If you’re a frequent live music attendee in our area, chances are good that you have seen Mike Underwood at the drum set. An extremely versatile and talented percussionist, Mike plays over 300 shows a year with an array of different ensembles – Jazz, Blues, Rock, R&B, Soca, Orchestral, Latin, and more. He’s a member of Kyle Megna and The Monsoons, Jazz Orgy, and, if you’ve attended any Avenue show with Steve March-Tormé, Mike is part of the all-star band.
Mike is part of a handful of local musicians working hard to keep jazz alive and cool in the Valley. If you’d like to support the scene, you can find Mike performing at any of these weekly jazz gigs.
Sunday Nights - Fletch’s in Oshkosh 9pm
Tuesday Nights - Cena in Appleton 8pm
Wednesday Nights - Becket’s in Oshkosh 7:30pm
Visit mikeunderwoodmusic.com to learn more.
We figured that a guy like this would be listening to some really interesting music, and Mike didn’t disappoint.
“First off I get really excited about exotic grooves and music from other countries.
“Anitta is a Brazilian singer that I learned about from an Uber driver while on tour in Florida. I can’t get enough of her!"
Anitta “Indecente” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbN7lbjOUho
“In spirit of Uncovered Too and people absolutely killing cover songs and making them their own, here is PJ Morton featuring YEBBA coving a Bee Gees song “How Deep is Your Love.” I dare you to listen to it only once!"
PJ Morton “How Deep is Your Love” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2F9pL06IC8k
I would be remiss to not include Harry Connick Jr., he helped me fall in love with jazz as a little boy. This song says everything about jazz not having to be stuffy, boring or too intellectual.”
Harry Connick Jr. “(I Could Only) Whisper Your Name” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYj6PCTTdic
A girl from Canada who sings jazz in French on a rooftop in Paris? Oui, still vous plait! Emillie-Claire Barlow has become one of my favorite singers of all time. “C’est si Bon”…It’s so good.
Emillie-Claire Barlow “C’est si Bon” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsJb4C8ghV0
Ric Reynolds plays lead guitar for Baba Ghanooj, a band familiar to local audiences. If karaoke is your thing, you may recognize him as a member of the band at Deja Vu in Appleton as part of their Tuesday night Live Band Karaoke. But perhaps his favorite resume line item would be as father and occasional band mate of Hillary Reynolds. And, you can find him playing as part of Steve March-Tormé’s all-star band for Uncovered Too on June 28 at The Meyer Theatre. We caught up with him to find out what he listens to when he’s not doing any of the above.
“As a child of the ‘70s, the music in heavy rotation for me is greatly weighted toward that era, along with the groundbreaking efforts that influenced it. It’s what essentially taught me how to play—from the Beatles opening my eyes on Sullivan in February 1964 to picking up my older brother’s bass (sans permission) and playing along to Peter Cetera’s melodic lines on Chicago II, or trying to imitate the intricate stylings of James Taylor’s acoustic.
“Scrolling through my phone I find myself constantly returning to Steely Dan, Beach Boys, Beatles, Chicago, James Taylor, CSN (with and without Brother Neil—who is also frequented solo), The Who, Traffic, Grateful Dead, Yes—you get the picture.
"I haven’t adopted the modern method of music consumption, that is, throw on some streaming service and just let it roll. I still prefer to hear complete works where possible. How can you not listen to the entire Pet Sounds album? Abbey Road (side 2, anyway) must be heard in its entirety. Or Steely Dan’s Katy Lied? No mystery I’m seldom appointed DJ at parties.”
Pet Sounds https://youtu.be/T0spkrwl9Qk
Abbey Road https://youtu.be/X4RQ3HX9jKg
Katy Lied https://youtu.be/QkFkkNaYvhQ
“The only terrestrial radio music I hear these days is on The Avenue—the other stations are not listenable to me. Plus, you have my daughter [Hillary Reynolds] on somewhat regular rotation and I still swell with a father’s pride when I hear her on the radio.
“When I got remarried in 2006, my lovely wife rekindled some dormant artists (Johnny Cash and Glen Campbell—and also brought some new stuff to my life, mostly in the classic country realm, along with Elvis.
“Having said all that, I quickly jotted down some of my favorite albums. The list is fleeting; it could change tomorrow, but the genre is pretty consistent.”
