March 19, 2009
.... we’re long overdue in introducing you to Copper Box.
Straight outta Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and fronted by the husband-and-wife team of Danny and Michelle Jerabek, this band takes a lot of influences, tosses them into the blender and comes up with a distinctive sound. It’s mostly rock, Zydeco and polka, but there’s also some blues, country and Tejano.
The Jerabeks are veteran performers. Their considerable skills were honed in their families’ polka bands, which they joined as kids. Think of the accordian replacing the Hammond organ, yet sounding a bit like it, and you get an idea of Danny’s skills. Michelle plays sax, flute and guitar and is a terrific singer. They’re flanked by bass player Kevin Junemann and drummer Jason Van Ryzin, and it’s tight.
Copper Box — CBx for short — is no novelty act. It’s been around for seven years and four albums. Tonight, CBx is headlining at Shank Hall, one of Milwaukee’s best clubs for Americana/roots music. Two weeks from tonight, CBx opens for kindred spirits Brave Combo at FitzGerald’s in Berwyn, Illinois, another great club in the same vein.
Summer in Wisconsin, of course, brings plenty of outdoor gigs. They’ll be as busy this summer as last summer, when their publicist sent me some mp3s. They offered the whole CD, but I said, nah, I’ll just get it at one of their shows in Green Bay. And then, of course, I never saw them. I hope to make up for that this summer.
No reason for you to miss out. Enjoy a little bit of Copper Box, a delight from our corner of Wisconsin.
The title tune is a slide blues-rocker written and sung by Michelle. The latter is a Zydeco-meets-jazz number written and sung by Danny. It reminds me a lot of the Iguanas.
These are the first two of 15 cuts on the CD, which was released about a year ago and by all accounts gets pretty close to their live sound.
Speaking of which, enjoy this video. Copper Box covers Creedence’s “Born on the Bayou,” recorded last July 4 at the Sawdust City Days festival in their hometown, Oshkosh.
January 05, 2009
8pm Saturday, Shank Hall $8
The accordion is perhaps one of the least-appreciated musical instruments. Yet a guy as tough as James Ellroy (whose novels include ultra-hard-boiled classics like "L.A. Confidential") has an ear for it, and if you're living in Milwaukee, you're at least going to learn to tolerate it.
Copper Box makes this easy. Hailing from Oshkosh, this group features Danny Jerabek, a true accordion virtuoso who translates the vivid physicality of the instrument into an idiomatic style that includes elements of rock, Zydeco, blues and (natch) polka.
His wife, Michelle Jerabek, sings with him and also plays flute, guitar and sax. With bassist Kevin Junemann and drummer Jason Van Ryzin, they swing from originals to unusual covers-including a Pink Floyd polka-with style and humor.
Copper Box's latest album is "Need a Little Squeezin' " -an agreeable sentiment.
-Jon M. Gilbertson, Special to the Journal Sentinel (Milwaukee, WI)
October 29, 2008
Indie Music Stop does an interview with Copper Box.
"If you are looking for some original sounding music, then do I have the band for you!" -C.W. Ross from Indie Music Stop
To read the interview, click on www.indiemusicstop.com and go to the November 2008 issue.
Filed under: Art Center
October 23, 2008
The Northwestern: Weekend Section - October 2008
...Rocking with favorite Oshkosh sounds tonight...cruise into the staple downtown joint to catch dynamic "swamp rock" foursome, Copper Box light up the stage with foot-stomping grooves like "Tijuana" and "Hey Baby, Que Paso."
Boasting contagious beats and catchy lyrics, Copper Box comes pocketing originals off April 2008 release "Need a Little Squeezin'" and a slew of favorites from earlier albums like "Backyard Party..."
by Sarah Owen
Filed under: Art Center
July 02, 2008
Review by Wildy's World on Jul 02, 2008 - Rating - 4 (Really Like Them)
Copper Box - Need A Little Squeezin'
2008, Copper Box
If you want to know how to make a party go mad with delight, you start with the band. You can go the traditional straightforward rock route, but if you want to appeal to a broad array of attendees you've got to have some variety in the sound. So you take elements of Rock, Country, Zydeco, Pokla, Klezmer and even some Jethro Tull-inspired flute playing and you mix them up into one musical super group. Or you could just pick up Need A Little Squeezin', the dynamic and wonderful new CD from Oshkosh, Wisconsin’s own Copper Box.
