Madcity Nights - August 2015

What's happening around the Madison Music Scene for August 2015
by Max Ink
August 2015

Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers

Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers

Friday, August 7
House of Brews - 4539 Helgeson Dr.
Live Music 4pm-10:15pm

MobCraft Beer, House of Brews, and Alt Brew are teaming up at their shared brewery to throw a Great Taste of the Midwest pre-party. Some limited releases and other rare stuff will be offered by the hosts as well as several other midwest contributors like Karben4, Next Door, New Glarus, Lake Louie and more.

Bands start at 4pm with Madison favorite Sunspot along with Bluegrass Tea & Company, The Apologists, and the No Name String Band to round out the night.

Saturday, August 8th
The Crane Wives
Funk’s Pub

Indie-folk-pop-rockers The Cran Wives will stop at Funk’s Pub in Fitchburg after two nights of performing at Appleton’s Mile of Music. The Grand Rapids natives are headed out to Colorado on a Midwestern tour supporting their new album Coyote Stories.

Thursday, August 13 9pm-12am
The Bayou New Orleans Style Tavern Release Party

A new photo based website is coming to Madison which will help launch the city into a new realm of social conciousness as users start to join, upload, and tag pictures from around Madison. The first in a launch series happens at the Bayou and will feature drink specials, prizes, and music presented by DJ Vinyl Richie. Go get an account at and start uploading now, there are Nightlife and Festivals categories.

Thursday, August 13
Unity The Band
Club Tavern

If you’re not able to get up north for the Midwest Sunsplash, you can catch Unity the Band at the Club Tavern here in Middleton. The award winning original roots-reggae group based in Appleton will bring their Fijian infused reggae and mix it with funk and rock. Singer Kai Katobalavu, a native of Fiji joins a great cast of musicians that also includes Tim Perkins on the stand up bass. I’d have to say, he’s very entertaining. Enjoy a mix of classic reggae and original music. 

Saturday, August 15
Punk’s Picnic
Indian Lake County Park
8183 Hwy 19, Cross Plains, Wisconsin 53528

A pot-luck style BYO Punk Rocker picnic so bring something to share. Donations will go to the bands and the shelter fee. Hosted by Venus in Furs, the show is a who’s who of Madison punkers including Brainerd, Sir No Sir, The Rotten Tommys, The Sigourney Weavers, Paper Wasp, Supervillain Fire Drill, Damsel Trash, and more.

Tip: bring extra ice, no one likes a warm kegger.

Saturday, August 15 11am-10pm
Africa Fest 2015
Central Park

Now in it’s 17th year, Africa Fest has moved from Warner Park to Central Park. Under the theme “Building and Bridging Communities,” this community-based cultural and educational event devoted to grassroots cultural heritage, will feature musicians, artists, performers, cooks, craftspeople, and scholars who will be demonstrating, presenting, and discussing the cultural traditions of African immigrants.

Live music will feature Bassekou Kouyate & His Ngoni ba Band from Mali,  Jam Ak Jam, The Masquerade, Kikeh Mato, Tani Diakite, Atimevu, and more. Learn more at

Sunday, August 16 1pm-10pm
Central Park Sesssions
Bamako/Blues Session

Andy Ewen and Tani Diakate kick this blues session off followed by Joel Paterson Trio with Milwaukee’s legendary harmonica bluesman Jim Liban. Then Madcity fav’s The Jimmys will lead to living blues legend Lurrie Bell and his Chicago Blues Band. And in case you missed him from Africa Fest the night before, Bassekou Kouyate & His Ngoni ba Band will finish the night and it’s rumored Bassekou and Lurrie like to jam together, the only way to know is to show up.

Tuesday, August 18 7-10pm
Jimmy K Show Live
The Frequency

Jimmy K, Edub and Rökker are back at the Frequency for a newly revamped variety show that include band interviews, comedian Shawn Vasquez, dumb ass news, beer of the week, an acoustic performance from Dogs of War and rock out with this week’s special guests Sunspot!

Tip: Stay late for Hi-Jack with the Anderson Brothers.

Wednesday, August 19
The Delta Saints
The Frequency

Majestic Live presents Loud & Proud recording artists The Delta Saints out of Nashville are out on the road promoting their new album Bones. They’re in the midst of a US tour from the west coast to east coast, and then on to Europe in the fall. Fusing roots and blues with country, R&B, soul, and gospel the Saints promise an eclectic show.

Wednesday, August 19
Jazz At 5 (4pm start)
State Street at Capitol Square

Madison East High Jazz Ensemble opens this this awesome night of music. Then, the hidden jewel of last month’s AtwoodFest, Wifee and the HuzzBand take the stage. Backed by a R&B-funk-blues band with a killer horn section singer Ruby James belts it out with energy, flair and a charisma that will win over any crowd while her fiance Stephen Cooper takes the saxophone to the extreme.

If that weren’t enough for one night, along comes Madison’s award winning The Jimmys (with Darren Sterud on trombone) and the Amateur Horns to end the night.

Tip: Bring a blanket and a picnic basket of killer munchies and get there early.

Thursday, August 20
JJ Grey & Mofro
Nicki Bluhm & the Gramblers
Majestic Theater

You all probably know about JJ Grey, but San Francisco’s Nicki Bluhm & the Gramblers is the score here. Nikki and her husband Tim Bluhm (Mother Hips) have been touring cross country straight for the last three years, and during their time on the road, and I mean “driving down the road” in the van, they record classic hits in a Youtube series called “the Van Sessions”, it’s addicting, try it.

The Gramblers’ original material has that California Sound, born of folk, rock, country, psychedelia, blues, and pop and the band boasts top notch players. Don’t miss them, they may not be through for a while. They are the band on the run! Learn more at

Monday, August 24
The Rocketeer (movie)
Little Willy Park
1002 Willliamson Street

Movies in little Willy Park is a collaboration with the neighborhood comic book shop and is free for all attendees. Show starts at sunset and a blanket or comfy chair is recommended. Glass cannot be in the park. Sept 24: Captain America: The winter Soldier

Friday, August 28
Pullman Standard, Good Morning V, 7 Seasons Deep
Hijynx - Fort Atkinson

Pullman Standard are an alt-pop-rock band out of West Hollywood and they’ll be sharing the stage with heavy blues rockers 7 Seasons Deep and Good Morning V featuring DJ and Paul Schluter of Megatone Studios.,,

August 27 - 30
Orton Park Festival
50th anniversary

Chicago’s The Congregation had a sensational set at AtwoodFest, now they’re back for the 50th birthday for Orton! The other band to look for here is Saturday night’s closer Main Squeeze, another band out of Chicago, blending funk, soul, and rock n roll! See calendar for full schedule.

September 5-6
Taste of Madison
Capitol Square

More than 250,000 estimated attendees will visit 80+ restaurants and 3 music stages make Taste of Madison one of the premiere events during the summer. The JJO stage is locked and loaded with a promising line up including Starset, Adelita’s Way, Wayland, and Aranda, while the WOZN The Zone variety stage will feature a staple of local heavy hitters on Sunday including Mojo Radio, Devil To Drag, Good Morning V and more. See the calendar for a full line up.

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