Genre Archives: Concerts

Armchair Boogie

Armchair Boogie

Starting in 2015 from a front porch in the college town of Stevens Point, Wisconsin. Armchair Boogie can be defined by their pickin’ skills and infectious grooves. Augie Dougherty (banjo, vocals) and Ben Majeska (guitar, vocals) began playing under the name before becoming complete with the addition of Eli Frieders (bass) and solidification of Denzel Connor (drums) as the driving rhythm section behind a bluegrass, up-tempo, jammin-funkgrass outfit.

In the spring of 2018 Armchair Boogie moved to Madison, WI and released their first album. During this time they began touring around Wisconsin, the Midwest, and across America. Their journeys on the road have led them to stages such as Blue Ox, Northwest String Summit, John Hartford Memorial Festival, Summer Camp, and Live on King Street. They’ve had the honor to share the stage with The Infamous Stringdusters, Horseshoes and Hand Grenades, The Dead South, Kitchen Dwellers, Pert Near Sandstone, Trout Steak Revival, and have jammed with many more.

With the help of a loving and dedicated following, the group was able to successfully crowdfund their album, “What Does Time Care?”, which was released on October 11, 2019.

Be warned: if you’re looking to listen to the Boogie Boys, drink some water, eat a banana, do some stretches, and be ready to boogie the night away.

steez
Funky as f*ck.
Categorization be damned, the Madison-based five piece, STEEZ, consisting of Matt Williams (keyboards/synthesizers/talk box), Steve Neary (guitar and vocals), Alex Roberts (drums), Chris Sell (bass), and Andrzej Benkowski (saxophone, keyboards, vocals) is—in the simplest terms and the most convenient definitions —a funk band, a jamband, a fusion band, a disco-fanged multi-beast, and a basket case.Churning out their self-described Creepfunk, a high energy, danceable variety of funk uniquely laced with electronic and improvisational sensibilities, STEEZ has garnered a loyal following throughout the Midwest performing at music festivals and to capacity crowds at rapidly growing venues. STEEZ repeatedly receives acclaim for their live performances, which typically include a seamless weaving of thoughtfully composed originals and crowd pleasing covers spanning from Madonna to clever obscurities like Genialistid (Estonia).Well established in the Midwestern jamband community, what really sets STEEZ apart is the camaraderie and endearing sense of humor. The band’s humble beginnings include getting banned for life from a venue after their first ever live performance, maneuvering a moped accident involving a parked car, and cruising the Midwest in the inspired 35 foot band bus, “Big Brown.” (RIP) While it’s the original songs and taut musicianship that initially grab both fans’ and critics’ attention, the band’s personality keeps it.STEEZ continues their musical endeavors by balancing extensive touring with studio time. STEEZ continues to rage major festivals such as Summer Set Music & Camping Festival, Wakarusa, Summer Camp Music Festival, Camp Bisco, Electric Forest, 10KLF and Rootwire, while grinding it out on the road throughout the midwest and beyond. The band’s 5th studio album, Little World, was released November 2019 and can be found on bandcamp.

Buckcherry

Ask Josh Todd about the inspiration behind Warpaint, Buckcherry’s eighth studio album–and indeed, the frontman’s goal in making music–and he’s got a ready response: “I want to connect with people, host the party, and give people a night they’re never going to forget,” Todd says. As he sings in Warpaint’s title track, “I wanna have fun blowing out your eardrums keep it rocking state to state.” The Los Angeles-based lineup has been doing exactly that since the 1999 release of their self-titled album. Hits including “Lit Up,” “For the Movies,” “Crazy Bitch” and “Sorry,” not to mention Grammy nominations, international touring and Platinum sales, have solidified Buckcherry’s rock ‘n’ roll bona fides. Warpaint, produced by Mike Plotnikoff (Halestorm, All That Remains), with a March 8, 2019 release date, adds to that impressive legacy, boasting the dynamics and immediacy of the band’s incendiary live show, coupled with Todd’s personal, no-holds-barred lyricism.

