Just a few months after frontman Scott Wooldridge issued his solo debut, his fraternal band, The Wooldridge Brothers, has a new blue vinyl 7" 45 out and is embarking on a mini tour of Wisconsin.
The tour kicks off Thursday, Aug. 6 at Anodyne Coffee in Walker’s Point. The free show is part of Anodyne’s Sweet 16 birthday music series. For Scott and Brian Wooldridge, the gig is the first of three in a row in the Badger State.
Why the flurry of gigs for a band that due to geographical challenges – Scott lives in Minneapolis, Brian in Milwaukee – and rarely plays even two in a row?
"I booked the Mile of Music show early on and I thought it would be fun to play Milwaukee the night before," says Brian Wooldridge. "When I called Anodyne that Friday was already booked but they offered the Thursday – the start of their Sweet 16 series. I thought (opener) Adam (Levy) would be fun, so I pinged him and he was up for it. Racine just fell in there nicely with the help of Paddy Fineran.
"It all came together with the single being released in July."
The single features a breezy a-side – "Drive Through Summer" – produced by John Munson (Trip Shakespeare and Semisonic bassist) with its season counterpoint "Winter’s Walk," a solo performance by Scott – on the flip.
"Drive Through Summer" is a taster from the next full-length Wooldridge Brothers record, which does not yet have a projected release date.
"We started recording up in Minneapolis a while back for an EP, and with a successful Kickstarter campaign it's turned into an album," says Brian Wooldridge. "Scott need a little help getting his solo record going so we thought the two-for-one campaign would be fun. I love the fact that we got to do vinyl again, and it's blue!"
The band tabbed local filmmakers Robb Fischer, Ben Krutzik and Garrett Tiedemann to help produce videos for each of the tracks on the record.
"The single really captures the different styles of music with the two albums," said Scott in a release. "'Drive Through Summer' is much more rock-oriented, and there’s more going on sonically and production-wise, while 'Winter’s Walk' is more stripped down and stark in its sound. I think the visual styles of the two videos are a nice contrast, as well."
Now that Scott’s got his solo record out, when is Brian’s due, you ask?
"Actually, I've always wanted to do a sort of instrumental album," he says. "A few years ago I was talking with (DJ) Malcolm Michiles about doing Tex-rock-guitar tunes with beats and loops, but we never got it together. I'd still like to do it ... but of course Ratatat already nailed it."
While you wait for that to happen, there’s only one place – other than at the band’s gigs – to buy the blue vinyl "Drive Through Summer" 45 and that’s at Brenner Brewing, 706 S. 5th St., in Walker’s Point.
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.