Wisconsin: 2-13-63 1
Bucky Halker's latest all-originals recording with guest appearances from some of Chicago's finest musicians. "Lake Superior alt country twanger's superior CD . . . An exceptional CD!" (Properganda-U.K August 2006) 'a splended collection . . . very agreeable, indeed!' (Le Cri Du Coyote-France, November 2006) 'very beautiful songs and arrangements . . his best CD yet' (Concerto-Austria, August 2006) After two CDs and a decade of performing worker protest songs, as well as lecturing and writing about the subject, I was aching to get into the studio with my own songs. Late in 2003 I jumped in! I really wanted to do a studio project that covered a lot of stylistic ground, relied on more detailed arrangements, and utilized the skills of several of Chicago's best musicians. The songs stylistically range from straight country, to jazz, to jingly-jangly pop rock, to New Orleans R&B, to Tex Mex, to straight-ahead rock. There's string sections on a few tunes and horns galore on others, plus ample doses of vocal harmonies, pedal steel guitars, mandolin, electric guitars, Hammond B-3 organ, and bits of dobro and lap steel. Politics? Nope. There's guest appearances from legendary jazz violinist Johnny Frigo, mandolin master Don Stiernberg, Pickles Piekarksi (John Prine), Paul Mertens (Poi Dog Pondering & Brian Wilson), Jim Cox (Marian McPartland), Brian Wilke (Hoyle Bros.), Paulinho Garcia, Steve Rashid, James Sanders, Kat Eggleston, Sue Demel (Sons of the Never Wrong), and Brother John Kattke (Buddy Guy's Legends House Band). Of course, my basic core band from 2003-2005 is also: Drew Enselman, Marshall Dawson, and Dan Polonsky. I'd certainly describe this as my best recording yet. There's another entire CD from these sessions, so look for Wisconsin 2-13-62, volume 2 on cdbaby. About the Artist: Bucky Halker was born on the shores of Lake Superior in a worn-down iron ore and lumbering town. Since leaving his hometown at 18 he's done a lot of everything! A veteran songwriter, guitarist, and frontman, he has a dozen recordings to his credit, most of which feature original songs. His two most recent CDs, Don't Want Your Millions and Welcome to Labor Land, however, feature his interpretations of working-class labor protest songs. Deeply grounded in the history of American music, Halker's music has always drawn heavily from folk, blues, bluegrass, R&B, country, roots rock, rockabilly, and honky tonk. That he gets lumped in the Alt Country/Americana category is amusing. He's been doing that kind of music for thirty years! Halker regularly tours Europe as a soloist and with his band, the Complete Unknowns. Three of his CDs have been released in Europe on Brambus Records. A historian with considerable credentials, he has a PhD in US history and has published extensively on labor music, pop music, and working-class history. His book, For Democracy, Workers and God: Labor Song-Poems and Labor Protest was published by the University of Illinois Press in 1991. He currently lives in Chicago on the shores of Lake Michigan.