by the great Willie Dixon – to the unplugged elegance of Memphis Minnie’s “Nothing in Rambling.” Unlike clumsier white interpreters who have tried over the years to signify credibility by resorting to histrionics or tackling obvious standards (“Stormy Monday,” “Crossroads,” et al.), or both, Jewell doesn’t claim undue authenticity, happily remaining her resolutely unflappable self. This aversion to theatrics lets her spotlight the strong material, and if Down Hearted Blues moves listeners to seek out the originals of Charles Sheffield’s funky “It’s Your Voodoo Working” or Albert Washington’s mournful “You Gonna Miss Me,” so much the better.

Read the entire review: https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2017/09/eilen-jewell-down-hearted-blues-review.html


NPR Music: The result is a rootsy, rocking record-collectors’ love affair of old songs that Jewell and her husband and bandmate, drummer Jason Beek, have a fondness for. “We really love to uncover the past. It’s almost like digging for buried treasure,” Jewell says about the new album, out on September 22 on Signature Sounds.

Read the entire piece: http://www.npr.org/sections/world-cafe/2017/09/08/549227609/watch-its-your-voodoo-working-by-eilen-jewell

NPR’s Morning Edition sat down with Eilen Jewell to talk about wanderlust, the ways in which she resembles the “Half-Broke Horse” on her record, the landscape of Idaho, and what it means to come home: http://www.npr.org/2015/05/27/409698844/eilen-jewell-the-half-broke-horse-of-idaho-returns-home

“Packed with vivid lyrics, steel guitars, and hot licks, Jewell’s Americana-driven brand of country music sounds tailor-made for sweltering, stagnant summer nights.”   – Eric Renner Brown, Entertainment Weekly

“Though her fifth album consists entirely of original songs, ‘Sundown Over Ghost Town’ feels like a welcome return to a set of classics you’ve known forever, gently touching on desire, loneliness, and the longing for home… Perfect for fans of Madeleine Peyroux.” – Jon Young, Mother Jones

“Evocative.”  – Craig Shelburne, CMT Edge

“Eilen Jewell is an artist to keep your eyes on… Fans may also hear a bit of Kacey Musgraves in her laid-back and effortless sound.”- Christina Vinson, The Boot

“Tantalizing… Wonderful voice… this slightly restrained, beautifully crafted and enticing Eilen Jewell disc proves she remains one of American’s most intriguing, creative and idiosyncratic voices.” – American Songwriter, Hal Horowitz

“A revelatory journey rich with cinematic visions, elegant, sweet, and smoky vocals, and hauntingly autobiographical songs inspired by her return to the West.” Jeremy D. Bonfiglio, No Depression, May 28, 2015

“The most succinct and poignant album of her career… Excellent.” – Timothy Monger, All Music Guide

“8 stars… expressive grace and and imagery… barbed details… Her melodies create sonic landscapes, mostly of the mythic American West where human beings have the perspective of big open spaces to compare themselves with a wide-screen setting… The music sets the words off, like the Milky Way on a dark black night.” – Steve Horowitz, Pop Matters, May 28, 2015

“Masterful… Eilen! Eilen! Eilen!” – Mike Jurkovic, Elmore Magazine, May 28, 2015

“It’s not an overstatement to say that Eilen Jewell is Johnny Cash reincarnate… Jewell packs a punch that doesn’t bruise until after the meaning of her work sets into listeners’ bones.” – Kate Everson, Country Standard Time

“She’s got a sweet and clear voice with a killer instinct lurking beneath the shiny surface.” -  NPR Song of the Day

Actor Tom Hanks included Eilen as a “Summer Must” in Entertainment Weekly.

Listen to Eilen’s interview and performance on NPR’s World Cafe and on WNYC’s Leonard Lopate show.

