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Event Archive - 2008

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Jan 5, 2008The RedbirdsAdventurous bluegrass and old-time featuring John Fabke, Paul Kienitz and Paul Kowert.
Jan 19, 2008Spider TrioSpider Trio is based in Chicago. Dan McNaughton, bassist and leader/composer, started the group in 1997 in New Orleans. That period saw the recording of the first Spider Trio cd, Permission.

A move to Ann Arbor saw further performances with various lineups and the release of Permission in 2001. The current members are Bryan Pardo, tenor saxophone; Bonbonfera Tim Keenan, drums, and Dan: this unit has been together since 2004. In May of 2007 the second Spider Trio cd, Presences, came out.

Bryan, Tim, and Dan all have extensive backgrounds in jazz. They bring a variety of experiences to the group: Dan has played punk rock, klezmer, and classical music; Tim’s exploration of the world of drumming has included the Afro-Cuban and West African traditions; Bryan started the Ann Arbor klezmer band Into The Freylakh and leads Balkano, a Balkans-jazz fusion group.

The group has performed at various venues in Chicago, including the Velvet Lounge and the Heartland Cafe. A brief tour in the summer of 2004 included shows in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC.
Jan 11, 2008HBO - Harrison Brady OverdriveHarrison Brady Overdrive, or "HBO" (not to be confused with HBO, the premium cable channel that offers such fine programming as "The Sopranos", as well as a number of other shows that contain lots of swearing, that being the whole raison d’etre of cable television), is a string/percussion duo consisting of Randal Harrison and Geoffrey Brady. Employing such instruments as the violin, the vibraphone, Randal's vocals, the theremin, the electric cuica, and the chincello, HBO features improvisations based on the original compositions of the duo's (two) members, as well as EXCITING NEW interpretations of the works of such diverse composers as Debussy, Piazzolla, Schoenberg, Monk and others. Plus, HBO, like HBO, uses a lot of profanity and charges a reasonable fee for this service.
Jan 12, 2008Mary Bue w/ Amy Curl & Dan KennedyMary Bue..Nominated for best folk act in the 2005 Providence Phoenix Best Music poll, this singer/pianist has the potential to emotionally sucker-punch you!

Amy Curl & Dan Kennedy. Amy Curl and Dan Kennedy stay busy in Madison creating panoptic pop music that ranges from folky acoustic to quirky indie. Although the lyrics sometimes stray into the humorous, sarcastic, and, indeed, often the ridiculous, they do try to maintain an irony-free approach. "Irony has ruined everything," says Dan. "If you hear us playing some unexpected cover song it's because we love it, not because it's funny for us to do it." Of course, it may be funny too, but honesty is where the intent lies. Piano and guitar.
Jan 4, 2008Adam HooksAdam Hooks plays an eclectic mix of Folk, Garage Rock, and poppy Americana with clever, often humerous, lyrics and catchy tunes. He has performed in a variety of bands but usually does his live ventures solo. His performances are intense and enticing, held up by stellar vocals and a powerful, punky guitar style.
Jan 18, 2008No Show
Jan 25, 2008Henhouse Prowlers $7The Henhouse Prowlers strive to play bluegrass the way it was meant to be played. A six piece band (guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin, dobro and upright bass) with a focus on traditional vocal harmonies, hard driving instrumentals and sincere lyrics. In keeping with the standards set 50+ years ago, the Prowlers perform around a single microphone and wear neatly ironed suits to accompany their cracking smiles. The effect of this setup draws a crowd in to an intimate performance that is virtually unmatched in the Chicago area. While standard bluegrass songs are a significant part of their sets, it's the original tunes and lyrics are frequently requested by the audience. Songs of reverence for the way things used to be, combined with stories of contemporary frustrations leave a lasting impression on any audience member listening.
Jan 13, 2008Art reception for Daniella MariaCome meet this month's artist!

7 - 9 pm. Free and open to the public.
Feb 8, 2008Yid ViciousWell, another year’s gone by, and that can mean only one thing—okay, several things, but assuming you’re not counting down the days until our gorilla overlords bury the Statue of Liberty up to her shoulders, it can only mean one thing—and that one thing is, of course, the Annual Groundhog Day Klezstravaganza that Yid Vicious has been hosting annually ever since anyone can remember. Much like Bastille Day and the Superbowl, no one now living knows when or how this tradition began. However, though its origins be lost to the mist of time, we’re fairly certain that this year’s Groundhog Day Kleztravaganza will deliver plenty of klezmer of the sort beloved by generations of Yid Vicious fans. And of course, in homage to the long lost ancestors who began this venerable tradition, there will be plenty of current and past members of the band on hand, guests both special an ordinary, playing music together with a stirring and timeless rapport.

None of us can go back in time to that first, storied Kleztravaganza, back in those crazy days of flivvers, flappers, Atari, straw hats and the Bill of Rights. But we can certainly do our best not to miss this one, because who’s to say it won’t be as historic as the first such event?

Yid Vicious is:
Daithi Wolfe, fiddle
Greg Smith, clarinets
Melissa Reiser, saxes
Kia Karlen, horn & accordion
Matt Appleby, guitar
David Spies, tuba
Geoff Brady, drums

Special Kleztacular guests include:
Anna Purnell, vocals
Bob Jacobson, trumpet
David Kantor, clarinet
Annie Chiles, fiddle
And MORE!
Feb 15, 2008JoAnne Pow!ers TrioThe JoAnne Pow!ers Trio:
JoAnne Pow!ers - Saxophones
Jennifer Pendur - Bass
Paul Baker - Drums; Percussion

After four years of aperiodic Midwestern performances and a short-run self-released CD-R (2005's "Legendary Weapons of Free Jazz"), the JoAnne Pow!ers Trio is ecstatic to announce the release of "Food for Thought" on the Unofficial Records label. Both bassist Jennifer Pendur and drummer Paul Baker had joined saxophonist Pow!ers in other free jazz combos before the Trio solidified at the beginning of 2004. Hot-off-the-presses at the end of November, the new CD displays the effortless communication and chemistry that the ensemble has developed over their long association. On "Food for Thought" the Trio displays its range, from disquieting whispers and drawn-out rumbling to heated conversations and battering squalls of sound. All tracks on the CD were completely improvised.

The centrepiece of the new CD is a lengthy suite entitled "Three for Malachi", each piece dedicated to a recently passed participant in Chicago's creative music scene: "Low Profile (for Malachi Favors Maghostut)", spanning nearly half an hour, pairs Pender's arco bass with Pow!ers' thunderous baritone in honour of the great Art Ensemble of Chicago bassist who passed on in early 2004. On "One Direction (for Malachi Thompson)", Pow!ers forgoes her usual saxophones to coax restless whispers from her cornet over quiet punctuation from the rhythm section, in tribute to the AACM trumpeter who in 2006 succumbed to lymphyoma, first diagnosed 17 years earlier. The final piece on the CD, "Exit Strategy (for Malachi Ritscher)", has the greatest resonance for Pow!ers, who recorded the piece for the antiwar activist and tireless archivist of improvised music in Chicago, who she befriended during her many visits to the Windy City over the last decade. Last November third, Ritscher doused himself with gasoline and self-immolated next to the Kennedy Expressway in protest of the illegal war in Iraq. With Ritscher's sacrifice as inspiration, the Trio stretches out on a tangled track that culminates in both a bang and a whimper.

Also on the CD are the aggitated "Improvised Explosive Device" featuring Pow!ers on a jittery soprano saxophone, and "Explosive Improvised Device", an exercise in fits and starts in which Baker's versatile percussion quarrels indignantly with tenor saxophone and a particularly dynamic bass.
Feb 16, 2008iCARUS HiMSELF w/ Sleeping in the Aviary"The solo outlet of National Beekeepers Society's Nick Whetro. Icarus Himself emphasizes what lurks under NBS's reassuring guitar fuzz. The Madison band's other members often join Whetro during his sets, which often include some NBS songs, but the tracks Whetro's recorded for an upcoming EP prove more haunting. On "Last Lung," "Amputee," and "People's Temple," he accompanies his death 'n' degradation tales with lonely echoes, double-tracked vocals, and the occasional drum machine." - The Onion

Fans of Syd Barrett, Neutral Milk Hotel, and The Unicorns take notice.

Sleeping in the Aviary:
3 charming young men from Madison+instruments+illiteracy = Sleeping in the Aviary

Fans of Boston, Journey, and Reo Speedwagon are sure not to enjoy.
Mar 1, 2008Reptile Palace OrchestraMadison's eclectic Reptile Palace Orchestra hasn't slithered in Motherfool's Coffeehouse since 2001 but is looking forward to lighting the room up Saturday March 1 at 8pm with lightly amped up versions of Eastern European, Balkan folkdance material and psychedelic delicacies from Turkey, Egypt and the USA.
Mar 21, 2008Doug Hoekstra"A lot of people write songs, Hoekstra writes five-minute worlds" (Wired Magazine).

Doug Hoekstra’s instantly recognizable musical persona and deep talent for songcraft have garnered years of praise from critics, djs, and fans throughout the United States and Europe. Raised in Chicago and living in Nashville, he has earned a well-deserved reputation as a man with an ear for a phrase and an eye for detail, a man known as a “songwriter’s songwriter” (CMJ Music Monthly). Hoekstra's gentle baritone anchors his music, setting sympathetic narratives against a backdrop of memorable melodies, wry rhythms, and subtle but unexpected arrangement touches. The sum total of the parts? "Americana's answer to Oscar Wilde...mesmerizing both musically and lyrically" (Americana-UK).

Hoekstra has released six full-length works on labels in the U.S. and Europe (When the Tubes Begin to Glow, Rickety Stairs, Make Me Believe, Around the Margins, Waiting, and Blooming Roses), earning him Nashville Music Award, Independent Music Award, and NARAS nominations. His latest project, Blooming Roses (to be released February 2008) features all the Hoekstra hallmarks – honest vocals, narrative lyrics, emotive chord changes and impeccable musicianship. From the soul vibe of the title track to the atmospheric groove of the closer (Everywhere is Somewhere), the music is infused with mood and purpose, creating a unified and rich musical landscape that stands as Hoekstra’s strongest work to date. Blooming Roses was recorded primarily at David Henry’s True Tone Recording studios in Nashville, with a bevy of Nashville’s finest helping achieve its dreamlike cohesion -- save for the closing track, which was cut in Stavanger, Norway at Out of Tunes Recording with members of Thomas Dybdahl’s touring band.

Hoekstra has toured both sides of the pond extensively, performing at bookstores, coffeehouses, clubs, libraries, pubs, festivals, radio stations, and castles, solo and with band in tow. Throughout this musical journey, he has been participant and observer, finding time to write a boatload of prose about these and other experiences. His short fiction and non-fiction has appeared in numerous literary journals, and he was nominated for the Pushcart Prize for his tale “The Blarney Stone” (2006). Hoekstra's first-full length collection of prose, Bothering the Coffee Drinkers, was published in 2006 to rave reviews and earned a Bronze Medal for Best Short Fiction in the 2007 Independent Publisher Awards (IPPYs). As Paste Magazine noted, “Music runs like a liquid vein through these 80-proof experiences. Hoekstra pours it out with a Dylan-esque fervor, giving us a sputtering catalog of beauties and terrors…”
Feb 2, 2008The Pickin Bubs - $5Bluegrass. This Chicago duo (Peggy Browning and Maura Lally) are both teachers at Old School of Folk Music. They learned their old-country chops from other instructors there. Expect great musicianship and extreme fun.


Feb 22, 2008Vid Libert w/ Underground Aviator - $6Vid Libert is a near east side musician who specializes in folk on the psych side of life. This show will be the cd release party for Vid's second album 'a return to mayaguez'. Expect extra reverb and mysterious sounds mixed with catchy melodies that wouldn't be out of place on some old sixties record.

