Wisconsin’s most folktastic music tradition

The venerable Cafe Carpe in Ft. Atkinson hosts Milwaukeean Peter Mulvey and a folking ton of his friends every December for what they call “Lamplighter Sessions.”  Mulvey and gang take over the joint and offer, in the case of 2012, twelve nights of music over three weeks at the Carpe, with artists swapping songs and generally having more fun than the audience.

Shows start tonight with Mulvey, Krista Detour (a Hoosier, but she’s okay), and two other Milwaukeeans, the legendary Paul Cebar and the not-yet-legendary-but-pretty-good-for-a-twentysomething Hayward Williams.

Other Wisconsin and Milwaukee folk joining the sessions this year include Randy Sabien, John Sieger, and new favorite of mine out of Madison, Count this Penny.

Plus, there are the shows with Whitewater native Jeffrey Foucault and honorary Wisconsinite Kris Delmhorst who, with Mulvey and guitarist David Goodrich, are the folk supergroup Redbird. If you can get there at all, you simply must. Some shows are already sold out, so don’t wait to reserve your seats.

Thursday Music: Two Local Shows You Should See

I have been going to the Cafe Carpe in Ft. Atkinson for almost 20 years now.  I’ve seen many greats in that tiny, 50-person room, from Greg Brown to John Gorka, and occasionally played there myself.  It is without question one of the best listening rooms in America.

This weekend, Bill & Kitty & the crew are hosting two nationally-touring songwriters who you absolutely should go see.  Friday is Jess Klein, who proves that everyone sounds better playing a Gibson Jumbo:

Saturday is Dan Bern, an Iowa-born workhorse of a songwriter:

Thursday Music: Shameless Self-Promotion

One of the sad things about not having my own blog anymore is I can’t use it to relentlessly flog my own performances.  But I will take a moment on this Thursday Music Thursday to do a very brief bit of self-promotion.

This Saturday night, May 5, the songwriting collective to which I belong holds its annual New Song Concert at the 19th Street Coffee House:

The Portage Road Songwriter’s Guild is dedicated to the craft of songwriting. Matching the right words with meter and melody, chasing a chord progression, and knowing sweet success when it all comes together in a song that resonates. Creating something out of nothing. Come listen to the newest songs birthed this last year by our own Milwaukee performing singer/songwriters, ERIC BAER, JAY BULLOCK, CHRIS HEAD, MARK PLOTKIN, CHRIS STRAW and BARB WEBBER. Guests: Tom Webber and Jon Pagenkopf. $5 suggested donation 8pm

Chris Head is the Chris Head of Chris Head and the Honchos:

The rest of us seem not to be on YouTube, but you might know Barb Webber as the Barb Webber of the Fair Webber Folk Band and Chris Straw as one-third of the chicks in the Moxie Chicks.

BONUS PROMO:  I also do some amateur improv comedy at ComedySportz Milwaukee.  Tonight, May 3, at 7 PM is the CSz Rec League twice-annual “Game-O-Matic” Showcase:  The players invent new improv games and premiere them at this show.  The show is FREE and the bar will be open for your drinkage needs.  This is always a pretty awesome evening of free entertainment.   You get a similar quality of free entertainment every Sunday starting at 2 PM when the Rec League has its head-to-head match-ups.  Each of the next two Sundays my team plays at 4 PM.

Thursday Music: She’ll Get a Hold On You… Believe It!

I’m a total sucker for this song…  Phil & Philip together.

But what I love about Phil Collins is this: he was recently interviewed and said he was tired of being Phil Collins.

He is already taking steps. When he started dating his girlfriend, Dana Tyler, a TV newscaster from New York, he said to her, “I’m tired of being Phil Collins. You can call me Philip.” So that’s who he is to her, Philip, anyone but Phil, and that’s who he’d like to be to the rest of the world, too. Like he says, in his mind, the guy known as Phil Collins would be better off dead.