By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Nov 30, 2020 at 3:31 PM

Give the drummer some.

Especially drummer John Carr, who has long been the propulsion behind local bands like Blue in the Face and John Sieger’s El Supremo and numerous other outfits.

Son of area jazz drummer Jack Carr, the younger Carr (though his own son is now an accomplished percussionist, too!) took inspiration from his father’s idiom by forming his own group and acting as its leader, something much more rarely seen in rock and roll.

Anyway, Carr’s The Hungry Williams don’t truck much in what most think of as rock and roll these days. Instead, for the past few years, the band has been mining the kind of jumpin’ jive and honkin’ R&B that fueled the birth of rock.

Now, The Hungry Williams have a holiday EP to put the swing back in Christmas.

“Mambo Santa Mambo,” which you can order here, includes nog-nodding covers of the The Enchanters’ “Mambo Santa Mambo,” Louis Armstrong’s “Zat You?,” Charles Brown’s reading of  “Please Come Home for Christmas” and Mabel Scott’s rollicking “Boogie Woogie Santa Claus.”

On these, Carr is joined by fellow veterans like guitarist Joe Vent, bassist Mike Sieger, keyboardist Jack Stewart, along with vocalist Kelli Gonzalez and hornsmen Troy Leisemann and Andrew Spadafora.

Looking to support local musicians during this challenging year while still rocking and reeling ‘round the Christmas tree? The Hungry Williams have got you covered.

The EP is available for streaming everywhere and physical CD copies are expected to arrive in shops this week. Check the website for details.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

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 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.