September 24, 2012
Wow! Copper Box has had an awesome start to the Oktoberfest season the last two weeks. The band's 7th year at the Plymouth Oktoberfest and the 2nd @ Chippewa Falls Oktoberfest were both physically and emotionally amazing.
Tomorrow the band heads down to New Orleans for the first time to perform. Check the tour page for information on where and when. New Orleans is famous for being culturally rich in music, art, food, and dancing. CBox is expecting to take that all in and more..... :)
Our long standing Oktoberfest gigs in Appleton and Dheinsville(Germantown) Wisconsin will be on our minds when we get back home, and we plan on "Polka Rockin'" everyone there.
Ein Prosit, everybody!
October 31, 2011
On Friday January 27th, 2012 Copper Box will be celebrate 10 years of......... rehearsing, writing songs, arranging, sleeping, travelling, dumpy hotel rooms, drinking jager bombs, really nice and expensive hotel rooms (that we didn't have to pay for), buying fuel, drinking coffee, eating peanuts, chewing sunflower seeds, etc..... (you get the picture)
January 27th @ Algoma Club in Oshkosh,WI. All present and past Copper Box band members will be performing throughout the evening. And maybe some other crazy musician friends will join in, too. Make plans now and we hope to see you all there!
October 03, 2011
“People Change” By Copper Box: Album ReviewPosted: October 2, 2011 by polishmoon in Music - Album Reviews
This is a hard review to write, for several reasons. Copper Box is an Oshkosh, WI based band … a label that often denotes descriptors like “local-talent” or “home-grown” … and all accompanying visions of bad “Free Bird” or “Play That Funky Music” covers. They are also referred to as a “polka-rock” band quite often. Now, I grew up on the south side of Milwaukee … my grandfather played in a polka band … and I’m Polish – I know polkas. While Copper Box does play polkas, these are not my grandfathers polkas. Copper Box is an anomaly: they transcend the “local/polka” labels and are truly a professional-talent level quartet whose eclectic style is possibly the one thing keeping them from being huge. A bit about the band first.
When I try to describe the kind of music Copper Box plays to people, I usually end up unleashing a series of genres that leave people a bit confused. Sure, they know how to rock out a polka … but their repertoire includes healthy doses of zydeco, roots/americana and latin-fusion. When dabbling in so many styles, musically virtuosity is a must … and the four musicians have no trouble bringing an “A” game. Fronted by the husband and wife duo of Danny and Michelle Jerabek, “CBx” could practically hold a musical instrument clinic. Danny is so good on the button accordion, he’s practically a squeeze-box savant. Add to that skilled abilities on keyboards, cornet, sousaphone, clarinet, guitar and penny whistle (and more I’m sure), he’s practically a one man band. Vocally, he’s solid … and his inflections, yelps and banter remind me of New Orleans creole … Dr. John … hell, even Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show (early years) In live performances he’s a true showman, with enough manic energy to win over a crowd in no time … and enough dance moves to keep the ladies happy. Yep, I said it. I’ve seen CBx 5 times now … and every show some woman in the crowd loves his moves. Ladies like dancin’ afterall.
Michelle Jerabek brings an equal amount of talent, both vocally and instrumentally. Her voice has enough range to pull off a wide variety of styles, and just the right amount of grit to add energy when things get rockin’. Not to be outdone by Danny, she brings her own music store of instruments to the table. Highly skilled at tenor and baritone saxophones, she also plays guitar, flute, squeeze-box and fan favorite … washboard. Yep, washboard. Also an energetic performer, her all-in washboard style is to the male fans what Danny’s butt-shakin’ antics are to the ladies. At the last show I attended, some guy I didn’t know felt it important to tell me this: “I never thought I’d say this, but that is some pretty hot scratch-board thing playin.” There it is folks. Everything a great front-of-stage performer needs: talent, energy and sex-appeal. Copper Box has TWO such people up front.
Having grown up in a musical family, and having been in several bands myself, I know how important (and woefully underappreciated) a quality rhythm section is. The only word that comes to mind when I think of the CBx back-stage boys is this: savage.
Bassist Kevin Junemann is so good, you rarely realize it … until you start paying close attention. His lines, which in lesser hands could easily become repetitive, travel and roll and walk the frets in inventive – and oft melody driving – ways. That’s what I like most about his playing … he’s not flashy, but his efforts stick in the back of your head. Don’t believe me? Go try to play “Irish Washerwoman” on a bass guitar. Kevin can.
