Archive for the ‘Band Updates’ Category

Steeno’s Gone: SpareTime Continues

Monday, October 11th, 2004

The Steeno’s have now moved to Florida where they are basking in a tropical paradise. To contact them please see the “Contact us” page.

SpareTime continues and welcomes bass player Lorie Docken to the band. She has been the “back-up” bassist for 2 years and takes over the job full-time (well part-time since we are only SpareTime).

Other musician friends are gracing us with their presence on the stage. This adds new songs to the repertoire with different voices and instruments.

The Labor Day weekend gig at the Roxbury Tavern featured Jim and Laura Lotridge and young Dane . Jim and Laura play with Kevin Tubb and the Welldiggers and also with the perennial local bluegrass band, Pat Downings’ Down from the Hills.

The September Hody Bar gig featured mandolin and tenor singer Dale Ward . Dale regularly practices and plays with Jefferson County .

The October Hody Bar gig includes Madison bluegrass all-stars George Diak on mandolin and Scott Shank on Dobro. George and Scott have both played with SpareTime before. Having them again adds volumes of songs to the list.

Stay tuned to see who else stops in……

No Way!!!!

Wednesday, September 1st, 2004

Big transformations are happening to the SpareTime bunch as Bob & Lisa Steeno change addresses. Bobby has taken an early retirement and they are moving to a et to be built cottage on Florida’s panhandle. The remaining band, Bob Batyko & Jim Robarts, will be using various sit in guests to continue the SpareTime tradition. The Steeno’s are already planning the reunion gigs next summer with appearances at Flatrock and the Bluegrass Bash on the agenda.

A good-bye Steeno gig is planned for the breakfast brunch at the Eldorado on Sunday Sept. 12 th . The Steeno’s and friends will perform. Then we’ll wave good-bye (ie Dorothy and the wizard leaving for Kansas) as the Steeno van and pop-up leave Wisconsin for the start of retirement in Florida.

Remember Steeno’s, there’s no place like home….. So the road goes on forever and SpareTime never ends….

Sparetime Bluegrass: Who Are These Guys?

Thursday, January 1st, 2004

The SpareTime Bluegrass Band 2004

The name is indicative of both the state of bluegrass music and the fact that everyone has an actual job. Years ago the Country Gazette released an album titled “Don’t give Up Your Day Job”-a joshing reminder to bluegrass artists of where there priorities might lay. SpareTime, no fools, took the advice to heart and dedicated themselves to having Bluegrass fun in their “Spare Time.”

“Ten years ago on a cold, dark night”… a wonderful opening line for a song, and has relevance to The SpareTime Bluegrass Band as an indicator of how much time has passed for the band. It was some ten years ago (the origins are hazy-indicating much beer under the bridge) that SpareTime was formed by Dave Carper, Steve “Buck “Bethel, Bob Batyko, and Bobby Steeno. Over the years other musicians have cycled through the group, most notably Sims Delaney-Potthoff, Jennifer Little, and Scott R. Shank. Other musicians were “Spare Parts” for the band-a loose mélange of players brought in on special occasions. George Diak, Lorie Docken, and Mike Schmidt spared their time to be with the band.

Today the core lineup is:
Bob Batyko: guitar,
Bobby Steeno: mandolin,
Lisa Steeno: bass, and
Jim Robarts: banjo.
The last year has seen Rebecca Patek on fiddle for various dates.

The band is thoroughly grounded in “traditional” bluegrass and performs numbers from Monroe, Flatt & Scruggs, the Stanley Brothers, and Jimmy Martin. SpareTime also dips into numbers by Robbie Fulks, the Rolling Stones, Blind Faith, and Bob Dylan (with occasional forays in John Hartford and polka music). In short the mix is eclectic, but rooted in a bluegrass instrumentation and sensibility.

Given that the bluegrass world is a small, cohesive mix of professional and semi-professional bands, the SpareTime Bluegrass Band has appeared on bills with Del McCoury, James King, Special Consensus, David Davis & the Warrior River Boys, and Lynne Morris. Of course SpareTime has played its share of weddings, bars, church bazaars, water parks, and birthday parties. Once they even backed up an older gentleman on musical saw (mercifully for only one song and suffering the criticisms of the saw “artist” when they didn’t seem to pick up the musical key quickly enough). In the words of the Grateful Dead, “What a long strange trip it’s been.”

On the personal front everyone has a college education, everyone has adult children no longer living at home. Everyone has a job. Everyone (amazingly) has a full head of hair. On the individual, personal front……..