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Local music: Lots of live music in town this weekend (including bluegrass)

Local music: Lots of live music in town this weekend (including bluegrass)

Mark Paffrath at tg's open mic

Mark Paffrath is seen here doing (what else?) hosting an open mic night. (You can find him every Wednesday night at Union Park Tavern.)

Yellowhammers, with Kenosha native Tom Kneesel, are coming to Public Craft Brewing in downtown Kenosha for a free concert Saturday.

The Chicago-based band is usually filed under “original Americana,” but they are a lot more than that.

The band’s elevator pitch is “imagine Johnny Cash joining the Faces after Rod Stewart left.” I usually hate those types of pitches, but hey, I love Johnny Cash and the Faces. The band’s music is loose, forlorn, tender and hopeful — with hints of classic rock. The songs ring out as beautiful and, at times, haunting. Basically, they are a very good bar band. Or in this case, a very good brewery band.

Yellowhammers perform Saturday (Nov. 9) at Public Craft Brewing, 716 58th St.

The Dillweeds in concert

The Dillweeds perform “American flyover land” music.

Best known as a bluegrass band, the Dillweeds — Shawn Drake, Adam Lanza, Eric Nelson and Pete Rallo — also throw some Americana, outlaw country and jam tunes into the mix.

The Dillweeds will be performing Saturday night at Union Park Tavern. These guys are talented. These guys are experienced. These guys know how to put on a good show.

The Dillweeds play Saturday (Nov. 9) at Union Park Tavern, 4520 Eighth Ave.

Open mic master

Before we leave Union Park Tavern behind, I want to take a moment to do something I almost never do — write about an open mic event.

Sure, there are plenty around town; most of them very good. But my friend of more than 30 years, Mark Paffrath, has been hosting an open mic for 20-plus years. Many of those events were at tg’s, with Captain Mike’s before that, to name a couple venues.

Mark is a great guy, an award-winning music artist and great at running open mic nights.

You can catch him Wednesday nights at Union Park Tavern.

Rock show at Fusion

It’s going to be a night of original rock tunes Friday at Fusion.

Two solid and highly respected acts will hit the downtown listening room when locals Dropping Daisies and Rust Belt team up for an evening of high energy tune-age.

Rust Belt is comprised of longtime area musicians Paul Aceto (bass), Brandon Shilts (guitar), Don Miller (drums) and Kevin Schultz (Hammond organ). Their style is roots rock Americana and just old fashioned (I mean this in a great way) rock ‘n’ roll.

A lot of good original tunes and some good songs by others that you know will be in the mix.

Dropping Daisies is another band where you know and love the performers playing raw, loose-limbed rock. Good stuff. Admission is $7.

Dropping Daisies and Rust Belt perform at 7 Friday night (Nov. 8) at Fusion, 5014 Seventh Ave.

Triple bill at The Port

It wasn’t all that long ago that if you wanted to hear some Milwaukee rock bands, you had to make an hour drive up to the Big Boozy’s East Side. They weren’t coming down here. My, how things have changed. There will be a triple bill of Milwaukee rock bands hitting The Port Saturday night.

Certain Stars is a melodic power pop band. Cabin Essence is reminiscent of a lot of great classic rock bands. Lack of Reason lists as an alternative punk band. Give our northern neighbors some love.

Certain Stars, Cabin Essence and Lack of Reason perform Saturday night (Nov. 9) at the Port of Kenosha, 714 50th St.

Bluegrass Sampler show

Route 20 up in Sturtevant (just off the interstate) is pretty famous for its rock shows and great sound and lights.

They are going to tone down the volume a bit Saturday with the Bluegrass Sampler IX. Anything with a “IX” is probably pretty good as it’s been happening for nearly a decade.

There will be four bands performing for only $10. That’s like a beer a band. I also think I have written up each of the groups performing at one point or another. Cox’s Army, KR Bluegrass, Old Time Nouveau and Flat Creek HWY will all be playing in an early to bed (or on to the next show) show. Showtime is 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Doors open at 4:30. They’ve got food service there, too. Route 20 is located on Highway 20 in Racine County, a block west of I-94.

Bluegrass Sampler IX starts at 5:30 p.m. Saturday (Nov. 9) at Route 20, 14001 Washington Ave. (Highway 20) in Sturtevant. Presale tickets are available at It’s an all-ages show.

That’s it for this week. Bands, artists and venues, please send me your gig listings, event posts, bios, Facebook event invites or anything else you think might be useful to me to write you up.

Email me at

PHOTOS: Lincoln Park Live: Betsy Ade & the Well-Known Strangers

Betsy Ade & the Well-Known Strangers — a band made up of Ade on vocals, Cameron Fair on cello and piano, Brittany Lumley playing multiple instruments and backing vocals, Roger Gower Jr. on drums, John Kulas on the bass and Joe Adamek on lead guitar — played a two-hour set at the latest installment of Lincoln Park Live in Lincoln Park, 6900 18th Ave., on Tuesday, July 17.

Here are a roundup of photos of the band performing at the event. 

Uploaded Photos

Betsy Ade and the Well-Known Strangers, seen here performing in Lincoln Park during the summer, are playing in Pennoyer Park Saturday as part …


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