Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Nick's post-Stumpjack gig blog post

Kind words from Mr. Venturella on his MySpace blog (click "Stumpjack re-cap" link), about Stumpjack Coffee and our fair city of Two Rivers. Nick came in for a little breakfast and conversation Sunday morning following his performance the night before...hung around and chatted with the Svatek clan, Greg Buckley, Lucy Z., et al.

My favorite line from Nick's post: "
Even new folks who walk in are greeted and treated like they've been in there a hundred times before."

I was just going to link to Nick's blog, but just realized that I think you have to have a myspace account to get into someone else's myspace to view their stuff. So, I've copied and pasted it here for everyone who doesn't have a myspace account (if you don't have one it'll only take you a couple minutes to sign up for one). Here's Nick's post:

Monday, April 28, 2008

Stumpjack re-cap
Category: Music

Well, I first want to thank everyone who came out to Stumpjack Coffee Company last Saturday (April 26th) to see me perform. It's always a great time at the Stump, and of course, I'd like to thank David Smith and his lovely wife Kim for their generous hospitality. The whole Stumpjack crew, Glen and Stefanie, as well as all the regulars, make this an inviting community in and of itself. Even new folks who walk in are greeted and treated like they've been in there a hundred times before.

The coolest part about Stumpjack, besides the great people and coffee, is that David keeps the Stumpjack community up-to-date with new happenings, thoughts, events, and pictures all available online for you to follow along throughout the daily Stumpjack journey…I check out the blog regularly just to find out what new happenstance David is writing about, and check out pics of other music performances and events.

If you haven't already ventured up to Two Rivers, WI, I urge you to soon, and be sure that when you do you check out Stumpjack Coffee Company…and tell David I sent you.

So, if you didn't already gather, I had a wonderful time at the show Saturday. There was a really great crowd that seemed to enjoy the show and, more importantly, each other's company, as part of the show involved a pedestrian comedy routine performed by audience members. We were all feeling so good that I ended up playing almost 40 minutes more than I was scheduled to…a thousand thanks yous to all of you that encouraged my goofiness throughout the evening.

I'm working with David to schedule another time, possibly this summer ('08), to come back. I will be sure to keep you all informed of exactly when that will be. In the meantime, check out the pics below to jog your memory of what happened that night (if you were there and partaking in any libations), or to see what you missed (if you weren't there…why weren't you there?)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Nick Venturella is the man

We have the absolute most fun when Nick Venturella comes to town to perform at Stumpjack Coffee. Nick has a wonderfully earthy and upbeat musical style, that comes across as very immediate and spontaneous. That impression is a testament to his stage presence and competence, because with over 14 years of performing experience and a half-dozen CD's under his belt the man is as prepared and professional as can be. But that's the old saw isn't it...the people who make it look easy are most often the ones who work the hardest and are the best prepared. And Nick does make it look easy. He's got a great sense of humor and wonderful ability to connect with his audience, and if you check out the pics from last night that I just placed on Flickr you will see an awful lot of smiles and laughs in the house. I defy anyone to not have a good time at a Nick Venturella concert and to not immediately like this guy. This might sound a little corny but Nick is just a heckuva decent guy, without pretense or conceit, and generous with his knowledge and time...a straight arrow, as they say. It's a real pleasure to work with someone of his character and talent. And the music is pretty dang awesome too!

I just woke up from a long nap on the couch at the Stump...it's been a long couple of weeks and I'm going home now to go to bed early, but I wanted to get this post in and put the pictures on before hitting the hay. We're working on having Nick back sometime this summer and will hopefully post the date in the next day or two...when we do, make sure to mark it on your kitchen calendar and set that night aside...you will be glad you did, guaranteed.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


This animated gentleman will be here tonight at 8:00. The first 50 people through the door will receive a hardy welcome, completely free of charge! (everyone else will be welcomed in a lukewarm and disinterested manner).

Friday, April 25, 2008

Stumpjack Coffee Blends for Cigars

I've been wanting to create some special coffees specifically for pairing with cigars for some time now, and finally we took the time to discuss the concept with our roaster, Russ from Two Rivers Roasting, with some ideas for what coffees to put together and what kind of cigars, generally speaking, we were looking to pair them with. We had the general idea, what specific qualities we were thinking of, but the real credit for the success of the project goes to our roaster. Russ made use of his extensive experience and know-how and created two outstanding blends, what we're calling, simply enough, Sigaro Mezcla Uno and Sigaro Mezcla Dos (Cigar Blend One and Cigar Blend Two). The label images shown here provide a little more detailed info (click on them to enlarge).

