North by Midwest, Day 3


Glad you’re back for Day 3 of NXMW 2009, our little festival celebrating music from our corner of America.

(If you’re wondering why Day 2 was on Thursday and Day 3 is on Saturday, well, that’s just how we roll. Friday was lost to an evening with Emily Hurd, whom we featured on Day 1.)

As with Emily, 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.


“Need A Little Squeezin'” and “Apple Of Your Eye,” Copper Box, from “Need A Little Squeezin’,” 2008. (Also available on iTunes.)

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.

1 Comment

Filed under March 2009, Sounds

One response to “North by Midwest, Day 3

  1. Bill in Milwaukee

    Love Copper Box! I’ve seen them a couple of times here and there around the state. They always put on a great show.

    If you like accordion-fueled rock-n-roll, be sure to check out my friends “Those Darn Accordions!” at

    They will be playing dates around Wisconsin and Illinois again this summer. Check the webpage for tour dates.

    For a taste of what it sounds like when accordion meets Led Zepplin, check this out:


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