Recorded at West Valley Recording Studios with Plotnikoff, who also helmed the band’s 15 album, Todd’s goal for Warpaint was for it to be “sonically current. We didn’t want it to sound retro.” Going into the studio in late 2018 with an arsenal of 30 songs written by Todd and guitarist Stevie D., the band worked around the clock for several weeks to capture the energy of the 11 cuts ultimately chosen for Warpaint. The first single, “Bent,” is anthemic but raw, with big drums and even bigger guitars. And, of course, Todd’s relatable, agro lyrics, as he snarls: “the chaos always turns to rage and now I feel so alone and I’m always insane,” before ultimately “breaking all the rules” and emerging as triumphant and “bulletproof” as the song itself.

Todd and Stevie D. had written together on a few side projects prior to Warpaint: An electronic EP for the Spraygun War project, and songs for Josh Todd and the Conflict. “So when we came to the table for a new Buckcherry album, we were in full song. It was a great foundation to launch this great record,” Todd explains. Following the 2015 release of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Todd was faced with issues “both business and personal. And I’ve grown a lot. I can’t say that it’s been joyous. But any time that happens, I get to a new level, and expressing it through song is something I’ve done my whole life.”

The lyrics of “Right Now” speak to Todd’s goal of living in the moment. “There is no past and there is no future… If you really think about that, it’s heavy,” he says. While rock ‘n’ roll is a spiritual catharsis, the singer also works to stay in that state offstage.  “I’m coming up on 24 years of sobriety. I meditate 45 minutes a day, and I focus on the now. So much of society is really ‘contempt prior to investigation,’ and I try to be present and non-judgmental and not come from a place of resentment. So many of the songs on Warpaint reflect that.”

The tune “Warpaint” is about Todd’s own heavily tattooed warrior self—but also much more than that. “When I was a little kid I was fascinated with Native Americans and warpaint. People paint themselves or tattoo themselves to not only show up for battle, but to mark really amazing times in their lives. It’s a celebration. I like people who cut off the lifeboat and go for it, and not look back. I feel Buckcherry is that band. It represents perseverance and passion, and not censoring yourself. Sometimes it’s worked for us and sometimes against us, but we always put our best foot forward.”

Buckcherry is the rare band whose talent has allowed them to get away with using F-bombs in their biggest radio hit—‘Crazy Bitch.’” Yet Todd didn’t hesitate when it came to looking at all sides during the creation of Warpaint.  “I don’t censor myself when I write,” he understates. “I use profanity in my everyday life and it’s all around me, and us. So, on this record, I looked at all my lyrics, and if I felt swearing might be overdone, I changed it. But if it was needed, I left it, because, ultimately, I have to be happy with it.”

Warpaint delivers an aural punch, a refreshing boldness even on the ballads, and stellar lead guitar work (check out the fretwork on “Vacuum”) and the album closes with an unexpected kick.  Todd explains: “’Radio Song’ is introspective look at myself my part in things. And ‘No Regrets’ is so heavy for me to listen to. Stevie came in with this music, saying he wanted to write a punky, Social Distortion-type song. It was amazing, so I went back to my 15-year-old punk rock self and what was going on with me. I thought about the independent records I listened to then, and what they meant to me, plus all the dysfunction that was going on in my home when I was growing up. And it all came out of me in this song.”

The raucous “Devil in the Details” ends Warpaint with “a fiery burnout. I like to put songs like that deep on the record so that people who are really into your band–for more than just the single–get to discover something cool. Just a little thank-you for sticking around to the end.”

Then, of course, there’s the wild-card on Warpaint: Buckcherry’s take on Nine Inch Nails’ classic “Head like a Hole. It was just done as a lark, live in the studio, but came out so cool it made the album. “Yeah, it was very organic. I don’t know Trent [Reznor] but I really admire him,” Todd says. “He did his own thing and created a sound for himself–and a brand–and really stuck to it. When I listen to Nine Inch Nails, I admire the honesty, and no rules.”

