Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunday morning updates no. 1 & 2

Good morning everyone!
Sent out an email and a blog post late last night letting you all know that we'd be closed today (no whining please, I do this once or twice a year and am confident that you can handle it if you really put your mind to it). Here's an update from last night's festivities.
Pato. Image by Nate Walkner.
It's 9:30a.m. and we're just waking up as I lie in bed to write this...groggy, achey, sandy-eyed and sore...oh so sore. Actually I have to write this in bed because the body is not-so-politely demanding that I remain horizontal for a little while yet (must be getting older).

We got home around 2:30 a.m. and waking up this morning to the rain and throbbing knee said "Good thing you sent that email out last night, David, cuz you ain't getting out of bed for a while." Man, that was a riot last night. (You know, even my fingers are sore this morning...typing is like work!)
Eddie Farmer on trombone. Image by Nate Walkner.
Pato Banton and the Now Generation Band...just an unbelievably uplifting, energizing and musically awesome performance. The Stump was packed and we worked our tails off. My knee is swollen and raw this morning, I think from running up and down the stairs resetting the breaker and then hauling tables back in at 1:30. 60 minutes on the inversion table ought to do the trick today.

Everyone in the crowd was gracious and patient and joyful (there usually seem to be one or two nimrods who don't quite get it...they make the dork list). Everybody loved Pato. The Now Generation band members were, to person, absolutely wonderful and sweet. Everyone in the band was wonderful - really fine people - but special mention goes to Daniel (guitar) and Antoinette (keyboards) and Brian (trumpet) just because I got to chat and get to know them a little bit more. Lovely, joyful spirits, all of them.
Daniel on guitar. Image by Nate Walkner.
Pato himself was every bit and more the gentleman and shining spirit I had been told he was. He is patient, humble, funny and a great entertainer, connecting with the crowd and getting people to move, dance, sing along with him, and even turn to hug the people around them. He took time to sign CDs and photos, take pictures and chat with people, was very gracious and made everyone feel special.
The only real hitch of the night was the electricity. The breaker popped a few times in mid-song and I had to run downstairs to reset it (I think that tee'd off my already shaky knee). But man, Pato and the band were unbelievably professional and gracious during those few moments, carrying on, making light of it and just having fun. It had to be a little disconcerting (pun intended) for them, but Pato is a pro and all was cool. The crowd picked up on it too and sang along with him during those few seconds when the speakers died. Audio man Mitch was Johnny-on-the-spot and "fixed" the situation eventually...thanks Mitch.
Image by Nate.
They were pros through everything, when Pato improvised with a cooler to gain a bit more height so that the crowd could see him better, when someone from the audience invaded their space to dance during a tune (invading the band space is a huge no-no, people...and that's putting it mildly), when taking time after the show to connect with people, when setting up and breaking down (a well oiled machine they were).
Image by Nate.
The policia arrived, as expected, with a noise complaint and they also were excellent. I figured there would be someone who would call, even though it was early in the evening and it was awesome music they were hearing. But the cops were great, told us to have fun and that they were just making us aware of the complaint, and that at around 10:00 we might want to bring it down a notch if the show went any longer than that. The TR police have always been good to us, very professional and supportive.
Mike, Pat, Kris. Image by Nate.
However, I did have a moment or two when I wondered if the old building could take what Pato and the band were putting out. A 100+ year-old building with questionable wiring...the bottles on the shelves were vibrating forward and one bottle did actually vibrate off the shelf and fall (fortunately it didn't break). This was the largest band that Stumpjack has held thus far, which was initially a little cause for concern, but they made it work and work well. But I realize now that we need to address a couple of issues, sound and electrical especially, as we continue with these events into the future.
Bryan on trumpet. Image by Nate.
Nate and Marty have placed some images and video onto their Flickr sites (click here for Marty's - Click here for Nate's, Nate's pics are incredible, he has two sets labeled Pato Banton) and I'm placing some video on our YouTube site too. Marty has a little video/audio with Pato singling out "Mr. Green," our good friend Bill. So, Bill was one of the stars of the audience along with Sarah (the first "lady in red"), Bobbie, Jayne and someone else who I don't recall. Those moments by Pato really added to the performance and to the night, as they turned the show into more of a "party of friends" and brought people together.

