2017 United Way Fundraiser was a success!

February 20th, 2017 2:58 PM

The 2017 United Way Bluegrass Fundraiser had the largest audience yet!  Thanks to all of the bands and The Barrymore for hosting such a great event.

United Way Bluegrass Benefit

January 27th, 2017 2:28 PM


Life has been wonderful for the multinational conglomerate that is The Sparetime Bluegrass Band. We’ve been breaking records wherever we’ve played. The CDs have all gone platinum (we gold plate everything in our lives), and we only play the best instruments……We’re serious.

On Sunday February 12th we will be taking part in United Way Bluegrass Benefit at the Barrymore Theater in Madison. We were, of course, the first band to do it way back when. We were actually the only band at the first one. The audience at that first one was enormous…you probably remember newspaper stories about gridlock after the event.

This year the crowd estimate is about 80,000 to 100,000, making it the largest benefit concert anywhere in the Mid-West. We’re happy, in our own large way, to be a part of this.



Actually there is a benefit concert at the Barrymore on February 12. We are a part of it. We did do the first one and were the only band. We are always proud to be a part of the concert. The event is a wonderful family friendly concert. It gives the kids a chance to see Dave Landau in concert and a chance for everyone to see strong local bluegrass musicians get together to assist the United Way.

The doors open at Noon and events run until about 6:00 p.m. We would love to have you all there.

Kids dancing on the Terrace

June 22nd, 2016 5:24 PM

IMG_8776On June 9th SpareTime played the newly reopened Memorial Union Terrace. The weather was great, as were the sound people from the Union. There is nothing like playing on a stage, the backdrop of which, is Lake Mendota. The Terrace has been redone and better than ever.
Also present were a number of children who seemed to be dancing the afternoon away.

James King

May 20th, 2016 8:30 AM
SpareTime is saddened by the news of the passing of James King at 57. He was a friend of ours for over fifteen years and we opened for him at the Copper Grid and Dudley’s. We were on the bill at Swamp n’ Grass and helped get his unique voice into a concert at the Roxbury Tavern.
James was called The Bluegrass Storyteller and excelled at poignant songs fraught with emotion and conviction. He was one of the most honest artists in traditional bluegrass—often moved to tears on stage by the lyrics he sang. One particular musical moment that comes to mind occurred at the Copper Grid when James, with only his guitar, sang “Dream of the Miner’s Child”. He imbued that hoary chestnut with utter sincerity and conviction. There were few dry eyes.
With James, what you saw was what you got (warts and all). And there were warts. At various times he lived hard. The road took a toll. He was in declining health for over a year.
Our thoughts go out to his loved ones.


May 20th, 2016 8:26 AM

Schumacher Farm, just east of Waunakee, held Spring Bluegrass, its first bluegrass festival on May 14th. Truman’s Ridge, Northern Comfort, Milkhouse Radio, Kristy Larson’s Honky Tonk Trio, RF Kieffer, Down from the Hills, Soggy Prairie Boys, and SpareTime were on the bill.

We had a great time despite the exceedingly cold weather. The audience was warm and inviting, and the adaptability of all the groups to the conditions was marvelous. SpareTime has high hopes for the continuing festival. It’s in a great location, with fine facilities. We really need something like this in the area and want next year to be better than ever.

The next few weeks for SpareTime are filled with good events. We play Whole Foods on June 2nd, and journey to Tyranena Brewery in Lake Mills on Friday, June 3rd. This is always a good time. We get to see fans farther east from Madison and play outdoors in a relaxed garden setting. On June 9th we will be outside at the UW Memorial Union Terrace. They have been building on the Terrace, improving the stage and completing other structural additions. It just reopened and we are looking forward to a warm Spring evening with our backs to Lake Monona.

Summer is coming…

April 8th, 2016 7:54 AM

We are currently working on our spring and summer schedules.  Check back for updates, but this is what we’ve got so far.  We’d love to see you!