In fact, those “no rules,” are what he judges Buckcherry by: Is there unbridled, reckless honesty?  “That’s what I ask myself when I listen to Buckcherry: Would my teenage self-put a stamp of approval on it? If the answer is yes, I can go out and represent and feel great about it. I want to compete at the highest level,” Todd concludes. “Keep the integrity, but still please people. If you can do that, great things happen. I feel like we’ve done that on this record.”

BUCKCHERRY DISCOGRAPHY

Buckcherry, 1999

Time Bomb, 2001

15, 2006

All Night Long, 2010

Confessions, 2013

Rock ‘n’ Roll, 2015

Warpaint, 2019

JASON ISBELL AND THE 400 UNIT

As part of a special Labor Day Eve Celebration with Jason Isbell and friends, we’ll be showcasing “labor of loves” from some of Wisconsin’s finest craft purveyors. From farm-to-table food and Wisconsin craft beer to locally crafted art and goods, our Labor Day Eve Celebration will offer a unique opportunity to see and sample a variety of Wisconsin-grown products. Gates open at 4PM and music starts at 5PM so please join us for this picnic-style celebration of great music, food, beer and more!

Welcomed by Triple M

A special thanks to our sponsors: Bud Light, Vintage Brewing Co, Potosi, Festival Foods, Madison Gas & Electric, Pepsi, Dentistry for Madison: Dr. Jay Hazen, The Great Dane, Gebhardt Galaxie, Old Sugar Distillery, Thompson Investment Management, Sunbelt Rentals, Schwinn, Lauer Realty Group, Hilton Madison Monona Terrace, Wisconsin Lottery, Frank Liquor (Jose/Smirnoff), Fisher King Winery, Park Bank,Union Cab, Isthmus


JASON ISBELL AND THE 400 UNIT

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit’s new album, The Nashville Sound, is a beautiful piece of American music-making, but watch yourself: it will light a fire under your ass. “You’re still breathing, it’s not too late,” Jason sings.

This album is a call, and the songs on it send sparks flying into a culture that’s already running so hot the needle on the temperature gauge is bouncing erratically in the red. And while it’s understandable that, in this moment, some people want their radio to help them drift away, this finely calibrated set of ten songs is aimed right between the clear eyes of people who prefer to stay present and awake. It’s a call to those who won’t cower no matter how erratically the world turns, and who aren’t afraid of what looks back when they look in the mirror. Bruce Springsteen did that. Neil Young did that. Jason Isbell does that.

There are songs on this album that cut to the chase. “Last year was a son of a bitch for nearly everyone we know,” Isbell sings on the album’s first single, “Hope the High Road.” “But I ain’t fighting with you down in the ditch. I’ll meet you up here on the road.” As singular as that lyric is, there’s nothing coy or obtuse about it. Meanwhile, other songs here take a subtler tack.

Check out track three, “Tupelo.” It plays like a warm ode to Northeast Mississippi-on the first few listens, it sure sounds like a loving tribute-but on the fourth you realize that the town the protagonist is extolling is actually a blazing hellhole. Perfect-as a hideout, anyway. “You get about a week of spring and the summer is blistering,” Isbell sings. “There ain’t no one from here who will follow me there.” It’s the kind of twist that compels the fifth listen-and the fiftieth.

As with Isbell’s 2013 breakthrough, Southeastern, and his double-Grammy-winning follow up, 2015’s Something More Than Free, The Nashville Sound was produced by Dave Cobb. Isbell says that he and Cobb created a simple litmus test for the decisions they made in the two weeks they spent at RCA Studios (which was known as “The home of the Nashville Sound” back in the ’60’s and ’70s): they only made sonic moves that their heroes from back in the day could’ve made, but simply never did. It’s a shrewd approach-an honest way to keep the wiz-bang of modern recording technology at arms length, while also leaving the old bag of retro rock ‘n’ roll tricks un-rummaged. Lyrically, The Nashville Sound is timely. Musically, it is timeless.

