May 25, 2017
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Music Matters: Block party will feature plenty of music

Saturday event part of Kenosha Craft Beer Week


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COMMENTARY BY PADDY FINERAN


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KENOSHA NEWS CORRESPONDENT

Remember last week when I passed on the information about the beginning of Kenosha Craft Beer Week, starting out at R’Noggin?

Well, the end of the week is coming up already this Saturday with Public’s Big Block Party all around the Public Craft brewery on 58th Street downtown.

According to the beeristas at Public, “This year will be bigger and better with a giant-er beer tent and an additional space called the Kenosha News High Gravity Lounge.”

The Lounge will have big specialty beers, an acoustic music stage and cigars from Andrea’s.

As for the party as a whole, Public will show off specialty and cask beers as well as tasty beers from both Rustic Road and R’Noggin breweries.

Another plus is that you can show up hungry because there will be local food available. But the bottom line is, what goes best with great beer? Why, great live music, of course.

To be honest, the lineup screams of smart Kenosha booking — smart, fresh and well above the norm without the bands having to fit into a unified theme.

I haven’t heard The Crombies (9-10 p.m.), but it looks like they are a ska-type act, which fits in great with being outside on a warm (for May in Wisconsin) day.

Most everyone in Kenosha is familiar with Keno-core punk icons The Yates Kids (8-9 p.m.). Local band Donoma (7-8 p.m.) has been busy making a national name for itself with an aggressive, charging, fearless style of melodic full-bodied rock ’n’ roll live shows and radio play from coast to coast.

I have heard A Bullet Dropped (6-7 p.m.) and remember they were a fine band. Milwaukee act WORK (5-6 p.m.) is often billed as punk, but I think they are just an excellent rock ’n’ roll band.

At first I thought I was new to The Smooth Operators (2-3 p.m.) until I realized the group is an originals and covers duo by none other than Cole Garcia and Todd Steffenhagen. OK, I’m fine with that.

Local Americana, bluegrass, folk and outlaw acoustic supergroup The Dillweeds (4-5 p.m.) are always entertaining. And finally, Old Wolves (3-4 p.m.), aka Joe Zumpano, is a solo acoustic blues-folk outfit with a lot of power coming off that guitar and vocals. Should be excellent.

Public’s Big Block Party is 2 to 10 p.m. Saturday (May 20) in front of and near Public Craft Brewing Company, 716 58th St.

Folkswagon returns

Folkswagon is back. It’s been a couple of years since we last heard from one of the area’s favorite bands. They will be performing Saturday night at Pete’s Place.

There will be some new looks, new sounds, renewed spirits and an overall excitement about what is to come next.

Returning band members include vocalist Rachelle Van Offeren, drummer Rockin’ Russ Weller and bassist Brett Scheuermann.

New to the band is John Kryl, who plays lead guitar, piano, mandolin and whatever else might be laying around.

The personnel changes are good, according to Weller.

“Losing Sister Sue has changed the band indeed,” the drummer comments, “but this new lineup has a distinct life of its own, adding a new character and healing vibe after all the ‘life’ that’s come our way the past few years.”

Expect a lot of original tunes, including many new ones, along with just a few cover songs done “their way.”

Folkswagon performs starting at 9 Saturday night (May 20) at Pete’s Place, 4520 Eighth Ave.

Acoustic Soul on tap

Acoustic Soul has cemented themselves as one of the premier acts in town. The duo is comprised of Don Miller and Rick Branch and is often joined by guitarist extraordinaire Terry Peterson and other guests.

Any given set will have dead-on harmonies and excellent musicianship and will touch on multiple genres.

The great thing is, even their covers of hit songs have a fresh feel due to the acoustic instrumentation. Stop on out. It’s feel-good music.

Acoustic Soul performs starting at 8:30 Saturday night (May 20) at tg’s, 4120 Seventh Ave.

Free arts program

It’s time to get cross-cultured again. That means it’s time for another free offering of Be Exposed to the Arts at Fusion.

The idea is to bring together an evening featuring two or more different fields of art. For May, Kenosha Creative Space presents The Visual Art of BParsh (on display all month), Rae Slager (“A Brief History of Tap Dancing”) and the live music of The Travis Ritchie Trio with Conor McKenzie. The trio is composed of college-aged musicians whose work falls into the classic jazz idiom with influences including Oscar Peterson, Monk, Miles and Trane. Doors open at 6 p.m. with the event continuing until 9 p.m.

This event is free and open to the public thanks to the Kenosha Community Foundation.

BeExposed! to the Arts is 6 to 9 Friday night (May 19) at Fusion, 5014 Seventh Ave.

Unusual Suspects

What do you get when you mix together a couple guys from Hangnail, someone else from Falter and another guy from, well, I don’t know where he’s from? First hint is that they sure aren’t the usual suspects. How about if I add that these folks serve up covers of the best alt-rock tunes of the ’90s? Ah-hah, Yes, I’m talking about the

Unusual Suspects

. They offer their takes on artists including the Foo Fighters, Radiohead, Dishwalla, Better Than Ezra, Seven Mary Three, The Toadies and more.

You can catch them starting at 9 Saturday night (May 20) at Fec’s Place, 5523 Sixth Ave.

That’s it for this week Please send me your new songs, gig calendars or whatever you’ve got

.

Email me at pjfineran@gmail.com or drop off information at the Kenosha News marked to my attention.


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