  • Sunday, April 10, 4-5pm, Harmony Bar (2201 Atwood Ave, Madison)
  • Sunday, April 24, 4:30-5:30pm, BOS Meadery “Bees of Spring Bluegrass Festival” (Check out the full festival from 12-6pm) (849 E. Washington Ave, Madison) http://www.bosmeadery.com/events/event/1st-annual-bees-of-spring-bluegrass-festival/
  • Saturday, May 14, 1:20-2:20pm, Schumacher Farm Park “Spring Bluegrass” (Check out the full festival from 12-6pm) (5682 Highway 19 at Schumacher Rd, Waunakee) http://www.schumacherfarmpark.org/event-2223378
  • Saturday, May 28, private event
  • Thursday, June 2, 5-7pm, Whole Foods “Burgers and Bluegrass” (3313 University Ave, Madison)
  • Friday, June 3, 6-9pm, Tyranena Brewery (1025 Owen St, Lake Mills)
  • Thursday, June 9, 5-7pm, UW Union Terrace (800 Langdon St, Madison)
  • Sunday, June 19, 4-6pm, Father’s Day at Roxbury Tavern (8901 County Rd Y, Roxbury)
  • Thursday, July 21, 11:30am-1pm, Out to Lunch (Iron Mountain, MI)
  • Thursday, July 28, 5-7pm, Whole Foods “Burgers and Bluegrass” (3313 University Ave, Madison)
  • Thursday, September 15, 6-8pm, High Noon Patio (701 E. Washington Ave, Madison)

The days are getting longer

February 22nd, 2016 3:56 PM

SpareTime is busy booking for Spring and Summer.
Hope to see you at the Roxbury Tavern for the St Patricks day show from 7 to 9 on March 17th.
Check our Calendar for the gigs we already have booked and we will try and send out updates and Facebook posts.

Summer is here

May 20th, 2015 12:29 PM

Here is the SpareTime Bluegrass 2015 Summer Schedule
Stop and have a beer with us.

May 30    Burgers and brews Capital brewery 4 -5
June 3     Whole Foods 5-7
June 27   Tyranena 6-9
July 8      Whole Foods 7-7
July 22    Whole Foods 4-6
July 30    UW Memorial Union Terrace 5-7
Aug 5      Whole Foods 5-7
Sept 24   High Noon 6-8

SpringTime for SpareTime

February 16th, 2015 3:16 PM

It is not yet Spring, but we can see it from here. We have some new gigs and we’ve been nominated for the MAMA’s (Madison Area Music Awards). Please vote for us!!  It will cost you $5 to join and vote and the money is used to get musical instruments for kids.  Here is the link.  & a big thanks.


Here is what we are nominated for:

MAMAs Song of the Year

  • Category: Cover Song
    • You might think
  • Category: Folk/Americana
    • These Days
  • Category: Country/Bluegrass
    • Shackles and chains
  • Category: Unique
    • Riding the rapids
  • Category: Alternative
    • Vauxhall

MAMAs Album of the Year


  • Category: Country/Bluegrass
    • Vauxhall
  • Category: Folk/American
    • Vauxhall

MAMAs Artist of the Year

  • SpareTime Bluegrass

MAMAs Instrumentalist of the Year

  • Specialty Instrument
    • Jim Robarts banjo

MAMAs Vocalist of the Year

  • Category:Female Vocalist
    • Lisa Case Doro




December 3rd, 2014 6:05 AM

vauxhall2014It is here.
The new SpareTime CD is out. Vauxhall.
Our 9th recording and 1st with fiddler/singer Lisa Case Doro is dedicated to all of the musicians who have played as members of SpareTime or been SpareParts for a gig.
Thanks to Steve Gotcher at Audio for the Arts for his great recording/mixing and mastering and to Allyson Casey for the CD cover design.
Thanks also to the venues we have played these 20 years of SpareTime and to the many fans who have come out and supported the music.