It’s been an interesting few days.
— We’re driving up to have hamburgers at a little country tavern on Sunday, and we almost run over a pheasant that is in no hurry to get out of the middle of the road.
— I’ve lived in Wisconsin almost all my life, and only Sunday did I eat muskie for the first time. It is excellent, especially coated in light pancake batter. (The muskie we ate was caught up north near Three Lakes, Wisconsin, as was the muskie above.)
— On Monday, I drove my dad up north to Tomahawk, Wisconsin, so he could attend his cousin’s funeral. Babe is survived by her 98-year-old sister Verlie. They were believed to be the oldest surviving set of identical twins in Wisconsin. Interesting to learn that, and to be in a room with 100 or so people to whom you are distantly related, knowing none of them.
— Before we left, we drove out into the sticks southeast of Tomahawk, getting a look at the land on which my great-grandfather settled when he and his brother moved to Wisconsin from Minnesota around 1870. Nothing there now. It was blown away in a tornado on a September afternoon in 1924.
— On Monday night, I headed out to our local casino to see Junior Brown play that hybrid guit-steel guitar in a free show in the lounge. It was the second time I’ve seen him. He’s right up there among the best players I’ve ever seen. Some of the others: Steve Stevens, Angus Young, Marty Stuart and Ace Frehley. (Ace may not be a great guitarist, but he was much better than I expected.)
I have no Junior Brown for you, so go see him if he comes to your town.
— On Tuesday night, we headed back out to the casino to see Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo. We had not seen them before, and it was excellent. I’m not a huge fan, but they’re worth seeing.
Yeah, they play all the hits, but they have a couple of jump blues tunes and some acoustic takes on a couple of their hits that are especially good. That such a big voice comes out of such a tiny person, and that it’s still so strong after almost 30 years, is remarkable.
They’re out on tour through the end of this week, playing casinos and tweaking some things before heading out for their summer shows, which start up in mid-May.
I have no Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo for you, either, so go see them if they come to your town.
So, yah hey, there you have it. A slice of life from Wisconsin. There must be some music for that. Oh, yeah. Here you go. A cover of a Kinks tune by the legendary Happy Schnapps Combo.
“You Really Got Me,” the Happy Schnapps Combo, from “100 Proof,” 1991.