It’s also worth noting that this album isn’t credited to Isbell alone. For the first time since 2011’s Here We Rest, Isbell’s band, the 400 Unit, gets title billing. “Even when I was writing, I could always hear the band’s stamp on the finished product,” Jason says. “These songs needed more collaboration on the arrangements to make them work, and I felt like the band deserved it after the way they played.” Given Cobb’s strict insistence on cutting songs live with no demos or rehearsals, you can easily imagine how the brilliantly raw performances on the record will translate to the stage when the band takes these new songs out on the road.

And boy, there’s nothing like a 400 Unit show. Not just because the band smokes, but also because Isbell’s fans are among music’s most ardent. They listen to these songs for months and months on their own, and that momentum rolls them right up to the doors at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, or the Beacon Theatre in New York or the Fabulous Fox Theatre in Atlanta. And when the band kicks in, they are ecstatic. It’s a rock ‘n’ roll show that feels like fellowship.

Which begs a question: Why do Jason’s songs strike us so deeply? What makes this music of the soul? The answer has to do with Jason’s authenticity, his intellect, his rootedness in both tradition (see: the childhood in Green Hill, Alabama, near Muscle Shoals, where he grew up picking and singing in the style he remembers here on “Something To Love”) as well as modernity (see: Jason singing about anxiety, or his complicated relationship to his iPhone).

Simply put, Jason has a gift for taking big, messy human experiences and compressing them into badass little combustible packages made of rhythm, melody and madly efficient language. The songs are full of little hooks-it could be guitar line that catches one listener, or a quick lyric that strikes to the heart of another-and an act of transference takes place. The stories Jason tells become our own. The music is coming not from Jason and the band, but from within us.

As you listen to this record, you will hear many themes: humor, heartache, wisdom, beauty, hope. But chief among them, strangely, is leadership.

If Southeastern (2013) was the Getting Sober record (Jason has been searingly honest in both songs and interviews about the time he spent in rehab), and Something More Than Free (2015) was the New Clarity record, maybe this one, The Nashville Sound, is the Way Forward.

And who better to lead us forward than Jason Isbell? Jason is a relentless and fearless selfinterrogator. (The first line of “Cumberland Gap”-“There’s an answer here if I look hard enough”-will be familiar to those who know him.) And this album is a challenge, a gauntlet in song: Let’s claim ownership of our biases (“White Man’s World”). Let’s embrace and celebrate the uncomfortable idea that the force that activates both life and love is death (the instantclassic “If We Were Vampires”). Let’s consciously choose light over darkness (“Hope the High Road”). And for God’s sake, if you are feeling anxious, alone, disenfranchised, depressed, mad as hell, or scared as shit, find something that gasses you up and work at it (“Something to Love”). Jason, it seems, after years grinding the rail that separates terra firma from the brink, has put in the sweat equity it takes to hug it out with his demons and fill his life with meaning, bright and clean.

If that sounds good to you, this album lights the path.

GARRISON KEILLOR’S PRAIRIE HOME

THIS SHOW BROUGHT TO YOU BY: 

Madison Gas and Electric (MGE), Festival Foods, Pepsi, Galaxie, Schwinn, Wisconsin Brewing Company, The Great Dane, Dentistry for Madison: Dr. Jay Hazen, Wisconsin Lottery, Dane County Regional Airport (DCRA), Thompson Investment Management, Park Bank, Union Cab, Isthmus, WPR, WORT, Capital Times, WOLX, Hilton Madison Monona Terrace

BOY BAND REVIEW

For fans of: Backstreet Boys, N*SYNC, & One Direction

Boy Band Review – Is the best Boy Band Tribute Show in the country! Bringing full production lights, video, dancing, harmonies and energy, Boy Band Review has captured the hearts of fans with their #boyband shows that transport audience members back in time to the days of frosted tips and hunky frontmen professing their undying love.

Bringing some sweet hip thrusts and air grabs performed perfectly “N SYNC”, Boy Band Review, helps you relive the best years.