We've been putting them out in the shop for everyday brewed coffees and they've been very well received. I've also done some informal, backyard pairing with a few cigars from my humidor and thus far I've been very pleased indeed. Sometime soon we'll powwow with a few fellow aficionados and do a little more formal and documented pairing (specific cigars), and we'll share the results with everyone here. But shewt, stop in and get yourself a pound or two, open your humidor, grab a couple of smokes and make your own evaluation...have fun with it. We'll be getting another several pounds in later next week.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Grizzly Adams with JoAnn & Jeannie

Bill Martell just sent me several photos he took the other night when JoAnn and Jeannie were here, including this one that I like of me with the gals. You won't find too many images of me in the stuff we put on here because, even though I'm a camera hog and a ham, I figure there's enough of "me" in all this stuff already (the whole Stumpjack thing) and my already substantial ego doesn't need anymore stroking anyway. So while for that reason I'm a little wary of posting this picture (besides the fact that I look like an ornery, bearded Scotsman), anytime I get a picture of myself with beautiful women I just have to crow a little...and JoAnn and Jeannie both look freaking radiant don't they!

BTW, most of the beard's gone now...shaved it off a few days ago. Smooth as a baby's bottom.

Music this weekend

Friday night at 8:00pm: Bill Walkner, guitarist/singer/songwriter/humorist. I have to be honest and say that the first time I heard Bill I was genuinely surprised...his musical talent and skill might only be matched by his good humor and joyfulness in performing. He's a wonderfully talented songwriter and his humor and personality show up in all of his sings.

Saturday night at 8:00pm:
Nick Venturella, Madisonian singer/songwriter, folk and indie music. Nick was here a few months ago and we had a blast, and he's back this Saturday night. He's got a half-dozen or so CDs to his credit, along with a ton of performing experience that makes his gigs just a heck of a lot of fun. Check out the
Flickr pics from Nick's last gig at the Stump.

Images from a few days ago

Click the links below to be routed to the Flickr photo sets:

I really like this dark and atmospheric image of JoAnn...her smile, the neon, the little blue lights over her right shoulder.

Terry with a lovely creamy stout...mmmm....

I must be in a "dark" frame of mind...this one of Derek bookends JoAnn above.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Johnny Depp at Stumpjack?

There's a rumor going 'round that Johnny Depp made a brief visit to Stumpjack Coffee last Thursday evening when JoAnn Riedl and Jeannie Mayotte were performing here. The rumor is that Johnny was traveling through town, doing some sight-seeing while on break from filming the much talked about new movie "Public Enemy" here in God's country. He may have had one of our uberfine double espressos and a Fiddler's Elbow English Ale, while enjoying JoAnn's and Jeannie's kick-butt acoustic performance with a couple of friends he was allegedly traveling with. And he may have expressed his appreciation for being able to relax for a while without the usual gaggle of fans and paparazzi bugging him. And we may have agreed not to spread it around for at least a few days that he was hanging at the Stump for a couple hours and totally dug the coffee and ambiance.

Johnny Depp...dang fine actor, lover of fine espresso and live music, all around good guy.

And everyone make sure to go see Johnny's movie "Public Enemy" when it comes out.


Derek's performing tonight

Spike and Tyke revving up for the Derek Pritzl gig tonight.

Last minute notice: Tonight at 8:00...DEREK PRITZL at Stumpjack Coffee. Derek has become a regular performer here at Stumpjack and he just keeps getting better and better every time. He's always writing new songs, connecting more and more with his audience. putting out 100% every single time. Apologies for getting this email out so late (I think I need an assistant...preferably one who also does massage therapy and knows how to make a good martini).

Come on down to Two Rivers tonight...there's great live music here, later at the Waverly with Bryan Lee, and then there's always live music at Element Bistro on Saturday night as well...it's a trifecta of great nightlife on the lakeshore!

Friday, April 18, 2008


I've got a ton of stuff to get done today before tonight's little beer and chocolate tasting, so I only have a few spare minutes right now but I wanted to give a huge shout out to JoAnn and Jeannie (Riedl and Mayotte) for their performance last night at the Stump. Musically, personally and professionally those two are just the cat's meow...the bee's knees...the dog's biscuit...lizard's gizzard...any particular critter metaphor you can come up with. Seriously, they're both uber-talented and just lovely people. It's just plain cool when you get to see and hear someone who's really good kicking it out with just a six-string and their voice. If you missed them last night you will get another chance to redeem yourself because they're coming back to kick the crap out of any and all bad attitudes on Saturday, May 24th.

I'll put last night's images up later, maybe tomorrow if time allows. FYI: JoAnn's band, The Barrettes, are schedules to play Summerfest on July 3rd at the Cascio Garage Groove Stage, next to the Marcus Amphitheater.

Now then, tonight we're doing the beer and chocolate tasting I mentioned above, during which we'll be treated yet again to some more lovely music from the lovely Becky Markvart. "Beer, BonBons and Becky"...that's what I should've called this tasting!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Thief in the house

Someone recently stole an item from the Stumpjack Coffee Company. Not a significant item in terms of monetary value, but significant enough to disappoint and get ticked off about. It was a large decorative bottle of red peppers that we had in the small back room by the restroom. We all know that the world is full of losers and jackasses who care little to nothing for others or the concept of right vs. wrong behavior, and yet no matter how commonplace the wrong behavior might be it never fails to take the rest of us a little by surprise when we actually run into it.

