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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Showing posts with label Tweed Funk. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tweed Funk. Show all posts

Friday, May 20, 2016

Tweed Tone Records artists: Tweed Funk - Come Together - New release Review

I just received the newest release, Come Together, from Tweed Funk and it's super. I've reviewed a number of Tweed Funk releases and they just keep getting better! Opening with Light Up The Night, a track with a super solid bass line from Eric Madunic giving it's funk feel and the horn work of Andrew Spadafora on sax and Doug Woolverton on trumpet punching up the R&B aspects. Joseph "Smokey" Holman on lead vocals is smooth as silk and David Schoepke is tight on drums. Don't Give Up has that Memphis sound with bountiful horns and a brassy trumpet solo from Woolverton dominate the track with solid vocals from Smokey and cool backing vocals from Crissy Dzioba and Sara Moilanen. Muse continues in that soulful vein and Smokey shows some of his best vocals on the release. Sweet Music sets up with an easy guitar rhythm from JD Optekar caressing the soulful vocals of Holman. Always filled with rich horns this release is very consistent. Come Together gets back to a more funky feel with a super bass line from Madunic and alternate horns and backing vocals. Spadafora lays out a real nice sax solo on this track keeping balance with Molman on lead vocal. Embrace digs deep into the soul sound for some of Holman's vocals on the release. Spadafora again blows a rich sax solo in balance with Holman's lead vocals giving the track a certain richness. Instrumental, Who Is This is my favorite track on the release, hands down. With a really funky bass line and punchy horns... how could you not love it! Schoepke really slaps the drums around giving it a hot bottom and Woolverton is on fire with his horn. Sexy sax work from Spadafora is flaming hot and works nicely off of the playful bass lines of Madunic. Excellent! Love Ain't Easy has a fast rolling bass line and cool rhythm guitar work from Optekar. Holman really pushes the vocal line on this track and Spadafora and Wooverton trade hot riffs giving this track a potent ending. Show style soul track, Bullet, has a dramatic feel with deep soul vocals, subdued trumpet work by Wooverton and cool keyboard work from Madunic. Wrapping the release is the hot, Soul Rockin' with it's hot bass line and Optekar flashing his funky rhythm style. This track really kicks it up with Holman's vocals and Woolverton's trumpet harmonies with Spadafora. These two are really hot when they cut loose and they do on this final track, and excellent closer.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Tweed Funk - First Name Lucky - New Release Review

I just received the newest release (March 31, 2014), First Name Lucky, from Tweed Funk and it's a funky blues party! Opening with Blues In My Soul, a funky blues track that's kind of a mix of Booker T and Albert King. Smokey leads the way on vocals and Jon Lovas on sax and Kevin Klemme keep the horns hot. Time To Burn moves more to a rock/R&B sound and JD Optekar hits some cool guitar riffs on this one. Jon Lovas steps up on sax playing an outstanding solo as well. A song almost thought of synonymously with BB King is up next, Let The Good Times Roll and Tweed Funk keeps a lot of authenticity while having a nice jam at it. Hoodoo Power is a powerful track with Eric Madunic laying down some great bass and Klemme keeping a tight leash on the trumpet. Funky guitar work from Optekar highlights this track. Divided is a very smooth soul ballad with clear guitar accompaniment. Vocals by Smokey are really nicely highlighted on this track and backing by Chrissy Dzioba and Sara Moilanen add warmth. Lovas again seps forward with a smooth sax solo as another highlight of this very airworthy track. Sugarfoot is a killer dance traack sounding like it's right off of a James Brown record. Nick Lang on drums and Madunic keep the bottom real and highlights by Klemme on trumpet add to the dynamics. Lovas and Klemme both take cool solos on this track and it's a real mover. Excellent! Deed Is Done has a lot of swing and horn oomph. Smokey steps up the vocals on this track and both horn players are right behind him. This track really moves! Peppermint Harris' I Got Loaded has a New Orleans flair and keeps that authentic street feel. Nice job! Optekar steps up with a nice electric guitar solo but Lang has that rim shot technigue that puts you right back in the street. Sippin Misery has a really laid back blues sound and is likely my favorite track on the release. This is a track that you could feel Billie Holiday singing and Smokey does an excellent job. Horn work on this track from Klemme is excellent. Not a generic trumpet fan but this playing is not (geneic) ... it's hot!! Eddie Floyd's track, Knock On Wood is always a crowd pleaser and a classic R&B track. Madunic steps up on lead vocals on this track and does a real nice job. Horns of course play a large part on this track but it's mostly played straight up. Wrapping the release is Get It On. Brian "Looper" Lucas adds real super harp work on this track but to my ear it's Madunic who leads this track with great bass work. This is the second Tweed Funk release that I have reviewed and this release shows much more maturity and finesse. Looking forward to getting it into my car for a few full listens!