“Dark and haunting…but alluring just the same…Give me more of that voice.” - USA Today’s Pop Candy

“An undiscovered gem…a layered, shimmering pearl of an album that shines like cut crystal.” - American Songwriter

“We’re loving Eilen Jewell…smoky vocals and swinging rhythms.” -OK! Magazine

“Once you hear her, you can’t help but stick around for more.” - Pollstar

“Shimmering” – Mother Jones

“Emotionally raw and riveting.” – Boston Globe

“Not to be missed.” – No Depression

“[Jewell] embellishes the classic Nashville vocal approach with appealing measures of blues, pop, and jazz.” – New Yorker

“A major accomplishment.” – Boise Weekly

“With a burnished voice lingering somewhere between Billie Holiday and Neko Case, Eilen Jewell’s aching vocals are pure, country-gospel, box-car soul.” – My Old Kentucky Blog

“Must-listen alt-country.” – Minneapolis Star Tribune

“One will become “Hooked.” Don’t be afraid of getting caught.” – PopMatters

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Circus No. 9 & Apple Cold Stringband $10 advance Brown Paper Tickets /$15 door
7:00 PM19:00

Circus No. 9 & Apple Cold Stringband $10 advance Brown Paper Tickets /$15 door



Circus No. 9 is East Tennessee’s own Progressive Bluegrass outfit, blurring the lines between Bluegrass, Jazz, Jambands, and more.  Described as “John Hartford meets John Coltrane,” the group has appeared alongside artists including David Grisman, Bryan Sutton, Larry Keel, and more.  Comprised of musicians Matthew Davis, Thomas Cassell, and Vince Ilagan, Circus No. 9 is one of the most exciting new bands on the acoustic music scene today.  

"Circus No. 9 represents everything that's good about the new generation of acoustic music. These guys already exhibit a maturity and musicianship that has me thinking we're going to be hearing great stuff from them for a long time!" - Bryan Sutton

Banjo extraordinaire Matthew Davis is the winner of both the National Banjo Championship and the Rockygrass Banjo Contest, not to mention the achievement of his musical chops at just age 18.  Davis has performed on the Grand Ole Opry, among other venues and shows around the country.

On the mandolin is Virginia’s own Thomas Cassell, a now Tennessee transplant.  Cassell is the winner of the 2016 Rockygrass Mandolin contest, and has performed on stage beside artists including Darrell Scott, Bryan Sutton, Aofie O’Donovan, Mike Marshall, Julian Lage, Billy Strings, and more.  

Holding down the low end for the band is Knoxville’s Vince Ilagan, also holding a Bass Performance degree from the University of Tennessee and years of studio and touring experience.  Ilagan has performed with artists including Justin Townes Earle, Jeff Sipe, Scott Miller, and many others.

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Wilder Dietz & Friends   $10
9:00 PM21:00

Wilder Dietz & Friends $10


From Tone Magazine:

The Wilder Deitz Group is a frequently shifting entity—first it was a trio, then a quartet with guest players coming and going, and then came its current eight-piece lineup. Multi-instrumentalist Deitz and his bandmates take that fluidity a step further on a recent release simply called Summer Mixtape 2017. Not only does the release incorporate several guest singers and MCs  in addition to in-band vocalists Deja Mason and Nikeya Bramlett, it also takes several different approaches to the intersection of jazz, hip-hop, funk, and gospel.

On "L'Ouverture/Melody for Toussaint," that means bright piano chords and a festive synth melody combining over half-breakbeat, half-New Orleans rhythms. On "Wilmington '98," titled after the Wilmington, North Carolina insurrection of 1898, that means vocal jazz that swings between mournful and defiant. On "Long Island City," produced and composed by synth player Alex Charland, it means an atmospheric instrumental that draws as much on trip-hop as it does on jazz.

"We were already sort of headed in this direction, and I thought it would be an excellent chance to start incorporating some new techniques like sampling," says Deitz, who plays piano, synth, bass, and guitar on the record. The group funded the project with a grant from the Greater Madison Jazz Consortium, and because the grant was aimed at exposing new audiences to jazz, the group decided to make some tracks that would appeal to people who'd listened to a lot of jazz but not much hip-hop, and some tracks that would appeal to the reverse.