At home-plate sits Jason Van Ryzin, a man who understands what drumming/percussion is truly about. It’s about back-bone and texture. I was a drummer for eleven years and – although I never came close to Van Ryzin’s skill level – I know how hard it is to be inventive, yet tasteful. He obviously gets it … his transitions and fills adapt to each distinct style of music seamlessly … never losing sight of the meter … and peeking through just enough to add a flash of style. Should you hear a Copper Box album – or see them live – pay close attention to his cymbal work. Bad drummers use cymbals as exclamation marks … alone. Van Ryzin takes a Stewart Copeland approach … weaving them into the overall tapestry.
All in all, I can’t say it enough – this band is ROCK solid … and an absolute joy to see live. The music industry has taken some notice as well, as they have received several Wisconsin Area Music Industry awards and nominations (People’s Choice, Americana Artist of the Year, Specialty Instrumentalist of the Year (Danny Jerabek)). There you have it – the band. On to the review.
“People Change” is the sixth Copper Box album overall, released earlier this year. For the purpose of a review, I really have to break it into three parts: traditional, covers, and original songs. The sole traditional song of “Some People” is “Irish Washerwoman,” a hearty old stomp that the band handles easily, but sparks it up with some hootin’ and hollarin.’ A great version, this … plus you get the added bonus of hearing Junemann play it via a bass break-down.
Cover-songs – and doing them well – is truly an art form … retaining the original personality, yet adding your own spin. Copper Box has, to this point, done some great covers (Born On The Bayou, Squeeze-Box, Peter Gunn) and one near-legendary cover (Comfortably Numb … seriously). Of the four covers on this album, three are big winners. Los Lobos’ “Corrido #1″ is an homage with harmonizing Jerabek vocals that Cesar Rosas should be proud of. The Record/Sanders classic “Soulful Strut” gets a great treatment here, with a strong vocal performance from Michelle … it’s a sweet slice of early-70′s AM soul sound … with accordion. It works. A wicked-hot take on Sonny Landreth’s ”The Flame Will Never Die” is bursting with energy … and comes damn close to capturing the vibe of a live show. It should be a live staple – ’nuff said. The only cover that … hmmm … I don’t want to say it doesn’t work … hmmm. The King/Stewart classic “Tennessee Waltz” is played well … and sung well … it just doesn’t seem to fit. Stylistically, I feel it clashes with the personality of the band … it has a restrained feel that almost swims against the tide. I feel bad not loving it … because it is a quality take … but the nature of the song leaves little room for added life.
As far as original tunes go, “Some People” continues to show growth and improvement in the band’s own creations. The album opens with a trio of originals that demonstrate the genre hopping ability Copper Box has … and how well it works. “Some People Change” is a latin-tinged stomp with an intriguing Tom Waits bit of sinister in it. “Racing” is a song from early in the band’s catalog that gets an update … a melancholy number with a breezy chorus straight from the sunny 1970s. Next up is “Adios Baby,” another latin-flavored song (claves people, claves) with a darker flavor. In fact, these three songs rank among my favorites from the band-due to the tone. With so much fun and energy inherent in zydeco and polka, it’s nice to see the band explore moodier, soulful and downright groove-laden sounds. The album closer - “Won’t You Love Me Like That” – is also an interesting song … slipping in and out of styles … with Danny singing some parts, Michelle singing others. It’s got soul … it’s got a sweet groove (I’m using ‘groove’ too much, but that’s the best word for something with so much … groove) … it’s a nice way to wrap the album up.
As far as original polkas go, Danny Jerabek has unleashed a winner with “Johnsonville Firemen’s Two Step.” It’s a fun shuffle that Wisconsin Polka phenom Mike Schneider would be proud of. Mike knows polkas. Actually, I wonder if Danny and Mike know each other. I hope so. I see kindred spirits there.
A long-winded review, I know … but this band is special … and worth talking about. Yes, they play polkas. Yes they are from Oshoksh, WI. You know what? That makes me proud (as a native Wisconsinite) as they are also very, very good. “Some People” is their best release to date … I’m excited to see where the band goes from here.
Pros: The best album so far from a band brimming with talent … and unique flavor.
Cons: If you are a staunch anti-polka/zydeco/roots music person, you won’t like it … and I am sad for you.
Rating: OOOO (“Excellent” – 4 Moons out of 5) A high-quailty album from start to finish.
If you haven’t seen Copper Box live … and they are in your area – go see them. Their live show is outstanding. You will like polkas by the time you leave …
… and here’s a good example of the vibe and their musicianship … and a bit of “Comfortably Numb.” (I told you, I wasn’t lying) You will like polkas by the time you leave.