Dan Williamson has been writing and performing music since 2004. Under the name of Underground Aviator, Dan fuses acoustic alt-rock with electronica and hip-hop beats and is quickly becoming well known throughout the upper midwest. Live, Aviator mixes loops and beats with his guitar and voice to create an original and interesting sound. Aviator's first album "Sleepin On A Table In The Aboulia Nation" will be released early this year from his own label, Aboulia Nation Records.
Feb 23, 2008Pedway w/ Enemy Lines Music EnsemblePedway is a musical collaboration between three Chicago-based musicians, Quin Kirchner (drums), Matthew Golombisky (bass), and Caroline Davis (alto saxophone). Steeped in the traditions of jazz, rock, and whatever else has entered their consciousness, this group explores unchartered territory each time they perform. Members of the group have collaborated with Tony Malaby, Jeff Parker, Tim Daisy, Dave Rempis, Jeb Bishop, Ted Sirota, Ellis Marsalis, Greg Ward, and Ed Peterson. Their improvisations are inspired by many local Chicago groups and act as a bridge connecting a range of musical styles.

Enemy Lines Music Ensemble is a new group of Madison-based musicians interested in exploring the interaction between composition, improvisation and everything else.



Feb 29, 2008The Gilded BatsWith a lineup of fiddle, banjo, guitar, and washtub bass, The Gilded Bats play rockin' old-time string band music - from driving dance tunes to crooked modal tunes, from lonesome mountain ballads to rough and rowdy songs.

The Gilded Bats self-titled debut CD, funded in part by a grant from the Iowa Arts Council, was released in October 2007. The Gilded Bats are part of the Mud Dauber Records family of recording artists.
Feb 9, 2008Corey HartCorey Hart plays the music you wish you'd grown up to - an eclectic blend of folk, rock, and a little bit of soul. This Wisconsinite's earthy sound will tantalize your eardrums while his stage presence will captivate your eyes.

After only a few shows in his adopted hometown of Madison, WI this Berklee dropout found himself rising to the top of the local music scene. Hart recently earned the title of Madison's Songwriter of the Year.

Shortly after his award-winning performance, Corey spent some time recording at Smart Studios. His resulting new EP "Words Like Wildfire" is certain to bring national attention. Featuring stripped down production that emphasis substance over studio tricks "Words Like Wildfire" captures his awesome voice and amazing songwriting.

"Hart is out to make folk that's not about easy listening, that suggests the intensity of real life." - The Isthmus
Feb 24, 2008Art reception for robin leeCome down and meet the artist!
Feb 1, 2008Open mic w/ Stephanie RearickSign up starts at 7pm and the show starts at 8.

Stephanie will have her looper, trumpet and a casio keyboard down here that participants may use.
Mar 22, 2008Geoff and Kia - $6.00MUSIC! MIRTH!! and MORE!!!

Who are Geoff and Kia? The Steve and Eydie of Wisconsin? The Captain and Tenille of instrumental improvised music? The Steve and Tenille and Eydie and Captain of the 21st century? Which of these things

is Geoff and Kia??

Geoff (Brady) and Kia (Karlen) are a pair of Madison musicians who have previously occupied the stage at Mother Fool’s with such ensembles as Yid Vicious, Yammer, Dyna-Music and The Theramones. As a duo, the two put on a show crammed full of improvisation, married-people banter...and accordions! Plus, maybe puppets! Utilizing the vibraphone, the afore-mentioned accordion, plus various brass and percussion instruments, AS WELL AS the theremin and electro-acoustic resources, Geoff and Kia play a mélange of new original music, soundscapes, a smattering of classical music from long ago, and lots and lots of filler. Plus, maybe PUPPET JOKES!

Geoff and Kia: You’ve got them, babe!
Mar 7, 2008Emily HerringEmily Herring has been playing and performing music for most of her life. She released her first full-length CD, My Tears Will Be Relieved, in April of 2006. And she's just finished a new EP entitled, "The Cat, Beaver, Bee". Her single, "Has Country Gone to Hell?" has spent 10 weeks in the top ten of Neil Young's Songs of the Times website. Another single of hers, "Doc Bronner" was also featured on Shut Eye Records' The United States of America vol. 4. Recently, Emily's had the pleasure of performing at sevral music conferences and festivals, including the Midpoint Music Festival, and Folk Alliance.

Whether she's moaning out the blues, or belting out criticism for our National politics and Music Row, one thing is certain... Emily Herring will keep you listening.

"Her playing is what seals the deal... a mean Delta feel complete with the slide guitar."- Jason MacNeil, Pop Matters Magazine

"It's refreshing to hear something so out of the ordinary for a change." -Ear Candy Magazine

"Authentic and original and Emily Herring is echoing country's past for future generations!" -Kweevak Magzine

"Emily Herring weaves songs out of a bluesy country fabric that is so much a part of Central Texas. In a sea of sound-alike singer/songwriters, Herring demands to be heard." -Ink 19 Magazine

"Herring is an original voice doing extraordinary things in the simplest terms... A big plate of Texas Country with a side of Delta Blues."- City Beat, Cincinnati
Mar 8, 2008Jim Schwall w/ Josh HartyJim Schwall, Guitar, Mandolin, singer-songwriter - is the co-leader of the Siegel-Schwall Band, "one of the best acts in America", - Billboard Magazine.

After playing drums and accordion in elementary school, Jim Schwall found the guitar in high school and has never put it down for long. In college, Jim met piano/harmonica player Corky Siegel and formed the Siegel-Schwall Band. Siegel-Schwall toured full-time for about ten years, releasing over a dozen albums on Vanguard and Wooden Nickel Records. Siegel-Schwall starting playing occasional reunion gigs in the late '80's and currently have two recent CD's in the Alligator Records catalog.

For well over 40 years, Jim has also played with various other bands, releasing recordings with many of these, including two versions of the Jim Schwall Band. He has also played solo acoustic gigs for over 40 years but, aside from acetates cut in high school, never made a solo acoustic recording until 2007's "Getting Old," on Madison WI's Uvulittle Records. Currently he lives in Madison, is a member of SoDangYang along with singer/songwriter Marques Bovre, plays solo, works in visual arts, and is recently retired from social service work.

Josh Harty is a classic example of "Made In America." He blends contemporary Midwestern sensibility with traditional gospel and blues to create a rich hybrid unique in the field of acoustic guitar. His poignant lyrics are the product of astute observation and thoughtful introspection. His crisp, emotive guitar couples with warm, smoky vocals that settle comfortably into each listener's ear. His songs are planted in the fertile soil of experience and nourished with the stuff of everyday life.


Mar 14, 2008Biff Vs. Robots - A Multimedia Event - $6Celebrate! Ides of March Eve with mirthful MAMA and WAMI award-winning musical weirdo Biff Blumfumgagnge as he presents a solo evening entitled: Biff vs. Robots.

Witness! The insane spectacle as the inventor of the Gomers (and member of Reptile Palace Orchestra, Jambeau, Yammer and Headpump) battles digital, analog and air music technology right in front of your eyes. Biff will spill out his goods upon the Motherfool's Stage like an exploding NASA space probe and proceed to create sonic trickery, looping dervishes and electric violin / mandolin-scapes like you never heard - all to robot movies on a screen.

Add! A synth controller or two and he's ready to wrestle the musical automatons sprinkled about the stage like a bunch of mini mayhem-causing Borg vessels of sound, creating a live soundtrack to portions of Fritz Lang's 1927 silent film masterpiece, Metropolis. And that's just the first set.

It's ambient - techno - world music moving to images of robots smashing buildings, thwarting man and fighting giant dinosaurs...

This is the second in a series of Biff solo concert events at Motherfool's Coffeehouse.

No robots will actually be hurt during this presentation.

Mar 15, 2008Vortex!Vortex is a showcase for local experimental improvisors.
Mar 9, 2008Art reception for YES! (to tulips)Come on down and meet this month's artist. Free and open to the public, this event will go from 6 -8 pm.
May 10, 2008Primordial SoupPRIMORDIAL SOUP ---- Tom Hamer, drums ------ Uncle Larry Hancock, electric bass --------- Tom Lachmund, saxes & bass clarinet

Out of the shrouded mists of ageless time, from the primeival ooze of ceaselessly mutating lifeforms, emerge 3 strange beings, each clutching some kind of crude metal object to its breast, like a talisman.

"oh,what manner of creature be these?.. and what business brings them here, in this place of turmoil & strife?"

The beings take their metallic objects & begin to scratch at, to bang on, & to bellow into them. And lo! a strange but vital noise emerges from their midst.

"o, what manner of sound is this frightful din?", ask the people round,all awonder. "is it 'avant- guarde?' is it 'jazz'? is it 'ethnic?' is it 'experimental?'"

Why, prithee, good souls, it is none, & it is all & it is more. From the Air it comes & to the Air it returns. It is the SOUND of PRIMORDIAL SOUP!
Mar 15, 2008Marketing Team Appreciation Day!Saturday March 15 is Marketing Team Appreciation Day!

Wear your Mother Fool's tee-shirt, sports jacket, backpack, cap, pin, etc or bring in your Mother Fool's travel mug and get free brewed coffee.

If you need a stencil to make your MF gear visit our Marketing Team Support Page.

We love you and have always loved you. We look forward to loving you even more on March 15.

-da foolz
Mar 29, 2008Jenny Magnus CD Release Party! w/ Stephanie RearickJenny Magnus..
"Everything a performance artist should be: subversive, personal, stimulating, a little scary and simply amazing.." - Chicago Tribune

Jenny Magnus is a Chicago-based performer, writer, director, producer and teacher.

Founding member of the Maestro Subgum and the Whole, Magnus' voice is front and center on the soon-to-be released, Songs From Shows. The CD will be released in March, 2008 on Uvulittle Records

Magnus has contributed to cultural life in Chicago for 13 years as a founding member of The Curious Theatre Branch, The Lunar Cabaret and the Curious School. Magnus produces her original work, produces and contributes to the annual Rhino Theater Festival, and tours her work internationally. She has performed recently at the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Chicago Cultural Center and in Jeff Ryner's American Parade at the Lunar Cabaret.

Stephanie Rearick...
For Madison's Stephanie Rearick, labels like 'classical' and 'arty' don't do justice to the genre-bending music box of sound that comes from her upright piano. It's by turns adventurous and accessible, ancient and futuristic, comforting and scary. On her 2005 album Star Belly, sounds from an old west barroom mingle with high concept cabaret and psychedelic distortion. -- The Onion
Mar 28, 2008Hayward Williams w/ John Statz"Hayward Williams' earnestly jaunty folk-rock might seem anachronistic in the prevailing musical atmosphere of self-conscious irony, but his combination of melody, restraint, and unabashed enthusiasm saves the day. Williams also boasts a voice that sounds several decades older than he actually is, lending his songs of love and loss a gravity they might not otherwise possess." - The Onion

Ahhh, where to start? The exquisite gruffness of a manly voice that belies the strip of a lad who appears on the photographs? The moving, intelligent storytelling, from which "Doctors" and "Problems with Hemingway" stand out – but only just – from the crowd? Or the new-alt-country-blues (and will you forgive me that phrase) of the sound, put to beautiful use on 'Devil's Lament'? In truth, its hard to put it into words; this is a fantastic record, one that's a treat from start to finish. On first listen, the cover of Thunder Road strikes a jarring note; when your songs are as good as Hayward's there seems no need to walk in another's shoes, but several goes later and it melds in seamlessly. You'll like this." - Americana UK

Given a guitar by his grandmother when he was 15 years old, John Statz quickly put his background in music from playing the piano and trombone to good use. After playing in a few different bands, John began to delve into songwriting at the age of 19. Now 23, he has already played all over Wisconsin, as well as in 12 other states and the Canadian province of New Brunswick.