  If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

2012 dates are set! July 27 & 28, 2012 - 15th annual Prairie Dog Blues Fest

If you're thinking about a motel, you need to book now and tell them that you are coming in for the blues fest, just in case we are blocking a room that they are not telling you about. You can even camp right at the fest grounds! Complete area lodging and camping information is available on our website. We hope to see you at the Fest!

You can order tickets online or over the phone toll-free at 1-888-567-1567 . The handling and processing cost is lower through our online shopping cart vs. by telephone. Tickets in advance are $25 for one day and $40 for both days. Advance pricing is good through July 14, 2012.
Venue and Directions:
The Festival is held on historic St. Feriole Island, right on the Mississippi River. Click here for detailed information on how to get to the Prairie Dog Blues Festival via automobile.
For additional information about accomodations or about the city of Prairie du Chien call 1-800-732-1673 or visit
Friday, July 27th, 2012
Gerome Durham & The All-Star Band
Gerome has paid his dues working Delta cotton, Carolina tobacco and factory work in Jackson and Milwaukee. In 1965, Gerome moved to Milwaukee. He later met Johnny Rawls who took him under his wing and launched his music career.
This ain’t no rock ‘n roll, blues-rock, or any such stuff. He’s all about “the blues”, the “whole blues” and nothin’ but “the blues”. If you like Delta-gone-north, urban-based, electric, soulful, charismatic vocal “real” blues, the you’re gonna love Gerome Durham.
Trampled Under Foot
Siblings Danielle, Kris and Nick Schnebelen grew up with the Blues. Their parents, Bob and Lisa, were active in the thriving Kansas City Blues scene, playing in local bands and competing in the Kansas City Blues Challenge. Bob and Lisa’s band didn’t make it to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis — but their kids did. When TUF arrived in Memphis for the 2008 IBC they were followed by huge, wildly enthusiastic throngs of hometown supporters, eager to cheer for their favorite musical family. And when TUF took First Place in the competition and Nick won the Albert King guitarist award, it was a sweet victory for the Schnebelen family and for Kansas City itself. TUF has been on a roll ever since, becoming one of the most sought after blues bands at clubs, festivals and cruises around the world. Trampled Under Foot’s brand new CD, Wrong Side of the Blues was produced by Tony Braunagel, and features guest appearances by Mike Finnigan and Kim Wilson.
Mato Naji, the guitarist, singer, and songwriter of Indigenous. formed the band with his two brothers and sister back in the late ‘90s. They released their much-talked about debut, Things We Do, in 1998. While the band’s growing electric blues was totally legit and truly exciting, the little family band from the Nakota Tribe of South Dakota never expected the incredible, widespread reception they got from the blues and rock communities. “It was really surprising,” says Mato, of the siblings’ success. “We never anticipated the band going national so soon.” But so it did, and over the course of five years, Indigenous rode a wave of promise and acceptance they never dreamed of.
Then, after two more studio albums and a live set, Indigenous unexpectedly broke up. Today, Mato, along with his brother Pte are forging a new path for Indigenous. The new Indigenous album, Chasing the Sun, finds Mato expressing himself as never before.
Although known for his fiery guitar play, Mato has spent the last few years focusing on his vocals which have elevated this album on all fronts. When not performing with Indigenous, Mato is out touring with the Jimmy Hendrix Experience.
Rick Estrin & The Nightcats
For more than 30 years and nine albums, Rick Estrin fronted the jumping, swinging Little Charlie & The Nightcats, featuring guitarist Little Charlie Baty. With Baty’s recent retirement from touring, Estrin – along with the Nightcats’ longtime rhythm section of J. Hansen and Lorenzo Farrell and a new member, fiery guitarist Kid Andersen – takes the lead on his own.
Rick Estrin ranks among the very best harp players, singers and songwriters in the blues world today. His work on the reeds is deep in the tradition of harmonica masters Sonny Boy Williamson II and Little Walter Jacobs, while at the same time pushing that tradition forward.