September 08, 2011
Tune in to 91.7fm KAXE radio from Grand Rapids, MN to hear a LIVE interview on Sat. Sept. 10th from 10am-12noon with Michelle Jerabek on the topic of ethnicity and how Copper Box started. You can listen in on your computer by clicking here: http://kaxe.org/streaming.aspx
September 08, 2011
Copper Box will be performing on RFD TV for the "Mollie B Polka Party" in Rothschild, WI. The TV Taping will take place at The Patriot Center located at 10101 Market St. Rothschild, WI 54474 on Wed. Sept. 14th at 9pm.
For more information and advance tickets visit http://www.rfdtv.com/events/mollie_b_polka_party/tickets/.
The TV show will be aired later this year.
Filed under: accordion americana button box cd Copper Box Copperbox dance Danny Jerabek live shows Michelle Jerabek music nightlife party people change polka roots Wisconsin TV RFD Mollie B Rothschild Patriot Center WI
July 18, 2011
Here's what one fan emailed us about the new release:
"We received your new CD today and absolutely love it! The mix of new work with classic former work has made for an awesome blend of 48+ minutes of outstanding Copper Box tunes! Your gift of music creativity is a true blessing and greatly enjoyed. We are SO THANKFUL to have literally stumbled upon Copper Box 6 years ago at Summerfest. Keep up the fine work."
CD TITLE: People Change
Release Date: 7/13/11
- Some People Change (written by Danny Jerabek)
- Racing (Danny Jerabek) *re-recorded
- Adios Baby (Danny Jerabek)
- The Flame Will Never Die (Sonny Landreth)
- Soulful Strut (Eugene Record, William Nelson Sanders)
- Corrido #1 (Cesar Rosas)
- Tennessee Waltz (Pee Wee King, Redd Stewart)
- Johnsonville Firemen's Two Step (Danny Jerabek)
- Everytime I Try (Danny and Michelle Jerabek)
- Irish Washerwoman (Traditional)
- Searchin' for Something (Danny Jerabek)
- Won't You Love Me Like That (Danny Jerabek) *re-recorded
**Danny Jerabek: vocals, button accordion, keyboard, cornet, penny whistle; Michelle Jerabek: vocals, tenor and bari saxophones, acoustic guitar, washboard; Kevin Junemann: bass, ukelele; Jason Van Ryzin: drums, percussion
**We recorded the CD mostly in our home studio with engineer Mark Richardson from Alchematic Productions. Mixed by Danny Jerabek and Mark Richardson. Mastered by Mark Richardson.
STORES: We are working on getting the CD into your local music stores, so if you have a store that would like to sell the CDs, please email me at [email protected] and let me know the contact information.
RADIO/PODCASTS: If you have a local radio station that would play the CD, please email me at [email protected] to make sure I have them on our list.
PROMOTION: If you know of any magazine, newspaper, blog that would review and promote the CD, please email me at [email protected] and I will add them to our list as well.
FANS: Without you, we'd be stuck with our music in our hands....we appreciate your support!!! Thank you!
HOW CAN YOU GET A COPY OF THE CD?
- BUY ONLINE: Go to our STORE page and buy via PAYPAL. Allow 2-4 days for shipping.
- BUY VIA SNAIL MAIL: If you'd rather send us a check via snail mail, you can send a check for $18.00 (includes tax, S&H) to Copper Box, PO Box 3966 Oshkosh, WI 54903. We will send it to you immediately!
- VISIT YOUR LOCAL MUSIC STORE: If they don't have it, please send us an email with the store name and location. We will contact them about selling our CDs. If you know of a local store that is NOT a music store, but would like to sell our CDs, please let us know by emailing me at [email protected]
- COME TO A LIVE SHOW: We always carry plenty of CDs with us at live shows, so check out the TOUR DATES on our website and come to a show to get your copy today!!
June 03, 2011
We all love GOOD accordion music! There is good accordion music, and there is bad accordion music. Copper Box performs GOOD ( kick ass ) accordion music = so put on some sunscreen, put on your favorite comfortable pair of shoes, grab your favorite drink, and we'll see you at some Copper Box shows this month. " Yeah, baby... that's what I like"
April 19, 2011
Had a great time attending The 2011 WAMI Awards Show at Turner Hall in Milwaukee, WI on Sunday, April 17th. Copper Box was nominated for Americana Artist of the Year and Specialty Instrumentalist of the Year (Danny Jerabek). We won both awards in 2010, but didn't take home the award this year.
Had a great time meeting up with fellow musicians and listening to some great bands representing the WI Music Industry. Congrats to all winners and nominees!
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