Beth Bombara, Chris Koza, + Karen Wheelock
With a folksingers head and a rocker's heart, Beth Bombara has built her career on an evolving sound that blurs the lines between genres. To those who make their living onstage, she's a musician's musician a road warrior who writes her own exemplary material, plays multiple instruments, and fronts her own band, often a duo with her husband. With 2017s Map & No Direction, Bombara's songs take aim at a larger audience with melodic hooks that showcase a love not only for roots-rock, but the irresistible punch of classic pop, too. (NEW ALBUM OUT MARCH 3rd)
Layered with lush string arrangements, polished to a light shine by producer Karl Kling (RAC), and influenced by more than a half-century's worth of British pop classics and rock home runs......The result is Map & No Direction, an album that casts the widest net of Beth's career, from the George Harrison-worthy guitar riffs of the kickoff track, "I Tried (You're Too Late)," to the sad, sparse beauty of the piano ballad "What We're Giving." It's the sound of Beth rediscovering her own abilities as a songwriter and expanding them, too.
Bombara's new batch of songs are vintage-influenced hooky Americana and rock & roll and equal parts "bourbon-warmed Neko Case", as her hometown Riverfront Times (St. Louis, MO) described. They named her best Americana artist 3 years in a row.
Rogue Valley frontman Chris Koza has completed a new solo album titled "In Real Time"; a twelve-song collection confronting the perception of time, the oasis of the in-between, and the allure of the ocean. The Portland-raised, Minnesota-based singer-songwriter has consistently produced and released music over the past decade. Koza's songs are being heard on television and radio broadcasts all across the world. Most recently, Koza's song "The Wolves and the Ravens" was featured in Ben Stiller's film "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," and also included on the soundtrack.
"In Real Time" was written and recorded in Minneapolis, Minnesota between stretches on the road. The album finds Koza returning to the pop songwriting roots he established in his pre-Rogue Valley work such as Patterns (2006) and The Dark Delirious Morning (2008). In Real Time pits the time traveler against his younger self, face-to-face in a vacant parking lot on the edge of town. It is classic Americana re-imagined through the lens of a jukebox aficionado; a cagey swirl of rhythms, textures, and lyrics that depict the grass coming up through the cracks in the pavement, reaching for the sun.
Since 2004, Chris Koza has released 3 full-length solo albums and two EP's. Koza's band Rogue Valley has released 4 full-length albums. Both projects are currently working on new material. In addition, Koza is currently working on new collaborations with musicians all across the US.
A Live EP titled "Live at the Pearl" was released May of 2013, the first truly "solo" album Koza has released.
Koza's fifth studio album "In Real Time" is set to be released October 28th, 2014.
Here's what critics have said about Koza and his most recent solo studio album: The Dark, Delirious Morning
"An unpretentious little masterpiece; 9 out of 10"
"This is one record that demands to be heard. Stunning"
"Highly recommended to fans of My Morning Jacket and Wilco"
"Reminiscent of the story-telling abilities of Tom Waits"
"The man's got pop down"
-- Minnesota Monthly
Madisons 2015 New Artist of the Year Karen Wheelock burst into the local folk and americana scene in 2013, armed with a guitar and a ukulele. A Wisconsin farm girl from the small town of Delavan, Wheelocks gentle heart and forthright nature are surprisingly disarming to even the most jaded audience.
Karen is one of those folk artists that manages to put a modern twist on a music tradition as old as time. She actively encourages audience participation, and covers the songs of old in addition to those of other local and indie artists.
In her short time performing in Madison and surrounding areas, Wheelock has proven herself to be a force, who can hold her own at a rock show or benefit concert.
Romantic at its core, Wheelocks music has a sound all its own, but one could draw connections to A Fine Frenzy, Lisa Loeb, Cat Power with just a hint of the Moldy Peaches' spirit. Hidden within her songwriting is a deep love for the Foo Fighters and other hard rock bands. Wheelock's repertoire ranges from light-hearted ditties to deeply profound ballads; these are clearly the result of personal reflection, the stuff of all good art.
Her candid lyrics bridge the gap between the reverence of new love and straightforward acceptance of loss.
Audience favorites include the playful Hiccup to my Heart (You were just a hiccup to my heart/We didnt even last very long!) and the poignant Imaginary Girl that warns us that some dreams are best left in sleeping heads.
Her December 2014 release, Imaginary Girl was funded via IndieGoGo, and earned her a MAMA award for 2015 Folk Album of the Year.
Wheelocks Imaginary Girl album received acclaim from such music publications as Maximum Ink Magazine and Local Sounds-- and receives regular airplay on Madisons rock and pop indie music stations. Said John Noyd of Maximum Ink Magazine in an album review, Wheelocks "strong voice trails easily off into a whisper or blossom into robust proportions, [Imaginary Girl EP] reflects Karens all-in aspirations, sentimental melancholy and eager self-reflection.
Moreover, Wheelock is a friend to artists big and small; she has done her part to strengthen the Madison music scene. Wheelock regularly attends local shows and is often seen repping other bands-- talking them up and wearing their gear. She also organized a collective of female musicians.
Wheelock's romantic, good-hearted sound is matched only by her charitable efforts. She is known to spearhead projects wielding the power of music to back causes she cares about. Notably, she conceived and executed the creation of a benefit compilation album, Smilin On, which features several notable Madison artists, including Sexy Ester, Brandon Beebe and Catch Kid. Smilin On won a MAMA for Best Compilation album in 2014. All proceeds from the record went to Alzheimers research.
CRESCENDO ESPRESSO BAR + MUSIC CAFE (View)
1859 Monroe Street
Madison, WI 53711
|Minimum Age: 18|
|Kid Friendly: No|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|