The music was incredible. They are all very talented musicians and I think it's a credit to Pato's talent and musicianship that he has assembled such a top notch band. His own songs are uplifting and infectious and you would be hard-pressed to try to not move with the rhythm and sing along. He's a great showman and an exceptional human being, who is living his mission to bring positivity and love to people through his music and message. It was an honor and pleasure to have him
at our place. We're looking to get him and the band to perform at EthnicFest next year (and maybe yearly) and to return to the Stump for another gig as well.
Talking to Don. Image by Nate.
Finally, many thanks to our friend, Don, for working his tail off to make all this happen too. You hook up with people who have a passion and the care to make something happen and good things do indeed happen. Thanks, Don.

If you were one of the lucky ones who saw Pato last night please make a comment on here about it. We want to share with Pato and the band and give them more reason to come back again.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Reggae begins in 5, 4, 3, 2...

It's 5:00. Pato Banton and the Now Generation band are going to light up TR in around 3-3.5 hours.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Tea and Folk Music tonight

Whipped up a special herbal tea blend yesterday, and we're selling it for a song to our tea lovers.
Half-a-Pound for only 7.95 while it lasts.

Tonight at 7pm, our talented friends from Milwaukee Matt & Steph Davies are going to be here and they bring the good tunes and fun with them every time. It's going to be a beautiful evening so come on down, have a beer or latte and take a load off for a spell.
TONIGHT (Fri) at 7pm

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A censored post

Pasted below is the beginning of what was to be my blog post for today (you can click it to enlarge), nine pages of gossip and revelation concerning three saucy dames and two innocent menfolk.
As luck would have it the girls (Amy, Karen and Lynn) popped in just as I was finishing my writing. They snatched the papers from my hand and, before returning them to me, did a little editing so as not to incriminate themselves. Below is the result.The other eight pages look pretty much the same as this first one above, so I figure why bother? It was a fun evening, but as I do in fact value my safety I will say no more. Suffice to say, those girls are somethin' else!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Port Sandy Bay pizza & beer, then music at the Stump

Kim and I closed shop for an hour and ran over to Port Sandy Bay for a pizza and drink before coming back to Stumpjack for the Six Degrees (Bill Martell & Becky Markvart) performance at 7pm. Kim says that Travis at Port Sandy makes the best "brandy old fashioned sweet" of any place in the area (that's her drink, with olives).
Port Special.

A giant beer hides Kim's brandy-old-fashioned-sweet w/ olives.

Leinies Amber Ale in the big mug.

A perfect pizza drink.

Six Degrees (Bill and Becky) from tonight's gig.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Flickr sets of recent music nights

Image by Nate Walkner

I'm up editing and loading images and videos from the last couple weeks. Still have a bunch to load from a few months ago when I was wrestling with computer demons and had to transfer a lot of stuff onto Kim's laptop...I'll get to those sometime soon I hope. But for now here are some Flickr sets from me, Nate Walkner and Brian Powell (Nate and Brian have other sets that I'm not listing here...check out their Flickr sites) from the past couple weeks. I'll add the YouTube video links to this same post once I get those uploaded onto YouTube.

I don't have the time to do reviews of all these performances. Suffice to say that each and every one was great fun. We've been very blessed to have such talented musicians play the Stump, and every single one of them has been unbelievably thoughtful and a joy to work with. Click the various links below to see the pix.

