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Bucky Halker’s new all-originals recording Wisconsin 2-13-63, Volume 2, with guest appearances from some of Chicago’s finest musicians was released in early 2009. Listen to the album
At last! After two CDs and a decade of performing worker protest songs, as well as lecturing and writing about the subject, I was aching to get into the studio with my own songs. Late in 2003 I jumped in! I may have been too ambitious for my own good, but I really wanted to do a studio project that covered a lot of stylistic ground, relied on more detailed arrangements, and utilized the skills of several of Chicago’s best musicians.
The songs on both volumes 1 and 2 stylistically range from straight country, to jazz, to jingly-jangly pop rock, to New Orleans R&B, to Tex Mex, to folkrock, to straight-ahead rock. There are string sections on a few tunes and horns galore on others, plus ample doses of vocal harmonies, pedal steel guitars, mandolin, electric guitars, Hammond B-3 organ, and dobro and lap steel. Very little overt lyrical politics on this one.
There’s guest appearances on Volumes 1 and 2 from legendary jazz violinist Johnny Frigo, mandolin master Don Stiernberg, Janet Bean (11th Dream Day/Freakwater), Pickles Piekarksi (John Prine), Sue Demel (Sons of the Never Wrong) Paul Mertens (Poi Dog Pondering/Brian Wilson), Jim Cox (Marian McPartland), Brian Wilke and Steve Doyle(Hoyle Bros.), Paulinho Garcia, Doug Scharf (Svengoolie’s music director!), Steve Rashid, Gordon Patriarca & Rich Parenti (Remainders), James Sanders, Kat Eggleston, Andy Dee, and Brother John Kattke (Buddy Guy’s Legends House Band). Of course, my basic core band from 2003-2005 is also here with Drew Enselman, Marshall Dawson, and Dan Polonsky.
“Wisconsin 2-13-63 is a splendid collection of Americana songs. Very agreeable indeed.” (Le Cri Du Coyote, France, November 2006)
“Beautiful songs and arrangements. Halker has offered us an especially successful CD.” (Concerto, Austria, August 2006)
“Lake Superior alt country twanger’s superior CD . . . An exceptional CD!” (Properganda U.K August 2006)
Listen to – Wisconsin, 2-13-63, volume 2
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