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Band Logo by Patrick Foote - photo by Patrick Foote

Big N Tasty Blues

An Interview with Big N Tasty Blues
by Karli Norton
January 2015

Big N Tasty Blues is ready to take a break from the cold and make their way down to Memphis for the 31st Annual International Blues Challenge.

The seven member blues band from Green Bay, Wisconsin has formed their own style like none other around the area.


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Bart Harris

The Bart Harris

An interview with bassist/guitarist/singer Bart Harris of Bret Michaels Band
by Tina Ayres
January 2015

Bart Harris is the singer/guitarist for the band JunkFood which features Dan Anderson (Lead Guitar) and Van Swanson (Bass). He can also be found providing the bass for the Bret Michaels Band alongside Pete Evick (Lead Guitar), Mike Bailey (Drums), and Rob Jozwiak (Keyboard). Bart endorses Aurora strings. It was a pleasure to sit down with him and find out a little more about the man who helps bring the music.

Maximum Ink: Where are you from? What was it like growing up there?
Bart Harris: I was born and raised in Northern Virginia. I have a lot of family here and my family owns a business as well (Shannon Auto Sales). It used to be a small town where pretty much everybody knew everyone. It’s a little different now but it’s still home to me.

MI: Do you remember what the moment was like when you first discovered the power of music?
BH: I’m not sure if this is the single moment but my parents took me to see the Bee Gees live when I was about 6 or 7. I’d never been inside of an arena and I was overwhelmed by the energy. Then they had pyro which just completely sent me over the top. From that moment live music has had an effect on me.

MI: What was your very first favorite song?
BH: I’m not sure I can accurately answer that but I’m sure it was Elvis or the Beatles. In my house you either loved them or you found a new place to live. I also remember I Love Rock n Roll having a pretty big impact on me.


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The Reverend Eddie Danger

Five Favorites: Eddie Danger

One-man band Reverend Eddie Danger tackles the Five Favorites challenge
by John Noyd
January 2015

Carefree and upbeat, the chipper singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, live looper and ordained minister Eddie Danger is a constant beacon of entertaining goodwill on the Midwest folk circuit. A grade-school sax player who got kicked out of his high school jazz band, the Reverend reintroduced himself to music when he attended a Grateful Dead concert at eighteen and started participating in drum circles. Decades into his journey, the sunshine shaman has amassed an eclectic collection of international instruments and a lifetime’s worth of tall tales. A creative dynamo, Danger’s eleventh studio effort, last year’s naturally affable, “If and When,” showcases his versatility at various strings, keyboards, percussion and woodwinds; peppering his casual folk-blues ballads with colorful characters and true-life experiences to conjure a friendly intimacy that bolsters the spirit and warms the soul. We caught up with the mellow minstrel and asked him about a few of his favorite things.

MAXIMUM INK: Do you have a favorite album from your childhood?
EDDIE DANGER: The first cassette tape I owned was the Ghostbusters soundtrack. I was really into They Might Be Giants in my younger days. I grew up in the birthplace of emo music and never really fit in there.

MI: What’s your favorite local venue that no longer exists?
ED: Feel Good Music & Art Festival in Amherst, WI from 2004-2010.

MI: What’s your favorite cookie and why?
ED: Gluten free pot cookies… but only one. Too much pot food makes me freak out!

MI: Do you have a favorite author whose voice has informed your songs?
ED: Reading is one of my biggest sources for lyrical content. I’m currently reading Occult Science by Rudolf Steiner (the father of Waldorf Education & Biodynamic Farming). I just wrote a song that was inspired by my evolutionary astrology report from Ryan Evans. My song “Shipwrecked” was written after I read the book Life of Pi.

MI: Where’s your favorite place to get away from it all?
ED: I practice Kriya Yoga and Meditation twice a day. The best escape is to still your mind and stretch your spine. Meditation allows me to dial into the creative energy flowing everywhere.

