Music roundup for Sept. 5, 2013

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Bill Livick, Special to the Gazette
Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Zoe Muth and the Lost High Rollers at 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5, Café Carpe, 18 South Water St., Fort Atkinson. Tickets: $10. Call 920-563-9391.

Zoe Muth is a singer of classic country songs who says her music recently has been heading in more of a “rock 'n' roll direction.”

Growing up in Seattle and since January living in Austin, Texas, Muth was raised on old-school rock before discovering the “Anthology of American Folk Music” in high school. The stories of rural people jumped out at her through the music. When she started writing songs a few years later, she gravitated toward that style.

It wasn't long before she had amassed a tight backing band, plucked a name for it from a Townes Van Zandt song and decided to make a record.

Muth's latest recording, “Old Gold,” is a six-song EP that showcases her remarkably authentic-sounding country voice. The collection includes five covers and one original, but in concert and on her other recordings, Muth focuses on original songs.

Muth said she's not “a person who would just naturally get up and sing in front of people” and continues to struggle with anxiety before most shows.

“I get kind of stressed out before every show we do,” she said. “Some are more stressful than others. Once I get up there, and everything's going well with the band and everybody's kind of locked in together, then it's totally great and amazing.

“I try to remind myself that, but it's not that easy for me,” she added.

“It doesn't feel very good, but I guess a lot of art doesn't come from being in a comfortable place.”

The Jimmys at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6, Harry C. Moore Pavilion, 1160 Riverside Drive, Beloit.

The Jimmys, an eight-piece band based in the Madison area, are widely recognized as one of the state's leading blues bands.

Led by keyboardist and singer Jimmy Voegeli, the band earned five awards in April at the 2013 Madison Area Music Awards, including artist of the year and blues performer of the year.

Bandleader Voegeli also won the award for keyboardist of the year, while Darren Sterud was named brass instrumentalist of the year and Peterson Ross won the top spot for woodwind instrumentalist.

The band received five Madison Area Music Awards in 2012, as well as a Wisconsin Area Music Award as best big band ensemble.

Voegeli, a member of the West Side Andy/Mel Ford Band for 18 years, plays Hammond organ, piano and an electric Rhodes keyboard in addition to being a fine singer. The band also features drummer Mauro Magellan, a former member of the Georgia Satellites.

The band released a collection of songs recorded live earlier this year, as well as a studio album in September 2011.

The Fatty Acids at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6, The Pabst Theater, 144 E. Wells St., Milwaukee. Tickets: $10. Call 414-286-3663.

The Fatty Acids are a five-piece band from Milwaukee that features singer-keyboardist Joshua Evert and singer-guitarist Joel Van Haren.

The group has been together since fall 2007 and specializes in what Evert describes as “quirk pop” music. He said the Fatty Acids make politically and socially charged pop music with synth-eccentricity, while trying to retain a rough edge. The band performs throughout the Midwest when full-time day jobs allow.

Among the band's biggest influences is the Flaming Lips. Evert called the Lips' “Do You Realize” the greatest song ever written. He told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “I can't not write music. It's something that I've been doing since I was a kid. I think it's something I will always do.”

Indigo Girls at 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6, Capitol Theater, Overture Center for the Arts, 201 State St., Madison. Tickets: $39.50-$59.50. Call 608-258-4141.

The Indigo Girls—Emily Saliers and Amy Ray—blend their voices in powerful harmonies over acoustic guitars and have achieved a degree of success that's rare for artists so firmly rooted in folk and women's music.

Ray is known for her rough alto and moody rock songs, while Saliers possesses a warm soprano and writes mellow folk ballads.

The two began making music while still in high school near Atlanta, where they had grown up together. They attended Emory University and continued writing songs and performing together. In 1980, they adopted the name Indigo Girls and released their first independent single, “Crazy Game,” in 1985. The single “Closer to Fine” from their first album, “Strange Fire,” was in heavy rotation on MTV, and through constant touring and a supportive press, the duo gained a devoted following.

The Indigo Girls are known for their politically charged songs and support of progressive causes, from gay rights and American Indian rights to anti-militarism and anti-nuclear energy.

Saliers and Ray write songs independently of each other and work out arrangements together. They've release 13 studio albums since their debut in 1987.

J.D. Souther at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, Majestic Theatre, 115 King St., Madison. Tickets: $40-$75. Call 608-255-0901.

Besides being the former boyfriend of Linda Ronstadt and Stevie Nicks, J.D. Souther is also a stellar country rock songwriter and journeyman musician who co-wrote hits with Jackson Browne and the Eagles.

In fact, he co-wrote some of the Eagles' biggest hits: “Best of My Love,” “Victim of Love,” “Heartache Tonight” and “New Kid in Town.” He also co-produced Ronstadt's album “Don't Cry Now” and wrote songs for several of Ronstadt's multi-platinum albums, including the singles “Faithless Love” and “White Rhythm and Blues.”

Souther teamed up with Chris Hillman and Richie Furay to form the Souther Hillman Furay Band in 1972. The group released two albums before its members went their separate ways.

While Souther is legendary in particular music circles, especially in California in the early '70s, he is not as well known to the public. He's released seven studio albums since his self-titled debut in 1972.

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