Estrin won the 1993 Blues Music Award for his composition “My Next Ex-Wife” and has written songs for a growing legion of famous fans. Three of his songs found their way onto Grammy-nominated albums.
Besides Estrin’s songwriting and musical skills, he is among the most entertaining and colorful showmen around. His quick wit and his signature look – coifed hair, pencil-thin mustache and sharp attire – add even more color to his performances. “People don’t go out to see people who look like themselves,” says Rick. “They want to see something special. I was schooled in this business to be a showman, and that’s what you get when you come to see me perform.”
Matthew Curry & The Fury
Under the Tent
Matthew Curry & The Fury deliver energized blues along with great show. Matthew, at 16 and already a veteran performer, is astonishing audiences with his lead guitar playing, original songs, and soulful voice. Matthew Curry is backed by The Fury, pro players including Greg Neville, (drums) and Jeff Paxton (bass). Horns and back-up singers add to their solid sound. Their debut CD, “If I Don’t Got You”, was released to rave reviews in October, 2011. Quickly receiving wide acclaim, Matthew Curry & The Fury were recently featured as an Emerging Artist on the House of Blues Radio Hour.
Saturday, July 28th, 2012
Alex Wilson Band
Alex picked up the guitar at five years old and never put it down and is running with one of the toughest bands on the scene today. A versatile musician, Alex effortlessly switches between genres. He plays everything from sweet Beale Street blues to West coast swing. From hard Texas grinders to stone cold Chicago grooves with a feeling that's said to be timeless. Alex's style and tasty originals matched with his undeniable stage presence and unmistakable guitar style will drive you to the dance floor. To say that Alex Wilson is one to look out for down the road is an understatement. Taking the Midwest by storm, this young musician is a force to be reckoned with.
Harper & Midwest Kind
English born, but raised in Perth, Australia, Harper is a fiery singer-songwriter who blurs the lines between blues, soul, rock and world music. By combining traditional and modern influences and borrowing from Western and Aboriginal music, Harper has created a highly original, take-on-the-roots genre which many have labeled “World Blues”. His innovative use of electronic enhancement and feedback, breaks the traditional boundaries of the harmonica, giving his music its distinctive harmonies and effects. The powerful guitar sounds and the unique drone of the didgeridoo create raw yet eerie sonic textures, somehow sounding primal and contemporary at the same time.
With a home at a U.S. label and a growing appreciation for his music from American audiences, Harper made the permanent move to the U.S. His animated shows have been well received at blues world music and jazz band festivals around the world. He has toured with Canned Heat, Steppenwolf, George Thorogood and has been invited several times on stage to play harmonica with Journey. Harpers’ latest release hit number 10 on the Billboard Charts and the U.S. Roots Music Charts. “Stand Together” also reached #2 on the XM/Sirius Bluesville Charts.
Tweed Funk
Formed in late 2010, Tweed Funk has quickly gained recognition nationally with the release of their debut CD, “Bringin’ It”, which spent 18 weeks on the RMR Blues Internet Charts. The band brings an edge to the music of their forefathers by wrapping together blues, funk, and soul in show-band style. The band also represented Wisconsin’s Grafton Blues Association in the 2012 International Blues Challenge.
Shemekia Copeland
At a young age, Shemekia Copeland is already a force to be reckoned with in the blues. Born in Harlem, New York in 1979 and still in her 20s, she's opened for the Rolling Stones, headlined at the Chicago Blues Festival and numerous festivals around the world, scored critics’ choice awards on both sides of the Atlantic (The New York Times and The Times of London) and shared the stage with such luminaries as Buddy Guy, B.B. King, Taj Mahal and John Mayer.
At only 19, Shemekia released her debut recording, Turn the Heat Up!, and the critics raved. A year later, she appeared in the Motion Picture Three To Tango, while her song "I Always Get My Man," was featured in the film Broken Hearts Club. Copeland went on the produce three more albums and the awards and accolades piled up (Song of the Year, Blues Album of the Year, Contemporary Female Artist of the Year) and a GRAMMY nomination.