Since 2007 began, John has already embarked on his first Spring Tour, visiting Dallas, Kansas City, and many more cities along the way, and recently won a MAMA award for "Folk/Americana Album of the Year" for his first album, "Dusk Came Slow".

May 2, 2008Al RoseWhat is Al Rose's music like? What are Al Rose's songs like? Good questions.

Imagine (if you will) your favorite café. Maybe it's Kopi Café on Clark Street in Chicago, Mother Fool's in Madison, or some place in Paris, or Rome, or Bali, or New York or some out of the way place in your head. It's late afternoon… or morning (if you've just gotten up). Either way, it's still a touch lighter outside than inside. You step in and your eyes adjust to the warm colors. Some of the tables are worn wood. Some are worn marble. All of the chairs are different and somewhat solid, but you have your favorites and you grab a seat.

Over by the wall, Bob Dylan is playing scrabble with either Allen Ginsberg or Serge Gainsbourg. It's tough to tell because bartender Richard Thompson makes sure to pour a shot of absinthe into every drink. Groucho Marx is over in the corner, chair back on two legs, playing ukulele and swapping songs with William Burroughs in a scene out of a Chagall painting. Henry Miller sits at a table littered with empty glasses and full ashtrays. Lucinda Williams sits on his lap, while under the table he tries, unsuccessfully to work his hand up Emmylou Harris's dress.

Neil Young sits at a table by himself eating popcorn and watching a movie that's playing in his head. While from the outside front window, Greg Brown looks in taking notes and sketching pictures.

Any other questions?
Apr 11, 2008Carrie ElkinWith the vocal fire of Patti Griffin and the lyrical rawness of Rickie Lee Jones, Carrie Elkin's songs are, at once, intimate yet universal, naked yet richly adorned. "Her voice is simply revelatory" says the venerable English music rag, Folkwax. "Very few people in this world can captivate an audience with just a voice and a guitar the way Carrie Elkin can," adds the Athens Music Network.

"Live, Carrie Elkin displays one of the most powerful female voices in the area, and her charming, unaffected stage presence nicely offsets her vocal mix of husky alto underpinnings and piercing soprano overtones....This is definitely a star to watch..." - Cleveland Scene Magazine
Apr 18, 2008Subvocal w/ Bob Manor TrioSubvocal:
Led by singer-songwriter Mark Adkins, subvocal is a one of kind ensemble that plays it's own genre of psychedelic-electro-tribal-folk. Subvocal won best band for 2004 and best CD for 2005 at the MAMAS.

Bob Manor:
Acoustic rock Americana featuring Madison singer-songer writers Bob Manor and Sheila Shigley, backed by tasty veteran bassist Ken Keeley. Manor's serrated voice will cut through heartfelt lyrics while Shigley displays the vocal prowess she is known for in the popular Celtic group, Navan.


Apr 12, 2008Joe and Vicky Price w/ Kelly PardekooperRight from jump street, the electrifying sound of Joe Price hits you in all the places you live: The insistent, driving rhythm chops, the taproot boot-stomps, the splintering, thrilling slide runs up the fret board, and that voice—a keening, haunting miracle seemingly channeled from the ghosts of past masters—all add up to a one-man blues tornado who can pack, command and wring-out a dance-floor with the authority of an eight-piece show band.

And while Price inhabits classic blues standards as if they were favorite shirts, his own deep and varied bag of original music is so formidable—so thoroughly imbued with life's mysteries—that noted Grammy-award nominated singer/songwriter Greg Brown has long referred to Joe as "the Buddha."

Beginning with the Rocket 88s (through 1974) and continuing with the legendary Mother Blues from '75 till '81, Joe played virtually non-stop. During that stretch, those bands worked almost nightly, crisscrossing Midwestern bars and serving as the openers of choice at high-profile shows by Muddy Waters, Koko Taylor, Clifton Chenier, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGee, James Cotton and more.

Joe escaped to Lansing in northeast Iowa in 1982, where he not only had his brother's trailer for shelter, but—much more significantly—the picturesque burg happens to be near Waukon, the hometown of a pretty young blues belter named Vicki Ewing, who had captured his attention during a 1981 solo gig there.

Joe and Vicki shared the stage from their first meeting and married in 1987. They have opened for such notables as John Lee Hooker, Willie Dixon, Homesick James, Honeyboy Edwards, Louisiana Red, The Reverend Al Green, Greg Brown and Iris DeMent along the way.

Iowa City native [b]Kelly Pardekooper[/b] is a singer/songwriter currently based in Madison, Wisconsin. He has toured all over the United Statesand Europe. He has showcased at SXSW in Austin. Jim Beam Whiskey gave him an emerging artist grant....blah blah blah. Album number five finished recently with Teddy Morgan engineering/producing in EastNashville garage studio...buy it at kellyp.net. Kelly Pardekooper writes songs and tries to treat people well....the golden rule rules! He began writing haiku poetry with the Wisconsin snowfall when his wife became obsessed with bad TV. He continues to try to gain her attention….
May 3, 2008Executive Tea SetJazz draws another breath!

Executive Tea Set is the latest collaboration between Michael Brenneis and Geoff Brady, who have previously appeared in the guise of Tomato Box and The Active Percussion Duo. ETS is also the latest collaboration between Mark Siegenthaler and Brad Townsend, who themselves are 2/3rds of Arp Of The Covenant. It's all so collaborative!

ETS quickly escalated from a classic jazz repertory band, as the group assembled a respectable pile of original compositions. Mixing the group's original works with those of some of the best jazz composers from the last 60 years makes for an eclectic, groovy, swinging show. Not to be missed.

Geoff Brady - Vibraphone
Mark Siegenthaler - Piano
Brad Townsend - Bass
Michael Brenneis - Drums
Apr 5, 2008Andrew Bailie w/ Chris Buckingham"For many, as if freezing a moment in time, Andrew Bailie's music longs to tell a story of life, love, and loss. In the end, when the layers are peeled...you'll only find a boy and his guitar."

Andrew Bailie first picked up a guitar at age 8. However, it wasn't until later when his brother traded in a saxophone for a 12-string acoustic that his real practice began. Andrew grew up in Southern Illinois, in a sea of cornfields and coal mines. Constantly looking for new excitement he began borrowing his brother's guitar any chance he could get. At this point, he had already been singing for 10 years. Playing guitar seemed like the next step.

Andrew joined his first band in high school with several friends. He recorded his first album and then started playing in bars way before he was even old enough to get in. Years later, in 2000, he started gathering songs in support of his first solo album. Recorded under the name Solartree, the album "From The Ground Up" was released in May of 2002. At that same time he had started a new project, Madison, with his brother. They started developing material and by May of 2003 they moved to Los Angeles to continue playing. After a year in LA Andrew needed to come back to familiar territory, so he settled in Chicago and has been there ever since. He started playing guitar with Track A Tiger (Deep Elm/Future Appletree) in 2005.

Whenever Andrew is not playing with other projects he uses his time to write new solo acoustic material. Having a solo career is a very important part of his growth, as it offers him total creative control. Patiently progressing, new recordings have come while in his home studio. He has plans to mix the album this spring and release it by early summer.

Apr 4, 2008Attack Ponies w/ Champ Shack - $5Attack Ponies have yet to find the suitable MySpace genre words but can be summed up as indie-keyboard-shenanigan-pop. They've been playing together just under a year, but their members are no strangers to the stage. Keyboardist, Stacey Barelos is also a classical pianist, pounding her way into concerts all over the map. Bassist Rob McCaleb is a formally a member of local bands SeaBus!!! and the Body Politik. Drummer Sarah DeVore has played in the Urban Hillbilly quartet of Minneapolis and local groups Squid and the Demented Carousel. Attack Ponies are the most fun you never knew you were missing.

"Madison trio Attack Ponies' songs bounce along on Stacey Barelos'cheerful piano and vocals, with lyrics that sometimes mystify and sometimes invite goofy sing-alongs." The Onion

Apr 19, 2008New Roots DuoNew Roots Duo is a unique combination of finger-style guitarists Ben Woolman and Dan Schwartz. Based in the Twin Cities, both artists have successful solo careers performing throughout the country but have now joined forces to write, record, and perform music as a duo. Together, exploring new terrain and new instruments (acoustic baritone guitar, acoustic lap-steel guitar respectively), they are creating the finest music of their careers. Currently, they are touring in support of their newly released CD entitled, Roots Run Deep, an inspired collection described as, "Instrumental, melody driven, roots based pop music."
Apr 13, 2008The Black Line - Art ReceptionCome down and meet the artist and check out this month's show. 7 - 9 PM. Free and open to the public.
Apr 25, 2008Dave Fallow and John FabkeDave Fallow and John Fabke are known for producing, hosting and tightly scripting the only 10 minute "Radio Naturalist" segment in the known universe for WORT 89.9FM on Tuesday morning's "Pastures of Plenty".

This one-of-a-kind-not-to-miss show at our favorite Madison venue is guaranteed to both stun and amaze the casual listener as John and the "Bird Guy" perambulate extemporaneously through their collective repertoires of bluegrass, jazz, pop and TV themes. This program is morally good.
Apr 22, 2008TV Turnoff Live Radio Broadcast - WORTWe are celebrating TV TURN OFF WEEK with a special live broadcast on WORT, 89.9 fm.

This event, hosted by John Fabke, WORT's Tuesday morning folk DJ, will feature the following performers:

9 am - Tracy Jane Comer
10 am - Lynn "Chirps" Smith
11 am - Bruce Bollerud and George Gilbertson

You can listen on your radio or to the live web stream.
Jun 7, 2008iCARUS HiMSELF w/ Vid Libert - $5iCARUS HiMSELF

"Working under the Icarus Himself moniker, National Beekeepers Society's Nick Whetro enters a troubled universe in his new self-titled EP. Confused characters traipse through a cold, ill-fated world, in which everything and everyone are imperfect and death rattles the bones of both the living and the dead." - ISTHMUS

"One of the things I really enjoy about Icarus Himself's self-titled EP is one of the things that originally drew me to the Fruit Bats. Nick Whetro makes great use of macabre lyrics over music that is oftentimes soft, or at the very least unassuming. You can't go wrong with Icarus Himself if this style tends to draw you in. This may be just a five song EP, but there's plenty of substance to sink in." - Delusions of Adequacy



Vid Libert

reverbed-out kitchen sink instrumentation underlies nicely crafted lo-fi dubby psychfolk pop songs dealing with topics of the transcendental kind.

May 9, 2008Melissa Greener w/ Corey Hart- $8Aboard the rough and tumble gypsy life, Melissa Greener is making it happen as only a girl can who has lived in her van offering songs to those who find her. On the Nashville Broad and the San Francisco Haight, Greeners soul-stiring songs began conception. Now, on The Drag in Austin, her music swells to the territories beyond rootsy, folk-pop and into the realms of ultimate tangibility of the soul. Between her birth town of Detroit and new home of Austin, Texas, Greener has lived and performed throughout the world - the far East, the middle-east, Europe, and North America. While marked with experiences of her solo bicycle ride across Canada and various travels throughout Europe, its American cities like San Francisco and Nashville that make their way into her music in the form of American Folk and Country. Still, Greeners globally attuned voice expresses universal notions of love, departure, regret and hope. As she travels through memories she also travels through melodies. She moves beyond the basics of Americana to capture the essence of American pop with influences like contemporary songstresses Shawn Colvin, Lucinda Williams and Ani Difranco, as well as such greats as Neil Young, Simon & Garfunkel, Nick Drake and Joni Mitchell. Greeners style is one of poetic lyricism matched with honeyed melodies and down-to-earth delivery. Her debut CD, Fall From the Sky, captures the essence of this. Greeners songs are meant for movement, whether through the terrain of lost memories or across the American landscape. Her music translates both the longing and anticipation that comes with the prolonged travel she knows so well.

