The doctor ordered a cornucopia of music
I was coming down with something Friday night (annoying low grade fever coupled with mild bronchitis and nasty sneezing), and after getting sunburned watching my kid play soccer on Saturday afternoon, I decided I needed to stay on the South side, and catch a trio of acts that don't play out so often (though it's strongly hinted that will change!), so my pick among giants turned out to be a cornocopia of established Milwaukee Americana/Alt-Country with Liv Mueller/Alex Ballard and Sugarfoot/The Carolinas at Garibaldi. It was just what the doctor ordered.
Once A Day was stunning on her recording, you need to see her perform it live) to her interpretations of classics such as "In the Pines" (you'll forget all about "Nirvana Unplugged" when you hear it), to her riff-checking the Yardbirds on her last song, it's clear that Liv Mueller is a criminally overlooked Milwaukee treasure and I'm hoping the reason the room was only half full was all the other excellent stuff going on that night.
sidles up to his bandmates throughout the show as though he were the Boss jamming with the rest of the E Street Band. He jumps around, he struts, he swings his guitar on its thankfully-strong strap -- the recordings belie the fact that the man is a spaz. And I mean that in a good way: there's a punk energy infusing these normally laid back songs that kicks them into an enjoyable performance. The result left a smile on my face as I fought the urge to make an ass of myself by playing air guitar along with them. They've promised more new recordings in the next few months (a whole album, maybe?) which I hope means more live performances instead of once every semester. Because that's the best way to experience Alex Ballard and Sugarfoot: in a southside tavern with a few beers in you, and if I had more energy and there were more people there, I'd have been spazzing out as well.