Dirty Dozen Brass Band – “Blackbird Special”

The Orton Park Festival, Madison’s oldest neighborhood music festival, was held this past weekend. This year’s festival was downsized a bit but the real star is always Orton Park, a beautiful setting with 150 year old Burr Oak trees. There were some musical highlights too. The Dirty Dozen Brass Band headlined on Saturday night. They’ve been around for 30 years with different members moving in and out but their music still sounds fresh. This video is from their appearance at New Orleans Jazzfest last year.

Dirty Dozen Brass Band


Mama Digdown’s Brass Band – “Mojito”

Mama Digdown’s Brass Band performing “Mojito.” Well, it’s finally time for the start of outdoor festival season and Madison WI is no exception. We had Festa Italia last weekend. The food is always great but we had perfect weather and the music was great, too. One fun band was Mama Digdown’s Brass Band who got everybody dancing. This weekend we have the Marquette Waterfront Festival at a beautiful park on Lake Monona. Here’s a link to the music schedule. It’ll give you an idea of what may be coming up in future posts here on Madison Area Blues & More!

Mama Digdown's Brass Band


Andrea Wittgens – “Blue Eyed Fool”

Andrea Wittgens performing “Blue Eyed Fool.” Andrea Wittgens is a singer/songwriter from New York City. But like a lot of other terrific artists, her “second home” is Sturgeon Bay WI. That’s because she’s a frequent collaborator in the 3 great music festivals that happen there each year. I’ve seen her several times at Steelbridge Songfest, Dark Songs and Love on Holiday and she always impresses. I picked this song because the title reminds me of a guy I know. You can listen to more of Andrea’s music by clicking here. And you can listen to more music from the Sturgeon Bay festivals by going to Steelbridge Radio.

Andrea Wittgens

Rebirth Brass Band – “Big Chief”

Here’s the Rebirth Brass Band performing “Big Chief” at the Maple Leaf Bar in New Orleans. We had a little extra Mardi Gras in Madison WI last night as the Rebirth Brass Band played at UW Union South. If there’s a soundtrack for New Orleans since Katrina, Rebirth Brass Band is certainly on it. And the Maple Leaf Bar is a venerable establishment in Uptown New Orleans, about 3 blocks from my good friends, Al & Mary Lou. They’re down there enjoying it right now and I’m jealous. But at least we got some “Rebirth” last night!

Rebirth Brass Band


Tony Castaneda Latin Jazz Quartet at the Cardinal Bar

Tony Castaneda Latin Jazz Quartet at the Cardinal Bar in Madison WI. Tony Castaneda is an accomplished musician who has played in Madison for many years. He’s also one of the most competitive guys I know. I once saw him score the winning run in a softball tournament basically on one leg – he willed himself around the bases!! I was having a beer with Tony last Friday and decided to feature him today. I picked this video because it’s shot well and the sound is good. It’s also a mellow groove for a cold Monday.


The Traveling Suitcase – “Vinyl Ain’t Dead”

The Traveling Suitcase live performing “Vinyl Ain’t Dead.” There are always surprises when I go to Sturgeon Bay WI for one of the collaborative music festivals. This year’s Love on Holiday festival was no exception. The most amazing new musician I saw was Nicole Rae. She has a terrific voice, plays a beautiful guitar and this woman can really pound the skins!! I thought she was the best drummer there! Her band, The Traveling Suitcase has a project currently up on Kickstarter. I told Nicole I couldn’t wait to feature them on Madison Area Blues & More.  Check out this video and to see more and become a backer of this project, click here.



OK – We’re up to 60 posts. Lots of different stuff! If you’re new, check out the archive. I know you’ll find something great that you’ve never heard before. Today, I’m featuring one of Madison Wisconsin’s own musical icons, Ben Sidran. And since I like to keep things current, here’s the video from the title track on his latest album. I think it’s a great sound for a Monday – and I love the video which was shot in Paris.