Brian's Flickr set of Dan Walkner

Lillie Lemon. Image by Brian.
Brian's set of Lillie Lemon

West of East (Tim and Sara). Image by Brian.
Brian's set of West of East

Dan. Image by Nate.
Nate's Flickr set of Dan Walkner

Ethan Keller & Kelly Underwood

Matt, Steph & Orly say Happy Birthday to Cheyenne. Image by Brian.
Matt & Steph Davies and Orly Bendavid

Hopscotch Wonder packs the place.
Hopscotch Wonder

dankennedy (yessir, that's how he spells it) and Joseph O'Seph belt it out in downtown TR.
Dan Kennedy & Joseph O'Seph

Lillie Lemon

Dan Walkner

That's a lot of pictures. I've been loading for several hours and now it's past 2:00am. As the great Red Skelton used to say, "Goodnight and may God bless."

Friday, April 10, 2009

Coffee & Cigars editorial sparks craziness in northern Wisconsin

I just posted onto Stumptoons my Coffee and Cigars newspaper editorial from a couple weeks ago, along with the audio of a wacky hate call I received from a woman in Wausau who took issue with my editorial. Her kind of intelligent response just makes me tingle with pride (sarc/off). The editorial dealt with the anti-smoking legislation included in the current governor's state budget (there are so many things wrong with that budget that it boggles the mind).

Lemonheads Unite!

Lillie Lemon returns here or go suck a lemon...poster by Kim Geiser

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Thursday Noon Soapbox Tour

Thursday (April 9) at 12:00 NOON
Dan Kennedy with Joseph O'Seph.

Dan is currently in the middle of his 2009 Great Midwest Soapbox Tour throughout the Midwest. He and Joseph will be at Stumpjack tomorrow at noon. Come on down for lunch and some tunes. Check out Dan's music at
Been listening to Dan's tunes a lot in the past couple weeks...his songs are very seductive and sticky (voice and rhythms sticking in my head). Good, unusual stuff.

Joseph's music...I'm not quite sure how to describe. He lists it as J-Pop (Japanese Pop), Folk Rock and Minimalist. I guess that's as accurate as anything. It's raw, aural landscape. His voice creaks and squeaks, guitar sounds jangly and rough (I suspect he's a crappy guitar player, which I say with a measure of's punk, man), it's immediate. I like it. Here's Joseph's site if you want to give a listen.

From his site:
Combine the soft lullaby-like young man that used to aspire to make people cry with an angst-ridden youthful exuberance and you have Dan Kennedy's recent music. Gone is the idea that he wants music to sleep to - messages that keep you awake. Now, the Detroit-born singer/songwriter expresses what he feels with a passion that takes most first time listeners by surprise. Frequent listeners are consistently drawn to his deeply personal, no-holds-barred lyrics and the stories behind them.

Although a Dan Kennedy album will put you through the emotional wringer, the overall experience is soothing and calm. While Kennedy questions the meaning of life, the existence of God, and the
sanity of Man, there is one thing he never seems to doubt: Love. Even in his more sorrowful songs, love reigns King of all, staying afloat in a sea of uncertainty. Perhaps this is the reason his music is so effective. There is something reassuring about the man who seeks love above all things.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

West of East to appear Saturday

This coming Saturday, April 4, Milwaukee duo West of East will be at Stumpjack at 7pm. I would strongly encourage you to go to their myspace site ( and give them a listen. If you like the kind of thoughtful, smooth and beautiful music of, say, John Prine or Norah Jones, you will indeed like West of East.
A snippet from their website (
"Simply put, it is two guitars, an amazing voice, and a bunch of great stories about life and its many meanings.
West of East is a mostly acoustic duo comprised of Sara Moilanen and Tim Suchocki, who's music borrows elements from Folk, Country, Rhythm & Blues, and Rock & Roll. They have had a successful early career playing and creating lasting impressions in the Milwaukee and greater Wisconsin area."
I am bummed because I personally won't be able to make this performance. I've been looking forward to meeting Sara and Tim and seeing them perform since we first booked the date. But my dear uncle Ozzy passed away this past Sunday and I'll be at his memorial service in Rhinelander on Saturday. Glen and Kim will be working the Stump together so come on down, have a fun time and enjoy what will be some really great music from this talented duo. Seriously, go to their myspace site and give a listen...then come on down Saturday night. You'll be glad you did.