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Riders in the Sky

An interview with singer Ranger Doug
by Tina Hall
September 2011

Since 1977 the American Western band Riders in the Sky has entertained fans of all ages by continuing a style made famous by Gene Autry, Roy Rogers and others. The lineup includes Douglas B. Green, Paul Chrisman, Fred LaBour and Joey Miskulin. Together they have made countless television appearances over the last thirty years and appeared at The Grand Ole Opry 700 times. Their work was featured in “Toy Story 2” as well as Pixar’s short “For the Birds.” Their tireless efforts to keep Western music alive have gained them much praise. Billboard’s Jim Bessman has called them one of the most historically significant acts in the history of American music, while The Board of Directors of the organization National Day of the Cowboy has named them one of eight recipients of it’s 2011 Cowboy Keeper Award. The band’s newest album The Land Beyond The Sun showcases their talent for inspirational music.


Rival Sons

Rival Sons

Rock ‘n’ Roll Warriors Out To Have Guaranteed Fun
by Sal Serio
January 2016

When I got on the phone with Rival Sons drummer Michael Miley (he just goes by “Miley”) I mentioned that I’d “heard about” Rival Sons long before I actually heard them, since many friends knew I’d appreciate their heavy 70s influenced ballsy attitude and soulful swagger. He thought that was cool, but then started giving me a hard time about being a Green Bay Packer fan. The interview was almost over right there! Heh, just kidding. I was happy to get some insight in to the band who scored the honorable and enviable position of getting to open for Black Sabbath on their upcoming “The End” tour. Rival Sons will actually headline a free show here in Madison at The Sett in Union South, Saturday, January 23. Other regional dates, with Black Sabbath, include Chicago on January 22 and September 4, also Minneapolis on January 25. The rest of Rivals Sons are: Jay Buchanan (vocals), Scott Holiday (guitar), and Dave Beste (bass).


Road trip's DVD

Road Trip

A Review on Road Trip: Hit the Switch Documentary
by Hannah Becker
August 2014

One of Wisconsin’s most popular bands, Road Trip, released their first DVD called ‘Hit the Switch’ April 18th. Starting with cousins Richie Plath and DJ Doty, Road Trip was formed in 1991 in Kingston, WI. After meeting lead singer Amy Jo Doty at an Oshkosh performance, the band began to focus on branching out all over the Mid-West. They have opened for bands such as Collective Soul, Sheryl Crowe, Ted Nugent and REO Speedwagon. Now with two lead singers, Amy Jo Doty and Richie Plath, lead guitarist Jason Busse, rhythm guitarist DJ Doty, bass player Flap Welsch and drummer, Andy Welsch, this band continues to grow their fan base with performing other artists music as well as their own.

The documentary follows the band Road Trip from the begging of their journey to where they are standing currently. It contains many clips and photos from when the band just started, behind the scenes, love performances and also explain the adventures and troubles they had throughout the years. Between the private interviews and old videos, it captures the personality of each band member and their roles on as well as off the stage. This film easily demonstrates how Road Trip is more than a band but also a family. It displays how the band improved and matured into the national rock band level that they are known for now. It also shows the struggles the band had and how they care more about their fans than anything.

The interviews of each band member illustrate not only the humor of each person, but express the dedication they each have for this band and wanting to succeed. Between the interviews and behind the scene clips, it’s easily shown this band absolutely loves performing with each other.


1122 ViewsPermalinkRoad Trip Website
Madison's Robert J on the cover of Maximum Ink in June 2008

Robert J

by Kristen Winiarski
June 2008

A man who simply goes by “Robert J” fronts the band The Rowdy Prairie Dogs who jam on the Potawatomi Stage at Summerfest on its concluding day, Sunday, July 6 at noon. I had the opportunity to talk with this man who has been through so much just in the last year: dealing with a heart attack, forming a new band, and now, preparing to play Summerfest next month. When asked about the festival, Robert J said, “I’ve played there [Summerfest] about 6 or 7 times, mostly with the Moon Gypsies, I played with a band called Howlin’ at the Moon…I’m always excited to play Summerfest; it’s a big party.”

Robert J got started in the music industry at a young age, playing the guitar when he was just two years old. He is a guitarist and singer, but most of all a songwriter. When asked how he got started in the music industry, it was obvious it was a long effort, “Ohhhhh okay, actually I graduated from college and I had been playing in bands in Detroit. And I jumped in the band van and moved to Colorado in a van.  I had been playing a little bit, but that was pretty much when I decided okay, I’m just going to go be a musician for a while.” When he jumped into this van, he was also jumping into the band Happy Trails, merely one of about 20 bands that Robert J has been a part of.


Robert Randolph & the Family Band on the cover of Maxmum Ink in June 2003

Robert Randolph and the Family Band

by Brett Lemke
June 2003

With the entrancing sound of Robert Randolph’s 13 string Pedal Steel, a brutally tight rhythm section, and a dynamic Hammond organ, Robert Randolph & The Family Band have blasted through the jamband scene. Their combination of Gospel, Blues, and relentless passion explodes with a burning fury onstage. All in all, they justly deserved their recent W.C. Handy award for Best New Artist. “We know what to play when it comes to gospel, and how you’re supposed to play it,” said Robert Randolph during a recent interview with Maximum Ink.

Years spent growing up in church in Orange, New Jersey and staying active in the musical community of his congregation helped 24 year-old Robert develop his skill playing the lap steel guitar. His two cousins, Bassist Danyell Morgan and drummer Marcus Randolph, along with longtime friend/organist John Ginty make the Family Band. “We used to play Ted’s Jam in church all the time,” said Robert, “The music at our church is truly unique. Everybody gets involved. They call it ‘dancing under the holy spirit.’ “


Robstock 2008 in Whitewater, Wisconsin

Robstock 2008

by Dan Vierck
September 2008

Whitewater’s Robstock 2008 is showing all of Wisconsin that worthwhile music festivals are not just for bigger cities like Madison or Milwaukee. The event, boasting 5 music stages, 3 beer tents, a mini petting zoo, magic, psychics, face painters, a bonfire and “mad jugglers” is going down Sept. 20 at The Fuzzy Pig, N8660 Clover Valley Rd., Whitewater.


2480 ViewsPermalinkRobstock 2008 MySpace
Rockonsin  - photo by Jerod Gibson


an interview with creator Dennis Graham
by Teri Barr
April 2016

“Music means everything to me. And it’s great to see ROCKONSIN encourage and recognize young Wisconsin garage bands,” Butch Vig says. Vig, drummer for the internationally-acclaimed band Garbage and a Grammy Award winning producer, understands the importance of supporting up-and-coming musicians. As he told me when I interviewed him one year ago, and just before receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Madison Area Music Association, he’d started volunteering to help improve his own child’s school music program. But his current effort to speak out on behalf of ROCKONSIN may feel a little different; as the idea behind it takes Vig back to his own roots, which includes playing with friends in bands where he grew up in Viroqua, Wisconsin, and later in Madison. ROCKONSIN is getting the star treatment, because it’s deserving – Dennis Graham Associates started producing this state-wide competition back in 2005, and while it’s grown in popularity, ROCKONSIN remains the only one of its type in the country. Graham says it’s helped launched a lot of young talent, with the most recent being former Madison musician Gabe Burdulis.


1284 ViewsPermalinkRockonsin Website
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