Stumpjack Coffee is offering a reward of one fat pound of exceptional 100% pure Kona coffee to anyone who can and will identify the pathetic loser who took the bottle and effect the return of said bottle. Kona goes for upwards of $50 a pound and more in some places...we sell it for around $36-$40 a pound here. We will also be happy to post the picture and name of the thief on this blog and in the shop for all the world to see and ridicule, so if you know this person and would like to see them receive a little public humiliation, along with getting a pound of some of the planet's best coffee, then do your civic duty and turn 'em in and retrieve the bottle for us...shewt, you can even keep the bottle too if you like it, I just want to shine a light on the ne'er-do-well who sullied this fine establishment with their unsavory presence (and if the perp who took the bottle happens to be reading this I'm sure you can find someone to explain to you all of the words that contain more than one syllable).

Monday, April 14, 2008

Hey, a dynamite Thursday night gig!

This Thursday night at 7:00 Stumpjack Coffee will host a special live music event with the dynamic duo of JoAnn Riedl and Jeannie Mayotte, flown in on a special, secret flight all the way from Milwaukee, Wisconsin (the town that made Schlitz beer famous). These two sheilas (that's Ausie-speak for women) are intense, passionate and exceptional singer/songwriters. The last time they performed here they honestly just blew us away...it was just "a girl and her guitar" kind of set-up...no amps, no electronics...and they just filled the space with their sound. Very cool.

So, give yourself a midweek treat and come on out for a coffee or a beer and listen to something special. 7:00pm Thursday night.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Pick & Squeeze nearly cause riot as rabid fans rush the stage!

Here are the pics from tonight's gig with Andy and Greg...what a blast! I'm beat and am going home to pass out...will add more tomorrow...

Ok, it's "tomorrow" now...Monday actually. What a night that was. At one point I wormed my way up front and yelled at Greg and Andy, "What the heck are these people here for? You guys aren't even that good!" To which I was immediately manhandled by the attendant throng, body-surfed to the front door and summarily tossed out into the street.

Andy and Greg are two of the nicest guys around, and what fabulous musicians. Just another example of how rich the talent pool is in this little corner of the country. They'll be back on Friday July 25th...and we'll be bringing in reinforcements to help handle the mob. Greg will be here on Friday, June 6th with cellist extraordinaire Matt Turner.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Beer and Chocolate Tasting

When: Friday, April 18th at 7:00pm.

Where: Stumpjack Coffee Company; Two Rivers

We will be sampling at five dark beers (stouts) from various microbreweries and pairing them with fine chocolates, including a special Stout Beer Flourless Chocolate Cake courtesy of Jennifer Pasquill of Uniquely Yours Pastry Shoppe (yup, cake made with beer).

This is going to be basically the same set-up as our wine and chocolate evening we did on Valentine’s Day, in that we’re going to limit participation to around ten (10) people and those who sign up first will be it. I’m not yet sure if we’ll be closing the door or staying open for business during this one…it is Heart-A-Rama week and we haven’t quite yet figured out if that needs to be considered for this evening as well. Becky Markvart will again be providing some beautimous musical accompaniment for the event.

The cost to participate is $25 per person. You’ll have to come in and make your payment to reserve your spot…and it’s only a week away!

Nevermind the bollocks, here's Pick n' Squeeze!

Saturday night at 7:00: Those two handsome and courageous daredevils, Andy and Greg Pagel, aka "Pick n' Squeeze," will be at Stumpjack Coffee to entertain and mystify you. It's tough to nail these two guys down to an actual date...I find them very irritating that way...but it's always worth the aggravation because they play some very tasty stuff.

The first 100 people in the door would get a free troll doll if we had any on hand...but we don't.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

More Poetry & Music pics


Flickr pics for Friday's Poetry Night.

Flickr pics for Saturday night's gig with Derek.

One of Derek's buds...I'm sorry but I don't know his name, but I like this picture of him holding his little boy (who seems very focused on Derek's performance at the moment).

Friday, April 4, 2008

Persimmony contest

Ok, go here for your chance to win exciting and fabulous object dé arte prizes!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Tina Kugler ROCKS!

The uncolored Stumpjack

Ok, I've been meaning to post about this for a week now, but haven't had the time to write the kind of post I want to write...and even now I have to skedaddle, but I have to get something in about this now even if it is just a brief prelude to a lengthier musing. Tina Kugler, who along with her husband Carson ran the former Tweedle Bros. Children's Bookshop ultrafun store in Manitowoc, rendered her version of the Stumpjack critter for us. It is SO cool!

Stumpjack colored by Tina Kugler herself.

Tina drew the beastie as a coloring page for kids (young or older...I've colored three so far), and we'll be printing a bunch off to have available at the Stump soon. I don't have time to ramble on about all I want to about this, but please go here to visit one of Tina's blogs (Tina Kugler Illustration) and down to her Friday, March 28th post to see and read a little about it. Then, keep rolling through all of her posts and you will thoroughly enjoy her art and her wit (visit her other site, The Tina Show, as well...links over in the right hand column right here). I have long enjoyed and appreciated Tina's work and sense of humor, but her rendition of our mascot has me totally enchanted and made me an even bigger fan.