I'm guessing you'll likely never see Copper Box on MTV-2 or VH-1, but this is an incredibly entertaining band nonetheless. Need A Little Squeezin' works because it is firmly ground in the fundamentals and styles of music that has pleased crowds for ages, but has a modern edge and energy to it similar to the life Brian Setzer breathes into his music.
The title track, Need A Little Squeezin starts off the album with a bang, with the wonderful (and sorely under-represented) vocals of Michelle Jerabek. Her voice has a true Nashville sound with just a hint of a rock edge to it, and is much more interesting than a lot of the bland voices that float out of Nashville these days. This is followed up by Apple Of Your Eye, which has some of the best Ian Anderson-inspired flute playing this side of, well, Ian Anderson.
Need A Little Squeezin' avoids the whole Lawrence Welk sound that I always envision when I see an accordion (although Hopeless Lover definitely rides the edge). What you get instead is a vivacious presentation of new songs in the Zydeco vein, or snappy, modern interpretations of the occasional classic (Jambalaya). Copper Box has created a musical framework that should (in theory) do for Zydeco what Setzer did for small-band swing a number of years ago. Need A Little Squeezin' is a rollicking good time, and will cause spontaneous smiling and dancing at any sensible party. It's a must-hear.
Rating: 4 Stars (Out of 5)
July 01, 2008
Review by Indie Music Sampler Podcast on Jul 01, 2008
Rating - 4 (Really Like Them)
I have to admit - it's not very often you'll hear an accordion on my program but this group is irresistible. "Need A Little Squeezin'" was featured on episode #102 of Indie Music Sampler. I love the way this group take a little from several genres and turns it into something you can't quite put your finger on.
June 28, 2008
Review by Eds Mixed Bag on Jun 28, 2008
Rating - 5 (Love Them!)
It's out,!! episode #142 of the Ed's Mixed Bag podcast with your track, "Need A Little Squeezin' " & thanks for the excellent intro and ID. I'll be back here to Ariel to grab another track by you guys!! Thanks, again.
Podcast Rating - Definitely - Will add this track to a future podcast
June 19, 2008
Review by Mondo Blu on Jun 19, 2008
Rating - 4 (Really Like Them) - Boisterous, Carefree, Cheerful, Confident, Earthy, Elegant, Energetic, Freewheeling, Fun, Lively, Party, Stylish, Fun
Just finished listening to this CD and really enjoyed it. It covers so may different styles and it's also a lot of fun! Here are the tracks I'll be playing from this weekend 20/06:
NEED A LITTLE SQUEEZIN' - JAMBALAYA - GYPSY DANCER - HEY BABY, ¿QUÉ PASÓ? - TIJUANA - SCHTUMPFER'S CUMBIA - ZYDECO CHA CHA CHA - PLEASE PASS THE SCHNAPS - PURPLE BOA - REDHEADS HAVE MORE FUN - ZYDECO BOOGALOO - HOWARDS GROVE PARADE.
Keep up the good work and above all, keep having fun!
June 18, 2008
Review by Indie Music Stop on Jun 18, 2008
Rating - 5 (Love Them!) - Energetic, Fun, Lively
Great CD. I just got done reviewing it for on my site.
Here's the direct link to it:
I gave it a 9 out of 10. Really fun, refreshing, unique sounding music.
Indie Music Stop
October 24, 2007
It's all in the box! Copper Box, that is. Take four talented people, a dozen different instruments, stir with a large dollop of enthusiasm, let them cook for a couple hours, and you have the makings of a happy, fun evening. It's difficult to describe. You had to be there!
This current foursome is made up of Danny Jerabek, who plays the button accordions, and doubles occasionally on guitar, keys, cornet, and vocals. His beautiful wife, Michelle, sings, plays flute, guitar, tenor and baritone saxes, and occasionally the stainless steel rubboard (washboard) for the Zydeco numbers. Kevin Junemann, mainly manned the bass, but demonstrated his versatility with a solo on the taxi horn....Jason Van Ryzin, their multi-talented percussionist, also had his moment in the sun with a moving triangle solo....
