A group of Milwaukee musicians has decided to confront hunger head on, using its considerable talents.
Hunger Task Force board member Tom Jordan penned the lyrics to the tune, "What's It Gonna Take?," composed by Kevin Sucher and Jim Reith. The song is available on a CD for sale for a minimum donation of $5 at all Harry W. Schwartz Bookshops.
"The response has been fantastic," says Sucher, who runs a downtown studio and has a lengthy musical resume. "It has been playing on almost every radio station in Milwaukee as a 60-second commercial. WKTI has played the full version as well."
Sucher sings the song and plays piano and is joined by drummer John Calarco, bassist Bryan Mir and guitarists Reith and Peter Mac. Warren Wiegratz of Streetlife wrote the sting arrangement, which was performed by member of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and a number of singers, including R&B vocalist Cincere, provide harmonies.
"The musicians that played on the record are all of our 'first call' guys here in the studio," says Sucher. "Milwaukee is so fortunate to have such talented musicians. Warren Wiegratz arranged a beautiful string part that members of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra played on the track. That was one of the highlights of the recording."
Jordan hopes the CD and the song will help people realize that every little bit of help can make a difference.
"I want people to understand that their efforts to fight hunger in Milwaukee, however large or small, have a direct and immediate impact on the lives of people who need help," Jordan said in a press release for the disc.
For Sucher and the other musicians, there is no better way to lend a hand than through music.
"We thought that by reaching out to people through music we could touch them."
Of course, the goal of the song is to help raise consciousness about hunger in Milwaukee and drive contributions.
"Tom, Kevin, Jim and Milwaukee's musical community have posed an important question to all of us: 'What's it gonna take to end hunger in Milwaukee?'," said Sherrie Tussler, Hunger Task Force's executive director in the release. "It's a question we can all answer with gifts of food, gifts of money and gifts of time to Hunger Task Force. This is a challenge to everyone in Milwaukee to stand with us and fight hunger."
Hunger Task Force's Web site is hungertaskforce.org.
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 can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.