Corey Hart plays the music you wish you'd grown up to - an eclectic blend of folk, rock, and a little bit of soul. This Wisconsinite's earthy sound will tantalize your eardrums while his stage presence will captivate your eyes.

After only a few shows in his adopted hometown of Madison, WI this Berklee dropout found himself rising to the top of the local music scene. Hart recently earned the title of Madison's Songwriter of the Year.

Shortly after his award-winning performance, Corey spent some time recording at Smart Studios. His resulting new EP "Words Like Wildfire" is certain to bring national attention. Featuring stripped down production that emphasis substance over studio tricks "Words Like Wildfire" captures his awesome voice and amazing songwriting.

"Hart is out to make folk that's not about easy listening, that suggests the intensity of real life." - The Isthmus
Apr 26, 2008East Side Teen Poetry ReadingFeaturing the Spoken Word Poetry Club from LaFollette High School. Any middle or high school student is welcome to read their original work in a free-flowing supportive atmosphere. If you'd like to participate, arrive at least 15 minutes early to sign up. Bring your family and friends! For more info contact Andrew McCuaig at 240-0889.
Jun 6, 2008Jim Schwall w/ Spitzer Space TelescopeJim Schwall, Guitar, Mandolin, singer-songwriter - is the co-leader of the Siegel-Schwall Band, "one of the best acts in America", - Billboard Magazine.

After playing drums and accordion in elementary school, Jim Schwall found the guitar in high school and has never put it down for long. In college, Jim met piano/harmonica player Corky Siegel and formed the Siegel-Schwall Band. Siegel-Schwall toured full-time for about ten years, releasing over a dozen albums on Vanguard and Wooden Nickel Records. Siegel-Schwall starting playing occasional reunion gigs in the late '80's and currently have two recent CD's in the Alligator Records catalog.

For well over 40 years, Jim has also played with various other bands, releasing recordings with many of these, including two versions of the Jim Schwall Band. He has also played solo acoustic gigs for over 40 years but, aside from acetates cut in high school, never made a solo acoustic recording until 2007's "Getting Old," on Madison WI's Uvulittle Records. Currently he lives in Madison, is a member of SoDangYang along with singer/songwriter Marques Bovre, plays solo, works in visual arts, and is recently retired from social service work.

Spitzer Space Telescope: For some of his songs, aspiring singer-songwriter Dan MacDonald (CFA’10) duct tapes a tambourine to his foot as an accompaniment on stage, but “most of the time," he says, "it breaks ’cause I stomp the s--t out of it.”

MacDonald, otherwise known as Spitzer Space Telescope, is a one-man band of sorts — guitarist, harmonica and tambourine player, and vocalist.

“There aren’t too many negatives about performing solo,” says MacDonald, who studies painting at the College of Fine Arts. “I simply can’t tap into the energy I could with a band. Everything is simplified. And my mistakes are completely exposed. I can’t hide them behind a wall of sound.”
Jul 11, 2008Emily White w/ Whitney MannEmily White's sophomore release "12 Ways to Live," delves into new territory for the Chicago singer/songwriter. She's still playing her signature guitar lines and singing the disarmingly honest lyrics that have made her popular with fans throughout the country, but the choices in production showcase the songs in an entirely different light than her 2005 EP release "Every Pulse." The new album takes a decidedly more indie approach to the folk-rock style that has garnered White attention in songwriting circles. This songwriter is also no stranger to the stage. She has been performing throughout the Midwest and Northeast over the past two years, sharing her introspective songs and candid stage presence with audiences from Omaha to Miami.

Whitney Mann. Born in the backseat of desolate farm land and small congregations, Whitney grew up playing with guns and listening to Willie Nelson. She tickled her first set of ivories when she was seven and strummed her first guitar at nine. She wanted to be the female version of Neil Diamond ('the greatest'). But that was years ago. Now all she wants is to be your Folgers® ('the best part of wakin' up'). She is a real down home kind of girl, looking to provide real down home kind of music that offers a real down home kind of connection to, as she says, 'the simple folk'. Her songs are thoughtful and genuine, yet playful all at once. She is a story-teller at heart, and even if the stories aren't 'feel good', they are still true to the life that surrounds us.

With her cool blend of alt-country and blues, Whitney Mann's rockin' jams are as sweet as her ballads: wide-eyed, intense, seductive. Her songs ache like her broken heart. They will ache like yours when she's through. Veiled beneath her whiskey-tinged voice and stream-lined lyrics exist the lives of farmhands, wayward criminals, sluts. Concealed beneath them are the stories of her life. And beneath them even further; beneath the pound of the bass drum and the slide of the guitar, beneath the walking bass line and the echo of reverberating claps, exists Whitney Mann's philosophy on life. If you listen closely you can hear it.
May 16, 2008Yammer w/ db pedersenYammer is one of Jonathan Zarov's projects. Expect well-crafted weird pop-rock tunes and a stage show that never ceases to amaze.

db pedersen brings his take on extended voice/performance art to the stage for an evening of aural wonderment. self taught in the art of khoomei, db has the ability to create multiple silmultaneous tones that he sings across landscapes that he keeps safely tucked right behind his eyes.
May 30, 2008Vortex - Improvisation ShowcaseCome listen to some of Madison's more experimental improvisors playing in all different combinations.. Features: Jon Arnold, Tom Hamer, Tom Lachmund, db pedersen, Endless and friends..
May 31, 2008Junior LeagueTraditional sounds of rural Appalachia and the deep South served up with dance-pop sensibility and an Indie-rock attitude; Junior League's contemporary take on American roots music draws inspiration from old-time fiddle tunes, swingin' country, bangin' bluegrass, and soulful delta blues. While the rhythm section, lays down boot-stomping grooves and infectious string hooks, lead singer and banjer player, the lovely Lissy Rosemont, brings the band's cleverly arranged compositions to life and hypnotizes audiences with her sultry voice, sweet lyrics, and Southern charm. Junior League's instrumentation includes mandolin, guitar, banjo, fiddle, double-bass, harmonica and drums. The mostly acoustic group, based in Washington D.C., has toured the East from Boston to Atlanta and just returned from a West Coast epic that took them from L.A. all the way up to Seattle. Although they completed a residency at Pianos in June and have played venues like The Living Room and Pete's Candy Store, Junior League members have also been spotted busking together on street corners and outside farmer's markets in Brooklyn and several other major American cities.


"…The songs are both unabashedly old-fashioned and amazingly modern, a walk in the Appalachian Mountains crossed with a breeze in the middle of the sweltering city heat. It is the kind of music that makes you want to kick your shoes off, in the best way imaginable..." - BrightestYoungThings.com

"…Another young band with surprisingly mature talents, the Junior League (named after the rich girls' volunteer association) plays old-fashion music, with square-dance fiddle, mandolin, harmonica, and bluegrass done-me-wrong themes. But if that brings to mind a dusty NPR show, just give a listen: this music is fresh and appealing and sounds like the form was just invented…" - On Tap Magazine

"…This band's sound is not your usual deal. It's more country, but not country. More twangy, but not twangy, if you catch my drift. Lissy Rosemont's charming voice carries most of these tracks, but the band is very capable all around. The mandolin and fiddle playing is well done and wonderful additions..." - SF Station
May 23, 2008HBO - Harrison Brady OverdriveHarrison Brady Overdrive, or "HBO" (not to be confused with HBO, the premium cable channel that offers such fine programming as "The Sopranos", as well as a number of other shows that contain lots of swearing, that being the whole raison d’etre of cable television), is a string/percussion duo consisting of Randal Harrison and Geoffrey Brady. Employing such instruments as the violin, the vibraphone, Randal's vocals, the theremin, the electric cuica, and the chincello, HBO features improvisations based on the original compositions of the duo's (two) members, as well as EXCITING NEW interpretations of the works of such diverse composers as Debussy, Piazzolla, Schoenberg, Monk and others. Plus, HBO, like HBO, uses a lot of profanity and charges a reasonable fee for this service.
May 17, 2008Brianna LaneBrianna grew up in Minnesota so you can blame her sweetness on her roots but this girl has been on the road non-stop for three years so you can hear her experiences in every note she sings. She has a voice and a presence beyond her years. She strums an acoustic guitar with the same sweetness and power in which she sings. Brianna is currently touring nationally with Liz Stahler on the "Boston to Austin Tour" supporting health and wellness and raising money for various charities.

"Lane's songs are beautiful and cathartic, almost telling us that it's OK to feel down, but not to let it get us down at the same time…. Her acoustic guitar gently weeps through almost a dozen indie-rock tunes, wandering through an introspective depression while maintaining a brave face all the same." – Mish Mash

"...innovative, thought-provoking songs…" – Back to the Dirt

"Her smartly written lyrics paint a portrait of a woman on the road searching for honesty and love. Her disarming voice lends those lyrics a feeling of innocent sincerity and heart. Fans of Dar Williams, early Suzanne Vega, the Indigo Girls and good songwriting in general will love 'Radiator'". – Asheville Disclaimer
May 15, 2008Benefit for Bitch Magazine featuring Stephanie Rearick, Nicole Gruter / Wilhelmina BakerFor Madison's Stephanie Rearick, labels like 'classical' and 'arty' don't do justice to the genre-bending music box of sound that comes from her upright piano. It's by turns adventurous and accessible, ancient and futuristic, comforting and scary. On her 2005 album Star Belly, sounds from an old west barroom mingle with high concept cabaret and psychedelic distortion. -- The Onion

Nicole Gruter / Wilhelmina Baker...
Wilhelmina Baker is Nicole's current solo project. She sings arias through effects pedals, bares heart heart through a megaphone, pops out of a box to chastise the iraq war, turns from muslim to redneck with the help of Brooks and Dunn, and hands out tasty morsels that corresponde to the song at hand. Every show is different, multi-sensory (mmm..yummy), sometimes political, sometimes silly. Always entertaining!
Jun 14, 2008Chris Dorman w/ Kurt ReiflerChris Dorman, from Lansing, is a musician, a father, and a friend to the community. His songs are gentle, honest and strong. He writes about his friends, his family and his feelings and reflects upon the intrinsic value within a local culture that cannot be quantified or commoditized. He hopes his sounds will nurture and inspire all who hear them to appreciate that which is unique to them. So what is unique to him, you ask? Chris dreams of being an old man who tells funny stories over and over again even though he knows everybody already knows the punch line.
Jun 28, 2008Paul Geremia - $10Legendary bluesman Paul Geremia will be bringing his 6 and 12 string guitars to Mother Fool’s Coffeehouse on January 13th. Influenced by the playing styles of Blind Lemon Jefferson, Blind Willie McTell, Blind Blake, Scrapper Blackwell and Robert Johnson, he is a must see for blues fans and guitar players alike. For 40 years Paul has traveled the world playing his own style of country blues and garnering a reputation as an underground guitar hero. During his rich career he has played and worked with some of the true giants of the blues, including Babe Stovall, Yank Rachel, Son House, Skip James, Pink Anderson and Howard “Louie Bluie” Armstrong.
May 24, 2008Disliking SilenceDisliking Silence formed in 2003 in Madison, WI. Now based out of Chicago, Disliking Silence continues to rock the scene with driving rhythms and catchy melodies. After you witness the band's powerful live performance, their songs are sure to get stuck in your head.
Jun 13, 2008 Frankie Lee, Andy Ewen and Doug DeRosa Frankie Lee, Andy Ewen and Doug DeRosa

Madison blues harmonica veteran Frankie Lee joins forces with Honor Among Thieves' stalwarts Andy Ewen and Doug DeRosa for a special trio performance.
Jun 21, 2008Brian Daly w/ Underground AviatorBrian Daly writes and performs songs for voice and guitar. His songs are edgy, introspective, catchy, emotional. Playing solo offers Daly a chance to deliver the songs in their purest form, with a clear window into the heart of the matter. Whatever that may be. He is also the leader of Sunshine for the Blind, a three piece rock band, and a music producer based out DNA Studios in Madison, WI.