The #boyband shows  are an incredible throw back experience with dancers and back up singers where the audience members relive the best years!  They are playing to capacity crowds throughout the Midwest and spreading nationwide. They have played numerous high profile events, private engagements, a Las Vegas residency at Planet Hollywood Casino, the NHL Stadium Series Classic Blackhawks game, and countless venues across the country to capacity crowds.  Boy Band Review is everyone’s favorite show since the 1990s!

 

Sinkane

For fans of: Woods, William Onyebor, Kevin Morby

Sinkane music — every note of it — comes straight out of a generosity of spirit. Never has that spirit been on more vivid display than on the uplifting new album Life & Livin’ It. This is feel-good music for trying times, celebrating what makes life good without ignoring what makes it hard.By the time they finished touring for their acclaimed Mean Love album in late 2015, Ahmed Gallab and the band had spread the gospel of Sinkane to the world, playing 166 shows in 20 countries. During the same period, he had also led The Atomic Bomb Band — the highly celebrated 15-piece outfit that played the music of elusive Nigerian electro-funk maestro William Onyeabor. The band included David ByrneDamon Albarn, members of Hot Chip,LCD SoundsystemThe RaptureJamie Lidell and legendary jazz musicians Pharoah Sandersand Charles Lloyd, and they played all over the planet, including making their TV debut on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. “Those 14 months really changed my life,” Ahmed says. “Not only did I learn how to put on a bigger show, but all that touring brought Sinkane closer as a band.”

As Ahmed got into the depths of writing for Life & Livin’ It, he had a clear goal; to conjure the ups and downs of a universal experience, and have fun while doing it. “I would listen to my favorite records, like Funkadelic‘s America Eats Its Young, and realize how great they made me feel. That carefree, light and fun feeling I was getting while writing this record is what I want everyone to feel when they listen to it.”

Ahmed soon brought the band in to help with the material, testing the songs at a four-show residency of sold-out shows at Union Pool in Brooklyn where the audience’s reception fed the creative process. They toured throughout the summer before setting up shop at Sonic Ranch Studios in El Paso, Texas. Once again produced by Ahmed with lyrics and help from longtime collaborator Greg Lofaro, the album draws from the best elements of Sinkane’s previous records: the slinky funk and soul grooves are there, so are the sparkling melodies with roots in sub-Saharan Africa. With basic tracking played together live, the fun and immediacy of Sinkane’s live show is a central feeling of the recordings. Each one of the four members of Sinkane — bassist Ish Montgomery, drummer Jason Trammell, guitarist Jonny Lam and Ahmed — sing and contribute additional parts on the album, with Trammell contributing lyrics to “Theme from Life & Livin’ It,” and Lam helping with arrangements. Jas Walton and Jordan MacLean of Daptone recording artists Antibalas contributed horns.

In making a record that feels like this, Ahmed’s primary intention was to make music that is joyous, but also socially conscious when you scratch beneath the surface. The songs “U’Huh” and “Theme from Life & Livin’ It” conjure up the simple pleasures of hanging with friends, but there are heavier vibes in there. Ahmed says, “I remember listening to Bob Marley as a child. Dancing with my family in our living room and then my mother telling me what issues he was addressing, and that it was important to remember those things while listening. It made the music even better because it became about something more.”

“Favorite Song” came about from Ahmed’s experiences DJ’ing in New York. “As a DJ you’re always paying attention to the collective energy in the club. When you play a song that everyone knows, everybody is connected, lost in the music.” That song, along with “U’Huh,” has lyrics sung in Arabic, Ahmed’s native tongue. “Kulu shi tamaam!” means “everything is great!” while “ya zol ya zain!” is a Sudanese term of endearment meaning “my beautiful friend.” “It’s really easy to understand the tone of those words,” Ahmed adds. “They just feel good, you don’t have to know what they mean. It’s kind of like listening to Caetano Veloso or Jorge Ben — you don’t have to know Portuguese to feel what they’re saying.”

