The Waco Brothers
The Waco Brothers
.. .. .. ..Ladies and gentlemen, quite possibly the best live rock band on the planet. We've seen them a hundred and sixty seven times, and they never fail to entertain with their train wreck approach to country. Subtlety is for the weak, so they've chosen the path of optimum mayhem and tomfoolery. In their rollicking career, they have been called everything from the flagship act of the alternative country "movement" to pure butchery. Both are likely to be correct... .. The line-up, in case you haven't been paying attention: ..Jon Langford.. (Mekons, ..Pine Valley Cosmonauts..), Steve Goulding (Mekons, ..Pine Valley Cosmonauts.., ..Graham Parker & the Rumour..), Alan Doughty (Jesus Jones), Deano (..Dollar Store.., Wreck), Tracey Dear (World's Greatest Living Englishman), and Marc Durnate (KMFDM). .. ..In a world of corporate-sponsored tours by lame-o alt-rockers complaining about their hotel suites and "country" stars who owe more to Boston than Bakersfield, the Wacos go out every night and play as if their lives depended on it. Their shows at SXSW and CMJ are legendary, and every year threaten to actually collapse under the weight of their runaway brilliance. If you're not drunk, sweaty and out of money at the end of one of their shows, then brother, we pity you... ..Their mix of hellfire country and mournful punk truly inspire. They are working to save music so you don't have to... .."The band's songbook is filled with political parables fused to a lost highway aesthetic and loads of black humor...pass the bottle and turn up the jukebox." ..Time Out Chicago.... ..For More Information, go to ..www.bloodshotrecords.com.... ....
John Sieger and Semi Twang -
John Sieger has led two popular midwest bands, The R&B Cadets (in collaboration with Paul Cebar), who recorded for Twintone Records in the R&B Cadets (1980-86) and the critically acclaimed band Semi-Twang (1986-91). In 1988, "Salty Tears" by Semi-Twang was released with much praise and even landed the band a major label with Warner Brothers. whose Warner Brothers debut "Salty Tears" was hailed by critics as precursor of alternative country.
Artists who have found their way to John's songs include country star Dwight Yoakam, (I Don't Need It Done), The BoDeans, (The Strangest Kind), Talking Head Jerry Harrison (Rev It Up and two others), the late Tex-Mex superstar Flaco Jimenez, (I Found Out), alt-country tricksters Robbie Fulks, (You Break It You Pay) and Phil Lee (Neon Tombstone) and folk-rocker Greg Trooper (My Blue Belle and many others).
Salty Tears has recently been covered in a ferocious way by rising Alligator Record's Michael Burke and exists somewhere in frustratingly unreleased form by the Queen of The Blues, Etta James.
John also has had a lifetime collaboration with Public Radio host Michael Feldman, whose witty lyrics are on display in the title song of that Semi-Twang album and hundreds of others. In 2003, they released a CD of many of these songs called "Her Country". John also continues to write and record on his own, receiving more than twenty covers of his material.
In the beginning...
John was born the fifth child of seven to Al and Martha Sieger in Kenosha. He started out in the music business by performing original and cover material in Kenosha and by playing the Chicago bar band scene. In 1971, Sieger was the guitarist in the Starboys dance band, which happened to be performing for a high school dance at Tremper High School in Kenosha. That evening Sieger met Michael Feldman (of Wisconsin Public Radio's "Whad'ya Know?") for the first time, as well as Feldman's wife, Marge. Since that time, the two have grown strong in friendship and have collaborated on a number of songs which include "That White Boy (Isn't Good for You)," "If My Old Man Were Alive Today This World Would Kill Him Quick" and "Salty Tears."
In the early 1990's, Sieger headed to Nashville to break into the songwriting scene. It was difficult, but quite worthwhile for Sieger. He was able to hone his songwriting skills and even had the chance to write songs with other artists such as Robbie Fulks and Kenny Wayne Shepherd.
John's current band, The Subcontinentals, is working on their first CD and in 2008 John released "The Shaming Of The True" and toured England with Phil Lee. This past spring saw the release of a "Live At Bob's," an acoustic show recorded in Sept. of 2007. John continues to produce songwriting workshops at Cream City Music in Milwaukee and has a project studio, Room w/a VU in his home.
In a never-ending effort to make a living in music, he plays in mutiple bands and has developed a songwriting workshop to teach others how to prosper as he has. John Sieger lives with his wife, Linsey, and son, Sam, in Milwaukee.
Mike, John's brother, covers bass, vocals and percussion. He's been pounding the stages in Milwaukee -- and far beyond -- for a few decades now, although mostly in recent times with The Subcontinentals. His past musical endeavors include The Starboys with brother John, the R & B Cadets (same), Pat McCurdy band du jour, and of course, Semi Twang.
Mike and Pat
Starting in about 1988, Mike played an increasing role in Pat McCurdy's post-Men About Town career in an informal little band that would play with him on weekends or weddings or whatever. It consisted of former Confidentials drummer George Wood and Mike Sieger on bass. Mike had become a cabinet maker by trade but had previously played with his brother John in the R&B Cadets and Semi-Twang. Pat, Mike and a couple on/off again drummers formed a combo called "La Dolce Trio" (or "The Sweet Trio"), though people just usually referred to them as "Pat and his band." It became a pretty informal line up. Sometimes it was just Pat. Sometimes it was just Pat and Mike. Sometimes it was the whole band. During the next few years, Pat (with Mike and various other musicians) put together Pat's CDs "The Sound of Music" "Pat in Person" followed by "The Good Life" and "Memorial Day" onto one CD. After another few years, Pat continued to play weekend shows with just Mike Sieger. At the end of the summer of 1999, after ten years wit Pat, Mike decided to "retire" from performing at Pat's side, though he does occasionally pop up to play at a wedding with John Carr on drums.