Dan Williamson has been writing and performing music since 2004. Under the name of Underground Aviator, Dan fuses acoustic alt-rock with electronica and hip-hop beats and is quickly becoming well known throughout the upper midwest. Live, Aviator mixes loops and beats with his guitar and voice to create an original and interesting sound. Aviator's first album "Sleepin On A Table In The Aboulia Nation" will be released early this year from his own label, Aboulia Nation Records.
Jun 27, 2008Driftwood Fire w/ Hayward WilliamsDriftwood Fire. Melodic indie folk rock. Heart-wrenching vocals, interwoven guitar lines, orchestral bass, and creative percussion. Driftwood Fire incorporates jazz and Appalachian influences, with a result reminiscent of Cowboy Junkies, Tracy Chapman, HEM, Ditty Bops, Vienna Teng.

"Hayward Williams' earnestly jaunty folk-rock might seem anachronistic in the prevailing musical atmosphere of self-conscious irony, but his combination of melody, restraint, and unabashed enthusiasm saves the day. Williams also boasts a voice that sounds several decades older than he actually is, lending his songs of love and loss a gravity they might not otherwise possess." - The Onion

Ahhh, where to start? The exquisite gruffness of a manly voice that belies the strip of a lad who appears on the photographs? The moving, intelligent storytelling, from which "Doctors" and "Problems with Hemingway" stand out – but only just – from the crowd? Or the new-alt-country-blues (and will you forgive me that phrase) of the sound, put to beautiful use on 'Devil's Lament'? In truth, its hard to put it into words; this is a fantastic record, one that's a treat from start to finish. On first listen, the cover of Thunder Road strikes a jarring note; when your songs are as good as Hayward's there seems no need to walk in another's shoes, but several goes later and it melds in seamlessly. You'll like this." - Americana UK
Jul 5, 2008The Brothers Burn Mountain (Ryan and Jesse Dermody)"What kind of music? I'm really not sure. In the most general sense you could say 'their own': the taste of ripe cherries and the smell of the core of fresh oak. How can you disentangle the senses as they enter the sounds? Their music is a heightened sense of awareness wherever they go, and that creates a mesh like a spider's web, but the filaments in the songs are made of the finest strings of light instead, light filled with crane cackle, the smell of earth-ripening mushrooms, the look of an old Amish barn or a wine cellar from Marie Antoinette's basement.

"In Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, you'll find some of the sophistication of thought and feeling that moves them." -The Sinissippi Tribune
Jul 12, 2008Randal Harrison and Mark UrnessViolinist Randal Harrison (Honor Among Thieves, MAMAs winner for Best Jazz Artist, Blues Artist and Classical Artist) and Mark Urness (Lawrence Conservatory Bass Professor, winner of the International Society of Bassists Jazz Competition) team up to present an evening of duets. Their repertoire of mostly original compositions will span genres including: Jazz, Classical, Appalachian Funk, Tango Nuevo and the avant-garde.
Jun 20, 2008Game Night at Fool's!We'll have a wide variety of board games and plenty of decks of cards for your entertainment. Stop down to play with your friends and neighbors.
Aug 1, 2008Lou and Peter Berryman - $12In this special show by Madison's Lou and Peter Berryman, masters of the formerly-married genre of original folk music, the duo will resurrect a slew of their older songs such as the Williamson Street Shuffle, Are You Drinking With Me Jesus, Do You Think it's Gonna Rain, and the Lightbulb Hat. This is all in honor of the projected release of their comprehensive 300 page songbook of original ditties, due out in the fall of this year.

Lou and Peter have been writing quirky and occasionally profound songs and performing them since the Convention Center was a yurt on the berm of a fen, all the while accompanying themselves on accordion and guitar. They began their musical partnership in high school in Appleton, Wisconsin, way back in the mid sixties. By the eighties, they had established themselves as a fixture in the acoustic songwriting underworld of Wisconsin's capital, playing every week for almost ten years in the ramshackle but beloved Club de Wash. Meanwhile they began crisscrossing the continent and gaining national attention with appearances on such shows as A Prairie Home Companion and NPR's Weekend Edition. Festivals, folk music clubs, bake-offs, and private rec rooms all across the country now serve as venues for their unique works, which have been performed by everyone from Garrison Keillor to Peggy Seeger to Peter, Paul and Mary. They have released over a dozen recordings and three original songbooks.

Lou & Peter Berryman are the funniest thing on four legs and brilliant songwriters. -- Christine Lavin

Lou & Peter Berryman! Long may they wave! Their song "A Chat with your Mother" is one of the great American folksongs of the 20th century. -- Pete Seeger

Rhymes that rhyme! I love your material, and if I were still performing, I'd steal it! -- Tom Lehrer
Jul 4, 2008Junior LeagueTraditional sounds of rural Appalachia and the deep South served up with dance-pop sensibility and an Indie-rock attitude; Junior League's contemporary take on American roots music draws inspiration from old-time fiddle tunes, swingin' country, bangin' bluegrass, and soulful delta blues. While the rhythm section, lays down boot-stomping grooves and infectious string hooks, lead singer and banjer player, the lovely Lissy Rosemont, brings the band's cleverly arranged compositions to life and hypnotizes audiences with her sultry voice, sweet lyrics, and Southern charm. Junior League's instrumentation includes mandolin, guitar, banjo, fiddle, double-bass, harmonica and drums. The mostly acoustic group, based in Washington D.C., has toured the East from Boston to Atlanta and just returned from a West Coast epic that took them from L.A. all the way up to Seattle. Although they completed a residency at Pianos in June and have played venues like The Living Room and Pete's Candy Store, Junior League members have also been spotted busking together on street corners and outside farmer's markets in Brooklyn and several other major American cities.


"…The songs are both unabashedly old-fashioned and amazingly modern, a walk in the Appalachian Mountains crossed with a breeze in the middle of the sweltering city heat. It is the kind of music that makes you want to kick your shoes off, in the best way imaginable..." - BrightestYoungThings.com

"…Another young band with surprisingly mature talents, the Junior League (named after the rich girls' volunteer association) plays old-fashion music, with square-dance fiddle, mandolin, harmonica, and bluegrass done-me-wrong themes. But if that brings to mind a dusty NPR show, just give a listen: this music is fresh and appealing and sounds like the form was just invented…" - On Tap Magazine

"…This band's sound is not your usual deal. It's more country, but not country. More twangy, but not twangy, if you catch my drift. Lissy Rosemont's charming voice carries most of these tracks, but the band is very capable all around. The mandolin and fiddle playing is well done and wonderful additions..." - SF Station
Sep 5, 2008Mike Mangione w/ Blake ThomasAccording to critics, Mike Mangione's music has been termed 'beautiful,' 'timeless,' 'stunning,' and among the 'best of the year.' Mangione combines soul, folk, roots-rock and pop to create music that emphasizes tone - both lyrically and instrumentally. On the road Mangione performs his soulful acoustic pop selections as a quartet consisting of acoustic, electric guitar, classical violin, and cello. As a live act, the group recreates the live mood of their recordings, searching for musical moments by favoring atmosphere, arrangement, and dynamics. Mangione's constant dedication to the audience and the art of live performance has been the underlying impetus behind the bi-coastal (and international), ongoing tour. Some recent highlights include appearances on Sirius Satellite Radio, WGN-TV, Milwaukee's NBC affiliate (a record five-times), SXSW, Summerfest, Taste of Chicago, World Youth Day, The Recording Academy's Chicago Bluesfest Kickoff Jam, and MPR's The Current.

Blake Thomas:
"Somber, weary, honky-tonk folk-rock that should suit lonely drinkers as well as anyone itchin' for an old-timey bar brawl." -The Onion

"A near-flawless balance of excellent musicianship, his gorgeous, occasionally shiver-inducing voice and smart songwriting." - Rick's Cafe

"Each tune is carefully crafted, focusing on the intricacies of intertwining instruments as well as the poetics of the lyrics... Perhaps most distinctive of those pieces is the voice of Blake Thomas. Like Robert Plant or Eddie Vedder, Thomas creates a sound I fall victim to every time. It takes only one note to recognize the voice and realize I need to hear more." -The Badger Herald
Jul 18, 2008Game Night!We'll have a wide variety of board games and plenty of decks of cards for your entertainment. Stop down to play with your friends and neighbors.
Jul 19, 20082-$-Cockroach w/ Nathan Xander2-$-Cockroach is a Poetry-Blues-Jug-band / Performance-Art group. How can all that work you ask? Well, their genre is self-described as “a whole lot of whatever,” but their sound is defiantly Americana. “It’s as if you can hear the melting-pot being stirred.” They defy genre, age group, and the line between audience and performer. Expect the Roaches to move from a spoken word piece over a dirty blues lick to three-harmony-rock song, from an experimental noise piece to a medieval flavored folk song, and from a metal cover deconstructed to its blues roots to a free-form jazz piece with toy instruments passed out to the audience. There is always something for everyone, but also something no one’s ever heard before.

Nathan Xander was born a Pisces in, Union City, Pennsylvania in 1983 and currently lives in Chicago. After playing in a variety of bands, Nathan eventually fell in love with American folk and classic country music. An active writer and musician, Nathan has written and recorded nearly 100 original tracks over the last two and a half years.
Jul 25, 2008Painted Saints w/ Stephanie RearickPainted Saints hail from Minneapolis and subscribe to the spaghetti western/gypsy/chamber country/sad bastard school of music. They write tin can and twine romances in a color of rust with backdrops of long wind swept open roads framed by tangled barbed wire and naked telephone poles. Their songs are of ashtray broken hearts and lansdscapes of beauty and sorrow borrowing harmonies from old eastern europe, the desert southwest and the sentiments of working class rust belt americana.

Paul plays a solo show making use of guitars, clarinet, bandoneon squeezebox, viola, a fair share of whistling all aided by fancy looping pedals and he even sings.

After growing up in the wilds of Wellington Colorado, Paul went to the University of Colorado to get degrees in music and philosophy (aka the unemployment special) and then decided to play many instruments and make a career out of being a touring instrumentalist with folks like Jim White, Woven Hand (16 horsepower), Devotchka, Denver Gentlemen and Reverend Glasseye.

Over the last few years, Paul has had the pleasure of playing a former nazi bomb factory in Hamburg, an 18th century canon factory/hippie commune in Copenhagen, a hockey arena in Belgium, New York's Central Park Summerstage, a bar in Montana guaranteed to have at least one convicted murderer in attendance at any given time and Royal Albert Hall along with live broadcasts on Swedish National Radio and NPR's world cafe. After shaking hands with lots of namedroppable folks, Paul decided to sing his own songs.

Stephanie Rearick is a pianist, vocalist, songwriter, and trumpeter. She regularly performs solo and often incorporates electronics into her show.

Rearick's style is pop-ish, classically-influenced music infused with cabaret.

"Imagine Tom Waits reincarnated as Debussy, playing Joni Mitchell versions of Edgar Allen Poe poems on a 1920s era piano, and you get an approximate sense of the influences singer/pianist Stephanie Rearick channels on the way to making her very unique, idiosyncratic art pop." -- Berkshire Eagle

"...she sounds like the love child of Tori Amos and Robyn Hitchcock." -- The Chicago Reader
Jul 22, 2008Memorial Observance for Gloria NiehoffGloria Niehoff, 51 ½, died in her sleep on June 28, 2008.

She was born November 1, 1957 on the north side of Chicago.

As a teenager, Gloria moved to Madison to be on her own. She was involved with Briarpatch before moving on to live independently. She greatly valued her independence, her ability to manage her own resources and her privacy. Gloria worked a few years at the former Madison Opportunity Center but Gloria’s struggle with a seizure disorder prompted a retirement from work.

