I must be honest, I’ve been a bit bored with the music scene lately. It seems that “indie” has become a catch-all term for this safe, pseudo-sensitive sound that many bands gravitate to; being complacent and “appealing to the masses” instead of taking risks and pushing the envelope. Fortunately with some local bands this is not the case, and my ears cannot thank you enough.
I saw Hugh Bob & the Hustle at the Miller Stables the other weekend, and they gave a great performance despite the less than savory venue. These guys decided to experiment with their own style of country music, and their risk totally paid off. This is the kind of country that I can get into, and I won’t miss any future shows if I can help it.
When I’m talking to someone about Fresh Cut Collective, I can never give a description worthy of their unique style, and this is precisely why they continue to stand out. All of the members have a multitude of musical talents and have at least one other project in the works, and that collective passion comes out when they play together. Always ready to perform a new song or experiment with a new style, FCC recently showcased some new material last week at River Rhythms, and they have nearly an album’s worth of new songs to perform when they open for the Roots at Summerfest this year. In the music industry, your fans are the boss, and it’s not enough to keep regurgitating the same sound or the same set list. They understand this and we appreciate it.
Newcomers Kane Place Record Club continue to be one of the most charismatic bands I know, and for all the times I’ve seen them, I have yet to find someone who hasn’t enjoyed their live shows. Their lyrics are fun and catchy, they have a unique style and even with a new drummer they continue to be on top of their game. Fans and musicians alike need to pay attention, I have a feeling these guys are just getting started.
One band that’s quite familiar with the Milwaukee music scene is The Delta Routine. They’ve played in local bars since before front man Nick Amadeus was old enough to drink, and the fact that the band is finishing another album in addition to Nick’s own solo work is proof that they know how to stay current in this city. They brought in Kevin Topel for lead guitar when recording their album “More About You”, and now with Vic Buell and Al Kraemer (guitar and keys, respectively), their upcoming album will have a fuller pop/rock feel while maintaining the essence of The Delta Routine sound.
Are these the only good bands in Milwaukee? Of course not. These are a few bands have lured me in, and they know how to give me what I want and keep me wanting more. And I’m always looking for more, so show me what else you’ve got, Milwaukee, I know you have it in you.