"Clay St. Rag" I named this song after the street my family grew up on in Darlington. It's from my CD called "Magic Wind". It's mostly photos taken during the 1950s. Someone in the family must have had a good camera, and our mother did a great job of preserving them in a photo album. We had seven siblings in our family along with our parents Glenn and Evelyn; Ginna, Richard, Bob, Ed, Jean and Joan (the twins), and Irma. It was a musical family with our father and his siblings all playing instruments, my sisters Ginna (piano) and Jean (piano and guitar). Our great aunt Laura Judkins was the town music teacher so (thankfully for me) we were forced to take music lessons. I hope you enjoy it.
You Can't Unring A Bell
"You Can't Unring A Bell" by The Midwesterners In May 2022 I visited my friend Jocelyn in France, and her friend Denise asked me to play this song at a memorial for her husband Beñat who had passed away recently. They loved to hike the Pyrenees so the memorial was on top of Mt. Occabe, a 1.25 mile hike. A challenge for these 73 year old bones but it all went well. It was a truly beautiful experience and I hope I captured that in this video. Denise also wanted to say: "And everyone carried a pebble, a stone or sand, a hazelnut, or a pine cone etc ... from home or from other friends and/or family who couldn't join us - Marie, Léon, Augustin, Rachida, Samir, Monique, Joëlle, Marie-Jo, Bernard, Anne-Marie, Michel, Marie-France, Gérard, Fabienne, Nadine, Jean, Claude, Maryse, Dominique, Chantal, Anna, Grégory, Marie, Emma, Bérengère, Francis, Noélia, Ainhoa, Paloma, Manue, Stéphane, Lou, Laurence, Faycal, Naël, Nina, Marcelle, Lolita, and Jérémie. I hope I haven't forgotten anyone..." (You can see the circle of stones in the video.) The song is by myself and is from the album "Pretty Little Town" by The Midwesterners. I hope you enjoy it.
This Town Needs Rock
"This Town Needs Rock" from The Midwesterners album 'Pecatonica Mud' 2021. The video captures the iconic piano burning event at the legendary Roxbury Tavern in Roxbury, WI. Established in 1988 by Tom Gresser, it had a 30 year run of great food, community, and music. Somewhere in there, (I couldn't find out when), the Roxbury started an event where an irreparable piano was burned. They said after a while they had too many offers from people wanting to get rid of pianos. But the local fire ordinance said you couldn't have a fire like this, so they put a turkey on top of the piano to make it a cooking fire! The event was initiated with Reverend Larry Collins playing a few tunes, (the song at the end actually is "Stormy Weather") and a small fire is started in back of the piano. The prevailing winds decided how long he could play. The tavern was known for presenting great food and music, mostly old time and bluegrass. I played there several times with Bill and Bobbie Malone, and we famously played at the last piano burning in 2018 (along with Spare Time Bluegrass Band). Many thanks to Tom Gresser and staff for all their hard work and dedication to creating a community and fostering great music. Thanks also to Charlie Lemm for additional film footage, and Jim Wildeman for video consultation. Long live the Roxbury! www.TheMidwesterners.com
"Pecatonica Mud" the title track from the new Midwesterners' album released October 2021. We started recording this song five years ago in Mark Haines studio, Williamson Magnetic Recording Company, and my friends Dennis Felton and Peter Finnegan digitized the photos and actually made a prototype video at that time. But the music wasn't finished yet, and as time and computers will do, things were lost. In the interim, Mark had to close his studio. The last thing recorded in 2019 in Mark's studio were the 12 drum tracks for "Pecatonica Mud". We thought we'd finish the album at home or in another studio but then covid hit. So another year went by. We finally got set up to record from home and email tracks back and forth and finally finished the CD in October 2021. The story of the song is: I sat down one day to reminisce about growing up in Darlington. We lived near the Pecatonica River so the subject line came pretty naturally. I hadn't intended to write about Jim Kurth or his dying in Vietnam but the song just poured out. Carol and Ed Stevenson made a huge contribution in getting us the pictures, and encouraging me and listening to me perform the song for the past five years, and hearing about this upcoming video that never seemed to get finished. I thought it was all done and I previewed it for my friend Jim Wildeman. He liked it but thought it needed a new piece of music for the ending, so that was written today 2.9.22 and called "Blues For Jim". Additional photos of Vietnam were provided by Peter Finnegan. I hope you like it. RW
Dedicated to James "Pete" Kurth RIP and the Kurth Family.
