An easily confused and very shy individual, Charlie Parr has been traveling around singing his songs ever since leaving Austin Minnesota in the 1980's in search of Spider John Koerner, whom he found about 100 miles north at the Viking Bar one Sunday night. The experience changed his life, made him more or less unemployable, and brings us to now: 13 recordings, 250 shows a year or more, 200,000 miles on a well broke in Kia, and a nasty fear of heights. Resonator fueled folk songs from Duluth Minnesota.
Cornmeal has never been a band to shy away from reinvention and after over a decade, they are proving just that as the band sets out with a newly reformed lineup, a fresh energetic sound and heads back into the studio to finish their long awaited first studio album after almost 6 years. A nationally recognized live music institution, Cornmeal is heavily influenced by American roots and folk music and seamlessly blends lightning fast tempos and impeccable harmonies into an unrivaled live performance that continues to expand upon the five-piece acoustic-electric groups’ vast musical repertoire. While steeped in the tradition of the past, Cornmeal continues to forge a path all their own, pushing the boundaries of bluegrass, Americana and folk for a whole new generation of music lovers. With a growing fan base and ever-evolving sound, Cornmeal challenges the recipe of bluegrass and live performance.
THE PEOPLE BROTHERS BAND
One of the staples of Madison's vibrant music scene, The People Brothers Band is an 8-piece Rhythm & Soul powerhouse and their only desire is to get you moving on the dance floor. They are the winners of the Wisconsins Area Music Industry Award for 2014 Soul/R&B Band of the Year and the Madison Area Music Award for 2015 Pop/R&B Album of the Year (Middle of the In Between), 2013 Blues Album of the Year (People Brothers Live) & Blues Song of the Year (Looky Here Mister), but, most importantly, they are a family whose love for music and playing together shines brightly through each performance.
THE LOWEST PAIR
The Lowest Pair features the duel banjo picking of Kendl Winter and Palmer T. Lee. Draped in Kendl’s high lonesome harmonies and Palmer’s Midwest croon, their debut release, 36¢, (Team Love Records) was hailed by many outlets and American Songwriter praised their ”earnest, earthy songcraft.” On Feb 24, 2015, Team Love released their sophomore album, The Sacred Heart Sessions.
Kind music for kind people. Kind Country is a Minneapolis based band that plays American standards as well as their own brand of Cosmic American music. Since their formation in 2012, the band has focused on creating live performances with high levels of improvisation and energy gathering with a goal of creating a moment of musical bliss that can be shared by audience members and band alike.
Smokin' Bandits have been a staple on a powerful Midwest music scene for nearly a decade with their high-energy form of original music dubbed "Grass n' Roll." With a catalog of original material mixing influences ranging from Willie Nelson to The Allman Brothers Band, Little Feat to Leftover Salmon, the band brings a powerhouse performance each time they take the stage sure to make you move, shake, and promising for every show to be one of different form. Forming as a string band in La Crosse, WI in 2003, the Bandits electrified in 2004 to form a sound that is uniquely theirs but reaches to music lovers of all different genres and generations
The west coast of Wisconsin is not typically thought of as a hotbed of alternative reggae music. However, TUGG, hailing from La Crosse, WI has done an amazing job channeling tropical grooves and breezy melodies and has quickly become a top draw in the Midwest and beyond. Coming from a state known more for the Green Bay Packers, cold weather, and cheese, they boast an impressive resume of rubbing shoulders with reggae heavyweights. From shows with Barrington Levy and Slightly Stoopid to recording tracks with the likes of Pato Banton, Josh Heinrichs, and Outlaw Nation, TUGG continues to prove why they are a fast rising star in the alternative reggae scene. All of the bands last 3 albums have debuted in the Top 50 of the iTunes Reggae Chart. Their most recent album, Home Brew EP went to #2 and spent 3 weeks in the Hot 100 iTunes Reggae Album Chart. Last Spring TUGG was asked by The Dirty Heads (EMG) to provide support for a string of shows in the Midwest on their first ever headlining tour, which included a sold out show at the House of Blues-Chicago on St. Patrick’s Day. It is often said that to achieve greatness you must first surround yourself with greatness. If that is any indication about TUGG than their future is looking good. In the last few years alone they have been fortunate enough to share the stage with: Slightly Stoopid, The Dirty Heads, Cage the Elephant, SOJA, Barrington Levy, Pepper, The Aggrolites, Tribal Seeds, Ballyhoo!, Iration, The Movement, Mad Professor, Karl Denson, Rusted Root, Pato Banton, The Ziggens, Josh Heinrichs, New Politics, Pacific Dub, Tech Nine and many more. For more information and to listen to T.U.G.G.’s powerhouse sound, please visit www.tuggmusic.com.
WheelHouse is a nationally touring Americana and bluegrass band hailing from Madison, Wisconsin. As a full-time working band they perform over 220 shows per year and have garnered attention from national labels. Featuring three and four part harmonies, fiddle and guitar leads, and driving rhythm of the upright bass WheelHouse brings an energy and attitude unique to themselves.
WheelHouse also owns their own brand of whiskey appropriately named WheelHouse Whiskey, which can be found throughout southwestern Wisconsin.