One track aimed squarely at the hip-hop-deprived jazz listener is "Father Bean," which rides on a silky jazz-vocal hook, an old-school hip-hop rhythm, and exuberantly meandering piano leads. Madison rapper Protege The Pro turns in probably the album's most charming verse here, with wordplay that jumps around as much as the piano: "Believe that we can fly, just be yourself but then the eagle version / they know I'm doing good, chillin' like an evil person."

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The Honey Dewdrops   $10
6:00 PM18:00

The Honey Dewdrops $10


Laura Wortman and Kagey Parrish are celebrating their 9th year of touring full time as The Honey Dewdrops, having played stages and festivals far and wide in North America and Europe.  With tight harmonies and an musical ensemble that includes clawhammer banjo,  mandolin and guitars,  the effect is to leave listeners with only what matters:  the heart of the song and clarity over ornamentation.

After leaving their home base of Virginia and living on the road for 2 years, Laura and Kagey now call Baltimore, Maryland home and it's where they wrote and recorded their fourth full-length album, Tangled Country, released May 2015.  Acoustic Guitar Magazine  describes the set of songs as “a handcrafted sound centered on swarming harmonies and acoustic guitars that churn like a paddlewheel and shimmer like heat waves on the highway.”  And like their stage performance,  these songs rock and reel, and then they console you when you come back down. 

The Honey Dewdrops have a busy year ahead of them with festival appearances across the country and a new record on the horizon (slated for release Fall of 2018) along with their first UK tour in Jan/Feb 2019.


"Gorgeous harmonies, thrilling arrangements, and some remarkably insightful, honest writing. " - SING OUT!

"Handcrafted sound centered on swarming harmonies and acoustic guitars that churn like a paddlewheel and shimmer like heat waves on the highway."  - ACOUSTIC GUITAR MAGAZINE

"Just one of the highlights from the outstanding Tangled Country, a collection of often sad but still hopeful songs, 'Same Old' mines some of the territory of Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, with lilting banjo, gorgeous harmonies and tasteful pedal steel, and exemplifies this duo's simple yet beautiful music."                                                  FREDDY JENKINS, FOR NPR MUSIC'S FAVORITE SONGS OF 2015

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Fireside Collective    $15/Door $10 Advance Brown Paper Tickets
8:00 PM20:00

Fireside Collective $15/Door $10 Advance Brown Paper Tickets


Quickly blazing a name for themselves with their progressive approach to American folk music, Fireside Collective delights listeners with memorable melodies and contemporary songwriting. Formed in the mountain city of Asheville North Carolina, the band plays original songs on stringed instruments, intended for a modern audience. Following the release of their debut album “Shadows and Dreams”, the band hit the road seeking to engage audiences with their energetic live show built on instrumental proficiency, colorful harmonies, and innovative musical arrangements. 

Well what do you call it?

“Bluegrass, Newgrass, perhaps Progressive folk…” These are some descriptions mandolinist and songwriter Jesse Iaquinto chooses to identify with. “Depending on where you come from and your experience with folk music, you may think we’re very traditional, or on the other hand, consider us a progressive act. We appreciate both ends of the spectrum and may lie on a different end on any given night.” While roots music lies at the core of the Collective’s songs, a willingness to explore the boundaries and present relevant new material remains fundamental. 

The band burst onto the scene in early 2014 following the release of “Shadows and Dreams.” The album weaves bluegrass, funk, rock, and blues influences into a refreshing representation of modern folk music. From the opening track “Poor Soul” with it’s energetic bluegrass overtones to the closer “Shine the Way Home”, the album takes listeners on a journey through simple love songs to complex themes such as metaphysics and coexistence. The album, recorded in Asheville at Sound Temple Studios, features guest musicians from Asheville’s rich acoustic music scene alongside members of the Fireside Collective. 

2017 was a momentous year for the band as they released their second studio album, "Life Between the Lines." The album helped garner a nomination for an IBMA momentum award for best band. In 2018, the band is scheduled to perform at a number of respected music festivals throughout the country. If you revel in the sounds of acoustic instrumentation, enjoy the excitement of energetic live performances, and delight in the creation of original songs, then follow the Fireside Collective as they journey on in their musical endeavors.

