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The Reverend Horton Heat on the cover of Maximum Ink in February 2002

The Reverend Horton Heat


by Dave Leucinger
February 2002

He genuinely enjoys music - writing it, performing it, and recording it. He is steadfastly loyal to and respectful of his fans. But Jim Heath - better known as the Reverend Horton Heat - has some real issues with the two dominant forces in contemporary music: technology and corporate control. In a recent telephone interview from his home in Dallas, he discussed how these elements have alienated him from the mainstream - for better and for worse.

“Since we did our first record, the Internet and web sites have become more important,” Heath said. “But I’m confused about the Internet. I think the way it’s looking, the music will eventually just be free, and that’s not an easy pill for the industry to swallow,” he said. “For us, we don’t rely a lot on the recordings - we get our revenue off tickets and merchandise. I’m so far from the industry, I don’t have the slightest idea of what will happen. But these bands could stand to lose millions.”

An explosion of computer technology in the studio also has Heath riled up. “Since the 1970s and 80s, we’ve been moving into a world where it’s not the sound of the live band,” he lamented. “You put down the drum tracks, then throw in other loops - it takes fuckin’ forever for an album. It’s defining how music is being written and composed. And all they’re doing is turning knobs, while kick-ass players - people with real talent - are passé. It’s those posing knob-turners who are being marketed.” Brace yourself, folks - he points to one of the iconic rock acts as establishing the trend. “Sit and listen to a Led Zeppelin album - they had three guitar parts and three vocal parts on the records. It was all done with overdubbing. I question the validity of that - when you realize that it can’t be reproduced live. Technology has taken music to a weird place - way out there.”

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.’ “

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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.

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