True to its name, Life & Livin’ It is an album about all kinds of experiences. When Ahmed Gallab sings, he sounds unafraid yet vulnerable. But while he once sang of feeling like he was on the planet Mars, Ahmed is now firmly grounded on Earth. He’s no longer searching for his home — he has created a home for himself. There’s a party there, and Life & Livin’ It is playing on the stereo. You are invited.

 

 

 

 

Hilltop Hoods

For fans of Hermitude

DRINKING FROM THE SUN, WALKING UNDER STARS RESTRUNG. IT WAS ALWAYS THE PLAN, ALBEIT ONE THAT WAS LONGER THAN EXPECTED. COMBINE TWO OF THE MOST ECLECTIC AND SUCCESSFUL ALBUMS OF ADELAIDE HIP HOP ACT HILLTOP HOODS’ CAREER AND TOUR THE WORLD SEVERAL TIMES OVER.

Tour some more, then secretly regroup with their old friends at the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra to reinvent and reimagine their much loved tunes.

It’s a courageous step from any band, from any era, but from day one, MCs Pressure, Suffa and DJ Debris have had ambition to burn, which has fuelled the biggest success story in Australian Hip Hop.

Both albums ‘Drinking from the Sun’ and ‘Walking under Stars’ debuted at No. 1, achieved double platinum sales, two ARIA awards and spawned a 4 X platinum & a 1 x platinum single each.

These records were the group’s most personal, intimate and above all – formidable statements yet.

The ending of relationships, the beginning of new life, and the very real possibility of losing it, MCs Suffa, Pressure and DJ Debris grew considerably over the course of these two projects.

That statement is not only indicative of the album’s subject matter, but its sound.

Putting so much of their own heart into the projects took the group into new directions, sprinkling both albums with powerful hip/hop soul evident on the platinum single ‘Won’t Let You Down’ featuring Maverick Sabre and ‘Live and Let Go’ Featuring Brother Ali and Maverick again.

Fans came along on the journey with the new material which sat comfortably alongside the trio’s staples of beat driven Hip Hop like the 4 X platinum ‘I Love it’ featuring pop royalty Sia and 4 X platinum festival anthem ‘Cosby Sweater’.

Now the fans will get to immerse themselves in their favourite songs all over again, in stunning orchestrations helping transform them into sweeping, cinematic Hip Hop laced with the warmth of 52 very accomplished musicians.

Much of the material their 626,000+ Facebook and 70,000+ Twitter followers have fallen in love with on the two number one albums was written for this project in mind, adding further depth to their most expansive body of work to date.

Along with key songs from the ‘Drinking from the Sun’ and ‘Walking Under Stars’ albums, ‘Restrung’ contains several new tracks including the first hit single ‘Higher’ feat. James Chatburn. ‘Higher’ reached number 9 on the charts and was the number one most added to Australia radio – Triple J, HIT, SCA Regional and Nova – while it rockets towards platinum status. New single, ‘1955’ featuring the bright talents of Montaigne and Tom Thum, has smashed itself into top 10 in the first two days of its release.

Along with the 7 ARIA awards and sold out national and international tours under their belt, Hilltop Hoods prolific career has led to the group’s largest Australian shows yet following the release of ‘Restrung’.

It bookends arguably the most extensive project in Australian Hip Hop history, culminating in arena size shows around the nation, performing their most diverse body of work to date with State orchestras to more than 10,000 estimated fans each night.

And with this final chapter in the ‘Drinking from the Sun/Walking Under Stars’ trilogy, they’re not just redesigning Australian Hip Hop – they’re redefining it.

‘Drinking From The Sun, Walking Under Stars Restrung’, is out now through their label Golden Era Records/UMA.

2014 WALKING UNDER STARS
2x Platinum status, ARIA #1

2012 DRINKING FROM THE SUN
2x Platinum status, ARIA #1

2009 STATE OF THE ART
2x Platinum status, ARIA #1

2007 THE HARD ROAD RESTRUNG
Gold status

2006 THE HARD ROAD
Platinum status, ARIA # 1

2003 THE CALLING
Platinum status

Powered by Rockhouse Partners, an Etix company.