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Nuggernaut - Jon Hoel  9 PM   $10
9:00 PM21:00

Nuggernaut - Jon Hoel 9 PM $10


Jonathan Hoel is a Madison, WI based saxophonist and composer. Comfortable in all styles of music, his true passion is musical improvisation in all it's forms. With 25+ years of study and performance, Jonathan has garnered attention and a loyal following through various projects including his jazz group the Jon Hoel Trio and his new funk project, Better Yeti.

Music was always a part of Jonathan's upbringing. His parents, though not musicians, had a deep love of music and records were always being played in the home. His grandfather was a jazz drummer who possessed a huge vinyl collection and a drum set in the basement.  In high school, Jon studied sax and jazz improvisation with Anders Svanoe. He also got to spend a summer studying with jazz legend Frank Morgan. Jonathan attended college at University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point. where he studied saxophone with David Hastings and jazz theory/improvisation with Mathew Buchman. He received the John Radd Memorial Jazz Scholarship all four years of attendance as well as the Anne Schierl Fine Arts Scholarship for 2 years. Upon graduating with a degree in saxophone performance in 2005, Jon moved to Madison, WI where he quickly became an in-demand free lance artist. He started his own funk/jazz group Nuggernaut and performed under his own name as the Jon Hoel Trio/Quartet. 

Jon's current projects include his trio, Nuggernaut, and Better Yeti as well as continuing his free lance work. He has been a member, performed regularly, or toured with the following acts: The Mustache, Que Flavor, Roots Collective, Vibe Syndicate, Mambo Blue, Megan Bobo & the Lux, Big Mouth Jazz Collective, Otis and the Alligators, Big Payback, Tweed Funk, Natty Nation w/ Kevin Kinsella. He has been lucky enough to share the stage with some of his idols including: John Scofield, Joe Lovano, Poncho Sanchez, Matt Wilson, and Andrew D'Angelo.

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Vieux Farka Touré   June 7 & 8  9 PM   $22
to Jun 8

Vieux Farka Touré June 7 & 8 9 PM $22


Brown Paper Tickets https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3426753

"Vieux’s dazzling guitar prowess has earned him the sobriquet “the Hendrix of the Sahara”. Samba is a wide-ranging set which takes in the deep reggae groove of “Ouaga” and the more flamenco-like complexity of “Samba Si Kaire”, a graceful song about the guitarist’s parents … The griot tribute-songs extend from close family to his extended cultural family, specifically fellow musicians persecuted by jihadist invaders in Northern Mali, their suffering acknowledged in the blizzard of skirling guitar that illuminates “Homafu Wawa”.“ ****   — The Independent

"From album to album, Vieux Farka Touré is one of the most respected guitarists and musicians in the world. Each of his projects is praised both by critics and by the public. This new opus, a hybrid and inventive disc recorded in studio and in front of an audience, confirms the extent of his talent."   — ICI Musique, CBC

"This is the devotional, earthy soul of Mali, channeled through a six-string electric guitar." — Monolith Cocktail

“Neither traditional album nor live recording … Slick yet lively, powerful yet clear … Vieux is stepping out of the shadows of his [father] into a spotlight all of his own.” **** — Record Collector

“A raucous portrait of a well-drilled band on fire.” **** — Mojo

“The most impressive, mature and interesting of Vieux’s [albums] so far … Vieux Farka Touré continues to develop as a fine musician who is proving to be his own man and found an interesting way of presenting his own music.”  — fRoots

"Beginning an album with a near six minute instrumental is adventurous by anyone’s standards, even more impressive is to carry it off successfully, and Vieux Farka Toure does just that as Bonheur grips the listener from the opening bars … Vieux is in blinding form.” 7.5/10  — Louder Than War

"The rhythms are insistent and fluid, he moves easily through Malian Blues, funk, reggae and praise songs and the numbers themselves were developed in the studio so you get the feel of music in its gestation but in the environment he has always been the master – live … Toure is approaching a creative peak … Just another magnificent album from the ‘Hendrix of the Sahara’.”   *****  — Music-News

