|By SNANNON VENEGAS - Special to TimeOut||
August 29, 2013
WAUKESHA - With a
name based off the locally popular Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, The Blue
Ribbon Band has fun written all over them. This rock and blues cover
band will perform on the The Freeman-Thomas Press stage at this
week’s Waukesha’s Freeman Friday Night Live.
Madeline Goodwill said they picked the band’s name because they are
a Milwaukee band and play blues music, so the name seemed like a good
fit. Co-lead singer Andrew Holm, who is also Goodwill’s cousin,
added that the band used to drink Pabst Blue Ribbon beer while they
“It’s a beer
you drink when you’re listening to rock, Summerfest. It’s
bluesy,” Holm said.
The Blue Ribbon
Band started three years ago and includes five members who are all
interconnected by family and friendships. In addition to Holm and
Goodwill on vocals, the band includes bassist Tim Pruess, guitarist
Tim Wright and his father, Charlie Wright, on drums.
and Holm were all musically interconnected throughout high school,
especially with Goodwill and Holm always involved in choir and
musicals. Pruess joined the group for a talent show where they
performed a Dave Matthews song. Holm said that was their first
“taste of what it’s like to have a band.”
After parting ways
following high school, the group eventually came back together several
years ago, and was joined by Charlie Wright, who used to play drums
Many of the
members grew up listening to older rock and blues music, which makes
up a large portion of what they play. Goodwill’s father was in a
band and gave Goodwill her first record at the age of 7.
“He got me
listening to great stuff from a young age,” she said.
The band plays a
mix of old and new music, including hits from the
Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Black Keys and Grace Potter.
“We kind of just
play whatever we like,” Goodwill said. “Usually that’s older
stuff. But if we hear a great song on the radio we’ll put it
Some of their
older hits include “Statesboro Blues” by the Allman Brothers Band
and a song that melds together Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love”
and The Doors’ “Roadhouse Blues.” Some of their more current
songs that Goodwill highlighted include “Gold on the Ceiling” by
the Black Keys and Grace Potter’s “Paris.”
their Beatles choices are part of the aspects that set them apart from
“We play Beatles
songs that not a typical covers band does,” Goodwill said. “We
typically stay away from some of that top 40, but we also don’t play
only old stuff. People will come up and say I never hear this stuff
anymore, but younger people love us, too, because they grew up
listening to it, too.”
Another one of the
features that sets this band apart is their combination of male and
female lead singers. Goodwill said their voices are very different so
listeners get a taste of all different sounds. Holm and Goodwill like
to mix it up, usually splitting up the singing while other times
Holm added that in
addition to their unique singing, the rest of the band members bring a
whole set of talent to the stage.
“Our drummer is
in his 50s, but he brings that old style to our band, that good ol’
rock ‘n’ roll style,” Holm said. “Tim, our lead guitarist, is
jazz-trained and has his musical degree, so he brings a whole
different game to playing the guitar. He’s so young, but he knows so
much already. He doesn’t play jazz, but he adds this tone to playing
the guitar that’s all his own. Even our own bass player has his own
style, and it gets noticed, too.”
And with their
history of friendship and talent, the Blue Ribbon Band joins great
sound with great chemistry.
“The guys and I
get along so well,” Goodwill said. “There’s no issues with ego.
When we have band practice, we spend most of the time laughing