Occidental Gypsy is pioneering the sound of World Gypsy Pop. Their mélange of uptempo, high-energy rhythms of Gypsy, melded with the catchy melodic hooks of Pop delivers a thrilling auditory experience to listeners.
After Rolling Stone and Spin hailed his 1992 release, “Can You Fly” a masterpiece, its success led to a major label deal with Elektra (produced by Butch Vig), for whom Johnston released “This Perfect World in 1994, which included his breakthrough hit, “Bad Reputation”. Other critically acclaimed albums followed and critics have continue to praise Johnston effusively, solidifying his reputation as one of the finest and most singular voices in the singer-songwriter genre. Splitting his time between NYC and Madison, you may have caught Freedy in past years in rare Madison shows with Garbage alums, Butch Vig and Doug Erikson and Madison main-stays James “Pie Cown, Bill “Stick” Bielefeld and Jay Moran in their clandestine cover-band, The Know-It-All-Boyfriends.
Returning to his native home, Chicago, was the catalyst for his newly released sol debut, “Midwest”, which features a highly seasoned group of musicians including violist Eyvind Kant (Bill Frisell, Beck), multi-instrumentalist Mark Spencer (Son Volt), cellist Christopher Hoffman (Henry Threadgill), Seattle singer-songwriter Rachel Harrington and mandolin legend Don Stiernberg.
An active and exciting new songwriter on the Madison and WI scenes, Brandon Beebe was the recent recipient of a 2012 Madison Music Award for "Best New Artist". "Gently finger-picked acoustic guitar and vocals are deceptive; a close listen reveals layers of delicate sounds that are simply a joy to delve into. At times he can seem much older than his years. His lyrics are deeply felt and bear the mark of someone who has a lifetime of experiences to draw from." (Rick Tvedt / Local Sounds Magazine)
Hendrickson's new record, "Walking With Angels", produced by Bo Ramsey (Greg Brown, Lucinda Williams) spent 25 weeks in the Top 20 on Roots Music Report's Folk charts and is in regular rotation at nearly 100 stations across the country including Nashville's award-winning WSM-AM "The Legend".
Though their influences hail from much further south, the Oak Street Ramblers call home the East Side of Madison, WI. A bluegrass band in the tradition of Flatt and Scruggs, Jimmy Martin, and Hazel Dickens, the Oak Street Ramblers specialize in bluegrass stompers, classic country weepers, and originals that, lyrical content aside, wouldn't sound out of place at a barn dance circa 1954.
Sparkling acoustic sounds and powerful contagious chemistry, Patchouli’s down-to-earth, hopeful songwriting is “New American Folk” blending elements of folk, pop, flamenco and jazz with world beat rhythms. Their sound has been described as “the harmonies of Simon & Garfunkel meet the guitar brilliance of the Gipsy Kings. After 12 years of non-stop touring and the release of their 15th CD, "Terra Guitarra: Dragonfly", Patchouli has truly earned the title, “the hardest working folk duo in America”.