CIRCLE OF HEAT
With all four members having the distinction of being graduates of the University of Minnesota School of Music, Circle of Heat doesn’t mess around. They create a fusion of prog rock beat and jazz-style rock improvisation with a blues backbone and clean vocal harmonies. You never know what you’re going to get, except for musicians playing at the top of their game.
After holding down a year of the Wednesday night residency at The Cabooze in Minneapolis, Circle of Heat is gearing up to release their second studio album in 2016!
JOE & VICKI PRICE
In a world where words like “legend” get thrown around entirely too lightly, it's good to know that there are a few people still worthy of the word's original intent. And when it comes to music in Iowa, Joe Price stands as one of the art's legendary practitioners.
Armed with a joyous, disarming demeanor and the ability to play the doors off most anyone else in the room, Price has opened for the likes of Iris Dement and John Lee Hooker, while Iowa's own Greg Brown calls Price “the Buddha.” Brown isn't alone in his praise, as a litany of Iowa musicians list Price as one of their influences.
THEM COULEE BOYS
Allegedly founded at a bible camp in 2012, Them Coulee Boys have come quite a long way since then. Crafting a brand of folk rock that incorporates elements of bluegrass, punk, and jam, Them Coulee Boys are “prolific, caring, and a fiercely good time onstage and off” (Volume One Magazine, Oct. 2014). Wielding a constantly growing repertoire of 20 original songs along with covers that span genres and decades, the Boys have spent the past two years playing all over Wisconsin and Minnesota.
Originally a three-piece, the Boys traveled around the state playing songs off their Them Coulee Boys EP while mixing in covers from ranging from the folk of Bob Dylan, to the groove of The Rolling Stones, with just about everything else in between. Once they became a four man band in February 2014, Them Coulee Boys hit the studio to record their debut full-length I Never Lied About Being In Love, which features 14 tracks that range from tender folk, to bluegrass blowouts. Never the ones to stand still, the Boys are working on a whole new set of tunes to add to their already superb live show.
Spawned out of decades of numerous musical endeavors, HONEST MONDAY is a unique collaboration of singer-songwriters. Each member of the band truly brings his own musical flavor to the table while maintaining a simplistic approach to compliment the collective sound. HONEST MONDAY is loose with a sense of solidarity, fresh sound with an old soul. With a diverse range of influences, the band seamlessly blends together to create a musically classic, yet raw original sound.
Two years after releasing their second album (Lemming), Sans Souci announces their latest studio album, On the Line. The new album continues to push the traditional music envelope, blending the elements of American primitive music and modern string band sensibilities, plus a dash of grunge.
On the Line was crafted by heartache and hard living mixed with a tinge of laughter. Harmonies rule the musical roost, transmitting Raymond Carver-esque short stories and particular, but germane poesy. On Lock & Dam #5, mandolinist Eric Larson takes us on a reverberant vocal ride down the Mississippi river to a favorite festival. On Two Guns, guitarist Zach Gusa tells a true story of a gangster’s crimes, his capture, and his final days on death row in Sing Sing prison. The instruments tell the full story in Drive Me Home, where the listener is taken on a deliberately spacey journey. The song features the driving banjo played by Mike Hedding, lilting fiddle interludes from Jake Hyer, and is anchored by upright bassist Adam Lutz. Throughout On the Line, the ensemble provides the listener with a mix of soft melodic interludes, rich vocal harmonies, and arpeggiated mayhem. With the guiding hand of producer and engineer Rich Mattson (Ole’ Yeller / Tisdales / Glenrustles), On the Line is sure to resonate with listeners old and new.
THE HEAVY SET
The Heavy Set is a Rock quartet, with sounds combining soul, hard rock, blues and alt-country. Founder Jake Ilika started the band in Winona, MN, and relocated to Minneapolis in the fall of 2013 to pursue music full-time, bringing The Heavy Set to a larger audience. Released in March of 2014, their self-titled debut EP represents their well-rounded style, including Americana, Folk and Hard Rock, and earned some praise from local media like The Current, who said "It’s timeless, genre-defying, and worth a good long listen."
THE WIDE AWAKES
The Wide Awakes hail from the Mississippi river town of Winona, MN. Blending an enticing mix of old time, bluegrass, and traditional music, this 5-piece band boasts all the traditional instrumentation (banjo, mandolin, guitar, violin, and upright bass) and is well-equipped to use them. They find themselves in the recording studio in early 2016, look for a release of early spring.
THE FREAKS OF NATURE
THE NORTHERN PINES BAND
The Northern Pines Band (NPB) has always struggled to define their sound, to them that's a good thing. With the ability to blend blues,country,rock and even some hip hop into their sets it gave NPB the chance to build a very eclectic fan base from 2002-2006. Hailing from Madison, WI NPB played extensively throughout Wisconsin and the Midwest. They took home the first ever Isthmus Band to Band Combat in 2003 and are two time Madison Area Music Award winners. Although NPB dissolved in 2006 they have since reunited in 2013 and continue to share their unique style of music.
GIN MILL HOLLOW
Gin Mill Hollow is the musical trio of Mark Norman, Dan Plourde and Joshua Giudice singing songs while playing stringed instruments of all varieties.