Gloria always enjoyed a ‘good cup of coffee’, playing cards, solving word search puzzles, listening to her beloved “Cubs” play ball, visiting with people and going out to eat and bowling with her ‘favorite’ friend, Joan. Gloria’s straight and no nonsense talk often made you realize or learn new things about yourself as well as her. Not having family in the area, Gloria created her own Madison family of friends and neighbors. She touched many lives in unusual ways and her presence will be missed.

A special thank you to the staff at Commonwealth, Paul, Mark, and Diane, her neighbor, Olga, the staff of Tellurian’s Community Intervention Team, Sarah, Jenny and Rachel, and her friends at Mother Fool’s Coffee Shop.

Funeral arrangements are pending. Friends and neighbors are invited to a memorial service for Gloria to be held at 12 noon, July 22, 2008 at the Mother Fool’s Coffee Shop at 1101 Williamson St. Madison.
Aug 15, 2008KukuA native of Nigeria, World Soul artist KUKU grew up listening to the assorted sounds of American soul, folk, and jazz music, as well as, sweet African rhythms. KUKU moved to the US in 1993 to attend college and serve in the US Army. During a 2002 open-mic show, he picked up a guitar for the first time. After teaching himself to play, KUKU began building an enthusiastic fan-base. In 2005 "Love Sessions, a home recorded EP, was completed. It has gone on to sell more than 4,000 copies. The next year, KUKU released his first full-length recording, "Unexpected Pleasures", and in 2007, in only two hours, he recorded "The Absence of Cool", a suite of live songs with just an acoustic guitar.

Hailed as "the African Music Medicine Man," this DC-based troubadour has been touring extensively for the past four years. KUKU's captivating live performances feature an effortless blend of Yoruba and English languages. Fans have described KUKU as the perfect mix of Bill Withers, Terry Callier, and King Sunny Ade and labeled his sound as the beautifully arranged "Afro-soul Acoustic Experience.”
Jul 26, 2008Josh Harty w/ Blake Thomasosh Harty is a classic example of "Made In America." He blends contemporary Midwestern sensibility with traditional gospel and blues to create a rich hybrid unique in the field of acoustic guitar. His poignant lyrics are the product of astute observation and thoughtful introspection. His crisp, emotive guitar couples with warm, smoky vocals that settle comfortably into each listener's ear. His songs are planted in the fertile soil of experience and nourished with the stuff of everyday life.
Jul 29, 2008Food Share DayWe will be donating 10% of our sales to Community Action Coalition to help fight hunger in Dane County.
Aug 2, 2008Carrie ElkinWith the vocal fire of Patti Griffin and the lyrical rawness of Rickie Lee Jones, Carrie Elkin's songs are, at once, intimate yet universal, naked yet richly adorned. "Her voice is simply revelatory" says the venerable English music rag, Folkwax. "Very few people in this world can captivate an audience with just a voice and a guitar the way Carrie Elkin can," adds the Athens Music Network.

"Live, Carrie Elkin displays one of the most powerful female voices in the area, and her charming, unaffected stage presence nicely offsets her vocal mix of husky alto underpinnings and piercing soprano overtones....This is definitely a star to watch..." - Cleveland Scene Magazine
Aug 8, 2008Stuart Davis - $10The Punk Monk.
Aug 9, 2008Magic Show by James GraingerJames Grainger has been performing for a variety of audiences for 20 years. Originally from DeKalb, Il James has performed in a wide aray of venues throughout the Midwest ranging from living rooms to large theaters. His show has been described as exciting and hilarious. The performance he gives is great for humans of all ages.
Aug 16, 2008Mary Bue w/ Zachary Scot Johnson$6Mary Bue..Nominated for best folk act in the 2005 Providence Phoenix Best Music poll, this singer/pianist has the potential to emotionally sucker-punch you!

Zachary Scot Johnson is a singer/ songwriter who has opened for artists like Shawn Colvin, Jane Siberry, The Be Good Tanyas, Steve Forbert and others. His folk-pop blend likens comparisons to James Taylor and Joni Mitchell. His 2 cd's, "Moment of Clarity" and "To Whom It May Concern", are eclectic and moving works.
Aug 22, 2008Hayward Williams"Hayward Williams' earnestly jaunty folk-rock might seem anachronistic in the prevailing musical atmosphere of self-conscious irony, but his combination of melody, restraint, and unabashed enthusiasm saves the day. Williams also boasts a voice that sounds several decades older than he actually is, lending his songs of love and loss a gravity they might not otherwise possess." - The Onion

Ahhh, where to start? The exquisite gruffness of a manly voice that belies the strip of a lad who appears on the photographs? The moving, intelligent storytelling, from which "Doctors" and "Problems with Hemingway" stand out – but only just – from the crowd? Or the new-alt-country-blues (and will you forgive me that phrase) of the sound, put to beautiful use on 'Devil's Lament'? In truth, its hard to put it into words; this is a fantastic record, one that's a treat from start to finish. On first listen, the cover of Thunder Road strikes a jarring note; when your songs are as good as Hayward's there seems no need to walk in another's shoes, but several goes later and it melds in seamlessly. You'll like this." - Americana UK
Aug 29, 2008Pinataland"An artsy blend of ornate chamber-pop orchestration and the woozy ambience of early Tom Waits...a remarkable musical and lyrical depth...adventurous listeners will find them fascinating." - All Music Guide

"Refreshingly original...Piñataland's penchant for historical perspective seems to know no bounds...the yearning folksy strum and woozy twang propel it beyond the realm of a tuneful history lesson. In their hands, it becomes a stirring meditation on the definably human theme of promises broken, of being fucked over by uncontrollable forces. That it's done to a searingly lonesome country-inflected twang, augmented by strings, tuba, piano and all manner of vintage instrumentation, is almost besides the point." Splendid Magazine
Sep 13, 2008Ritt Deitz w/ The Delta JetsThe Onion says Deitz "works the same side of the street as Greg Brown and Bruce Cockburn, with songs that are concurrently earthy, ethereal, and intelligent."

ISTHMUS (Madison, WI) says, "Ritt's songs are rough and smooth at the same time, acoustic roots rock with just enough mountain music in it to remind you he is from Kentucky."

--

Recreating that Delta Blues sound, The Delta Jets (from Green Bay) will get hold of you and pull you in. Dale Anderson plays an assortment of guitars and evokes that Muddy Waters thang with a mix of originals and old time blues standards. They'll be bringing their new harmonica player for this gig.
Sep 12, 2008The Lonelyhearts w/ Doug PahlOn record the Lonelyhearts' songs build upon waves of synths, guitars, and harmony vocals. In live performances, the band keep it simple: one keyboard, one guitar, two voices. Critics have compared them to the acoustic songcraft of the Mountain Goats as well as the synth-rock of Grandaddy.

Doug Pahl is a Madison born and raised musician with a penchant for clever lyrics and a rare talent for the acoustic guitar. The power behind his every piece is a well crafted song structure and chord progression with an overlay of heartfelt vocal melody.

A quote about a previous show: “the concert at Mother Fools was great. That new song about him and his friend was a good example of how story telling rivets people; you could hear a pin drop in that place. It reminded me of what the singer Phranc said about why she quit punk and started doing folk music-- because she wanted an audience that cared about the words. - Nick”
Sep 19, 2008Al RoseWhat is Al Rose's music like? What are Al Rose's songs like? Good questions.

Imagine (if you will) your favorite café. Maybe it's Kopi Café on Clark Street in Chicago, Mother Fool's in Madison, or some place in Paris, or Rome, or Bali, or New York or some out of the way place in your head. It's late afternoon… or morning (if you've just gotten up). Either way, it's still a touch lighter outside than inside. You step in and your eyes adjust to the warm colors. Some of the tables are worn wood. Some are worn marble. All of the chairs are different and somewhat solid, but you have your favorites and you grab a seat.

Over by the wall, Bob Dylan is playing scrabble with either Allen Ginsberg or Serge Gainsbourg. It's tough to tell because bartender Richard Thompson makes sure to pour a shot of absinthe into every drink. Groucho Marx is over in the corner, chair back on two legs, playing ukulele and swapping songs with William Burroughs in a scene out of a Chagall painting. Henry Miller sits at a table littered with empty glasses and full ashtrays. Lucinda Williams sits on his lap, while under the table he tries, unsuccessfully to work his hand up Emmylou Harris's dress.

Neil Young sits at a table by himself eating popcorn and watching a movie that's playing in his head. While from the outside front window, Greg Brown looks in taking notes and sketching pictures.

Any other questions?

Sep 26, 2008Gregory Taylor and Tom HamerTom Hamer and Gregory Taylor are no strangers to the Madison community—Tom is well known for his varied percussion work with Fuzzy Logic, free-improv trio Primordial Soup, and as a regular for the Vortex collective. Gregory Taylor has hosted the experimental radio program RTQE for 20 years, playing everyone's music (but his own) in addition to venturing outside the city limits with Mr. Hamer. and occasional Vorticism of his own.
Oct 4, 2008No Show. We'll be open until 11 pm.
Aug 23, 2008Open Mic hosted by Ben ReiserSign up starts at 7pm. Ben Reiser is the host. Show us what you got. First timers and old pros equally welcomed. Song, spoken word, comedy, etc.
Sep 20, 2008Patrick Bloom w/ Andrea PottsAbout Patrick Bloom, Miles Of Music writes: "There is an honesty and generosity in the way Patrick Bloom presents his carefully crafted studies of the human experience. His subjects are not extraordinary. In fact, it is their ordinariness that makes them special. They are stories about you and I."

...and Broadtexter.com writes: "This is the kind of masterful songwriting that you rarely hear these days. You'll hear it in an artists like Gillian Welch, David Rawlings, and Steve Earle, and maybe a handful of other contemporary songwriters, but, for the most part, folks with this kind of talent are few and far between."

Patrick is touring in support of his recent release, Moses. Recorded in part with grants from the Iowa Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, the album has so far reached #9 on the Roots Music Report chart, #14 on the Euro Americana chart, and #6 on the Freeform American Roots chart. Additionally, the album is a featured pick at both CD Baby and Miles Of Music, and has earned Bloom widespread critical praise.

Andrea Potts has been writing songs and performing with a 12-string guitar for 19 years. Her music has immense depth, intriguing rhythms, and intense, beautifully written lyrics. She has perforned for Amnesty International benefit concerts and the Whole Earth Festival in CA, the Sturgis Bike Rally in SD, and in multiple Women's Music Festivals.

Oct 10, 2008Pezzettino w/ Stephanie RearickPezzettino is the project of singer-songwriter, Margaret Stutt of Milwaukee. Clasically trained in piano at the local convent and self-taught on her father's accordion, Margaret writes eclectic indie-polka funk-classical metal songs. Her lyrics are skin grafs, frighteningly honest exposures of her personal life. The project's name is a reference to Leo Lionni's illustration book, "Pezzettino," a tale of self-discovery and independence.

Pezzettino's debut acoustic solo album, "Because I Have No Control…" was released last month. The project is now composed of an electroacoustic drummer and the occassional modern dancer. Pezzettino will be promoting the album on tour nationally and is currently working on a follow-up album.

Stephanie Rearick is a piano playing singer songwriter who draws heavily on classical, pop and rock. She is a multi-year winner of the Madison Area Music Awards.
Nov 7, 2008Dr. Eugene Chadbourne - $10A special solo show by Eugene Chadbourne.

Dr. Chad is a musical force of unknown proportions. His contribution to the musical tapestry of America includes collaborations with many of the most creative artists of the last 30 years, including: John Zorn, Camper Van Beethoven, Snakefinger, Charlie Haden, Fred Frith, Henry Kaiser...

