United Way Concert

January 13th, 2010 2:51 PM


Hello All,
SpareTime is proud to announce the 9th Annual United Way Bluegrass Concert. The event is on Sunday, February 14th at the Barrymore, starting at 1:00 p.m.
We’ve been lucky enough to have been involved in this event since its inception. We’ve invited other bands to share the stage and bring out the bluegrass community in an effort to assist the United Way in bringing its many services to the community. This year the family friendly event features Dave Laundau, Cork ‘N Bottle String Band, The Oak Street Rambler, and SpareTime. The ticket prices remain unchanged at $10 for adults, $5 for children, or $20 for families.
The concert is a great afternoon of local bluegrass and a fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
We hope to see you there.
——–SpareTime Bluegrass Band

SpareTime Holiday CD

December 20th, 2009 9:51 AM

Hi All,

We had a great time at the Roxbury Tavern on Dec. 6th and played a surprise gig at the Frequency in Madison on Dec. 17th.  Our X mas songs were a big hit and Lorie thinks we should do a holiday CD.  So we need some holiday songs you’d like to hear done by SpareTime.

We have 3 songs so far:

  • Please, Daddy don’t get drunk this Christmas
  • Angels we have heard on high (instrumental)
  • Merry X-mas from the Family

What holiday songs would you like?  Add your comments below and we hope to have a CD ready for the Holidays 2010.

Thanks…..SpareTime Bluegrass

Where to be on Dec. 6th!

December 2nd, 2009 6:52 PM

dessertpartydec6No Packer game on Sunday, so head out to Roxbury.

Sam’s Music Club is presenting a benefit for the Northwest Dane Senior Center featuring, in order of appearance, Lisa’s Lovely Desserts and the SpareTime Bluegrass Band.

Roxbury Tavern, December 6, 3:00-6:00 pm. $10 at the door. http://www.roxburytavern.com/

SpareTime Wins MAMA

May 13th, 2007 11:36 AM

mamas_logoSpareTime Bluegrass is proud to announce that its latest CD, “Bluegrass Matinee,” won Best Country/Bluegrass Album of the Year at the Madison Area Music Awards (MAMA) in its fourth annual awards ceremony held at the Barrymore Theatre in Madison, WI on May 12, 2007.

The MAMAs recognizes local music and musicians of all genres, at the same time raising money for the purchase of musical instruments for young people and promoting music in the schools.
SpareTime is happy to be recognized by the MAMAs and be a part of their laudable efforts.

6th Annual United Way Bluegrass Show

February 2nd, 2007 10:15 AM

6th.united.way.showThe SpareTime Bluegrass Band is headlining the 6th annual United Way benefit concert on Sunday, February 11th. During the afternoon, they will be turning the stage over to the always energetic Lonesome Rogues, and the perrenial masters of entertainment and surprise, The Cork ‘n’ Bottle String Band.

The attached PDF poster gives the details about time, price and the Barrymore’s address, so don’t miss this chance to lend support to those in our community who could use a helping hand. It’s a great way to spend a cold Sunday getting a warm feeling and sharing the day with our great and generous local bluegrass musicians.

Hope to see y’all there.

Steeno’s Gone: SpareTime Continues

October 11th, 2004 9:30 AM

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!!!!

September 1st, 2004 9:28 AM

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?

January 1st, 2004 9:35 AM

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”…..is 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……..