Catch Eddie in February where he wraps up dates with the Steel City Jug Slammer Tour, plays The Root Note in LaCrosse on the 11th, a Mardi Gras show at Madison’s Up North Pub on the 17th and finishes up the month at the Historic Trempealeau Hotel on the 28th. For more information click onto www.eddiedanger.com


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Bluegrass legend  Ralph Stanly

Ralph Stanley

An interview with the Bluegrass legend
by Tina Ayres
January 2015

Ralph Stanley has been entertaining the masses with his distinctive voice and banjo playing since 1946. Influenced by the traditional music of rural Appalachia he formed the Clinch Mountain Boys, and later The Stanley Brothers, with his brother Carter. The rest became history. As a banjo player he developed the unique “Stanley Style” recognized fast, continuous forward rolls followed by the index finger. In 2002 Stanley won a Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance for his version of O Death, produced by T-Bone Burnett for the for the film O Brother, Where Art Thou?.

Maximum Ink: What was it like growing up in Southwest Virginia? How were times most different back then? Do you ever miss those days?
Ralph Stanley: Growing up in the hills of southwest, Virginia was a wonderful place to be born and raised. Of course we faced hard times, but the good outweighed the bad.
MI: What do you love most about living in such rural places as Dickenson County? Do people ever ask you why you decided to stay in the area you were raised?
RS: I always wanted to stay home in Southwest, VA. A lot of folks ask me why I never moved to Nashville. I love the hills and I wouldn’t live anywhere else.
MI: What did it feel like when you got your very first banjo from your aunt all those years ago? Do you remember was running through you mind when you first got it?
RS: I was very excited. My mother gave me a choice to pick from a hog or a banjo. A lot of folks don’t know this but I always dreamed of being a veterinarian in my younger days. I Was interested in animals very much. But my mother could only afford one. Both were $5.00. So I picked the banjo. I’m glad I did.


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Charles Mack

Charles Mack

An interview with bassist Charles Mack
by Tina Ayres
January 2015

Charles Mack is the former bassist for Grammy Award winner James Cotton and Lucky Peterson. His work has spanned a wide array for genres. He has shared the stage with such acts as Inflatable Soule, Cypress Hill, Koko Taylor, Buddy Guy, Johnny Winter, Jimmy Johnson, and Kenny Neal, just to name a few. The can currently be found performing with Charles Mack Band featuring Eric Robert (Keyboard), Joel Tipke (Guitar), and Jarvis Oliver (drums)

Guitar Digest: At what age did you first discover your love of music? Can you remember what the exact moment was like when you first realized how powerful music can be?
Charles Mack: As a child, I would listen to my family play blues, I had no idea what they were doing, I just knew the notes, along with their singing relaxed me. I was around 5 years old when I first noticed it, even though I heard it when I was younger, I just didn’t know what it was until age 5. Music has a way of making changes in the spirit. I used to cry a lot, but my mother would play jazz and I would immediately stop crying and fall asleep. The feeling I had when I was 5, from what I remember, music was like a warm blanket on a cold night, wrapped tightly, embracing every element of your being. I had a feeling of pure happiness, enjoyment, and fulfillment.

GD: What are some of your very first memories pertaining to music?
CM: The very first memories pertaining to music were of being around family, a room filled with guitarists and singers. When I was younger, my father, aunt and uncle would get together and play music, playing blues. I was amazed at how happy it made them feel. I had never seen my dad smile so much. My aunt played slide guitar, my dad and uncle were straight blues, finger pickin’ (rhythm and solo). The happiness that would come out of my family from playing music was incredible! The feeling that they were getting, I wanted to feel. This is by far, the best experience I have had as a child regarding an incredible feeling/experience pertaining to music.

GD: Who were some of your earliest influences? Do you happen to remember what your very first favorite song was?
CM: My earliest influences were, Bach, Miles Davis, Coltrane, BB King, Muddy Waters, The Supremes, The Dells, Earth Wind and Fire, Ron Carter, Charlie Parker, R Vaughn Williams, Copeland and Big Momma Thorton. I was a weird kid and I listened to everything. My first song I ever heard was a Luis Jordan song, my mother would play his music quite often around the house. Run Joe, 5 Guys named Moe ; the list goes on and on.


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Lisa Wenger

Wild Women of the Blues

Madison Blues Society
by Dave Leucinger
February 2015

It’s an unimpeachable fact: the history of recorded blues music started with women.  From Mamie Smith to Ida Cox, Bessie Smith, and the bawdy Lucille Bogan, women’s voices were the mainstay of recorded blues in the 1920’s. It was in that tradition that the Madison Blues Society began its annual “Wild Women of the Blues” seven years ago. Since then, the event has become a showcase for local and regional artists, and one of the largest fundraisers for the organization.


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