Last time he played Mother Fool's was last year with Jimmy Carl Black.

This show will be a solo performance. Chadbourne typically plays acoustic guitar, electric guitar and banjo but be prepared for anything. Electric rake?
Nov 14, 2008Rose Polenzani and Anne Heaton - $8The Story of Anne & Rose:
Anne Heaton and Rose Polenzani were both raised in Wilmette, IL—in the John Hughes suburbs that brought you "Pretty in Pink", "The Breakfast Club", and "Sixteen Candles". Rose's sister worked at Anne's favorite ice cream shop. Both Rose and Anne bought their Slurpees and big league chews at the 24-hour-food-and-deli mart. But somehow they never crossed paths—until now.

Anne moved to Rose's city of Somerville, MA from NYC last year, just as Rose's new collaborative show SUB ROSA was getting underway; Anne soon became a crowd favorite. The show features a rotating cast of 10-15 musical guests, often showcasing the unsung (and sometimes undeveloped) instrumental talents of Boston's singer/songwriters.

Meanwhile, Anne called Rose in to sing harmony on her new record—specifically on a song called "Where Your Scar Is." This session led to a self-directed video featuring that song, which was spotlighted this summer on YouTube and viewed over 400,000 times!

Both artists are celebrating new records on this tour: Anne's upcoming January 2009 release "Blazing Red" and Rose's October 2008 release "When the River Meets the Sea". Rose and Anne will collaborate at these Midwestern shows on vocals, piano, guitar, ukulele and glockenspiel.

Anne Heaton, featured in the PBS Television Special "Portrait of An Artist", was recently a finalist in Mountain Stage NewSong, Falcon Ridge, and Rocky Mountain Folks Festival Competitions. Her music has been called "tender, amusing, barbed, and spiritual" by The Washington Post.

Rose Polenzani, winner of "Best New Song" in Mountain Stage's NewSong Competition 2008 (for "You Were Drunk"), has been called "Haunting and magnificent" by the Washington Post. Her new album is a work of spontaneous artistry and "Orchestral Americana," recorded live in the studio with the award winning Boston band Session Americana.
Oct 3, 2008Painted Saints w/ Spaghetti WesternPainted Saints hail from Minneapolis and subscribe to the spaghetti western/gypsy/chamber country/sad bastard school of music. They write tin can and twine romances in a color of rust with backdrops of long wind swept open roads framed by tangled barbed wire and naked telephone poles. Their songs are of ashtray broken hearts and lansdscapes of beauty and sorrow borrowing harmonies from old eastern europe, the desert southwest and the sentiments of working class rust belt americana.

Paul plays a solo show making use of guitars, clarinet, bandoneon squeezebox, viola, a fair share of whistling all aided by fancy looping pedals and he even sings.

After growing up in the wilds of Wellington Colorado, Paul went to the University of Colorado to get degrees in music and philosophy (aka the unemployment special) and then decided to play many instruments and make a career out of being a touring instrumentalist with folks like Jim White, Woven Hand (16 horsepower), Devotchka, Denver Gentlemen and Reverend Glasseye.

Over the last few years, Paul has had the pleasure of playing a former nazi bomb factory in Hamburg, an 18th century canon factory/hippie commune in Copenhagen, a hockey arena in Belgium, New York's Central Park Summerstage, a bar in Montana guaranteed to have at least one convicted murderer in attendance at any given time and Royal Albert Hall along with live broadcasts on Swedish National Radio and NPR's world cafe. After shaking hands with lots of namedroppable folks, Paul decided to sing his own songs.

Twin Cities based instrumental ensemble, Spaghetti Western String Co., composes and performs music for film scores, artistic collaborations and recordings. Swsco. combines classical, jazz, bluegrass, and Euro-American traditional music creating a serene and at times a chaotic sound. The goup consists of Michael Rossetto (banjo/guitar), Nicholas Lemme (mandolin), Ethan Sutton (cello) and Paul Fonfara (clarinet).

Since their inception in 2003, Swsco. have received two Minnesota Music Awards in the ‘Eclectic Artist of the Year’ category in 2005 and 2006. They were featured twice and performed as part of Garrison Keilor’s ‘Rhubarb Show’ at the Fitzgerald Theater in 2004. The Swsco. has written and performed two film scores – most recently for the 1956 children’s film, ‘The Red Balloon.’ They have performed this score at the Mpls/St. Paul International Film Festival, the Bell Museum of Natural History, Duluth’s Greenman Festival and the Suburban World Theater in Minneapolis.

2008 marked the release of the group’s third release, ‘Lull and Clatter,’ featuring 17 musicians aside from the quartet. This latest release finds the Swsco. using sophisticated arrangements, and impassioned technique paired with acoustic instrumentation, creating a rare listening experience.
Oct 11, 2008Eric SommerEric Sommer is an accomplished solo singer/songwriter, and one of the premier acoustic/electric guitar players touring today. He is building a dedicated and vocal fan base. Part urban poet, part guitar virtuoso and part vocal stylist, Eric Sommer brings an added dimension to any music venue.

"stunning... aggressive... a powerful delivery of beautiful, eerily crafted pop songs mixed in with some of the most outstanding guitar jams I've ever heard..." - DC Music Match

"drop dead cool... gritty, raw and evocative... you don't know what's coming next..." - Indie Max

Oct 31, 2008Josh Harty w/ Satchel PaigeJosh Harty is a classic example of "Made In America." He blends contemporary Midwestern sensibility with traditional gospel and blues to create a rich hybrid unique in the field of acoustic guitar. His poignant lyrics are the product of astute observation and thoughtful introspection. His crisp, emotive guitar couples with warm, smoky vocals that settle comfortably into each listener's ear. His songs are planted in the fertile soil of experience and nourished with the stuff of everyday life.

Satchel Paige has been writing songs for over a decade, though chances are you've never heard of him. Raised above the venerable songwriter's haven, Café Carpe (Fort Atkinson, WI), Satchel has been surrounded by songsmiths his whole life through. With influences ranging from Beck to Mark Knopfler, Radiohead, The Beatles and a plethora of other singer/songwriters and bands, Satchel is not one for genre hang-ups. "I don't prefer any one kind of music to another and I think that's quite evident in my writing. The only thing I care about is that there is a palpable soul factor, which can be found in any kind of music, so long as it's coming from the heart and without pretense." An accomplished guitar player with a versatile, disarming voice and a knack for memorable melodies, Satchel Paige will, at the very least, not be a waste of your time.
Nov 1, 2008Anna AshAll we need to know is that anna is a not far off cousin of the yellowbird. With a lullaby of a voice, her and her friends take stringed instruments and mingle them with a smidgen of soul and a tad pinch of a shimmy and a twang. In the middle of somewhere that’s not on the edge, the middle of something that’s utterly endearing, Anna sits amongst all of the things that could sound like sophisticated, barefoot birthday parties where there are plenty of cupcakes with the right colored sprinkles, but also just enough side tables with lemonade that may or may not be spiked with things to make all the guests dizzy. Any of the yellowbirds perched up in the backyard trees above the birthday party that heard her & her voice, which was probably coming from the kitchen-colored radio, would wonder which one of their cousins finally got captured & heard. They would think that her, their probable cousin, was sensible and brave sounding… and then they would wonder where she got all of her friends who toe tap and pick and pluck with her.
Oct 8, 2008Fundraiser to help Annalise Beat Cancer7 - 9 PM

A benefit to help a neighborhood girl who has been diagnosed with leukemia. Funds raised will help pay for her chemotherapy.

From 7 - 8 will be music especially for children.

From 8 -9 Boo Bradley will perform.

If you aren't able to attend but would like to help, you can mail a check to: Caring for Annalise, 1029 Spaight St, #5D, Madison, WI 53703.
Oct 18, 2008Hayward Williams"Hayward Williams' earnestly jaunty folk-rock might seem anachronistic in the prevailing musical atmosphere of self-conscious irony, but his combination of melody, restraint, and unabashed enthusiasm saves the day. Williams also boasts a voice that sounds several decades older than he actually is, lending his songs of love and loss a gravity they might not otherwise possess." - The Onion

Ahhh, where to start? The exquisite gruffness of a manly voice that belies the strip of a lad who appears on the photographs? The moving, intelligent storytelling, from which "Doctors" and "Problems with Hemingway" stand out – but only just – from the crowd? Or the new-alt-country-blues (and will you forgive me that phrase) of the sound, put to beautiful use on 'Devil's Lament'? In truth, its hard to put it into words; this is a fantastic record, one that's a treat from start to finish. On first listen, the cover of Thunder Road strikes a jarring note; when your songs are as good as Hayward's there seems no need to walk in another's shoes, but several goes later and it melds in seamlessly. You'll like this." - Americana UK
Oct 17, 2008Sonidos SuavesSonidos Suaves is a Latino folk music group based in Madison featuring popular cumbias, boleros and rancheras from throughout Latin America as well as original material. The group was founded by two brothers from El Salvador, Jorge and Antonio Quintanilla. Jorge and Antonio began performing together in the early 80's as they wrote and recorded songs inspired the the work for social justice and peace in their native El Salvador. As the name suggests this group features smooth sounds with skillful fingering of the Requinto by Antonio, beautiful vocals by Jorge and tastefull backup by Kent on Percussion and Jorge Ismael on Guitar.
Oct 24, 2008Dave MehlingDave Mehling of Duluth, MN is a rag doll. A cross between Jeff Buckley and Jeff Tweedy, the femo-masculine quality of Nina Simone, the sentimentality of Damien Rice, and the acrimony of a young Bob Dylan, he shapes his performances to both satisfy and reward his audience.

Genuine pop, alt-country, psychedelica, soul and dirty stomp & clap acapella are all genres within Mehling's average performance. He's got something for you, your punk rock kid-sister, your soccer mom, your "good ol' days" grandfather, and your eccentric uncle (granted, 'you' may be any one of the above).

Since beginning performances at the impressionable age of 16, he has taken a
self-critical approach to finding his voice and discovering the community around him. In the last 6 years, he has performed at dozens of venues, recorded several collections of songs, and honed his style of writing and performing.

Now, throwing his management degree from the University of Minnesota Duluth out the window, picking up his late uncle's battered Gibson guitar, and preparing to release a string of 3 EP's in 2008, Mehling sets out to help his audience find what we are often looking for but rarely recognize: art.
Nov 15, 2008Erik Brandt (of the Urban Hillbilly Quartet) and friends w/ John Balsley- $8Erik Brandt has been the ringleader of the award-winning eclectic Twin Cities-based Urban Hillbilly Quartet since 1995. By night, he plays music. By day, he teaches English and Journalism at Harding High School in St. Paul. He’s played in venues all over the USA, Canada, Australia, and on various street corners throughout Europe. He’s also taught high school Shakespeare, rudimentary grammar, haikus and standardized test prep.

On stage, Erik performs mainly original material drawn from the Americana vein. Most of his original tunes can be found on the seven albums he’s recorded with the UHQ: Living in the City, St. Paul Town, Beautiful Lazy, Lanky but Macho, Hot and Now, Amelia’s Boot and The A-List…and now Green Eyed Alone, his first solo album. When choosing covers, he pulls liberally from the catalogs of Bob Dylan, Big Bill Broonzy, Johnny Cash, and other Americana heroes. As a multi-instrumentalist, Erik switches between acoustic guitar, wurlitzer and piano-accordion during performances.

His music has been influenced by and compared to: Americana powerhouses The Jayhawks, Gillian Welch, and Uncle Tupelo; Georgia’s Vigilantes of Love; Britain’s The Waterboys; Australia’s Paul Kelly; Canada’s Bruce Cockburn; and folk/jazz stars David Grisman, Paris Combo and Tin Hat Trio.
Oct 25, 2008The very unexpected appearance of Ivan Klipstein - $5A special show out of the blue...

