Mike O'Brien


Content By This Contributor:

WHYS Radio Presents Donna The Buffalo

Wed. Nov. 21st, 2018

Blending Cajun, reggae, folk, rock and jam, Donna The Buffalo takes roots to new heights. Dynamic and dance-able, their concerts are packed with energy soul and oneness. Touring for nearing 20 years ...

Blue Ox Music Festival 2018

Tue. Jun. 19th, 2018

The fourth annual installment of the Blue Ox Music Festival celebrated the best of bluegrass, roots, and Americana music right outside of Eau Claire, June 14–16.

The Daily Shakedown

Wed. Dec. 6th, 2017

Blue Ox Unleashes 2018 Lineup

Eric Christenson, photos by Mike O'Brien

For its fourth year, the Blue Ox Music Festival is back with a loaded lineup of rootsy greats to come play some tunes in the pine and hardwood forests just outside of Eau Claire. Hosted by Minneapolis band Pert Near Sandstone ...

Thu. Jul. 27th, 2017

Opening Shot | July 26, 2017

photos by Mike O'Brien

The House of Rock on Water Street closed its doors after 17 years of live local music with a massive “Last Call” show – a two-night affair (July 21 and 22) with 27 bands giving the venue a proper send-off. Above: Guitarist Matt Florence performs with The Nicotines, who reunited to rock one last time on the House of Rock stage.

Blue Ox Music Festival 2017

Mon. Jun. 12th, 2017

The third annual installment of the Blue Ox Music Festival celebrated the best of bluegrass, roots, and Americana music right outside of Eau Claire, June 8–10.

Wed. May. 31st, 2017

5 Huge Local Festivals Bring the Heat With Musical Greats

V1 Staff, photos by Mike O'Brien, Luong Huynh

Bluegrass, for being a somewhat niche genre, has a passionate, open, and fun-loving audience all over the globe. So it’s no surprise that the Blue Ox Music Festival, now in its third year, is quickly gaining fiery support in the area and reverberating across the country as one of the best ...

Blue Ox Festival 2017 Pre-Party

Tue. May. 23rd, 2017

On Thursday, May 18th a special evening with the music of Blue Ox Music Festival took place at The Lismore Hotel. Featuring Sam Bush, Pert Near Sandstone, Dead Horses, and Them Coulee Boys.

Pit Wagon CD Release @The Venue

Tue. May. 23rd, 2017

On Saturday, May 20 Pit Wagon's vinyl release show with spoken word from Mike Danielson and tunes from Zach Hoff took place at The Venue. Ben Lester and Mike Noyce, who played some tracks on the record, were also sitting in.

LazyLightning420 @The Mousetrap

Mon. Mar. 13th, 2017

The guitar player from Too Many Banjos and the mandolin player from Trampled by Turtles join forces to form LazyLightning420 – and they played at the Mousetrap in downtown Eau Claire on March 10.

Marcia Ball @The Lakely

Mon. Mar. 6th, 2017

At The Lakely in downtown Eau Claire on Sunday night, March 5, Chef Nathan Berg prepared aa five-course dinner to pair with nationally-touring sensation Marcia Ball and her band ...

The Daily Shakedown

Tue. Jan. 17th, 2017

Big Bluegrass for Blue Ox 2017

Eric Christenson, photos by Mike O'Brien

The lineup for the third annual Blue Ox Music Festival was released this morning, and it definitely keeps up its trend of curating one of the finest roots and bluegrass festivals in the country amongst the pine trees ...

Wed. Dec. 14th, 2016

All That Jazz

Tom Giffey, photos by Mike O'Brien

public TV documentary highlights EC Jazz Festival

Phil Cook at The Lismore

Fri. Aug. 12th, 2016

At a special, limited capacity show to celebrate the start of the 2016 Eaux Claires Music & Arts festival, Phil Cook brought a unique version of his latest project “Southland Revue” to perform with collaborators of this year’s fest – at The Lismore Hotel ...

Wed. Jun. 1st, 2016

2016 Summer Music Schedule

James Johonnott, photos by Mike O'Brien

all the wheres and whens for summer music in the Chippewa Valley

Thu. Aug. 20th, 2015

Renowned Musical Teamwork

Eric Christenson, photos by Mike O'Brien

Sue Orfield teams up with Ellen Whyte for CVCTV show

Michael Perry & The Long Beds @Sue Orfield Show

Mon. May. 18th, 2015

On Thursday, May 14, the Sue Orfield Show filmed an episode featuring Michael Perry and the Long Beds at The Heyde Center for the Arts in Chippewa Falls. The Sue Orfield Show airs on Chippewa Valley Community Television and online.

Fri. Nov. 14th, 2014

The Last Waltz Again

Tshego Tee Letsoalo, photos by Mike O'Brien

local musicians come together for annual tribute to The Band

7th Annual Blues on the Chippewa

Tue. Aug. 5th, 2014

Each year numerous musicians and music lovers from all over the country gather in Durand's Memorial Park for the Annual Blues on the Chippewa. Blues on the Chippewa provides supplemental funding for the Pepin County Food Pantry & Brent Titus Music f

Wed. Apr. 16th, 2014

Holy Snowshoes, Eau Claire!

