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guitarist Mike Adkins (Uncle Kracker) - photo by Chris Levitan

Mike Adkins

An interview with guitarist Mike Adkins (Uncle Kracker)
by Tina Ayres
February 2015

Best known as the guitarist for Uncle Kracker, Mike Adkins has shared the stage with such iconic musicians as B.B King, Jeff Beck, and Eric Clapton. He has also played numerous shows with Kenny Chesney, Kid Rock, ZZ Top, Train, and others.

Maximum Ink: What did you love most about growing up in Detroit?
Mike Adkins: I guess one of the best things about growing up in Michigan, is that you get to experience all the seasons, in a proper fashion. Fall has to be my favorite, it’s hard to beat the beauty of Northern MI in Fall. On the other hand, there is over a foot of snow on the ground here right now, as I look out my window. Which, I’ll be honest, the older I get definitely makes me question why I haven’t left yet (laughs). But, I just love it here, not just because of the change of seasons, but because Detroit has soul…it has personality, and it has heart! The Detroit music scene molded me into the person/player that I am today, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ll leave it at that.

MI: What was it like to train in classical piano at the age of 8?
MA: It was interesting…I definitely wasn’t that great at first. And, I despised reading the music, which I still do today(smiles). Actually, most of the piano recitals that I remember doing, you would be sat at the piano with the sheet music displayed in front of you, and you were supposed to read the music as you played. Looking back at it now, I’m nearly positive that I just memorized all the songs and looked at the sheet music to appease my teacher. But, in the end piano helped me learn music theory, and eventually led me to guitar. So, I’m definitely thankful my Mom pushed me in that direction.

MI: What music did you first love? Do you happen to remember what your favorite first song was?
MA: Gosh, that’s a really tough one. I guess one of the first songs I can really remember loving was I Heard It Through The Grapevine by Marvin Gaye. The reason for that is, I was super into the California Raisins at the time, and that was their theme song. I remember I had the cassette and I would walk around my house singing and blaring it outta my mini boombox! Funny enough, I just started performing that song in my acoustic duo…so things have really just came full-circle so to speak(laughs).


David Atwood, namesake of Atwood Avenue in Madison

Russian Hackers Break into AtwoodFest Servers and Leak Music Schedule

by Tom Butler
May 2017

As summer music festivals in the Madison market release their music schedules, AtwoodFest typically waits until Memorial Day to release its anticipated line up of local, regional, and national artists.

This year, it looks like the Russians have intervened and hacked into the AtwoodFest servers and leaked the live music schedule on

View the schedule here in its entriety:

Never before has this happened in small town America, but apparently Vladimir is trying to plan his summer fun schedule and could not wait until the holiday release.

Local authorities are calling for an independent investigation into the leaks but legislators in the capitol are using little known rules to block any attempts.

For now it looks like we’ll all have to wait for the official website to be released and trust that the leaks are accurate.


Rusty Anderson with Paul McCartney

Rusty Anderson

An interview with Paul McCartney guitarist, Rusty Anderson
by Tina Hall
November 2010

Rusty Anderson developed a love of music at an early age. He was given his first electric guitar when he was 8. His passion for music led him to form his first band, Eulogy, at the age of 13, where he also worked as the primary co-songwriter. The hard rock band was together for six years.During that time they opened for bands like The Police, Van Halen, Quiet Riot, and the Motels. Though they did earn an audition with Clive Davis at for Arista Records, the band was never signed. He later went on to form The Living Daylights, a progressive rock band that gave Anderson his first chance to work as the primary songwriter.

Later still he co-founded the band Ednaswap, which released four records on East West/Elektra Records. Natalie Imbruglia had a hit with her cover of their song “Torn”. After the band disbanded in 1999 Rusty went on to work in the studio for some rather impressive artists. Elton John, Willie Nelson, The Wallflowers, Jewel, Santana, Stevie Nicks, and Joe Cocker were just a few of the musicians he worked with. Rusty joined Paul McCartney on the album “Driving Rain”. The tour in support of the album found Anderson playing at venues like The Coliseum in Rome and Red Square in Russia. He is also a solo artist. His debut album, “Undressing Underwater”, has the track “Hurt Myself” which features Paul McCartney and the other members of The Paul McCartney Band.

His latest solo effort “Born on Earth” is available now. He also continues to work with artists like Regina Spektor, Gwen Stefani, Nelly Furtado, Corinne Bailey Rae, Ozzy Osbourne, Neil Diamond, and Matthew Sweet.

Maximum Ink: Can you tell us a little about where you are from, how that has made you who you are, and what makes you tick?
Rusty Anderson: I grew up in La Habra, CA. Which is north Orange County. Sort of an anywheresville kinda place. When I was 5 I heard my older sister playing Beatles records and I instantly knew that music was my passion. It was right around the time my older brother died of a kidney issue (he was 19 and I was 5). Looking back I think that the ethereal, ineffable, invincible fantasy aspect of music was a way to escape the sadness of real life. My dad gave me my first electric guitar at age 8. It was a Kent guitar and little amp. I wish I still had it. I started a band with my friends and have been in one pretty much ever since. I’ve always been more interested in music and art that is unique, colorful and inspired as opposed to most of the mainstream, ubiquitous and predictable stuff, and have been on a constant search for that ever since. Although sometimes the most simple seemingly generic chord progressions can make the most amazing songs…it’s an enigma!


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