In Ivan's own words: "Howdy everybody... It's been a while! How're y'all doing? For the past couple of years I've been living abroad, producing and playing on other people's records (in a small potatoes kinda way) as my day job. Of course in my free time, I've continued writing and recording plenty of my own new tunes, some of which should see proper release any decade now...

Anyhow, I'm back here in my hometown for a little visit, hanging out with my grandma, my brother, my friends, watching the leaves change colors, all that good stuff. It's really nice to be back. I stopped by good old Mother Fool's the other day to say hello, and Jon asked if I'd like to play a show there while I was in town. Well... Sure! It's been a good 3 or 4 years since I last played in Madison, so I'd say it's about time. I have lots of fun ideas for this intimate and unexpected appearance, and it'll be a cool chance to share some of the several dozen new songs I've cooked up since I kind of fell off the local map. Including such titles as: NUMBER ONE FOOL, SWEET ORANGE, I'M ALMOST THERE, ORIGINAL OWNER, COUNTRY GIRL, PURPLE NIGHT, SNOW ANGEL, ACROSS THE SEA, MY LITTLE SONGBIRD, RADIO KEEP ME COMPANY, GOOD SPORT, LATE BLOOMER, OVER & OVER, TWO FRIENDS, STUPID THINGS, THIS IS THE LIFE, GIRLS IN THIS GARDEN, LET'S GO HOME, AURORA, PENNILESS PRINCESS, I WANTED TO CALL OUT, BABY I'M YOUR BROTHER, and so many more... I've been getting really into performing without the use of electricity lately, so I think we'll be rolling like that. Drawing has become a big thing for me again as well, so I'll also have a bunch of doodles from my most recent adventures available for your viewing at the show... Hope to see you there!"
Nov 8, 2008Stephanie NillesStephanie Nilles' music was perhaps best described by a friend as "Ella Fitzgerald on speed beating some sense into Regina Spektor." Trained in piano since the age of 6, Stephanie holds a BA in classical piano performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music and has been a finalist as the Young Concert Artists' International Competition and the Corpus Christi International Piano Competition. These days, she is usually out on the road with a Roland and small PA system performing her own politically-influenced folk/jazz tunes at colleges and dive bars. She has appeared at such venues as Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, The Bitter End, and The Cutting Room, and she has collaborated with artists like Bobby McFerrin and Christian Howes, in styles ranging from free improv and burlesque accompaniment to funk fusion and classical chamber music.
Nov 21, 2008Paul Geremia w/ The Five Points Serenaders - $10Legendary bluesman Paul Geremia will be bringing his 6 and 12 string guitars to Mother Fool’s. Influenced by the playing styles of Blind Lemon Jefferson, Blind Willie McTell, Blind Blake, Scrapper Blackwell and Robert Johnson, he is a must see for blues fans and guitar players alike. For 40 years Paul has traveled the world playing his own style of country blues and garnering a reputation as an underground guitar hero. During his rich career he has played and worked with some of the true giants of the blues, including Babe Stovall, Yank Rachel, Son House, Skip James, Pink Anderson and Howard “Louie Bluie” Armstrong.

The Five Points Serenaders are comprised of Chuck Hornemann and Todd Cambio. Chuck and Todd play old time fiddle and guitar duets, with an emphasis on upbeat rags and songs from the era. Earlier this year they played a series of gigs and square dances in South Korea.

Nov 22, 2008Caravan GSE - $6Come check out one of Mother Fool's favorite bands.

Caravan Gypsy Swing Ensemble is an instrumental group based out of Madison, Wisconsin. They are primarily influenced by the legendary Gypsy guitarist DJANGO REINHARDT. The ensemble also pulls influences from jazz, swing, traditional Latin, Parisian waltzes, and other vintage-jazz sources. Expect a range of tunes from the "Hot Swing" repertoire, originals and classic tunes done in a uniquely arranged style.

Caravan G.S.E. has performed on Wisconsin Public Radio’s "Higher Ground with Jonathan Overby" program many times and have become a favorite of the show. They have also performed live on Madison’s WMMM 105.5 FM ("Jonathan and Kitty in the Morning") and WORT 89.9 FM ("The 8:00 Buzz" and "Mud Acres"). They have been featured on various music television shows around Wisconsin including "Hear for Your Listening Pleasure," and three episodes of Janesville's JATV12's "Arts Live Show," one of which received an award of merit from the Wisconsin Association of Public Access Channels.

Caravan G.S.E. Has had extensive concert series experience. They proudly shared the stage at Djangofest-Madison with Amsterdam’s Robin Nolan Trio. Later in the year Caravan G.S.E. joined the Clearwater Hotclub, Swing Gitan, and Harmonious Wail as part of the third annual Midwest Gypsy Swing Festival.

Other past festival highlights have included: The Isthmus Jazz Festival, Overture Center "After Work" concert series, Baraboo's Faire on the Square, The Sun Prairie Sweet Corn Festival, Wisconsin Dells River Walk Series, The Great Taste of the Midwest, and Madison's Art Fair Off the Square.
Nov 28, 2008Tomek Miernowski TrioThe Tomek Miernowski Trio is a jazz group comprised of three Madison natives, now all working musicians all around the country. Miernowski is an accomplished musician and recording engineer, and has played the Kennedy Center, Monterey Jazz Festival, the Detroit International Jazz Festival, and has worked with such artists as Grammy winner Alberto Rojo, and jazz bassist Robert Hurst. Bass player Paul Kowert will be coming to Madison fresh off of a national tour with Chris Thile's group, the Punch Brothers. Kowert has established himself as an in demand bass player, and as he finishes his education at Curtis Institute of Music, is already touring and recording worldwide. Drummer Dave Scalia is an accomplished drummer currently based out of the Indianapolis area, with a busy regular schedule reaching from St. Louis to Chicago. With the oldest member being only 22 years old, this group is a collection of fresh young talent, sure to bring new sounds.

This event marks a once-in-many-years event of all three members being back in Madison. With the last major concert being a spot at Jazz at Five while still in high school, this event is sure to showcase new music, sounds, ideas, and interactions.
Nov 2, 2008Sarah BaumanCome meet November's artist, Sarah Bauman. This event is free and open to the public and will run from 6 - 8 pm.
Nov 29, 2008No Show - open until 11pm.
Dec 6, 2008The MarchThe March is a little duo with a lot of sound. They play folk on the punkier side, strumming and bowing on hard acoustic instruments that sound alive and angry. The songs revolve around vocals and cello and guitar. Ther songs express a wide range of experiences, invoking modern panic, or spinning tales about men lost in apocalyptic landscapes.

Dec 12, 2008Matt Joyce w/ Tim Schweiger - $5MATT JOYCE lives in a chronologically distant world where precise song structures, jangling guitars and tight vocal harmonies ruled the day. Big Star, The Byrds, The Kinks and The Zombies are regular touchstones. A mix of crisp '60s melodies garnished with manic energy and occasional country flourishes. Matt can also be seen/heard in The Midwest Beat and The Grizzlies.

TIM SCHWEIGER writes genuinely honest songs about loneliness and freindship. His influences range from Paul Westerberg to Bruce Springsteen. He is currently the frontman for Tim Schweiger & the Middle Men and was previously with The Obsoletes, Yesterday's Kids, as well as a short stint drumming for The Blueheels. Tim has toured the country extensively and shared the stage with Superdrag, The Figgs, Screeching Weasel and Old 97's, to name a few.

Dec 7, 2008Reception for "Cup of Tea" by Laura AndertonStop down and meet the artist.

Free and open to the public.

7 - 9 pm.

More info.

Dec 5, 2008Adam Diller - $7Influenced by Sri Aurobindo as much as J Dilla, Thomas Pynchon as much as Edgar Varese, Charles Bronson as much as Sun Ra, Adam Diiler occupies an enigmatic position in the realm between jazz, hip-hop, and electronic music.

Returning to performing in 2007 after a two year retirement, Adam's work has been reviewed in the Wire, Magnet, Signal to Noise, the Stranger, Seattle Weekly, Splendid, and many other publications. He has performed throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe in festivals such as the Vancouver Jazz Festival, the Earshot Jazz Festival, and the afterears festival.

His work as a composer has been acknowledged by grants from Meet the Composer, the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, the Jack Straw Foundation, and the City of Seattle.

He lives in Brooklyn, NY and is occupied with his band, $.99 Dreams and composing music for film. Other projects have included BNSF, doublends vert, eaglebee, and humph.

".. . At its most extreme, BNSF's music ripples, squeals, wails, splutters, and ululates like a menagerie of agitated beasts forced to endure Mariah Carey's Greatest Hits. Saxophonist Adam Diller scars the air with the tenacity of free-jazz titan Archie Shepp..." - The Stranger

". . . If BNSF is a runaway train, then Adam Diller on saxophone and timbales is the escaped convict/lunatic clutching to its rattling roof, trying to gain entry by smashing his boots through a high window. Diller's trademark use of slowly morphing repetition and sudden stops and starts was exaggerated to become almost dadaist in its toying with audience expectation." - Signal to Noise
Dec 13, 2008Stephanie Rearick - $5Stephanie solo and self-indulgent! Stephanie is excited to have time to play 2 sets and will be doing Pairs and Rares. The pairs are songs that pair up in some way, whether it's similar subject matter, similar musical underpinnings, or somewhat psychotic imaginings of the songwriter that there's something connecting the two songs. It's rare to hear these pairs in one show since Rearick believes they're too related to put together - and it'll also give her an excuse to tell you a little more than usual about the songs. She'll also be playing some covers she hardly ever plays.

Come on out! Timebank members can pay Time Dollars for this show and extras go to support the Timebank. Otherwise cover is $5.
Dec 19, 2008Frankie Lee, Andy Ewen and Jim Schwall - $5Three of Madison's finest bluesmen join together for an evening of... Blues.
Dec 20, 2008The Pow!ers/Pendur/Karetnick Trio - $7On the last day of autumn, multi-faceted percussionist Ben Karetnick joins
infamous Madison saxophonist JoAnne Pow!ers and bassist Jennifer Pendur to
ring in the longest night of the year with a program of high energy
collective improvisations. After years of collaboration, Pendur's
inscrutable bass and the dulcet yet harrowing tones of Pow!ers form an
intricate sonic language of whispers, growls and screams. Karetnick, who
has worked with many of the East Coast's most notable improvisors,
punctuates the conversation with a startling array of textures and rhythms
from around the globe. The incalcitrant fire of these formidable
improvisors provides the energy for a final, stubborn challenge to the
encroaching winter.

The Pow!ers/Pendur/Karetnick Trio:
JoAnne Pow!ers - saxophones
Jennifer Pendur - bass
Ben Karetnick - drums
Dec 26, 2008Steve Austin - $7Nashville-based entertainer Steve Austin demonstrates through his performances the faith in yourself and in your craft can work miracles. His positive pickin' style on the guitar and banjo, combined with his lively harmonica work and energetic "percussive dancing" using an amplified board, keeps his listeners smiling -- and returning for more.

Austin's original blend of folk, bluegrass, gospel and country music is reaching an increasingly larger audience. He plays 225 shows per year, and he has opened for such notables as Roy Clark, Don Williams, Mel Tillis, Tammy Wynette, Jerry Reed, Boxcar Willie, John Hartford, The Kendalls, Charlie Daniels, The Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Michael Martin Murphy, Kathy Mattea and Patty Loveless.

To date, Austin has released five original albums. His first nationally released song "Queen of the Radio", charted in Indie Bullet and Cashbox in 1990. This led to a performance of his humorous "Resurrection Of The '50 GMC" on The Nashville Network's American Magazine. Now, his song "Sundown Highway", the title track of his most recent country album, is climbing several national charts, and it has also been released on video. His current Christian country album features the self-penned title song One Light.
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