Monday, July 28, 2008

Pagelmania hits the Midwest

"Squeeze" caught by hidden ceiling cam
Here's the Flickr set of Pick & Squeeze from Friday night's gig. Greg played for an hour by himself as Andy was apparently cross-dressing and running in circles in a public place and thus couldn't make the beginning of their scheduled gig (he says he was in some "Relay for Life" event and that he had to dress up as a fairly princess...whatever, Andy...). Anyway, Greg played some really cool electronic, ambient improvisational funkificationalized diddlydoodah on his electric organ for an hour (man, I wish we had recorded cool!).

Pick & Squeeze...Andy looking determined to get home and get that Snow White dress off the hanger one more time...while Greg looks on wistfully.
After an hour of digging Greg's melodic musings and everyone talking about Andy behind his back, Andy (aka Pick) finally showed up (sans fairy princess garb) to join Greg (aka Squeeze) and got down to it with, as we like to say down south, "some mighty fine pickin' there!" He even set down his guitar and accompanied Greg's accordion with a fiery flute solo, though try as he might he looked nothing at all like Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson, even with leg raised practically over his head as he played (sorry Andy, perhaps you need to let the beard grow and get more scraggly).

Kim flashing Pick & Squeeze secret gang sign...well, not so secret anymore I guess...
Another fun night from Pick & Squeeze (or, as we like to call them, those naughty Pagel boys). They promise to return to lay waste to all who stand in their way as they burn their subliminal musical manifesto into the minds of the weak-willed masses! Yea, you have been forewarned!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Tonight's line-up

Hello All...
A quick program change for tonight. Kelly Underwood won't be able to make it tonight as she called and is under the weather. But the indomitable Bill Walkner will be filling the house with his fun and sassy tunes. So, tonight at 8pm...Bill Walkner!

Unfortunately for all of you monkey owners, Kelly was our go-to gal for the monkey grooming tonight, so that's been postponed as well. I suppose we could substitute a pet turtle waxing for any turtle owners out there, as I have some experience with that myself and could probably offer that service. I'll check my turtle waxing supplies and get back to you on that...they may be a little depleted from our May 23rd World Turtle Day celebration a few months ago (think I'm kidding? Google it, baby).

Bill Walkner at 8:00pm tonight at Stumpjack Coffee.

Friday, July 25, 2008

TR bridge opening party

Click here to go to the Stumptoons blog for a post about the Madison St. bridge party.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Pick & Squeeze; Kelly Underwood Deviled Ham

Got the dates wrong on the poster images below...Friday is the 25th and Saturday is the 26th.

Those naughty Pagel boys are back. Tomorrow (Friday) night at 8:00...Pick & Squeeze with guitar and accordion in hand and ready to rumble. Be here if you're not too chicken.

Then on Saturday night at 8:00 it's Kelly Underwood and her death defying high wire act, where no one under the age 6 months or over 97 is safe from her acoustic daggers of death. Come and see more pickled artichokes in one place than anywhere else in the continental United States.

And don't forget, Stumpjack has new summer/fall hours:

Mon-Thu: 7am-4pm

Fri-Sat: 7am-9pm or until the cows come home.

Sun: 8:30-1:00 or until I get tired.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

images, refrigeration, new hours

Dan Walkner (image by Nate Walkner)
Here's the Flickr set for Dan Walkner's most excellent performance last night. I love the kind of blues rock that Dan plays. He's a heckuva good guitar player and has his Dad's (Bill) gift for good humor and banter with the audience. Bill sat in for a few tunes with him later in the evening and that was fun to see. It was a real fine evening. Dan's band, Clovis Mann, is playing Sunday afternoon (4pm) at the Waverly Inn and I wish we were going to be in town so we could see them, but we have to take our daughter Cheyenne to camp right in the afternoon. Click here for Dan's myspace site.

Dan and Bill
The rest of the day was fairly trying though. First thing in the morning the beer and soda cooler broke down (again!) and so we unloaded everything, rearranged the kitchen fridge and then loaded everything into that. Then later in the day the kitchen fridge went on the fritz and so we unloaded that and rearranged the wine coolers and brought a small counter fridge up and reloaded everything again. The humidity yesterday was heavy and we were soaked and drained by the end of the night (mighty hard to get out of bed this morning).

Fortunately, Marty from Refrigeration Repair in Manitowoc was willing to come in around 8:30 last night (during Dan's performance no less) and sorted things out with the kitchen fridge. The guys at Refrigeration Repair have been simply fabulous with us. They come in as quickly as they can, assess the situation and do what needs to be done in a timely manner...they're efficient, concerned and fair priced and we use them every time we have refrigeration issues (which has been a number of times this past year). They get our business and our recommendation.

Marty from Refrigeration Repair saving the day
Starting next week Wednesday (July 23rd) we're going to change our hours of operation a bit. People have been "suggesting" (whining really) that we open on Mondays and Tuesdays, so we're going to give it a try and see how it goes. And, since we'll be adding a couple extra days we will then be closing earlier than we do now during the week...weekend hours will stay the same.

