And it did, too. The Fainting Room (which included a Whiskeybelle) started a little past 8 PM.
Continuing the Milwaukee Music Summer, tonight was an album release party for the Wooldridge Brothers at local java joint Anodyne Coffee Roasters.
I have been a fan of these fellas since they moved their entire band from Indiana to Milwaukee to be part of the thriving music scene here in 1984, and they were called the Squares. Of course, that scene fell apart, as did their band (although members of that band are still making music here) and Scott moved to Minneapolis. But the brothers continued to work together, landing songs on TV shows and films, releasing fine albums.
A couple of years ago, they launched a Kickstarter project (since there’s no music industry anymore) to release two albums; a solo Scott Wooldridge album, and a Wooldridge Brothers band album. I , of course, supported their efforts, and my support resulted in a producer credit in the liner notes, which is kind of exciting.
Scott’s solo album came out a while ago, and it is fine, in the same vein as their previous records, and it yielded this excellent song:
But they decided to take the band album in a bit different direction. They took their time and pushed the production levels up, as well as bringing Brian Wooldridge’s guitar solos well forward in the mix, providing an energy and attack that had not been there before. In addition, their influences -Elvis Costello, Squeeze, the Kinks- are laid more bare than usual. The result is, frankly, quite startling.
One of the things they did when they realized their schedule was slipping, was create a video for one of the songs, a bittersweet song called “Drive Through Summer” which they recorded in a drive-in theater. After they filmed it, they realized that the drive-through would provide, if not a concept album, a tone and feeling throughout the album; so they named it Starts At Dusk. What an evocative name….
We chatted with the Brothers briefly before the show, talking about the new album, other Milwaukee musicians, the show in Minneapolis, and summer family vacation plans. I had received the album a week prior, as I was a Kickstarter Producer (along with a couple of rare discs of covers and demos) and it was already making quite a mark on me. Particular standouts are “Waiting It Out” (excellent guitar work by Brian) and “Zero Information” ( think Graham Parker). It is not to be released online until September; until then it is SOLELY available at Milwaukee Anodyne coffee shops, because there are no record stores anymore.
The show was simply amazing, we were sitting right up front.
That is actually the Wooldridge Brothers and a Sister-in-Law. They played almost all the new album too, and we loved it. It was maybe too short; a tight 90 minutes or so.
Other than the record release, they are mostly relieved to have a project finished and will be focusing on other things for a while, so this may be a rare appearance -although if you live in Minneapolis, Scott plays out relatively often. In an interview, they said that they hope to be more active in 2018, but until then, there is this absolutely outstanding new album to enjoy.
Up next: Rancid, Dropkick Murphys, Bouncing Souls and a guy from Stiff Little Fingers. IN this place: