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Branch Street Retreat 7/24 - Chainsaw Curtis

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Branch Street Retreat 7/24 - Chainsaw Curtis

Postby chainsawcurtis » Tue Jul 20, 2010 10:12 am

Chainsaw Curtis and the Creepers Branch Street Retreat in Middleton Saturday 7/24 9:00 PM start time.

This gig is a direct result of appearing at this year's Bratfest. The band doesn't get into the Madison area very often but there are a lot of folks here who will like what they do.
Image
Chainsaw Curtis at WMMM's Build Your Own Blues Fest in 2005.

"Most groups start with rock and pop and play blues when they run out of material. We start with blues because it's the basis for all American pop music since early in the last century. Then we take great material and do it the way we think it fits for the band. We're doing roadhouse blues, old school R&B and rock'n'roll and twists on classic pop and rock. I call it 'electric folk.'" - Curtis

John Noyd of Maximum Ink called Chainsaw's Pantloads of Fun CD "a musical barbecue that roasts Los Lobos and melts down ZZ Top." Dave Luhrssen of the Milwaukee Shepherd Express called The Creepers Too Much Like Work "one of the best locally produced blues albums." Curt's song "Nine Months of Winter" got to #102 on garageband.com's overall chart.

The band has almost a hundred and fifty years of experience on stage. The current Creepers line-up includes John Dade on keyboards, harmonica, vocals and guitar, Dan Grayless on bass and vocals and Mark Davey on drums.
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Re: Branch Street Retreat 7/24 - Chainsaw Curtis

Postby zippy » Tue Jul 20, 2010 11:46 am

You didn't explain how getting the gig was a direct result of your playing at bratfest. The last time I heard this story it turns out that a member of the band ran into a club owner he was trying to contact as he was leaving the grounds after playing and the club owner was arriving at the grounds. The club owner told him he had left a message on his phone about some dates his band could play and the band member somehow felt this was all due to bratfest.
So what's the story Chainsaw?
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Re: Branch Street Retreat 7/24 - Chainsaw Curtis

Postby zippy » Tue Jul 20, 2010 11:49 am

Again just to get the attention deficit crowd on this board back on point.
The point is I believe if musicians are playing at a charity event where everyone else is getting paid the musicians should be paid as well.
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Re: Branch Street Retreat 7/24 - Chainsaw Curtis

Postby chainsawcurtis » Tue Jul 20, 2010 12:52 pm

I don't play in the Madison area very often. I determined that after twenty years of traveling all over Wisconsin and No. Illinois it might be nice to do some local gigs. There are, after all, close to a quarter million folks about a half an hour away from where I live.

I emailed a blues musician acquaintance who knows what style show I do and told him that while I wasn't trying to horn in on the local blues musician folks I would like to play occasionally in the Madison area. He turned me on to the people who arrange the stages at Bratfest. Even at the late date (two days before the event) and knowing there was no money involved I took a fill-in slot. The person who was hosting the stage was someone I had known for a long time and after my set he told me to give him some open dates and he would see about getting me a gig someplace that would meet my asking price.

He did what he said he would do and I took the date. This was a calculated networking act that worked the way I hoped it would. I'm looking forward to playing the Branch Street Retreat and hopefully some of the other clubs in the area for people who like the roadhouse blues/electric folk thing I do.
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Re: Branch Street Retreat 7/24 - Chainsaw Curtis

Postby zippy » Tue Jul 20, 2010 7:28 pm

How is it Bratfest getting you a gig from a guy you have "known for a long time"? Isn't it just as likely if you had called this person before bratfest you could have gotten a gig from them?
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Re: Branch Street Retreat 7/24 - Chainsaw Curtis

Postby Bluehead » Wed Sep 01, 2010 11:44 am

Hey, how did the gig go? Is this a good venue for blues (right down the street from Club Tavern)? It sure would be nice to have another venue for blues in Middleton. You might want to try to play the Madison Blues Society Picnic if you want exposure here in Madison, All blues fans, there for the music not there for the Brats. I'm sure if you shoot them the same deal you would be a shoe-in.
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Re: Branch Street Retreat 7/24 - Chainsaw Curtis

Postby chainsawcurtis » Wed Sep 01, 2010 12:56 pm

We did very well. Twelve hours after I did this gig at Branch Street I had another date booked here.

I'd love to play the Blues Picnic and it may happen next year. I can easily do three sets of straight blues without veering into the SRV or Hendrix clone areas.

That said, what I do with the Creepers in a tavern venue like this is a variety of material - it's not all straight blues because it's hard to hold a crowd with just swings and shuffles all night unless you have a lot of soloists in the band. It can get boring for the audience if they aren't fans or connoisseurs of blues and for the players (including me) who like to stretch into some different genres.

My sets include original material, old style rock'n'roll, a little country, a little Texas style, some New Orleans style, some electrified folk and some arrangements of what might be considered "classic rock." For example, we managed to pull off a pretty close version of Cream's "White Room" and in the same set did Neil Young's "Down by the River" and a reggae version of "Bad Moon Risin'." After forty years of doing club gigs I just try to read the room. But if folks are dancing to swings and shuffles I roll with it.

We are back at the Branch on Friday Sept 17. Thanks for asking.
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