Letter To The People - July 2017

Publisher's Commentary
by Rökker

Rökker, Sonny Knight, and Teri Barr backstage at Atwoodfest 2016

Rökker, Sonny Knight, and Teri Barr backstage at Atwoodfest 2016

This issue of Maximum Ink is dedicated to the memories of two good friends in the music business, Jack LeTourneau and Sonny Knight.

Jack was one of the good guys and spent many decades recording and producing artists both known and unknown. He was beloved by the music community and will be missed.

I met Sonny Knight when his band Sonny Knight & the Lakers played AtwoodFest 2014. At age 66 his music career had just started and his AtwoodFest performance would be his first in Madison. After driving all day and being stuck in a traffic jam from the Indy 500 the band arrived late but were out of the van and on the stage jamming as if nothing stressful had ever happened. Sonny and his band won the crowd in minutes and his legacy in Madison started to grow.

Sonny came back to Madison to play to an unbelievable crowd for a King Street Live and later again to the Majestic Theater with Clyde Stubblefield and his All-Star Band.

When it was time to plan for AtwoodFest 2016, I knew I wanted to bring Sonny back, but he was getting pretty big by that point and it didn’t look like it would be affordable. But Sonny was in love with AtwoodFest, and especially my mom’s cooking at Mama Rökker’s Band Bistro backstage. He praised us many times claiming we had the best hospitality of any show anywhere. I’ll take that to heart.

Sonny and his band The Lakers made it a priority to make AtwoodFest 2016 happen and we were able to present the band as headliners for the Saturday night show. Local favorites V05 took the stage before Sonny and made sure the place was packed and the audience primed. When Sonny came on the crowd cheered and cheered, it was amazing how much adoration they had for him, and he sang his heart out for them. The night was magical to put it lightly.

This man quit his livelihood to pursue his dream of singing and entertaining people, and we were blessed to have taken part in his amazing journey from trucker to rock star. After he passed his band posted this comment “You’ll never know how much AtwoodFest truly meant to Sonny. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to share our music with Madison.”

I think I do, and it brought a tear to my eye. Sonny, you were an extraordinary human being and you will be missed.

Adventures with Nikko: Nikko’s back in summer camp as well as performing with Black Star Drum Line. He’s excited as Black Star will be marching in AtwoodFest’s Convergence, a neighborhood parade to bring out people for the fest as well as performing on the KidsFest stage at 2 PM on Saturday, July 29th.

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