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Kirstie Kraus on the cover of Maximum Ink for May 2018

Kirstie Kraus

Madison to Nashville and Back
by Teri Barr
May 2018

She was singing before she could talk. And Kirstie Kraus is still singing,  but now, it is more than she talks. Music has become her passion, her love, and her life.

Kirstie threw herself into her career, full-time, two years ago. Two years before that, she started her own band, Thirsty Jones. The Madison-based group quickly gained a following, and earned accolades. Kirstie wants to replicate, and increase the success she’s already had as a musician here. So I asked, is taking her efforts to Nashville, where she has to work even harder to create her music-magic, worth it? We also discussed why her upcoming single release is going to be one we’ll all want to be a part of, and when we can see her in our area this summer…


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Pat Furgeson on the Cover of Maximum Ink for April 2018 - photo by Ty Halbech

Pat Ferguson

by Teri Barr
April 2018

He isn’t new to the music scene, but Pat Ferguson has a new feeling about it. “There are exciting things happening right now for the groups coming out of Madison. Really exciting times around here,” Ferguson says.

And his own timing may be contributing to the excitement, as he is on the road promoting his first solo album, “Light of Day / Dark of Night,” after touring with a band for years. Pat also has a regular Wednesday night residency at HotelRED in Madison, which he says has helped fuel much of the material on the new album. Pat will be releasing the album for the first time at a show on April 27, 2018 at the Stoughton Opera House in Stoughton, and took time to answer our questions about this new stage of his career, and how he’s always been connected to music.


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Madcity's own Anna Wang - photo by Anna Wang

Anna Wang

an interview with Madison songwriter Anna Wang
by Teri Barr
March 2018

Anna Wang is no stranger to the area music scene. She made a big impression as lead singer and main songwriter for Anna Wang and The Oh Boys!, and in a 2012 Maximum Ink interview talked about sharing the power of songs, mixed with the joy of pop music, while taking on the world with her band. Some scheduling issues and line-up changes meant the eventual end of one project, some time off, and the creation of Tortoise and the Finch. Her talent helped take this duo to the top of the Project M Singer-Songwriter Competition in 2017. But even this success was short-lived. Anna is now a solo artist, but if you think it means she is quietly playing in a corner all alone, you don’t know Anna. She just released a new album of electronic-pop, and commands your attention—whether you are listening to her CD or watching her live—Anna is playing an entire band of instruments and every note of her songs. She’ll be joining with several other musicians, and sharing what she’s learned as part of a multi-part workshop, “The Six Questions of Songwriting,” starting Tuesday, March 6, 2018, 6:30-8:30 pm at 702 East Johnson Street in Madison, as well as solo shows including one she is really looking forward to at ArtIn on East Washington Avenue in Madison on May 17th. Keep reading to learn how Anna feels about being in this current place where she is in control of her music, and her life.


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Sabaton

Sabaton

An interview with bassist Pär Sundström
by Michelle Harper
February 2018

Nothing can prepare you for the epic sound of Swedish metal band Sabaton. Except maybe, a shield, sword and battle gear.

Sabaton, which translates into “a knight’s foot armor”, draws their musical inspiration directly from the great wars and battles throughout history. Their ninth album entitled “The Last Stand” was released in 2016 to rave reviews. Drawing inspiration from famous “last stands” in great historic battles, the songs in this concept album march from the triumphant echoes of victorious anthems to chanting battle cries in minor keys, each track masterfully depicting the spirit of heroic last efforts of soldiers of yore. The album’s first track entitled “Sparta” intensely recaptures the heroic yet tragic last stand of the famous “300” Spartans in the battle of Thermopylae. And the fast and furious driving sound of “Shiroyama” rigorously illustrates the last stand of the Samurai in the 1877 Samurai rebellion on Japan’s Mount Shiroyama.

Sabaton bassist and co-founder Pär Sundström talked with me about Sabaton’s partnership with international game developer and publisher Wargaming, a once-in-a lifetime fan experience and why he’s one of the few metal musicians who love sitting behind a desk doing office work.


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Immigrè - an Electrifying Immigration to Afrobeat - photo by Otehlia Cassidy

Immigrè

An Electrifying Immigration to Afrobeat - An interview with Bassist Ryan Lammey
by Michelle Harper
January 2018

The love of the musical and cultural message of Afrobeat is what inspired this group of accomplished and prolific musicians join forces and form what would be known after 2012 as Immigrè. Citing influences such as Tony Allen, Fela Kuti, Antibalas, Amadou & Mariam to name a few, Immigrè ‘s high energy, uniquely fresh sound is undeniably contagious.


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Teddy Davenport and the Cushions

Teddy Davenport & the Cushions

interview with Madison based songwriter
by Teri Barr
December 2017

“Music is my first love, it’s my best friend. Music has literally saved my life.”

