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Nikko and Nick at the Vilas Park Zoo in Madison - photo by Rökker

Letter To The People - July 2014

Publisher's Commentary by Rökker

AtwoodFest 2014: The music schedule for the first annual AtwoodFest is online at AtwoodFest.org. Click on “music” and it will take you to the schedule for both stages on both days (July 26 & 27) as well as give you full bio’s, music, video, and links to the performers’ Facebook, Reverb Nation and website.

If you are planning to use your smartphone, once you get to the music schedule page, click the word “Mobile Site” and you will be swept away to a smartphone enhanced site.

For the first time, you will be able to take the schedule around with you at the festival so that you don’t have to miss the artists you want to see, or try to find a banner or poster.

And give it up for my mom, she’ll be feeding over 110 musicians backstage at AtwoodFest. Viva la Meatballs!

Edward David Anderson: We weren’t able to get a story done with EDA and he’s playing our stage at AtwoodFest, so I’m pasting a little tidbit from his bio. “Best known for his work with the revered Midwestern rock band Backyard Tire Fire who released a string of acclaimed albums in the previous decade, Anderson returns to the national stage with his highly anticipated solo debut, Lies & Wishes. Produced by Los Lobos’ Steve Berlin, it finds Anderson creating his own mythology through a collection of songs that embrace vulnerability, while remaining grounded in his working class roots. Anderson sings, “I’m the son of a plumber, from a God fearing mother.” The lyric says much about where his story begins as an artist. He was born and raised just west of Chicago and lives a simple life, spending winters in an RV alongside the Gulf of Mexico in lower Alabama. Anderson’s an American songwriter on an existential quest who seeks and who searches through song.”

Chris Aaron Band with Jim Schwall: Just added to AtwoodFest lineup on Saturday, July 27th. Two legendary Wisconsin blues guitarists from two different generations join together to bring a unique spin on rockin’ blues! Jim Schwall gained fame in the ‘70s with the Siegal-Schwall Band, and Chris Aaron has been slining it for well over 20 years with bands like American Standard and Bandallmas! Add Pauli Ryan (Garbage, U2, Clyde Stubblefield) on percussion, Aaron’s wife Lisa Bethke on vocals, and pull a bassist and drummer from Chicago and you have a really fun, powerful blues band.

Rökker Vodka: I hit the Nautigal on Thursdays by 5pm for the music series. They feature a bunch of Rökker Vodka drinks on special and it carries over to their Saturday night music series as well as the Shrimp Boil on the first Thursday, 2nd Friday, and 3rd Saturday. Bands and dining on the patio and a plate of steaming shrimp, sausage, potatoes, corn bread and dessert. All cooked to perfection by Chef Kris Eckles. I spoke to Kris and we will be doing another Rökker Vodka Chef’s Table at the Nautigal in the fall! www.Nautigal.com

Eastside Club: The Sunset Music Series on Thursday nights at the ESB is a whole lot of fun! Live music by the water’s edge, a Tiki Bar serving Rökker Vodka on special, and a sunset taking form behind the capitol. Hard to beat that!
Facebook.com/TheSunsetMusicSeries

Jimmy K Show: Hey Folks, remember we’re back at the Wisco on Willy Street on Tuesday nights from 7-10pm broadcasting live on Max Ink Radio! Maxinkradio.com

Adventures with Lizzie & Nikko: Lizzie has been elected one of the team captains for the Pom Squad. She worked very hard to get there and I am very proud of her. She is very motivated and a good leader who leads by example.

Nikko is back in summer camp along with his best bud Nick. They get to swim, go on hiking trips, scavenger hunts, laser tag…. I think when I went to camp they had masking tape, construction paper, crayons and Elmer’s Glue. There weren’t even friendship bracelets back then.

Enjoy this pic from the Vilas Zoo.


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Lizzie and Lexi strinking the Angel's pose during recital break - photo by Rökker

Letter To The People - June 2014

Publisher's Commentary by Rökker

Jimmy K Show: The live show is moving back to the Wisco this month. A few format changes, a few new wrinkles and lots of fun! Make sure to find the Jimmy K Show on Facebook to keep up with all the changes and listen in at Maxinkradio.com.

