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In Music

One Horse Towne (with guest Blaine Schultz on guitar at left) onstage at Linneman's Riverwest Inn. (PHOTO: Veronica Rusnak)

5 questions for One Horse Towne

With feet firmly rooted in rock and roll, but with hands in American roots music and post-punk, Milwaukee's One Horse Towne plays down to Earth, gritty music. Think part Replacements and part Son Volt.

Fronted by George Mireles – co-owner of Riverwest's Cafe Corazon – the trio is made up of local veterans with a combined tenure somewhere between 75 and 90 years on the Milwaukee music scene.

The band, which performs sporadically in area clubs, recently issued a self-titled, six song CD recorded with engineer Andy Stilin.

We caught up with Mireles to ask him about the songs, his bandmates and some upcoming One Horse Towne gigs... Give us a little history of the band.

George Mireles: Tommy Tiedjens on bass, (was in) Those X-Cleavers, and Chris Lehmann on drums. He's also owner of Lehmann Audio Production. I played in The Mercurys, Screaming Lilies, and a revisited version of Cherry Cake. All the members have been playing the Milwaukee music scene the last 25 years or more.

OMC: Tell me a bit about writing the songs on the disc.

GM: The songs on the disc are mostly songs I wrote five years ago or so. With a couple of newer numbers like "Dance Floor" and "Mountain." "Drinking in the Dark," a song Tommy wrote, is on a solo disc he put out a year ago. The last song on the disc, "Medicine," was a Mercurys song that was never recorded.

I tend to write slow and sporadically, I'll come to practice with a riff and we can build on that. And sometimes I come to practice with a song with chords and lyrics all complete, ready to show the guys. Usually it's something I've worked on for months.

OMC: Does the band plan to play out regularly or is it more casual?

GM: We go in spurts when playing out. We won't play a show for months, then we'll get gigs playing out once or twice a month. We have two gigs in May and usually do most of our gigs in spring and summer. We've played Locust Street Daze the last two years.

OMC: Does owning a popular restaurant guarantee you'll always have a great place to play?

GM: Having the restaurant really doesn't do anything for gigs. I like to keep things with the band simple – we like playing Circle-A and Linneman's.

OMC: When and where are those May gigs?

GM: We are playing May 1 at Frank's Power Plant, And a fundraiser in Racine on May 10. So we're out there gigging.

OMC: Where can folks buy the record?

GM: You can get our CD at our shows for now, and we plan on pressing more soon. I'll give a few discs to my friend's record store, Rush-mor.


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