music

Joy Powers

Skipper’s Alley has found a following in places far from their home in Dublin. The Irish band has played on cruise ships, on a St. Patrick’s Day tour in the African nation of Zambia, and now the group is bringing their music to Milwaukee with a performance at the Irish Cultural and Heritage Center

Skipper's Alley describes itself as a "modern Irish folk band with an old-school approach," and their music falls within the traditional Irish music genre - more generally. 

John Sparrow / facebook.com

Of all the iconic names in Milwaukee history, among the most enduring on the musical front is the Violent Femmes. The band emerged from the punk scene more than 35 years ago and scored hits such as Gone Daddy Gone and Blister in the Sun, and became one of the top alternative rock bands of the 1980s. 

A lot has happened in the last year and a half for singer-songwriter Tift Merritt.  A new baby, a new album, and a new creative outlet - textile design. 

Almost none of it has come simply or easily.

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Tomorrow evening at the North Shore Congregational Church in Fox Point, the Milwaukee/Chicago based Great Lakes Baroque ensemble opens its third season with a program that focuses on the music of the late French Baroque period.  Music for the Last Queen showcases French composers of the late 18th Century - just prior to the French Revolution.

courtesy Max Weinberg

Forty-two years ago this week, Bruce Springsteen played a concert at the Uptown Theater on Milwaukee’s west side.  The theater is long gone, but that show is remembered by many in Milwaukee, because it was stopped by a bomb scare, and then re-started, hours later.

Dennis Andersen

Folk singer Arlo Guthrie doesn't mind if "Alice's Restaurant" is still the first thing that pops to mind when you hear his name.  Guthrie doesn't play it at every show - in fact, he's not planning to play it in Milwaukee Friday night.  But he understands that his fans' love for a fifty-year-old song is as much about themselves as it is about the songwriter.

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For more than 20 years, the Milwaukee ensemble Quattro Horns has played at everything from corporate events to the commencement at the Medical College of Wisconsin, to weddings and private parties.  Three of the four members - Robert Ditmer, Joe Hill, and Jo Hoffmann - have been with the group since its founding.  Dain Shuler is the new kid on the block.

HIBROW.TV

Cellist Robert Cohen joins Lake Effect every month for On That Note, an ongoing conversation about the life of a touring classical musician.

Recently, Cohen made a large technological leap, which he's been contemplating for years. He bought a tablet. "I am now using an iPad on a special stand to read my music," he explains. 

Chris Crain / Facebook

If you don’t know of Milwaukee musician Chris Crain, you should. The church musician, R&B singer, and multi-instrumentalist has overcome a lot to get where he is. Crain was born with brachial plexus palsy which prevents his left hand and arm from functioning fully.

Mitch Teich

Wisconsin-based band Dead Horses' last album, Cartoon Moon, garnered national praise and earned the band three Wisconsin Area Music Industry awards this spring, including album of the year.

For a second year, the Strange Fruit Music Festival is returning to Milwaukee. Named after the 1939 song made famous by Billie Holiday, Strange Fruit is dedicated to exploring race relations through music and art. 

Ethan Miller / Getty Images Entertainment

While the characters, plots, and actors of movies may be most memorable to audiences, what is even more quintessential to a memorable film is the score. One of the most iconic scores for a series of films is, of course, John Williams' compositions for Star Wars.

Williams has scored all seven Star Wars films, and is on task for the two to come, making the music as much of a character as Lando Callarisian or, you know, Darth Vader.

Mitch Teich

You might not recognize the name Aoife Scott immediately, but if you know anything about the Irish musical tradition of the past 30 years, you might recognize something about her voice. Scott is the daughter of Frances Black and niece of Mary Black - both internationally known singers.

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“Every good story starts with a bad decision” is the premise behind Roxi Copland's new album.

In 2016, singer-songwriter was named Wisconsin jazz musician of the year. However, her latest release is an album of original songs - with a definite Americana/pop sound - called Bad Decision.

Brickboys/Splunge Comunications

Milwaukee is known for its summer festivals. From Summerfest to Irish Fest and German Fest, and increasingly, MKE Punk Fest. The citywide festival celebrating punk music art and culture is into its seventh year. But the history of the punk scene here is much older.

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