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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.’ “


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.


2715 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.


1568 ViewsPermalinkRockonsin Website
Rodeo Bums Live

The Rodeo Bums

An interview with Madison cowpunk band, The Rodeo Bums
by Mike Huberty
June 2014

Deeply felt and raw vocals with dirty guitars, THE RODEO BUMS are heartfelt cowpunk kicking around the alt-country scene comprised of singer-songwriter Kurt Klinger, bassist Kurt Johnson and drummer Dave Dorst (of Wisconsin surf-metal legends Knuckel Drager) and former Blue Herons guitarist Charles Scott Carome. Their new release is an open wound that reveals a life lived hard. We talked to the whole band about the the new record and how they got together.


1504 ViewsPermalinkRodeo Bums Website
Rogue Wave

Rogue Wave

by John Noyd
April 2010

Recovering from damaged nerves that made playing painfully impossible, guitarist/song-writer ZACH ROGUE’s ROGUE WAVE returned earlier this year with a brilliant, upbeat CD, “Permalight.” Catching Zach as the band embarked on a tour that takes them to Madison’s High Noon Saloon April 16th, he was kind enough to answer a few questions via email.

MAXIMUM INK: How did the idea of “Permalight,” come about?
ZACH ROGUE: It was the first song I wrote after I started writing music again in 2009. I was in an amazingly great mood and I felt like writing a sequel to Kool and the Gang’s “Celebration” and that is what came to mind. I wasn’t really concerned so much with a chord progression per se. I was really just interested in the rhythm and having my hand move up and down the guitar neck so the song would have a loose groove.


Rookie Of The Year

Rookie Of The Year

by Geert Driver
April 2009

This past August, Rookie of the Year, from Fayetteville, North Carolina released their second full length album titled ‘Sweet Attention.’ The album reached the U.S. Billboard Heatseekers #21 and #9 on Billboard’s Alternative New Artist chart in it’s first week. With over 30,000 album sales, Rookie of the Year has made a name for themselves and created a strong following of fans.

Mike Kamerman, lead guitarist for Rookie of the Year, talked about his excited for the album. “We spent a lot of time working on this album and put a lot of emotion into it, and we know you will be able to hear that when you listen to it.”


Royal Bliss - photo by Tricia Starr - TStarr Photography

Royal Bliss

An Interview with Neal Middleton.
by Al Brzostowski
April 2018

Looking at a 20 Year Anniversary celebration, Royal Bliss, with Neal Middleton, Lead Vocals, Taylor Richards, Guitars, Jake Smith on Drums, Sean “Memphis” Hennesy - Guitars, Vocals, and Brian Hennesy on bass, has been making their mark the past 20 years. From Salt Lake City, Utah, Royal Bliss’ music speaks to the hearts of the common man.

Their recent song, “Devil With Angel Eyes”, with the accompanying music video on YouTube, is a gritty, hard driven southern rock song, that punches you in the throat with Neal’s deep and raspy voice.

Recently, I had a chance to talk “shop” with Neal at their acoustic show at Sidlelines in Janesville. And as always, a great story to tell.

MI: You have a new cut called “Devil With Angel Eyes” out now, with the accompanying music video. What can we expect next?


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