Local Musicians Pick Six (Part 9)

Trevor Kupfer |

Another trio of local musicians – Jeff Walk, Addie Strei, and Greg Hirsch – pick six songs, albums, and/or artists that have shaped them in some way. An interesting window into the souls and iPods of Chippewa Valley music makers ...

Jeff Walk
Dead Dogs, Walk-Klenz Sextet, Chippewa Valley Jazz Orchestra

Trombone Shorty (Infectious grooves, a mash up all different genres of music and Trombone Shorty's talents deliver a complete package of fresh new sounds that is going in a different direction, in a good way.)

The Budos Band (The Budos Band is an instrumental band that consists of usually 10-13 musicians. They self describe their music as "Afro-Soul." This band has been very influential on my approach to several bands and recoding projects I'm recently involved in.)

Earth, Wind and Fire (My go-to band. EWF always puts me in a good mood and most importantly motivates me to practice. If you get a chance to ever see them live, GO! They are best described by one of their founders, Marice White: "Although we were basically jazz musicians, we played soul, funk, gospel, blues, jazz, rock, and dance music ... which somehow ended up becoming pop. We were coming out of a decade of experimentation, mind expansion, and cosmic awareness. I wanted our music to convey messages of universal love and harmony without force-feeding listeners' spiritual content.")

Louis Armstrong, The "Ambassador Satch" Album (Always imitated never ... There are tons of influential Louis Armstrong recordings to listen to. This one was taken from three different concerts on a US State Department sponsored European tour in 1955. Armstrong’s sound, style, and phrasing are beyond art. It's timeless.)

Sigur Rós (Recently, I have been experimenting with various electronics and pedal effects to alter the sound of my horn. The Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Rós has a lot of minimalist elements that I find very intriguing. Currently listening to the albums Takk... and BA BA TI KI DI DO.)

Buena Vista Social Club (Check out the movie from the library first and then check out the album. It will make you appreciate it even more.)

Addie Strei
Adelyn Rose, The Island of Dr. Lee, Yohuna 

St. Vincent, Year of The Tiger off of Strange Mercy (I have been pretty obsessed with St. Vincent for the past two years. Ask anyone that even kind of knows me. Annie Clark is everything I admire. She is a smart writer, lyrically and musically. She is such a creative writer. She is a great guitar player. She is sexy. She is classy. I like her hair. Like most of Strange Mercy, Year of the Tiger has a great blend of synths and distorted guitar and awesome melodies. I recommend her to everyone. The epitome of girl power.)

David Bazan, Won’t Let Go off of Strange Negotiations (So I guess my two favorites are Strange. This song makes me cry even though I don't think the lyrics are really that sad. For Bazan, that is. I got to see him play at Turf Club this year and it was so awesome. He jumped in the air. But I just listened to this song four times and now I feel pretty depressed. David Bazan will getchya. Time to listen to Parks and Rec theme song three times. Eat cheetos. Play with cat. Better. Next song.)

Bon Iver,  Michicant off of Bon Iver, Bon Iver (I really like songs in three. I really like soft things. I love horn arrangements. This album is epic, and live Beth Rest broke my bones. But this song is fragile and beautiful. Whispering in your ear. Shivers. It feels perfect. So Bon.)

Youth Lagoon, Cannons off of The Year of Hibernation (This song makes me think of summer and warm nights and beer and walks outside and good times. That lo-fi distorted carefree sound was perfect for it and the lyrics about being a kid are little too washed out to distract you when you're hangin. Happy, but not too happy. Because it still felt right in the not so good times.)

Fleet Foxes, The Shrine/An Argument off of Helplessness Blues (Robin Pecknold has a great voice and the way he sings "Sunlight over me no matter what I do!" is a really good thing and that is all I have to say.)

The Antlers, I Don't Want Love off of Burst Apart (I still liked Hospice best, but this is great, too. Using those feel good chords. It could totally be a Tom Petty song. I've heard The Antlers are awesome live, if you hear of them coming to MN or WI, please tell me.

Greg Hirsch
Yam Cannon, Hallie Death March

Leonard Cohen, First We Take Manhattan (I heard this song in a bookstore in Madison in 1991. It was my first exposure to Leonard Cohen's very unique style. Took me three years to find out who it was, since nobody working at the bookstore seemed to know, and there was no Google then.) Video:

Orbital, Satan (Just about anything by Orbital makes great background music. This song in particular is a good fit for dropping artillery rounds on enemy tanks or trimming and watering houseplants.) Video:

My Morning Jacket, Touch Me I'm Going To Scream Pt. 2  (I had never heard of My Morning Jacket before seeing the official video while in loopy, slightly deranged state of mind. The full eight-minute performance is always guaranteed to improve my mood, and most of the tracks from Circuital and Evil Urges have found their way onto my massive random playlist.) Videos: and

The Raconteurs, Broken Boy Soldier (One of my favorite guitar lines of all time. Also, Jack White's wild intensity plus other musicians' tempering influence and high production values equals ... um ... I'm no good at math. Something positive, anyway.) Video:

Tom Waits, Mr. Siegal (The Crawlin' Kingsnakes used to perform this song regularly at Houligans, back when Houligans was a real bar. This makes Ryan Harrington personally responsible for my awareness of Tom Waits. I hope you're proud of yourself, Ryan.) Video:

The Guess Who, No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature (The only Pick of the Six that I learned about from my parents. This has been one of my favorite songs (or two of my favorite songs, depending on how you count it) for over 20 years.) Video:

Journey Ahead

We all get old. In fact, some of us, right at this very moment, ARE old. V1's guide to challenges and opportunities of growing older in the Chippewa Valley. Presented by the ADRC of Eau Claire County