Today is: Tuesday June 25, 2019 | Status: Under Re-development | Version 2.99.03

Brew City Sludge - March 2009

by Lane Klozier
Milwaukee's Cheap Rick

Klozier here.

Cover bands. Sometimes I hate them. Sometimes I love them. I guess it all depends what they are trying to do. When you make a living at it, or treat it as some kind of job it tends to manifest itself into just that…a job…mundane. There are, however, bands such as Rugburn. Hailing from the Milwaukee/West Bend area, the band is a testament to what getting together and jamming is all about. No frills, no costume changes, no pyro-technics…just a good time. They are not perfect or flawless, yet their showmanship is steadfast. Covering everything from Judas Priest to bubble gum hits like “PlayThat Funky Music” the Rugburn boys pour every ounce of energy they have into each song. I caught them at a little juke joint on the northwest side and was not expecting too much, but after a 90 minute set where everyone in the place was on their feet throughout the duration and left screaming for more, it was hard not to be impressed. Serious enough to pound out a good tune, yet unpretentious enough to make you feel like your part of it all; Rugburn is a sure bet for a hell of a good time.

As long as I’m at it…another great new cover act is Milwaukee’s Radio Radio. Instead of looking for whatever’s popular on the current air waves, RR plays songs from the pop/new wave era. Paying attention to bands such as Echo and the Bunnymen, The Cars, Psycadelic Furs, and INXS the boys are obligated to play the type of song that so many of us love yet rarely hear anymore. With just enough of their own touches added, their renditions are top notch, paying attention to detail and keeping it true to form. Vocally as well as instrumentally, this is about as good as it gets in the land of cover. Break out those super tight black Levis, get your hair all Flock of Seagulls and check out Radio Radio.

More? Why not? Milwaukee’s Cheap Rick is (as if you couldn’t guess) is a tribute to the great Cheap Trick. The boys have been at it for a few years now and have honed the act to a science. Note for note, the tunes are as tight as the record. This is not an easy band to cover, but CR has got things to the point where any Cheap Trick fan would be pleased as punch to pay a few bucks at the door to hear some of their favorites. Check out Cheap Rick at Bobby Rockets in Burlington March 21.

OK…one more. One of the best cover acts to ever hit the Milwaukee scene is The Metal Men. It probably has something to do with the fact the all the members have spent signifigant time in original bands honing their talent and their chops. Absolute flawless renditions of heavy tunage from the 70’s through the 90’s keeps huge crowds coming to see this band. The guys go boldly into territory where few bands dare to tread doing songs by DIO, Queensryche, Sabbath and others. If anything, these guys generally sound better than the acts they are covering when in a live setting…WAY better!

Remember: The stimulus package is coming…please use some of your share to stimulate some local clubs by checking out some Brew City bands.

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