Teddy Davenport’s past is the kind of story you often hear about in songs. But for his first full-length album, Teddy took control of his life, and decided to share large parts of it through some of the best music being released in late 2017. Teddy’s also lost and gained during the writing process, and as you’ll learn from our Q and A, he isn’t shy sharing it. Luckily, he’s also talking about the future, and a time when we’ll be able to say, “We knew him when…”

So, for now, enjoy Teddy and his new album which is being released with his band, Teddy Davenport and The Cushions at Harmony Bar in Madison on Friday, December 8, 2017. There’s also a Toys for Tots Fundraiser show at the VFW in Monona on Sunday, December 10, 2017, at 1:30 pm.

You’ll also find him on Facebook, Instagram, twitter, and his website: teddydavenport.com


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Cold Black Ribver

Cold Black River

An interview with Cold Black River bassist and vocalist Eric Cobb
by Mike Huberty
October 2017

A fat sludge of doom-y sound slithering right into your earholes, COLD BLACK RIVER is Madison’s minor chord distorted retort to the happy Electronic Pop on the radio. If you haven’t heard Doom rock before, think of it as slower blues-based heavy riffs with deep bellowing vocals. And the lyrics are usually about something horrific, like the fact that there is no God, but if there was he would hate you. Or monsters and demons eating your soul, killing children, etc… stuff like that. It’s called DOOM for a reason!


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Greta Van Fleet plays Sonic Boom 2017

Greta Van Fleet

Greta Van Fleet plays Sonic Boom 2017
by Tommy Rage
September 2017

Greta Van Fleet guitarist Jake Kiszka talks about playing Sonic Boom on Sept 30th, hanging out in the rain with Madison fans, and domestic responsibilities. Read More…


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Theresa Marie of The People Brothers Band on stage at AtwoodFest 2017 only days before appearing on the Cover of Maximum Ink - photo by Jason Tish

People Brothers Band

an interview with singer Theresa Marie
by Teri Barr
August 2017

Have you been touched—truly touched—by The People Brothers Band brand of love, peace, and harmony?
It’s a feeling. It’s a sound. It’s an energy.

And it’s something you can’t describe. It has to be experienced.

My own The People Brothers Band experience happened just a few years ago, though the band itself has been together since 2009. (I know, where have I been?)

I’ve been fortunate in more recent years, to really enjoy the band’s joy. Prior to one show, to also have the opportunity to spend time backstage with them before introducing the group to a big crowd—I was left beyond impressed.

Teresa Marie is the only woman in The People Brothers Band, but don’t think she gets any special treatment. She sings, writes, and performs her heart out, just like everyone else in the “family.” Teresa knows she is part of something special, and took time to share her thoughts about it, just before the popular People Fest, August 10-12, 2017, at their own Driftless Gardens music venue.


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SIMO on the cover of Maximum Ink music magazine

SIMO

SIMO comes back to play AtwoodFest 2017
by Teri Barr
July 2017

The bluesy tunes of J.D. Simo have hit a new high. He has written hundreds of songs, traveled the world, and J.D. has even cut his trademark shoulder-length hair since the last time we talked with him for Maximum Ink just after a successful performance at AtwoodFest a few years ago. But his history in music remains the same; he grew up in Chicago, quit high school, and moved to Nashville. He became a young studio musician and played on more than 500 albums. He says many were popular names we may recognize which made him recognize he didn’t want to play sessions the rest of his life. He formed the SIMO trio, and this second chapter of his music history is still being written.

Here’s an update on some of the things we talked about during our first interview:

Maximum Ink: You’ll be back for a second AtwoodFest show in July, but you’ve played Madison a couple of times since your first AtwoodFest show. What is it about playing here that draws you back?
J.D. Simo: We try not to have expectations of a place when we play there, but Madison is beautiful, and I felt a creative contingent of people, similar to Boulder or Asheville. That’s a feeling that sustains you as you get on stage, and it helps you get into a rhythm. It’s what I did at the first AtwoodFest show, and after a few songs I looked out to see the place was packed. It’s something I want to remember! I’ve actually had people tell me, sometimes as a band is climbing, you forget to live in the moment, so you have to enjoy it. It really was a show we’ll never forget, and I’m looking forward to playing AtwoodFest again!

MI: SIMO is a three piece, but you have always sounded so much bigger. Not louder, but bigger. I saw you recently, and the sound is so consistent.
JD: I am so very proud of the three of us! We are so conscientious of our sound, and it’s why we use vintage gear, in the context of our heros like the James Gang or the Jeff Beck Group. We want to earn a stake in that lineage. Plus, as a trio, you have to give 100% of your talent, and energy. You have to be completely committed to the music, and we aim to do that every night, so we know not one of us can slack off on it.


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