So what kind of music does an eclectic ensemble like this deliver to our ears? Well, some you can describe as Zydeco, some is like Tex Mex/Conjunto. Some we call Polka, but then it really wasn't. Some had the feeling of Reggae, and then there was a Brazilian selection called, Apple of Your Eye, which normally requires a six armed drummer. Not to worry! Jason was up to it. The rest was really not readily classifiable. Maybe 'party music' or 'back porch jammin'? I guess you had to be there. One thing for sure, it was great fun and the audience loved it!
Some numbers were Jerabek originals like Dance, Russian, Dance, which rocked with a Russian feel, but was not known in Vladiovstock. Sure Fire was a Zydeco style rocker with a shining drum solo to light up your life. Another thoughtful song called the Existentialist Polka (That was a polka?) Lyrics like, "Am I here, Am I there, Am I really anywhere?" ...really made one think....
Many of us have heard the German traditional standard, Seeman...but it sounded different when Michelle Jerabek stepped up to the mic and sang the lyrics first in German, then in English. You know it really sounded great with an easy rocking beat. Demonstrating their versatility again, they played an Irish Jig created by Danny. Even the band couldn't keep their feet still.
Clarinet Polka received a saxy treatment when Michelle picked up the big brass horn and blew every note at a breakneck pace, never missing a single one. Showing her mulit-talented abilities, she picked up one of Danny's button boxes while he took her guitar, and they rocked on with "Try it, You'll Like It..."
If you dont know what Gypsy Zydeco sounds like, listen to their original composition Albanian Dancer, which is a brand new song. He also wrote Tijuana, which had a three beat Tex Mex rock feel. Someone in the audience had requested their original, Sunny Days....Can you imagine what a Zydeco Cha Cha sounds like? Copper Box can, and showed us you can mix music styles too...
Of all the fun music these four delivered to the attentive audience, my personal favorite was a Tex Mex hit recorded by the Texas Tornados with Flaco Jimenez squeezing a button accordion. This delightful jumper is titled, Hey Baby, Que Paso! You gotta love it! I surely did.
Did the audience enjoy this highly talented fantastic foursome? Mucho mucho! How can I describe the program? We had a party! I'm still at a loss for words. Like I said, -you had to be there!
Filed under: Art Center
January 18, 2007
"Won't You Love Me Like That," by Copper Box:
Why it's cool? How would you even classify this band? Rock? Zydeco? Polka? We have no idea. All we know is that this Oshkosh band makes really good music.
How to get it? This song is on the band's new album, "Backyard Party," which for now you can buy at Copper Box shows. Look for it wider distribution in the near future.
More about the band: www.copperboxsite.com, www.myspace.com/copperboxband
October 01, 2003
The latest CD from the Oshkosh-based band, Copper Box is the most pleasantly engaging music I have heard in a long time. Roots offers a wholesome rush as refreshing as a cool spring breeze bloqing new life into a stuffy room. Copper Box's music is a mix of zydeco and roots rock with a dash of polka. The band's signature is found in the strong but smooth vocals of Danny and Michelle Jerabek, along with Danny's vibrant work with the accordion. The band plays with a relaxed, down-to-earth tightness that invites the listener to join in the fun. The rhythm section of drummer, Jason Van Ryzin, and bassist, David Jerabek, set the song's directions and subtly steer the band through many enjoyable melodic twists and turns. Guitarist, Nate Grier, is one of those musicians who can easily shift from being out front to comfortably blending in with the gang. Songs such as "Zydeco Party" and "Gimme That Oldtyme Music" are bouncy dance numbrs while their jazzy cover of Bobby Womack's "It's All Over Now" sounds like it's coming straight from the halls of a New Orleans club. Whether seriously refledtive or lightly fun, the lyrics move with purpose and passion. Copper Box's catchy songs will play in your head long after the CD player has been turned off. Their live performances, which mix their original material with unique arrangements of well-known covers, are also worth checking out. Info at www.copperboxsite.com.
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