By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Mar 28, 2021 at 11:31 AM Photography: Joe Quinto

On Friday, Milwaukee alt hip-pop singer-songwriter Joe Quinto released his debut album “Blue Genes,” an effort that he says came together as he looked at the world during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s a collection of nine songs, most of which I wrote in 2018 before the world turned on its side,” he says.  “And it was really surprising to me how appropriate so many of them were to the times. So I finished up those songs and wrote a few new ones, and ultimately they came together in an album.”

“With all the pressures and stresses of the world, it’s just part of the human condition to have  blue genes,” he says. “But there are also ways to live with them and even make them work to your advantage. And that’s what this album is really about.”

To promote the album, Quinto has planned a week-long roll-out he’s calling Blue Week. 

“Blue Week is meant to be an interactive and collaborative event that includes some of Milwaukee’s best and most creative businesses,” Quinto says. “My goal was to highlight their work – and support them – while contributing to a great cause.”

Joe Quinto and Jesus Gonzalez for Blue WeekX

Celebrate Blue Week 

During the week-long celebration, which kicks off on Monday, March 29, Quinto will highlight five collaborations with local businesses that were created with the “Blue Genes” album in mind.

“I sought out collaborations with brands that I really love and that really represent Milwaukee,” says Quinto, “And that includes restaurants. For years, I worked in the restaurant industry here and food has always been one of my passions.”

Collaborations are scheduled to roll out every day of Blue Week, each accompanied  with an introductory video on  Quinto's YouTube channel.

 Here’s a sneak peek at what to expect:

  • Monday: A special CBD-based tincture from Canni Hemp Co., 810 South 5th St.
  • Tuesday: A brand new taco from Mazorca at Zocalo Food Park, 636 S. 6th St.
  • Wednesday: A new sandwich at the Peanut Butter & Jelly Deli, 6125 W. Greenfield Ave. in West Allis.
  • Thursday: A special new t-shirt collab with Four the City
  • Friday: A new drink at Triciclo Peru, 3801 W. Vliet St.

Each collaborative product will be available for purchase for at least one week from the day it’s released. Since the album’s focus is on mental health, a portion of the proceeds from each item will go to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) - Southeast Wisconsin, a local nonprofit focused on mental health awareness.

Tune in on Quinto’s social media channels – including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – for updates throughout the week. You can also pick up a copy of Quinto’s limited release copy of “Blue Genes” on vinyl at

Blue Genes on vinylX


Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.