Welcome to a locally focused, mini edition of the gig roundup.
Scott Meissner is a self-described, "Musician, singer, songwriter, producer, arranger, audio engineer, art director, sound technician, sales & marketing department, coffee go-getter, studio grunt and all-around good guy!"
And all of those things are in evidence on his debut disc, "On the Edge of Something?" released under the name Majestic Mudd. Meissner celebrates the arrival of the disc with a gig on Friday, Jan. 9 at John Harbor's Main Street Coffee House, N88 W16521 Main St., in Menomonee Falls.
Mixing acoustic guitars and melodies in a style reminiscent of his influences like Willy Porter, Ben Harper and Jars of Clay, "On the Edge of Something?" is an adult alternative acoustic gem.
To create the 11-track disc -- which Meissner has said is a tribute to his late elder brothers David and Jeff who were his musical mentors -- the singer and songwriter called on a host of friends, including Steve Chmielewski and Eric Madunic -- his collaborators in the cover band Old Mil -- Chuck Brummond and Greg Knaebe.
"Dave and Jeff, were, and still are the greatest guitarists and musicians I have ever had the opportunity to witness," Meissner has said. "I learned to play several instruments and write songs mainly from my two older brothers. They were and will always be my heroes, my role models, my teachers, and my mentors. Both of my brothers have inspired so many and have left a huge footprint on this world in such a short time."
Meissner produced and engineered the disc at his own Big Meiss Studio.
Some other Milwaukee area bands gigging this weekend include:
The .357 String Band -- which seems to be in constant touring mode -- returns home for a gig at Turner Hall Ballroom on Saturday, Jan. 10 at 8 p.m.
The cowpunk bluegrass outfit hasn't played Milwaukee in six months and has since completed its third European tour -- as well as a long string of U.S. dates. All of that was in support of the band's great 15-song sophomore effort, "Fire and Hail."
Also on the bill are Nashville's Black Diamond Heavies and Joe Buck Yourself of Th' Legendary Shack Shakers.
It's a quiet week down at the Cactus Club in Bay View, but the lights are switched on Friday, Jan. 9 for a 10 p.m. gig with 1956, Nolo Contendere and Certain Stars.
On the same night, Milwaukee's own hard rockin' Chief -- with Chris Tishler, Matt Liban and Dave Benton -- opens for fellow Brew City rock outfit Revolush at Shank Hall at 10 p.m.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.