So, beginning Wednesday, July 23rd, the Stumpjack hours will be:

Monday-Thursday: 7am-4pm
Friday-Saturday: 7am-9pm
Sunday: 8:30am-1pm

Here's Nate's Flickr set of Dan (I co-opted a few for our set).
Here's another cool set of night shots from Nate of a few places around Two Rivers (Nate is the man...these have such a great ambiance and feel).

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Walkner trinity is now complete

Friday (July 18) night at 8:00pm, Dan Walkner of Madison's Clovis Mann will be performing his first solo gig here at the Stump (that is, his first Stump gig, not his first solo gig ever...he's an old dog at this). Dan is the son of Stumpjack regular songster Bill Walkner and brother of photographer artist Nate Walkner, who had an exhibition here a few months ago. Dan kicks it out and this is going to be a butt-kicking show...soulful rock. Come on down for a brew (either hops- or coffee-infused). You can hear Dan's stuff on his myspace site:

Them Damn Kids pics

Rolland & Chris - Them Damn Kids
Click here for the Flickr set from Wednesday's noontime gig with Them Damn Kids. Chris and "Rolland" were fabulous, absolutely perfect for our first lunch-time concert. They are very sweet guys and their music is mellow and relaxing, wonderful stuff, and we had a great lunch crowd who I think really appreciated Chris and Rolly coming up from Chicago to play here (as you can tell, I'm playing with Rolland's name a bit...inside joke). In fact, the guys were just blown away by how responsive people were, how full their tip jar was and that they sold a good number of CDs (unfortunately I forgot to get a handful to sell here at the Stump, but I'll contact Chris and Rolland the Headless Thompson Gunner to see if they'll send us a few for people to purchase here). This was the first show of their current 40-performance tour, and they said that it couldn't have started any better or on a higher note. Frankly, I was pretty proud too, because that kind of response is a feather in the Two Rivers' cap, in that it shows again that people in this area appreciate good live music and aren't afraid to support it...word like that gets around you know.

It was the busiest Wednesday lunch time we've had so far. Kim worked her tail off in the kitchen and Cheyenne did great behind the counter...I just took a lot of pictures and wandered back and forth helping out where I could. It went so well and was such a good time that we're thinking of continuing with perhaps a once a month, midweek lunchtime concert.

Jeff Dawson took some great pictures too and you can see them, along with tons of other cool images from Jeff's camera, on the Lester Public Library's Flickr site. I don't think Jeff has the ones from Wednesday in any particular group or set, but if you do a search for "Stumpjack" you'll find them. The image directly above is one of Jeff's (it's too clear and good to be one of mine).

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Becky's new CD

I have been remiss in posting a notice about Becky Markvart's most beautiful and fun new CD "Shine Down On Me." It was just released a few weeks ago and features 13 songs penned and performed by Becky that are, frankly, just wonderful. It's a real feel-good recording, with Becky's mellow and smooth guitar playing and her always angelic vocals making for the kind of CD you put on when you need to relax after a long, hard day. She's got some backing instrumentation that very nicely complements and further fleshes out her songs. It's just a darn good CD...I've purchased several to give as gifts to friends. The cover art is pretty cool too...done by some goofy friend of hers I guess...

Becky will be performing again at Stumpjack on Friday, August 29th. She is also one half of the duo
Six Degrees, with her friend Bill Martell, and the two of them were recently voted "Best Local Musical Group in Manitowoc County" in the Herald Times Reporter 2008 Reader's Choice Awards.

You can get copies of Becky's CD here at Stumpjack or directly from her via her myspace. They're a very affordable $12 apiece...a steal for some dang good original music from a very talented lady.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Them Damn Kids at NOON tomorrow (Wednesday)!

What: Live Music
Who: Them Damn Kids - acoustic folk/indie folk
Where: Stumpjack Coffee, 1606 Washington St., Two Rivers
When: Wednesday, July 16 at 12:00 noon
one drink minimum

Them Damn Kids: Our story

Chris Darby and Rolland Gairroes met in January of 2000, while attending theological formation for the Roman Catholic priesthood, at a small college in rural northwestern Missouri. Upon entering their final year in the seminary, they joined musically to form the now disbanded Formation Issue. Formation Issue played one concert before its certain demise.

A year later the paths of this duo again converged in La Grange Park, IL where many songs were resurrected. Upon this foundation, the grid work for Them Damn Kids was built. After a brief six month hiatus, the living quarters were relocated to the city of Chicago, IL in late 2003.

The band traveled as much as their jobs allowed, traversing throughout Illinois and surrounding states. In 2004 they managed to play an impressive 125 shows. The simple desire to play as much as possible and bring joy to as many as possible were the primary motivations which fueled them.

In 2005, three other people were convinced to join the duo and form a rhythm section. They recorded an album, titled '...the day has just begun'. The album, comprised of twelve songs, was released on March 1st, 2006. The five piece band played it's final show at Cal's Bar in downtown Chicago on December 15th, 2006

In April of 2007, Chris took to the woods to hike the Appalachian Trail. He completed this monumental journey in October of that same year. Tdk picked up a record label while he was gone, and will release all new music on Chestnut Tree Records until further notice.