These days, the band The Subcontinentals is Mike's main musical gig and he's pretty okay with that.
Mike Hoffmann -
During his musical career, recording artist, guitarist, songwriter and producer Mike Hoffmann has created an astounding body of work. Hoffmann has worked both sides of the glass on both coasts in studios like Electric Lady, Record Plant, Sterling, Master Disc, Sorcerer, A&M, Sunset Sound, Sound Factory, Ocean Way, NRG, Encore, Cherokee, and Smart Studios owned by friend and label mate, Butch Vig of Garbage. Mike's production list reads like a Who's Who of the rock world.... he has been produced by Mitchell Froom (Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello), Jerry Harrison (Talking Heads), Nick Lowe ( Elvis Costello), Chris Thomas (Sex Pistols,The Pretenders) and Steve Berlin ( Los Lobos ). His own production credits include The Verve Pipe (RCA), Willy Porter (Private), Violent Femmes drummer Victor DeLorenzo (ALMO/Geffen), Carnival Strippers (FOX/Zoo), and The Spanic Boys (Rounder) which brought him critical success with a four-star rating in CD Review. Along the way, Mike has recorded with K.D. Lang, Herb Alpert, Marshall Crenshaw, Hal Blaine, Vinnie Colaiuta, Elvis Presley's TCB Band, Alex Acuna, Steve Jordan, Charlie Drayton, and T-Bone Burnett to name a few. Having played guitar on critically acclaimed recordings by E*I*E*I*O (Frontier), Carnival Strippers (FOX/Zoo), Pancake Day (ALMO/Geffen), Semi-Twang (Warner Bros.), and Yipes (RCA), Mike has toured the country in support of these works. Studio accomplishments have led him to work side by side with mixing greats like Tom Lord-Alge, Chris Lord-Alge, Brian Malouf, Tchad Blake (Sheryl Crow), The Robb Bros (The Lemonheads), Niko Bolis (Neil Young, Billy Joel), Mark Linnet (Beach Boys), John Jansen (Jimi Hendrix, Todd Rundgren), and Neil Dorfsman (Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen). He has shared co-productions with Steve Jordan (Keith Richards), Steve Berlin (Los Lobos) and Ian Spanic (Spanic Boys). Mike is a multiple Industry award winner and is Recording Industry Artists Association (RIAA) Certified Platinum . Currently playing with GUIDO's RACECAR, E*I*E*I*O* and occasionally THE SILOs, Mike continues making great music, and making it count.
One of the founding members of The R&B Cadets, Semi Twang, and Paul Cebar and the Milwaukeeans, Bob has played with Paul Cebar
in various incarnations from January 1996 to the Present (or approximately 13 years 10 months).
Critics have described Bob's instrumental approach as "...understated command of Bob Jennings' keyboard and saxophonic thinking." Paul Cebar said of Bob in an August 2009 interview, "Bob Jennings, for 13 years my utility man on keyboards and saxophones, allows me the luxury of transformation by providing the kind of textural variety that is usually the province of much larger bands.
Also part of The R&B Cadets, Bob went on to play drums with Paul Cebar in several of the band's incarnations. In recent years, he has become a high ranked champion lawn bowler and in October of this year won the Men's Pairs US 2009 National Championships with Joe Zinna.
Bobby Tanzillo, a local music writer, has described Bob as, "the great, underrated drummer for Semi-Twang and The R&B Cadets -- among other local bands."
Mike "Spike" Judy
Mike provided the "secret sauce" guitar sound in the original Semi Twang band.
While still in Milwaukee, he played in many local favorite bands, amongst which one, Spike and the Eargoggles, was an improv group that recorded every other month or so. The large and changing line-up included: Mike "Spike" Judy (Semi Twang), Victor Delorenzo (Violent Femmes), Connie and Kim (Mrs. Fun) Jim Ohlschmidt and Gary Koehler (Dusty Drapes and His Shades of Swing). Mike has long since moved to Minnesota where he now plays bass with a group called Laundromat Vacation.
Check out his band at:
Jason started playing musical instruments at seven upon "borrowing" his sister's ukelele and falling in love with the sound. He then spent most of his teen years holed up in his room practicing for 4-5 hours per day. For better or worse, he's continued with a passion and now has been at the guitar for nearly 50 years.
Professionally, Jason has been a member in numerous Wisconsin area and nationally known bands including several early bands with Petty bassist Howie Epstein (Winks, Lord Nose, Egz), Jerry Harrison (Talking Heads), Arroyo, Color Radio, Warner Bros. recording artist and alt-country band Semi-Twang.
Over the years, he's also had the good fortune to be asked to play on many nationally released recordings. With Peter Buffett for example, he worked on film, tv and music recording projects and ultimately appeared on 3 Buffett albums and the soundtrack for the Kevin Costner television documentary/mini-series, 500 Nations.
He currently lives in Brookfield, Wisconsin with his wife Linda and continues to record and perform with local singer/songwriter Bill Camplin, perennial Rock and rollers Plumb Loco and of course, Semi-Twang!
121 W. Main Street
Madison, WI 53703