Richard Wiegel isn't the kind of bandleader who grabs you with his intensity. Instead, The Midwesterners chief songwriter, vocalist and guitarist impresses with his catholic understanding of Americana styles and solid musicianship. The band's last album, Ridin' with Chuck, saluted one of heroes Chuck Berry with consummate taste, but The Midwesterners aren't just a rock 'n' roll revival act.
Smooth honky tonk-steeped country is also a specialty, and with help from another Madison music veteran, guitarist Dan "Ernie" Conner, sparks some very respectable rockabilly rave-ups. Longtime Madison-based drummer, producer and all-round studio rat Mark Haines and upright bass player Tom McCarty complete the rootsy quartet.
This video of Wiegel's twangy rocker "Carolina" is taken from a live performance on April 28 at the Harmony Bar presented by Isthmus and Charter Communicatons as part of the ongoing Madison Music Project Charter Club Tour. It also features interviews with Wiegel, Keith Daniels of the Harmony, and Rockin' John McDonald from WORT.