Atwood Fest: Big changes for Atwood Summerfest. First, a name change, Atwood Fest. Second is that a triumverate of the Barrymore Theater, SASY Neighborhood Assoc., and the Wil-Mar Center will be hosting the festival. Third is that I was retained to do the booking and stage management by the new team for my 12th year and this year’s music lineup is better than ever before.

Here is a sneak peak at some of the spoils: What would Atwood Fest be without VO5? We don’t want to know, so they’re booked and will close our Saturday night, but a new surprise will be the 20 piece local all-star-band STEELY DANE. They will close the festival on Sunday to music of Steely Dan.

Other highlights include Chicago’s Steepwater Band who will play the fest just days after returning from a 2 month European tour, Edward David Anderson of Backyard Tire Fire, Kwamikaze reggae from Chicago that features West African vocalist Kwame Bediako, local Madison funksters The Mustache, and Barrelhouse Chuck who will be performing with local blues legends Westside Andy and Mel Ford.

There are many more, but I would really like to highlight a r&b band from Minneapolis called Sonny Knight and the Lakers. This amazing band featuring Sonny on vocals sports a killer horn section and seriously, they know how to bring it! We are incredibly excited to announce this!

Other notables include local Rastabilly jammers Mad Polecat’s, blues outfit Altered Five, local Whiskeypreneurs Mighty Wheelhouse, our own local rockstar Kyle Henderson, and the local slide blues sound of Lazy Dead Poet, and Mojo Radio.

There are still more to announce and we’ll feature more on what’s happening next issue, till then, mark July 25-26, 2014 for the first edition of ATWOOD FEST.

Adventures with Lizzie: I had a great time at the Virginia Davis School of Dance’s 2014 recital. Lizzie had three performances this year in ballet, jazz dance and a duet with her BFF Lexi. Every performance was amazing and the audience roared in appreciation. All of her grandparents made it to the recital and we all went out to Salvatore’s Tomato Pies afterward (Lizzie’s favorite pizza).

This coming year, Lexi is joining Lizzie on the Madison East Poms Team, and they will compete as team for the first time. Everyone is very excited.

Happy father’s day to my dad, Jerry.


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Lizzie is turning Sweet Sixteen

Letter to the People - May 2014

Publisher's Commentary by Rökker

Phox, Salvatore’s Tomato Pies, Rökker Vodka, Adventures with Lizzie


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Madison East Poms 2014

Letter To The People - April 2014

Publisher's Commentary by Rökker

Max Ink Radio: Happy 3rd Birthday to MIR! And give it up for Jimmy K too! He has worked with our team of DJ’s to reformat Max Ink Radio. The new format still allows for our anchor shows like the Jimmy K Show, Burn Baby Burn with Jake Boyardi, The Record Store, and BS Live Rocks in the evenings and weekends, but Monday through Friday from 6am-7pm central time will have consistent DJ’s in two hour slots, slightly themed. Go Maxinkradio.com.


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Nikko on the drum kit - photo by Rökker

Letter to the People - March 2014

Publisher's Commentary by Rökker

Max Ink is 18 Years Old: I’d like to thank the readers around the state…..
We started Maximum Ink so that we could bring the artist’s story to the people, give them a voice. 18 years later, we are still doing just that!

Smart Studios Documentary: Smart Studios, Madison’s legendary recording studio owned by Butch Vig (Nirvana producer/Garbage drummer) and fellow Garbage guitarist Steve Marker. After the studio was closed a while back, Wendy Schneider, local film maker, recording engineer/owner and producer decided it was time to tell the story on film. Interviews include Dave Grohl ...

Willy Wash: a musical Yahara: The movement is gaining steam! I recently participated in a class study with ...

Bash in the Bluffs 3: Rökker Vodka, We Make Music Happen and Max Ink Radio will be out in Baraboo at the Pumphouse Bar & Grill ...

Adventures with Nikolai: My drum kit is in the house! Nikko is practicing beats, hitting fills and listening to Led Zeppelin….


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Madison East Poms team in Zombie costume (guess which one is Lizzie), and Rachel out on the floor performing a halftime routine.

Letter to the People - February 2014

Publisher's Commentary by Rökker

Willy Wash: A Musical Yahara, Equality Love Fest, Bash in the Bluffs III, Local Love Fest, Distill America, White Empress, Adventures with Lizzie and Nikko….


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