Do Anything To Get Your Love
The Midwesterners "Do Anything To Get Your Love" a video from the recently released "Pecatonica Mud" CD. Featuring Lionel Train Town by Jim Wildeman, edited to match this song. Jim Wildeman aka. The Bubble Man, a staple of the Willy Street Fair in Madison WI for over 40 years, sets up his Lionel Train Town every year for the Christmas season. It takes him days and usually something new gets added every year. He had previously posted his video to the song "Going Mobile" by the Who, I saw that and asked him to edit his video to fit the song on the Midwesterners CD.
I hope you enjoy it.
First Mistake (lyric video)
"First Mistake" from the album Pecatonica Mud by The Midwesterners. We call our music 'Americana' or 'Roots Rock' and in this song we dip into country a little bit. My guitar solo is heavily influenced by Don Rich from Buck Owens' band. Video made by myself in imovie with some technical help from my old buddy Frank Anderson. CD artwork by Jim McKiernan. (That actually is the Pecatonica River in the clip.) Enjoy.
Walkin' On The Edge Of The Promised Land
"Walkin' On The Edge Of The Promised Land", the second song from the soon to be released album "Pecatonica Mud". The album is coming along nicely, with only final touches and mixing to do on three songs. Some videos in the works too. A pre-order (check or cash) of $17 will get you the full "Pecatonica Mud" CD delivered to you with our undying thanks.
send payment to: Richard Wiegel 518 W. Lakeside St. #2, Madison, WI 53715Or pay with:Paypal.me/RichardWiegelhttps://venmo.com/Richard-Wiegel-1
Happy Memorial Day everyone.Richard
Bad Luck Bad Livin'
Bad Luck Bad Livin'
New music from The Midwesterners, a blast of rock n' roll. Official single to come soon, and full album release in June 2021. If you'd like to help with this project, you can order or contribute here. A pre-order of $17 will get you the full "Pecatonica Mud" CD delivered to your door, and our undying gratitude. Thank you.
The Midwesterners 518 W. Lakeside St. #2, Madison, WI 53715
This is The Midwesterners at the venerable Willy St. Fair, 2011. And you can see the weather wasn't perfect, in fact all the music got relocated to the main stage that day as it was covered, and we cut our set a bit short to accommodate the other bands. But any day at the Willy St. Fair is a good day. I can see lots of intrepid friends in the audience, and even some who have passed on. (Rouser Ron RIP) Ernie Conner, Tom McCarty, Mark Haines and myself, the event is put on to benefit Common Wealth Development and The Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center. Let's all look forward to Willy St. Fair 2021.
Mad About You-Mamas Benefit 2007
In 2007 there was a benefit at the Dry Bean Saloon for the Mamas awards show to be held later that year. I think this was April or May. There were four or five bands but the only other band I remember is Rachelle and the Red Hot Rattlers. All other details are murky, I don't know who did the sound or video. I only recently came by the video and was pleasantly surprised at how good it was. The band was tight, we had just released "Ridin' With Chuck"and we were hitting on all cylinders. The whole hour long video is available here on youtube: https://youtu.be/T6IwGFT6DME
The Midwesterners "Get Rhythm" Willy St. Fair 2011
Published on Jun 25, 2016
"Get Rhythm" by Johnny Cash. Willy St. Fair 2011. We were almost cancelled by the rain. The second stage, which wasn't covered, was combined with our covered stage so all the bands could play. We played a shortened set to a bunch of die-hards who could care less about a little rain. I could have doctored this video, made the sound a little better, combined it with some still photos, but this just says it all. Unvarnished rock n' roll!
"Crazy Things" Kristy & The Wild Blue Yonder Boys-Potts Inn 1985
Published on Jun 19, 2016
Kristy & The Wild Blue Yonder Boys was a band I played in from 1984 to 1985. The members were Kristy Larson vocals, Richard Wiegel guitar, John Hauser bass, and Kenny Koeppler drums in 1984 and Rick Becker drums in 1985. John Hauser brought two great Pat MAcdonald songs to the band, this one and "One Room Flat". John had worked with Pat in the past and knew they would fit us perfectly. The video was shot on VHS by Warren Knaub (Potts half-brother) who along with Potts (Dennis Prochaska RIP ) ran Potts Inn in Cross Plains WI. It was converted to digital, and I just happened to be recording that night on my Sony Walkman Pro (cassette), so that was married to the video by Kenny Koeppler at Sound Garden and all put together in imovie. Many thanks to Warren Knaub, Pat MAcdonald for allowing us to use his song, Randy Schmelzer, Kenny Koeppler, Kristy & the WBYBs, and especially to Potts, who we dedicate this video to. Thanks for all the great music.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/25040... (Potts Inn Cross Plains WI Friends)
The Winter Of '96
The Winter Of '96 (The Story Of The Song) by R. Wiegel
In 1996 I came off the road after doing 300+ shows a year with The Swing Crew and The Wisconsin Opry, for the previous six years. Even before that it had been 200+ shows a year. By now I had been performing in bands for around 30 years and my hearing was not in good shape. In fact, I even wondered if my playing days were done. So in the winter of 1996-97 I was hunkered down and reinventing my career when I wrote this song. I was also learning fingerstyle guitar, in hopes that I could play solo or duo and make more of my income in quieter venues.
