The Beef-A-Roo Experience's seven-track disc, "John Denver Omelet," is out now, according to main man Ron Faiola -- drummer, singer and guitarist -- who was a member of Couch Flambeau back in the day.
The disc features six Cheap Trick covers and a version of Screamin' Jay Hawkins' "Bite It," which, unsurprisingly, also has a C.T. pedigree.
Also in the ad hoc rock outfit are veterans like Jay Tiller (Couch Flambeau), Dale Kaminski (Liquid Pink), Lisa Jebson and Germany's Kai Fritzschen. Milwaukee musical trainspotters may note that this is the first time former bandmates Tiller and Faiola have recorded together in 18 years.
Faiola has long been a Cheap Trick fan and produced two volumes of the multi-disc "AMCT" Cheap Trick tribute series.
"In March 2001 Kai was here in the U.S. to see Cheap Trick play in Milwaukee, Green Bay and Rockford," Faiola says. "Since Kai knew I had been in a Cheap Trick cover band -- Chick Treat with Tiller, (Die Kreuzen and Decapitado's) Dan Kubinski and Rockhaus Guitars' Greg Kurschewski -- he asked if he and I could record a Cheap Trick cover for the "AMCT Volume 4" CD.
"To round out the band, I asked Dale Kaminski to play bass and our friend Lisa Jebsen from Texas was coming in for the same shows and I asked her to do the vocals."
Jebsen was a good choice; she sounds alarmingly like Cheap Trick lead singer Robin Zander on some tunes.
"The hardest part of a CT song is the vocals and since Lisa is an actress, doing musicals and such, I thought she'd be able to handle Robin Zander's vocal range," says Faiola. "Boy did she ever!"
To their credit, the Beef-A-Roos don't do the covers you'd expect on "John Denver Omelet," which was recorded when everyone got together in Milwaukee in February to witness Cheap Trick's two-night stand at Potawatomi Casino. In fact, they've mined much of the material from lesser-appreciated Cheap Trick discs. And the Hawkins song is a tune that CT often performed onstage.
"(CT drummer) Bun E. (Carlos) was curious about the song selection," says Faiola, "and impressed that we were doing 'post-Budokan' songs; stuff from later in the catalog."
In fact, Faiola says, Cheap Trick has been curious and supportive of tributes like the AMCT series and The Beef-A-Roo Experience.
OK, let's get to the real issue. What the heck does the name mean?
"The name came about during recording," says Faiola. "We were in Rockford for the Cheap Trick show, and I was videotaping bits for a music video for the song we were doing. We spent some time at the Beef-A-Roo restaurant where they have a Cheap Trick shrine. I was thinking of names and knew of the Bun E. Carlos Experience, so we became the Beef-A-Roo Experience. I'm going to drop off a copy of the CD at the Beef-A-Roo in Rockford. Maybe they'll put it on the CT shrine."
If you're hoping to see The Beef-A-Roo Experience live, you might have to wait. With one member living in Europe and another in Texas, gigs are hard to arrange.
"If Kai and Lisa lived in Milwaukee, we'd play out live. We almost scheduled a gig this time. But time didn't allow," Faiola says.
The Beef-A-Roo Experience Web site is cheaptribute.com.
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Bobby Tanzilo
Published March 27, 2015
Milwaukee's Chalice in the Palace breathes some life into the city's wanting reggae music scene with regular record spins featuring a wide variety of Jamaican sounds at area clubs.
Published March 26, 2015
I was a little disappointed the first time I stepped into Henry Koch's 1870 Calvary Presbyterian Church - that soaring red building on 10th and Wisconsin. The sanctuary has been completed remodeled and modernized. The pews are gone, replaced by stacks of movable chairs. The wooden chancel isn't ornately adorned as one might expect in a 150-year-old church, and the new hardwood floors gleam rather than creak with accumulated history. But, then, Pastor Mark McDonough converted me.
Published March 25, 2015
In all of the discussions of the siting of a new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks, the discussion has been about connecting to Wisconsin Avenue and points south of the current Bradley Center. But, let's not ignore the other side.
Published March 25, 2015
In recent years, Milwaukee Public Library has been building for the future, replacing aged branches with mixed-use developments that ensure the libraries will be community fixtures for years to come. For its next project, MPL is moving the Forest Home branch into the future by reviving an old South Side neighborhood gem.
Published March 20, 2015
Scattered around the Milwaukee area are roughly two dozen eye-catching stone cottages that look like they could've been moved from Normandy. But, you might be surprised to learn they were designed by a New York architect who also designed the Big Apple's Singer Building, a 47-story skyscraper that was, for three years, the tallest building in the world.
Published March 18, 2015
Old newspaper ads for Milwaukee clubs open a world of unwritten history.
Published March 18, 2015
Dosing its rootsy rock and roll with a shot of country and etheral, melodic pop Milwaukee's Great Lake Drifters have created a sound that is difficult to pin down. With a brand new CD, " Radio Picture Show," the band takes part in this weekend's Equinox Music Festival at Linneman's in Riverwest. We chatted with a couple of the band's members about GLD, about "Radio Picture Show" and about Equinox.
Published March 17, 2015
Nine unforgettable places to rent some shoes in Brew City.
Published March 16, 2015
Milwaukee Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Darienne Driver is one of nearly a dozen leaders of urban school districts headed to the White House this morning to meet with President Barack Obama as part of the Council of the Great City Schools' three-day annual legislative/policy conference in Washington.
Published March 13, 2015
Writing these past two weeks about disappeared Milwaukee rock clubs and Downtown in the 1980s has me a little bleary eyed with nostalgia. And my Milwaukee reminiscences almost always lead straight back to one building in Walker's Point.