“Since 2009, Vieux Farka Touré has been working with Six Degrees on a run of increasingly commanding albums, and Samba continues the trend. Opener “Bonheur” is a tangled, motoring desert blues. “Samba Si Kaira” rolls and chugs, while Vieux’s guitar picks out a tracery of tangled figures. “Homafu Wama” finds him shredding on rockier material seemingly built around a quote from “I Shot The Sheriff”.”  — The Wire

"Vieux Farka Touré takes us to the sacred heart of rock n roll." — The Arts Desk

Samba debuted at #6 on WORLD MUSIC CHARTS EUROPE


“One of the world's greatest guitarists.” —RnR

"Toure’s guitar playing is, frankly, incredible … The man is a master showman but he leaves it to his music to produce the fireworks … There is no-one who can approach his playing today and he is constantly setting new standards for what can be achieved with a guitar but he never loses sight of the music that lies at the heart of his playing and through number after number sent the music into higher and higher realms...I don’t think I’ve seen a musician of the same standard as Toure in the last couple of years – definitely a gig of the year contender." ***** — Music-News

"A rare talent indeed. **** " — Newcastle Evening Chronicle (full article)

"Touré’s fingers are lightning-fast, his sound in general light as a feather. He favours delay over distortion, playing soft and speedy melodies with overtones of Malian folk-guitar that culminates in a strangely dreamy and blissful sonic atmosphere.” —  Brighton’s Finest (full article)

“[Vieux] Farka Touré is fast becoming as respected a Malian blues guitarist as his departed father, Ali."  — The Independent on Sunday (full article)

“The son of the late Malian guitarist Ali Farka Touré inherited his dad’s dazzlingly fluid phrasing but clearly also digs the fiery African blues rock of bands like Tinariwen. Here, he joins American peers for a crossover set that slays” — Rolling Stone (full article)

“…original guitar music of such fluidity, technique, rhythmic invention, and passion, that it is virtually unequaled. 4 1/2 Stars out of 5″ — ‘The Secret’ album review, All Music (full article)

“[Vieux's] gently twisting melodic lines can acquire intensity with surprising speed, as theydid on a brilliant version of “Lakkal” that left both band and audience momentarilybreathless.” — Live review, LA Times (full article)

“Every now and then, if you’re very lucky, you get to witness a live performance that blows everything else away. ” — The Independent, review about Vieux’s Queen Elizabeth Hall show (full article)

“Set to be Africa’s next guitar hero. ” — The Guardian, review about Vieux’s Queen Elizabeth Hall show (full article)

“Leaves other fine guitarists with their jaws hanging loose” — Music-News.com (full article)

“He combines the prowess of a global superstar with a down-to-earth charisma and this is a hot ticket with a down-home feel.” — Metro, London (full article download)

“Not just the “Hendrix of the Sahara” but much more besides.” — Songlines (full article download)

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Isthmus Jazz Festival    6 PM
6:00 PM18:00

Isthmus Jazz Festival 6 PM

6 PM Lynette’s Vocal Improvisational Group. Lynette’s Improvisational Singing Group is a continuous exploratory journey into sound. The group has been meeting every other week for the past 18 months.  With Lynette as the group’s leader/conductor, they will show how someone who has not been well versed as an accomplished jazz musician can create his or her own piece with the group. Every session is created anew, as we delve into the spontaneity of the moment. In performance, the group demonstrates the many possibilities of listening and singing in a communicative way. The audience is bound to be a part of the action.

8 PM Acolplados- Latin Jazz Project

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Chain Station    8 PM   $7
8:00 PM20:00

Chain Station 8 PM $7

These guys really embody a great free-spirited sense of bluegrass that has found a home out here in Colorado.  Dave Johnston (Yonder Mountain String Band)
Chain Station is one of my favorite bluegrass bands on the scene today. They are talented pickers and play a solid mix of originals and covers.  Scott Morrill (Owner, Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom)
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