Beach Boys Pet Sounds and SMiLE
Steely Dan Katy Lied, Aja
Beatles Rubber Soul and Abbey Road
The Who Tommy
Neil Young After the Gold Rush
Chicago II, V
James Taylor One Man Dog
Frank Zappa One Size Fits All
CSN&Y Four Way Street
Traffic John Barleycorn Must Die
Grateful Dead American Beauty
Jacob Wood is a member of Listening Party, an alternative folk trio out of Milwaukee whose music has found a home on The Avenue. The group is in the Fox Valley and Green Bay often and their shows never disappoint! You’ll find lots to love in the story-driven songwriting, skilled musicianship, and just seeing how much fun these guys have on stage. Jacob contributes lively keyboard and vocals. And he shared his music influences with The Avenue.
For more information and show dates https://www.listeningpartymusic.com or follow them on Facebook.
Check out “Train” from Listening Party’s most recent album Less is More https://youtu.be/ANMoRX5IUlM
My dad always had a Tom Petty cassette in his truck and I remember loving to flip it over when one side was done. The first Tom Petty album I was introduced to was Full Moon Fever shortly followed by Wildflowers. Wildflowers taught me a lot about a complex simplicity in word choice, harmony and melody selection, an art truly tough to master. Even as an adult Tom’s albums have influenced me and grown on me. Damn the Torpedoes and Highway Companion are near and dear to the repertoire.”
Tom Petty "Wildflowers” https://youtu.be/AldoDm2bV04
“Andrew McMahon of Something Corporate and Jack’s Mannequin and as Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness. McMahon’s pop/punk style of piano playing made the instrument cool and indy during my development as a player. He approaches pop piano lines and electronic keys to mold a very unique singer songwriter, piano-driven sound. I’ve always found it helpful to play and sing these songs as you’re often challenged with a difficult piano line and a complex singing rhythm which makes you better at both.”
Andrew McMahon “I Woke up in a Car” https://youtu.be/Eh2o28A3RIQ
“Vampire Weekend – I fell in love with Vampire Weekend while I was in college studying music. What caught me was their debut album, self-titled, Vampire Weekend which was seemingly genre-less, covering classical, rock/pop/punk and African influences. A modern day Paul Simon with popped collars embracing the peppy music theory nerdom. This band also taught me a lot about instrumentation and layering as they are masterful in this regard.”
Vampire Weekend A-Punk https://youtu.be/Qr4zaCBL5BI
Avenue President and Programming Director
As you can imagine, Rob’s job requires him to listen to a lot of music. He’s always busy looking for more music to add to The Avenue’s 100% handcrafted playlist. Here are some recent additions that you’ll want to check out.
“I’ve been busy listening to some great releases from local artists including some new ones."
“First up, an Avenue staple, Dead Horses. With their most recent release, My Mother The Moon, Dead Horses continue to build on their legacy with great songwriting and their signature cool Americana sound. You can hear “Swinger in the Trees” and “On and On” in The Avenue playlist.
Dead Horses “Swinger in the Trees” https://youtu.be/n4qafTZ3C_0
“Listening Party, a local favorite from Milwaukee, released Less is More, their latest album in May. Highly original and infectious, we’ve added the title cut to The Avenue’s playlist.
Listening Party “Less is More” https://youtu.be/Z_GelvsaMfY
“Another recent addition is local band Feed The Dog. They have a sound that is tough to describe, but so easy to listen to – it’s fiddle and Kottke-like tiger pickin’, combined with funky bass and percussive soul. “Rick James Mother" and “Rib Mountain Shakedown” have found a home on The Avenue. If you want to see what Feed the Dog is all about, they will appear on “Rock Garden Live” this Sunday at CW14.
Feed the Dog “Rick James Mother” https://youtu.be/yS7bCVhvY9Q
“I’ve heard a few new cuts from J-Council which makes me excited for the band’s new release slated for sometime this summer.
“I’m a big fan of the new Traveler release, Western Movies. Traveler is comprised of Cory Chisel, Robert Ellis and Jonny Fritz and you can hear the very lively “Hummingbird” on 91.1 now.
Traveller “Hummingbird” https://youtu.be/PT712mveAwc
“I’ve been spending a lot of time with Kurt Gunn’s catalog of music. Kurt stopped by The Avenue studios and played a song from his upcoming album for us. You can hear that exclusive, live version of “Queen” playing now, and I am eagerly awaiting the July 14 release of Long Drive to Nowhere.
Kurt Gunn “Superior” https://youtu.be/KWr2ozcxehA
“We live in an amazingly creative music community here at The Avenue and we feel fortunate to be able to share these artists with you everyday.”
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