These are all people we have been told we sound like: Cat Stevens, Jim Croce, Simon and Garfunkel, Elliott Smith, Ben Harper, Phil Ochs, Bright Eyes, Pearls before Swine, Ritchie Havens, Donovan, Kings of Convienence, Dead Kennedys, Jethro Tull, The Pogues, Ronnie Milsap, James Taylor, The Mountain Goats, and that guy who sings the theme song to the hobbit.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Steph and Matt Davies

Steph Davies
Small crowd last night (Fri, July 11) for Steph and Matt Davies, which was too bad for people who dig good, original folk and blues music. These two musicians write some real heartfelt and lyrically intelligent songs. They alternated sets between each other, which made for a nice juxtaposition, and received very appreciative applause after each song from the dozen or so people in the audience.

Matt's performance was perhaps a bit more "forceful" in that his voice and guitar work was more aggressive than Steph's, with his song list covering both his own compositions and some very complementary and somewhat deep cut covers of people like Dylan, Waits and Taylor. He's definitely got the traveling folk/blues songster mojo, and his own songs are thoughtful, clever and honest.

This was cool. This little boy's name is Bodin and his Dad asked Matt if he could pose with him on the bench outside. "Bodee" was so into playing Matt's guitar. I like this picture.

Steph's performance was (forgive this trite description) sensitive and endearing, with her own songs being very sincere and emotionally beautiful. Her voice is pillowy soft, almost shy, which fit quite nicely with the kind of personal and love-filled lyrics she writes. She forces you to pay attention to what she's the kind of music that mellows you out and makes you feel good inside or glad to be in love (or want to be in love of you're not already).

They did join together on a couple of songs, which was cool to watch (they ought to do it a couple more times, imho, when they play together...they complement one another beautifully. Anyway, it was a night that I personally enjoyed very much because even though the cash drawer didn't open as much as we might like, I did get to really relax and enjoy the music, which I don't always get a chance to do.

Steph is an accomplished graphic artist as well and we've tentatively scheduled an art exhibition of her work for November 7. I just got an email from Steph as I was finishing this post and they're going to be coming back to perform at the Stump on Saturday, September 27th...mark your calendar and plan to be here if you can.

Click here for the Steph & Matt Davies Flickr set.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Special guests this Friday

This Friday night (July 11) at 8:00 Stumpjack has the pleasure of hosting musicians/poets/artists Steph and Matt Davies during their current summer tour of the country.
My 13-year old daughter, Jesse, made this cool poster for the show.

Here's the press release:

Steph Davies and her husband Matt will be performing in Two Rivers at Stumpjack Coffee Friday evening as part of their two-month nationwide, coast-to-coast tour. Loosely calling Chicago home, the couple has earned numerous fans and kudos on their current summer tour. Steph, an Art School of Chicago alumni, found her musical voice in 2003 after a friend’s passing, when she picked up her grandfather’s old acoustic guitar and began singing. She began writing and performing her own compositions, which she says both influence and are influenced by her graphic art. She recently recorded and released her first full length CD, “After the Fall” with her husband, guitarist and engineer Matt Davies. Matthew Davies is also a poet and artist who has recorded a seven-song CD titled “Road Song.” He lists as among his musical influences Tom Waits, Bob Marley, Big Bill Broonzy, Sam Cooke, Miles Davis, Leonard Cohen, Woody Guthrie, Mississippi John Hurt and Hank Williams.

Chris Darby, of ThemDamnKids wrote of Davies’ “After the Fall”:

"Steph Davies’ newest effort is far and away her finest and most thoughtful to date. Steph has a way of taking the most ordinary experiences in life, and turning them into wonderfully magical things...etched into a beautiful paradox of temporal permanence. It’s a quality not found in many writers, but is fast becoming evident in Mrs. Davies work, and is really quite remarkable. To call this simply a collection of love songs would somehow cheapen the detailed arrangement of words within. This is a collection of life, those living in it, and the songs that go with that. These are songs to listen to on lonely nights in old cabins- a true representation of beauty in the living world."

Steph Davies’ music can be heard online at

Matthew Davies’ music can be heard at

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Hebrew Hammer visits Stumpjack?

I'm looking for some confirmation here folks, one way or the other. I was out of town for much of last week and through the weekend, and upon my return was informed that Milwaukee Brewers' outfielder Ryan Braun made a visit to Stumpjack Coffee. My lovely wife, while possessing enviable knowledge on numerous other subjects, is neither a hardcore baseball fan nor is she informed on the current Brewers line-up (and I'm afraid I'm in the same boat as her). So, she could neither positively confirm nor deny the alleged visit (shewt, with as chaotic and distracted as our lives are these days, we'd be lucky to correctly ID Brett Favre should he walk in). So, I'm looking for a comment from someone who may have been in the Stump last week during The Hebrew Hammer's alleged visit (man, is that an awesome nickname or what!?)...a reply either here or via our regular email or next time you're in the shop.

In any event, Ryan, if you did pop in for a double espresso or latte I'm sorry I missed you and I hope you enjoyed your drink. Congrats on making the starting line-up of the National League All Stars, and best of luck the rest of the season.