Re-formed Probers launch second disc and then re-split

The Probers an original Milwaukee rock band, have quite a history. It all started back in 1994 when guitarist Rob Atwood and drummer Cory Gabor would play in Cory's living room for the skate punks that would skate across the street at the former Century Hall parking lot.

The two friends had a musical connection and decided to expand the band. They asked bassist/producer Jeff Hamilton to join the band and The Probers were formed. Eight years and three albums later, these guys are still together. The band comprises Atwood, Gabor, David Passow on the harmonica, Evil Paul Kneevers and Matt Mexiner of Hudson on Hammond organ and Jeff Hamilton on bass.

On Friday, Jan. 11, The Probers third album, "Worn Down: Hits, Kicks, Bruises and Unfinished Business," was officially released at Thai Joe's. The album is a 20-song compilation of live recordings, studio cuts, new songs with former saxophonist Woody Angel and old songs primarily from their now out of print first album.

The show was exceptional. The Probers blend rock with soul and R&B, creating a danceable sound with crunchy guitars, blaring harmonica and dueling Hammonds.

To finish off The Probers weekend, Dos Proberos, an acoustic version of the band, played an intimate show at The Social Sunday night. