December 5th, 2010 8:27 PM

What we did this summer!!
In May the new SpareTime album, “Someone to Love” was released. It veered back to more bluegrass than the last CD’s, but did include a George Harrison tune “If I Needed Someone”. Bobby managed to get a picture of his grandparents on the front of the CD.
We staged the CD release at the Roxbury Tavern and managed to have some members of Monroe Crossing in the audience. They had done a show nearly next door at the Dorf House, and for an afternoon, Roxbury was the epicenter of the bluegrass world in Wisconsin. The CD was well received there and elsewhere and we thank those who purchased it or listened to us do the whole thing (all the words and all the chords in place) in Roxbury.
Brooklyn Fest was in June. We were very honored to play, had a great time, and heard some great music. The festival is in a great venue and the area residents are welcoming and open. We really hope this builds and builds. Our part of the show was recorded and broadcast on WI Public Radio’s Simply Folk on Dec. 5th.
The Southern Wisconsin Bluegrass Association asked us to play at the Edgerton Thresheree in September. We had never seen one of these. There was a flea market and a parade of older farm machinery (including some steam powered machines). Everything looked really large, sounded really loud, and seemed really dangerous. If farmers needed to use these machines to grow crops, I hope they got every penny they deserved when they sold the harvest.
Weddings were a high spot in the SpareTime recent memory. We played the Tyranena Brewery and had two couples in the audience whose wedding we had played for the year before. It was great to see this marriage thing is not just a passing and everyone was still married. One of the weddings was the first time we had done “If I Needed Someone”, which we did at the brewery. The other featured a rendition of “The Proudest Monkey”, a Dave Matthews song that we didn’t do.
We did another wedding in the fall where another Beatles’ tune, “In My Life”, was tapped for the processional. That wedding was at the Badger Farms, a beautiful converted barn on a working farm in Dane County.
The highlight of songs-brides-and-grooms-wanted-us-to-play-at-their-wedding was at our first Jewish wedding. The couple asked for “Deep Elem Blues”, a song about an “adult entertainment” area in 1880’s Dallas. They also wanted a Beatles’ tune “Two of Us” (off the “Let it Be” album). We did those—but they also wanted Hava Nagila. Never having played a Jewish folksong, we had to go back to the chords and crank out a reputable version of the tune. Luckily Paul Kienitz was playing fiddle with us and we came up with a version that sounded a bit Kletzmer and a bit bluegrass. This extended Kletz-Grass dance version of Hava Nagila was the basis for clapping, singing, and the traditional ride by the bride and groom on chairs held high. We were very pleased to be a part of it all.
In the coming months SpareTime has several things on tap. We will be doing the traditional “Geezers New Years” at the Roxbury Tavern. This event has become a Wisconsin tradition, albeit and odd one. We play from 7 to 9 in the evening and the Tavern closes at 10. It’s Midnight somewhere. This year the event is also a benefit. For information about tickets please contact the Roxbury Tavern.
February 13, 2011 will be our annual Bluegrass Benefit for the United Way. This is the 10th anniversary and we are happy to have been a part of it all from the beginning. The usual suspects will be there (Cork and Bottle, Oak Street Ramblers, and special guests). We hope you will be with us.
SpareTime is looking forward to the Madison Area Music Awards (MAMAs) in the spring. The album has been nominated for country CD of the year. Remember the Chicago election mantra—vote early and often.
Thanks to all of you for your continued support. We hope to see you in the future……

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