THE LISTENING ROOM
Sponsored by East Wisconsin Savings Bank
Melissa is not just an Avenue listener and supporter, she’s one of the most tireless consumers of live music in the area. About this time of year, anyone who knows her starts asking, “what’s your number?” And that’s because she is a dedicated chronicler of all the live music she sees. And “your number” refers to the number of live music sets she’s seen this year. And THAT number, is impressive. Darn near impossible for mere mortals. So when she talks music, listen up!
Recently she’s joined Redshift Headlights, a local Oshkosh group featuring vibes, guitar with lots of pedals, drums, second guitar, bass with occasional fuzzy pickle, rhodes, synth, drums, trumpet, singing, and infrequent timpani. The band’s second album OSHKOSH will play a vinyl release show November 3 at Bare Bones Brewery in Oshkosh, and will open for Field Report November 16 at The Howard, also in Oshkosh. Find out more at redshiftheadlights.com
What I am listening to is always shaped by the outstanding talent that is brought into the Appleton area on a regular basis. We are lucky to live in a community that supports its artists so readily and enthusiastically. I am happy to have the “champagne and caviar problem” of having to make a choice from the two or three shows I have interest in seeing on a given night.
On October 9, I saw the Avett Brothers at the Fox Cities P.A.C. Having been a fan since their “Emotionalism” album released in 2007, I was excited to see them live for the first time right here in Appleton. They did not disappoint! Their performance was filled with musical diversity with solo or duet performances as well as full on band songs. Standouts for me were “The Ballad of Love and Hate,” “Murder in the City” and their closing song, “No Hard Feelings.”
Avett Brothers “The Ballad of Love and Hate” https://youtu.be/6Pre7bINBps
I have been enjoying the Mile of Music Flashbacks on 91.1 The Avenue. I have also benefited from Mile artists returning to town for shows. I was lucky enough to see three such shows this month. The first was Micah Schnabel at Stone Arch. I love his passionate songwriting and have nearly worn out my copies of both “Your New Norman Rockwell” and “I’m Dead Serious.” His lyrics offer challenge as well as hope. The second was Joshua Powell and the Great Train Robbery at Deja Vu. I appreciate the literary references in the lyrics, the ethereal falsetto of the vocals and the musical communication within the band. I would definitely recommend “Alyosha” and I’m looking forward to their new release, “PSYCHO/TROPIC,” due to be released before the end of the year. The third show was Desert Noises at Mill Creek. I like this band more every time I catch them live. Their original guitar player, Pat Boyers, has returned to the band. He is a fantastic player and the band is really hitting on all cylinders live. I particularly like their songs, “Don’t Really Know What to Say,” and “Oak Tree.” In addition to a great rhythm section and guitar, this band has outstanding vocal harmonies.”
Micah Schnabel “I’m Dead, Serious” https://youtu.be/xHVF6Ozl_PM
Joshua Powell “Gunfighter Ballad for the 21st Century” https://youtu.be/M34U2Xkxyv8
Desert Noises “Oak Tree” https://youtu.be/B23PAapyQiQ
Just today, I discovered that the legendary John Prine will be visiting the Fox Cities P.A.C. in May. I could not be more excited about the opportunity to see him live for the first time. I have been listening to Prine’s music for over 40 years. His “Hello in There” makes me emotional every time I hear it to this day. His new album, “The Tree of Forgiveness” is as strong as anything he’s written across his career. “Caravan of Fools” and “Summer’s End” were standouts for me on this excellent album.
John Prine “Caravan of Fools” https://youtu.be/SKyhYtmwVyU