Off The Porch Plays the Wild Hog Dec. 9

Published by admin on Wed, 11/30/2011 - 10:58


Last year's SWBMAI's Got Talent winners, Off The Porch, will perform at the Wild Hog in the Woods Coffeehouse and the Wil-Mar Community Center in Madison, on Friday, December 9, beginning at 8:00 pm.

Off the Porch is a relatively new band on the Madison traditional music scene. Featuring a blend of 3-part vocal harmonies and acoustic instrumentation, the band brings an old-time sound to their music. Song choices go from gospel to gritty and everything in between. Off the Porch is Mary Helmke (vocals, banjo, autoharp), Jonathan Ivry (fiddle), Stephanie Ramer (vocals, guitar), Catherine Rhyner (vocals, mandolin), and Brad Wolbert (bass). They won the 2010 Southern Wisconsin Bluegrass Music Association holiday talent show. 

Cover charge is $3 for MadFolk members, $5 for non-members. And remember to bring your tip money to stuff Philip the Pig!



Happy Thanksgiving from SWBMAI!

Published by admin on Thu, 11/24/2011 - 06:15
Happy Thanksgiving from SWBMAI!

It's a quiet weekend for Bluegrass, but your erstwhile webmaster has uncovered these Country/Americana performances to tide you over:

Singer-songwriter Robert J. is performing Friday night at the 1855 Saloon and Grill in Cottage Grove starting at 7:00 pm.


Czech Bluegrass Band coming to Richland Center Nov. 16

Published by admin on Thu, 11/03/2011 - 21:22 in



The legendary Czech band Druha Trava will perform at the Richland Center Auditorium, 182 N. Central Ave. Richland Center, WI, on Wednesday, November 16, starting at 7:00 pm.
Druha Trava is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year with two new CDs it will introduce to U.S. fans when it returns to America in mid-October for a month-long tour. Tickets for the November 16 performance are $12.00 and may be purchased by phoning 608.475.0583.


PBS To Air Banjo Documentary Nov. 4

Published by admin on Sun, 10/30/2011 - 14:14

A two-hour tribute to the banjo will air on PBS from 8 to 10 pm this coming Friday, Nov. 4.
Narrated by Steve Martin, a banjoist himself, the film explores the roots of American music — the minstrel show, ragtime and early jazz, blues, old-time, folk, bluegrass and country. It is a story of America’s quintessential musical instrument from its African slavery roots to the 21st century, featuring performances and commentary from contemporary folk musicians such as Pete Seeger, Earl Scruggs, Taj Mahal, Béla Fleck and the Carolina Chocolate Drops, as well as from leading music historians, instrument builders and collectors. Grammy-winning singer and songwriter Rosanne Cash hosts.

In its long history, the banjo has symbolized patriotism and protest, pain and pleasure, low entertainment and sophisticated leisure. It's been a black instrument, a white instrument, a laborer's pastime and a socialite's diversion, a young person's fad and an old-timer's friend. But mostly it's been a snubbed instrument. Whether it's Dan Emmett in blackface, the Jazz Age flapper whamming on a 4-string or Pete Seeger leading an anti-war rally with his long-necked Vega, the banjo has been the symbolic prop for stereotypes about race, class, gender, region and political persuasion right up to the present day.

Rhiannon from The Banjo Project on Vimeo.


John Fabke Returns With Nob Hill Boys and Cajun Strangers Tomorrow Night

Published by admin on Fri, 08/12/2011 - 19:05

John Fabke will play with the Cajun Strangers and the Nob Hill Boys in a reunion concert tomorrow night, Saturday, July 16, at Mother Fool’s Coffeehouse in Madison. The two-set show will begin at 8:00 p.m.; there will be a $7 cover charge.

Fabke, a popular Madison-area musician and radio host, recently relocated to Nashville. While back in the area on Saturday he’ll also be performing with Jon Peik and the BriarPickers at 4:30 pm at J&M Bar during Bellville Bastille Days.


Bluegrass Camping Weekend

Published by admin on Wed, 06/29/2011 - 22:04 in

The Badgerland Bluegrass Music Association, in conjunction with the Northern Illinois Bluegrass Association, (NIBA) will be hosting a Bluegrass camp-out this summer. Save the weekend of August 19-21, 2011, for a weekend of jamming, meeting new people who may be your new best friends, workshops, a band scramble, and who knows what else.


Kettle Moraine is Newest SWBMAI Member Band

Published by admin on Wed, 06/29/2011 - 21:38 in

The band Kettle Moraine, named after the geographic region of Wisconsin formed when two lobes of the last great glacier collided and ultimately receded, plays acoustic and bluegrass music ranging from traditional bluegrass and folk to songs that vary from contemporary pop, to jazz and country. All songs are done with a heartfelt passion in their own style. Additionally, the band plays songs from the Piper Road Spring Band‘s album Kettle Moraine. Kettle Moraine consists of Barry Riese on guitar, Jim Carrier on banjo, Dale Ward on mandolin and John Jirak on bass.



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