Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Where did the summer go?

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

Here we are seeing the first of the fall weather. Thoughts of the summer gigs are still with us and thanks to all who came out. We are working on learning some new tunes, reworking some old tunes and getting back into the studio for the 1st SpareTime Bluegrass CD with Lisa.
Keep an eye open for us and we’ll be watching for you. See you soon.

Spring-Summer 2013

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Where does the time go?  Here we are looking at the Spring and Summer gigs for SpareTime.  They include stops at Capital Brewery, Whole Foods, The Frequency, The Roxbury Tavern and a visit to Portage with other dates still being booked.  We are hard at work on a new CD that will have some original instrumentals, classic bluegrass and of course SpareTime’s versions of tunes you have heard before.  We are pleased to include Lisa Case-Doro on the CD and in the SpareTime line-up. Having Lisa & Lorie in the band has lowered the average age and improved the appearance of the band.

We are still “havin’ a good time”.  Stop by and see us when you can.

Winter 2012-13

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

We are waiting on Spring sometime in June. We made it to Roxbury for “Geezers New Years Eve” & the United Way Benefit at the Barrymore in Feb. (best attendance ever). Now we wait……

Summer 2012

Sunday, May 6th, 2012

SpareTime is prepping for a busy summer.
So busy, we will be taking off the 3rd Thursdays at the Frequency till August. So stop by on May 17th for our last Frequency appearance until the end of the summer.
See you there or see us at the Capital Brewery, Memorial Union Terrace, Whole Foods or the Tyranena Brewery this summer.

See us on the YouTube

Friday, November 25th, 2011

See us playing live .

Fall 2011

Sunday, October 16th, 2011

SpareTime has a guest fiddler. Lisa Case D0ro will be singing and playing with the boys (& Lorie). Lisa is from Evansville, Indiana, where she was a Suzuki violin student. She has been a member of various orchestras there and in her subsequent travels.
She moved to Nashville and worked as an engineer at the Saturn Car Company. Her coworkers had a band and needed a fiddle player. So she learned some Bluegrass and country music on the fiddle. While in Nashville she worked with up and coming singer songwriter Jamie Spencer in various venues.
A move to Ann Arbor brought her into the group Bill Bynum & Co. Bynum, a superb songwriter/performer, gave her an opportunity to plumb bluegrass, folk, and alt country. It also showcased her vocal talent.
Now she’s in Madison and returning to music after raising her daughter to a pre-school age. It’s SpareTime’s luck that she’s joining with us to bring new harmonies, and a bit of Alison Krauss and Kenny Baker. Come hear and meet her with us at Boo Grass at the High Noon Saloon on Oct 29th or at the Roxbury Tavern on Oct 30th.

Spring/Summer 2011

Monday, April 11th, 2011

SpareTime has been involved with a couple of events linked to the recent and continuing political fight at the Capitol in Madison.  We were involved in the “Pickers Local 608” YouTube rendition of “There is Power in the Union”.  This featured a large group of local players at Audio for the Arts studio playing in support of union rights.

We also performed on April 3rd at the Barrymore for the Forward Wisconsin Fest put on by the Stagehands IATSE local 251.  It was a diverse day of music and fun that also signaled our support for good and sane government in Wisconsin.

On a lighter note—SpareTime is going “Up Nort” with a swing through the Upper Penninsula and Northern Wisconsin in June.  On June 23rd we will be in Iron Mountain, Michigan for their Off the Square series of concerts.  The performance will be downtown and start at 11:30 a.m.  We have been there four times and always have a great time.

On June 24th we will be a few miles down the road in Florence, Wisconsin for an evening performance.  This is the second time we have played there and the performance starts in the evening on the main road.

Saturday June 25th we will play at the revived Flatrock Bluegrass Festival, this year held at Thorntons Resort & Rafting Company in Crivitz, Wisconsin.  We’ve lost count of our number of appearances at the festival.  We always love the audience.  It gives us a chance to hook up with old friends, in a friendly locale.

We have been and will continue to play at the Frequency (121 W. Main St. Madison) from 6 to 8 p.m. every 3rd Thursday of the month.  As part of the gig we try to feature great local talent during our break.  We have shared the stage with “Off the Porch” a trio of fine women singers (they definitely have voice).  April will see the Northern Pikers String Band bring their bluegrass to the stage.  May brings talent originally from Michigan.  Bill Bynum & Company will perform.

The Frequency is definitely a great place to see music.  The sound is good.  The concert is early enough on a work night.  We love playing there.

A word about the Madison Area Music Awards (MAMA).  We have won awards and 2007 and 2008.  This year we are in the final rounds in three categories—Best County/Bluegrass CD of the year, Best Ensemble Vocals, and Cover Song (for our version of George Harrison’s “If I Needed Someone”).  The nominations are due to our “Someone to Love” CD, released earlier this year.

You can visit the Madison Area Music Association at  for information on the MAMA and how to vote.  Any money generated goes to the purchase and placement of musical instruments into the schools and the hands of school children.  The whole thing gives the local music scene and opportunity to keep the music going and getting young people involved.

See you down the road.

United Way Concert 2011

Sunday, February 6th, 2011

UnitedWayBluegrass11The SpareTime Bluegrass Band is proud to announce its participation in the 10th Annual United Way Bluegrass Concert. The Event, held at the Barrymore, will take place at 1:00 p.m. on February 13th.
Since the initial concert, SpareTime has had the pleasure of inviting other area groups and individuals to be part of the music and join in the benefit concert that benefits the local efforts of United Way in assisting area residents. This year the lineup includes Dave Landau with his popular show for children at 1:00 p.m. Dave is a consistent winner in the Best of Madison for Children’s Entertainer, but, more than that, a consistent favorite with youngsters.
The Cork ‘n Bottle String Band is also on the bill. The Corks have been Madison bluegrass favorite for decades. Their tenure at Ken’s Bar, the Memorial Union, and other venues has led to the formation of a loyal band of Corkheads eager to listen and watch the Cork ‘n Bottle in action. Think of solid musicianship and great tunes. If you ever wondered what a bluegrass Marx Brothers band would be like, come to the Barrymore.
The Oak Street Ramblers are again a group taking a part in the concert. the Ramblers have been a mainstay at the Alchemy and the Malt House for several years. This is a relatively young bluegrass band, but one that has been gaining in popularity for some time. Prepare yourself for beautiful harmonies and solid instrumentals. The group is currently mixing its first album. Come out and get a preview of the songs.
SpareTime Bluegrass Band has been involved in all ten concerts. The two-time Madison Area Music Award winners have hosted the event. The group is equally adept at traditional bluegrass and material and sources as diverse as the Beatles, George Jones, and Blind Faith.
The cost of the kid friendly concert is $10.00 for adults, $5.00 for children over five years of age. Children under five are free. The cost for a family is $20.00 (or the above cost, whichever is lower). The Barrymore Theater always had great snacks and beverages, and has welcomed this concert with open arms. Come out for an afternoon of fun.

Sunday, December 5th, 2010

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……

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

It is almost here!!!
The newest SpareTime CD “Someone to LoveSomeone to Love” will be released on May 23rd. Join us that Sunday at the Roxbury Tavern from 5 till 7 for our CD Release Party. All of our CD’s will be available for the rare price of 2 for $10. We recorded most of the CD live at the United Way benefit at the Barrymore Theatre with some additional selections from our show at the Frequency.
Come by and help celebrate 16 years of SpareTime and our newest project.