Music roundup for June 26-July 2, 2014

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By Bill Livick, Special to The Gazette
Thursday, June 26, 2014

Luke Bryan at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 28, Marcus Amphitheater, Summerfest grounds, 200 N. Harbor Drive, Milwaukee. Danielle Bradbery also performs. For tickets, visit summerfest.com.

A native of Leesburg, Ga., Luke Bryan honed his skills in local clubs before moving to Nashville in 2001. He has released four albums and has a shelf full of music awards to show for his efforts.

His first success came as a songwriter, penning songs for Travis Tritt and Billy Currington, who took Bryan's “Good Directions” to No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart.

Bryan landed a deal with Capitol Records and his 2007 debut single, “All My Friends Say,” peaked at No. 5 on Hot Country Songs, while his first album, “I'll Stay Me,” hit No. 2 on Top Country Albums.

Since then, he's placed 18 titles on Hot Country Songs. Among his No. 1 hits: “Rain Is a Good Thing,” “Someone Else Calling You Baby,” “I Don't Want This Night to End” and “Drunk on You.”

The latter two are from Bryan's third studio album, “Tailgates & Tanlines,” which was released in August 2011 and spent four weeks at No. 1 on Top Country Albums. It has sold some 2 million copies, debuted and peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and was the eighth-biggest-selling album of 2012 overall, according to his website.

Bryan's fourth studio album, “Crash My Party,” was released in August 2013. The title track came out as a single and reached No. 1 on the Country Airplay chart in July 2013. The album's second single, “That's My Kind of Night,” was also a No. 1 hit.

The album's third single, “Drink a Beer,” was released to country radio in October 2013 and reached No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart in January and No. 1 on the Country Airplay chart in February.

Blood, Sweat & Tears with Bo Bice at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 28, Ferro Pavilion, George Williams College, 350 Constance Blvd., Williams Bay. Tickets: $25-$100. Call 262-245-8501 or visit musicbythelake.com.

Blood, Sweat & Tears was founded by the legendary Al Kooper in 1967 as an experiment in expanding the scope of the rock band with touches of jazz, blues and folk.

When Kooper was forced out of the band after its debut, Blood, Sweat & Tears became increasingly identified as a jazz-rock band, although its music was essentially easy listening R&B or rock with the addition of brass.

The band released three top-selling albums in the late 1960s and early '70s. A self-titled album was No. 1 for seven weeks in 1969, sold more than 3 million copies and spawned three hits: “You've Made Me So Very Happy,” “Spinning Wheel” and “And When I Die.”

During its heyday, BS&T was most associated by the public with lead vocalist David Clayton-Thomas. He left the band in 1972 for a solo career and returned to the fold several times, calling in quits for good in 2004. But from 1994 until '04, Clayton-Thomas toured with the band and helped it maintain a strong following on the concert circuit.

Corky Siegel and Howard Levy at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, June 28, Cafe Carpe, 18 S. Water St., Fort Atkinson. Tickets: $25. Call 920-563-9391.

Corky Siegel and Howard Levy make their first appearance together at Fort Atkinson's Café Carpe on Saturday. Both are extraordinary harmonica players and pianists and will perform as a duo, club owner Bill Camplin said.

“I expect them to be trading off on both instruments, and Howard might even bring some sort of a drum or something,” Camplin said. “He played saxophone once, and he was wonderful.”

Levy is perhaps best known as an original member of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, with whom he won a 1997 Grammy Award for best pop instrumental performance for their live recording of “The Sinister Minister.”

Levy more recently won a Grammy Award for best instrumental composition in 2012 for “Life in Eleven,” a song he co-wrote with Bela Fleck, featured on the Flecktones' 2011 release, “Rocket Science.”

Levy co-founded the Flecktones in 1988 and left the group in 1993. In 2009, Levy rejoined the Flecktones as a touring band member and contributor.

Siegel's initial claim to fame was as a founding member of the Siegel-Schwall Band. The band formed in Chicago in 1966 and released 10 albums between 1966 and '74, when it quit touring. Siegel also founded Corky Siegel's Chamber Blues, which combines elements of blues and classical chamber music. He's recognized as a first-rate showman and musician.

OneRepublic at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 1, Marcus Amphitheater, Summerfest grounds, 200 N. Harbor Drive, Milwaukee. Mayer Hawthorne and American Authors also perform. For tickets, visit summerfest.com.

OneRepublic was formed in 2002 by Ryan Tedder and Zach Filkins, who met in their senior year in high school in Colorado Springs.

Before making music as OneRepublic, they formed a band called This Beautiful Mess and played one talent show but broke up after a week. They vowed to spend their energy sharpening their skills as musicians and songwriters before making another leap into band life again.

Between his junior and senior years at college, Tedder won an MTV songwriting contest and got a record deal. He walked away from the opportunity, feeling he wasn't ready for the big time. At 19, he moved to Nashville and learned what it takes to be a good songwriter.

At about that time, producer/rapper Timbaland, who had seen Tedder on MTV, offered him a production deal and a chance to work together in Miami.

Meanwhile, Filkins was attending college in Illinois. By 2003, he and Tedder had moved back to Colorado. Having done all they could to minimize the risk of starting a band, the two headed up to Los Angeles and started making music. Nine months later, they were signed to Columbia Records.

OneRepublic released its first album, “Dreaming Out Loud,” in 2007. The lead single, “Apologize,” became an international hit, reaching No. 1 in 16 countries and earning the band a Grammy Award nomination, according to the band's website.

The band released its second album, “Waking Up,” in 2009 and followed in 2013 with its third album, “Native.” It became the band's first Top 10 album on the Billboard 200.

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