“I’ve had success in my career, and I’m happy with that” she says. “But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to continue to grow. In order for an artist to grow – and for a genre to grow – you have to do new things. I want to be innovative with the blues.”
The Steepwater Band
Although The Steepwater Band got their start as devotees of delta blues, they have since been expanding on their influences taking on everything from psychedelia to Americana, and of course, rock and roll music. Formed in Chicago in 1998, the band’s signature sound is at once a nod to earlier rock n’ blues combined with a raw and gutsy musical approach. Band members Jeff Massey (vocals & guitar), Tod Bowers (bass) and Joe Winters (drums) have a synergy that comes from years of playing together.
The band’s infectious energy is equally evident in their live performances, as critics and fans hail their shows as forceful and intoxicating. It is their humble devotion to music, and a commitment to achieving their musical goals without compromising the integrity of their musical vision that make The Steepwater Band such a refreshing find.
TSB has maintained a grueling schedule throughout the last 10 years, averaging about 125 shows per year. They have toured and shared the stage with acts such as Gov't Mule, Buddy Guy, Wilco, Taj Mahal, Marc Ford, ZZ Top, T-Model Ford, North Mississippi All Stars, Leon Russell, Drive-By Truckers, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, Cheap Trick, Bad Company and Heart.
JJ Grey & Mofro
Growing up in the swamplands of northern Florida, down home roots, rock and soul artist JJ Grey became a realist early on. “You fall in love with a pig,” he says, “and then one day your granddad knocks it in the head and bleeds it for butchering. You tend to grow up with a certain amount of realism in your life.”
JJ Grey and his band Mofro exude rocking, funky, melodic, front porch realism in every song they play. Grey comes from a long tradition of Southern storytellers, and his songs oftentimes use the loss of his natural surroundings and the marginalization of the Southern culture he grew up in as a metaphor for universal truths. The band delivers his material with brilliant musicianship, resulting in music that is thought provoking rhythmically dynamic and mesmerizing.
Grey’s ear for detail inhabits his songs, whether it is a story passed down to him from his grandmother or the tribulations of a childhood friend. His voice delivers them with an unflinching strength that paints a vivid portrait of an exact time or place with words and music. Like his songs, his rich, soulful vocals are forceful and commanding, seemingly old beyond his years. And the music, from smoldering soul ballads to gospel-fried funk to straight ahead rock ‘n’ roll, brings it all home with danceable grooves and a melodic freshness that will stay with you long after their performance.
In 2001, a National Public Radio feature brought JJ’s music to more people than ever before. Doors at press, radio and venues opened across the country. JJ Grey & Mofro performed at Bonnaroo, opened for Widespread Panic, Ben Harper, Galactic, B.B. King and Jeff Beck. Word of their live show spread quickly, and bookings at festivals and concerts around the world increased, including jaw-dropping shows at The Austin City Limits Festival and The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.
Terry Quiett Band
Under the Tent
“…one of the hottest power-trio outfits on the scene today. They successfully mix the blues of the Delta with the psychedelia of the Sixties…”
From 6th Street to Austin to Beale Street in Memphis, they’ve mesmerized audiences with their original and contemporary blues-soaked sound. They’ve also paid their share of dues traveling the Rocky Mountains of Denver, the blue grass of Kentucky, and every state in between, winning fans and expanding their core grassroots audience with each performance. Along the way the Terry Quiett Band has shared the stage with international guitar legends including Jonny Lang, Robert Cray, 38 Special, the Doobie Brothers, Edgar Winter, Kenny Wayne Shephard, Walter Trout, Robin Trower, Tab Benoit, Robert Randolph and Devon Allman as well as numerous talented regional artists.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Love Is - Tweed Funk - New Release Review