Allison Puestow, photos by Mike O'Brien

I know we’re pretty sick of snow by now, and the mere mention of the word is becoming forbidden, but bear with me for a moment, because this is pretty exciting. The United States Snowshoe Association has chosen Eau Claire to host ...

Decadent Cabaret 2013: Friday Night

Tue. Mar. 5th, 2013

The Eau Claire House of Rock hosted the city's largest local music festival, Decadent Cabaret 2013, across February 28, March 1, and March 2 – with area artists and bands doing cover sets on all three nights. These shots are from Friday, March 1.

Nuthin' But Cash 2013

Tue. Feb. 19th, 2013

The 2nd annual "Nuthin' But Cash" featuring over 25 area musicians performing their renditions of Johnny Cash, June Carter Cash, and Roseann Cash songs to benefit the non-profit organization Blues on the Chippewa took place on Sunday, February 17 at

Wed. Feb. 13th, 2013

Here Comes the Cabaret

Thom Fountain, photos by Mike O'Brien

The air seems to get a little more energetic around the end of February as bands around the Chippewa Valley start channeling their favorite musicians in preparation for Decadent Cabaret. The three-day festival – in its 34th year – showcases ...

Thu. Jan. 31st, 2013

Vernon and the Blues

Thom Fountain, photos by Mike O'Brien

Shouting Matches return to play Coachella 2013

The Daily Shakedown

Fri. Jan. 25th, 2013

The Shouting Matches return to play Coachella 2013

Thom Fountain, photos by Mike O'Brien

Possibly the most mysterious of Justin Vernon’s array of endeavors and side projects and appearances may see a bit more light this year. The Shouting Matches – the drunken, bluesy duo that has stayed the most local of any of Vernon’s groups ...

Wed. Nov. 28th, 2012

Opening Shot | Nov. 29, 2012

photos by Mike O'Brien

For the third year in a row, Billy Angell organized Stage Fright: A Tribute to The Last Waltz – The Band’s legendary Thanksgiving Day concert from 1976, starring a cast of area musicians.

Stage Fright 3 (2012)

Mon. Nov. 26th, 2012

For the third year in a row, local keyboardist and music scene veteran Billy Angell organized Stage Fright: A Tribute to The Last Waltz – The Band’s legendary Thanksgiving Day concert from 1976, starring a cast of Chippewa Valley musicians ...

Lust for Blues V

Mon. Mar. 12th, 2012

Held on Sunday, March 11, this year's Lust for Blues benifit for the Chippewa Valley Blues Society featured Mary Cutrufello, Howard "Guitar" Luedtke, and Ross William Perry.

Decadent Cabaret 2012, Friday Night

Mon. Mar. 5th, 2012

Friday, March 2 saw one of the 2012 installments of Decadent Cabaret at the House of Rock. It was the second night of Eau Claire's longest-running locally-focused rock music festival, notorious for landmark moments and phenomenal performances ...

The Daily Shakedown

Wed. Feb. 1st, 2012

How are teachers trying to salvage music education?

Lauren Kurkowski, photos by Mike O'Brien

After the controversial shake up of Eau Claire School District music teachers a few years back – shuffling teachers from long-established programs into different schools and letting some people go – we all wondered about the future of local music ...

Nuthin But Cash: A Benefit for Blues on the Chippewa

Tue. Jan. 31st, 2012

On Sunday, January 29, "Nuthin But Cash" took place at Shari's Chippewa Club in Durand. A benefit for Blues on the Chippewa, this event featured area musicians offering their renditions of Johnny Cash songs, plus raffles and a silent auction.

Super Happy Funtime Burlesque Show @House of Rock

Mon. Sep. 19th, 2011

The Super Happy Funtime Burlesque Show came to The Eau Claire House of Rock on Thursday, September 15, billed as "the biggest and best comedy music cabaret and burlesque show in the Midwest that does striptease and magic from theaters in ...

Mon. Jul. 18th, 2011

Blues on the Chippewa

Emily Anderson, photos by Mike O'Brien

fourth-annual blues festival to feature 18 bands in two days

Mon. Jun. 20th, 2011

Keep On Rollin'

Allison Schrader, photos by Mike O'Brien

the Roller Girls gear up for second season

The Daily Shakedown

Wed. Jun. 15th, 2011

Chippewa Valley Roller Girls gearing up for season two

Allison Schrader, photos by Mike O'Brien, Kimberly Youngberg

Chances are you may have cheered the girls on flying up and down the track at the Eau Claire Indoor Sports Center. For those of you haven’t yet experienced the magic that is roller derby, you’re missing out. Right now, recruitment is a top priority.

Thu. Mar. 17th, 2011

Keeping Your Cool

Matt Ledger, photos by Mike O'Brien

Lucas K & the Cool Hand Saints funk up the Sheeley House

Eau Claire Workers Rights Rally, March 5, 2011

Mon. Mar. 7th, 2011

While local media reported the head count to be a little higher, organizers counted 1,585 people gathered in front of the Holiday Inn on Eau Claire’s Craig Road to rally in support of worker’s rights on Saturday, March 5, 2011– firefighters ...