I think us Wisconsinites can relate to a sinking feeling in the dead of winter and wondering if spring will ever come, and holding close that hope that it actually will. So I tried to capture that feeling when I wrote this song.
This video has come later, around 20 years later, and 15 years after I recorded the song. I always thought it was a good song to play around this time of year (February) but it never really got any airplay. I'm hoping the video breaths some new life into it.
This was off of the second CD by The Midwesterners called 'Pretty Little Town', released in 2001. The first self-titled Midwesterner CD was released in 1991. (This is the 25 year anniversary of that CD.) Mark Haines and Dennis Reifsteck (The Swing Crew) played on both CDs, (Tom McCarty and Ernie Conner came on board a little later in 2002.) Mark and I 'hunkered' down at Coney Island Studios, recorded on 16 track analog tape, and mixed it at Smart Studios. Mark has drummed, collaborated, engineered or co-produced all 4 Midwesterners CDs but this one has his favorite sound.
Spring did arrive that year, and with rest my hearing recovered some too, enough to afford me 20 more years of full-time performing.
A Midwesterners Rockin' Christmas
This video was done from photos taken this evening and put together with a live recording also recorded this evening. A Rockin' Christmas Party happened in December 2011 at the Harmony Bar in Madison WI. The Rousers were also on the bill but there were not enough photos to use of them. We had no idea of eventually putting it together in a video. Created December 2015.
Ridin With Chuck
The Midwesterners opened the show at the 2007 Madison Area Music Awards at the Barrymore Theatre in Madison with an extended version of Ridin With Chuck off their latest CD. Thats John Urban of Urban Theatre introducing the band. The Capital Times called it a "blistering performance that threatened to turn the whole evening into a rave-up."
Shot in 1991 at Art Altenbergs Concertina bar in Milwaukee. Those were regular attendees to Concertina dances at Arts, and happily agreed to be in our video. The bass drum was not rigged like that for our video, theyve hoisted that up in the air for years to make room for bands. This was Purple Onions first video and since went onto make videos for The Spanic Boys, Ernies other band The Rousers, and many others.
Keep It Alive
Recorded at Full Compass for their grand opening Oct. 23 and 24, 209. Video direction by Ken LaBarre, sound by Buzz Kemperer of Audio for the Arts, Lights by Ken Ferencek, monitors by Lonya Nenashev. Im playing my 1953 Gibson J-45 guitar, and the song is by Richard Wiegel and is on the self-titled debut by The Midwesterners, 2000
Dark Tavern Blues
Recorded at Full Compass for their grand opening Oct. 23 and 24, 209. Video direction by Ken LaBarre, sound by Buzz Kemperer of Audio for the Arts, Lights by Ken Ferencek, monitors by Lonya Nenashev. Im playing my early nineties Continental resonator guitar, and the song is by Richard Wiegel and is on Pretty Little Town by The Midwesterners, 2000.
Recorded at Full Compass for their grand opening Oct. 23 and 24, 209. Video direction by Ken LaBarre, sound by Buzz Kemperer of Audio for the Arts, Lights by Ken Ferencek, monitors by Lonya Nenashev. Im playing my 1953 Gibson J-45, the song is by Richard Wiegel, and is on Pretty Little Town by The Midwesterners, 2000
Recorded at Full Compass for their grand opening Oct. 23 and 24, 209. Video direction by Ken LaBarre, sound by Buzz Kemperer of Audio for the Arts, Lights by Ken Ferencek, monitors by Lonya Nenashev. Im playing my 1959 Gibson SJ, and the song is by Sylvester Weaver. This song was the first song recording by an African-American country blues guitarist in 1923. It was later recorded by Bob Wills and went on to become a country music standard called Steel Guitar Rag.
Ridin With Chuck Solo version
Recorded at Full Compass for their grand opening Oct. 23 and 24, 209. Video direction by Ken LaBarre, sound by Buzz Kemperer of Audio for the Arts, Lights by Ken Ferencek, monitors by Lonya Nenashev. Im playing my 1953 Gibson J-45 on a song by Richard Wiegel and Mike Forkal, from the album Ridin With Chuck by The Midwesterners, 2006.