On April 26th, Love Is, The new Tweed Funk recording will be released. I've had a chance to listen to it a few times and it's a lot of fun. Dancemaker is right from the JB's songbook and Fine Wine has that swing blues down with horns, keys and guitar solos. Getting Home takes the soul/blues route featuring Smokey's great soulful voice the song is very convincing. It' also has the authentic Hammond sound on the first solo and a tasty guitar solo for the second. Pick Em Early takes the boogie route with horns and leads to a nice guitar solo. Tweed Funk covers two of my favorite funk/soul classics, JG Washington's Real Mother Fo YA and James Brown's Sex Machine. These are both well executed and begin the ending wind up. Smooth Taste takes a Latin flavor giving all the instrumentalists a chance to stretch a little. The cd closes with What Have I Done Wrong. It's a real Al Green like stepper and should satisfy most soul/blues lovers.

Special guests include Jimmy Voegeli on B3 and Keys; Chrissy Dzioba and Sara Moilanen of The WhiskeyBelles on backing vocals; and Greg Koch contributing his fretboard antics to a couple of the tracks. Love Is again brings together Tweed Funk's influences of blues, funk, soul, and jazz as the band continues to push the boundaries of the blues.
If you like what I’m doing, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! - ”LIKE”

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

New Tweed Funk CD

Upcoming Shows and News

Tweed Funk has some great shows starting out this Saturday night at the Horny Goat Hideaway in the BFT. BFT stands for the Big Fun Tent and if you have not seen it, you are missing one of the 7 Wonders of the Modern, Upper-Midwest, Engineering World. Indoor volleyball courts, bar, stage, a giant TV screen made up of 20 smaller TVs, and it feels a balmy 75/80 degrees in the BFT. No cover charge, great food, and one of Milwaukee's hottest spots.

Then Tweed Funk returns to the House of Blues next Tuesday in Chicago where we have joined the regular rotation of some of the top blues bands from Chicago (and national touring blues acts) playing at this fine establishment.

Friday, April 13th we are The Hamilton in Milwaukee. This upscale wine salon and craft cocktail lounge is located just off of Water Street by the Gallun Tannery. Lots of parking in their lot and no cover charge.

Saturday, April 14th we will be part of the Downtown Alive - WAMI Showcase playing with The Sandcarvers at The Bar on College Ave in Appleton. All day long top bands from Wisconsin will be participating in the WAMI Downtown Alive Series on College Ave. So come out and enjoy some of the best music our state has to offer. Sunday we will be attending the WAMI Awards Show where Tweed Funk has been nominated in the Best R&B/Soul Band Category (our 2nd nomination) and Frontman Smokey has been nominated for Best Male Vocalist. We hope to bring home some hardware and wish all of our WAMI Nominees good luck!

Eric Madunic on bass and vocals played his first shows with us this past weekend and was well received by the Tweed Funk fanbase at Mo's Irish Pub in Tosa (many of his former bandmates showed up) and the Rock-n-Blues Haus in Manitowoc. Eric began performing at the age of 12 with his dad's oldies band and played with his dad for 7 years. His dad taught him to sing harmonies and Eric focused on keyboard and guitar. Eric switched over to bass as a short-term fill-in for a band he was in who lost their bass player - and the rest was history. Most recently Eric spent 8 years playing with one of Milwaukee's top cover bands, Old Mil. It is great having Eric on-board, his harmony vocals compliment Smokey and his passion is playing old school soul in the style of Booker T & the MGs!

Spotlight on Greg Koch

So who is this "Twisted Guitar Genius" aka the Gristleman that is working as Tweed Funk's producer and contributing some fretboard mayhem to the CD? We are not sure that we know. However, Fender Musical Corporation recently named him as one of the Top 10 Unsung Guitarists and they are real impressed with his comedy routine! Check out the article from Fender and look at the fine company Greg is keeping on the list!

Most of you in the Milwaukee/Wisconsin area know Greg for his band the Tone Controls in 90s. Greg then ascended to national/international status via his Fender Clinics and Hal-Leonard DVD Instructional Series. Catch him traveling the world doing clinics as he gets his passport stamped or in Milwaukee with his trio at Shank Hall or sitting in with Leroy Airmaster at a club gig.

Upcoming Shows
Horny Goat Hideaway Milwaukee, WI Sat Apr 07 12 09:00 PM
House of Blues - Chicago Chicago, IL Tue Apr 10 12 09:00 PM
The Hamilton Milwaukee, WI Fri Apr 13 12 09:00 PM
Music on The Couch Olive Branch, MS Mon Apr 30 12 09:00 PM
WMSE 91.7 FM Milwaukee, WI Wed May 09 12 05:00 PM
Shank Hall Milwaukee, WI Fri May 11 12 07:00 PM Tickets
> See More / Details

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Tweed Funk

Tweed Funk brings an edge to the music of their forefathers by wrapping together blues, soul, funk, and elements of hip-hop on their debut release ‘Bringin It’. Fronted by Smokey's sweet, soulful vocals, audiences can quickly hear why Smokey was signed to Curtis Mayfield’s Curtom Records in the 70’s.
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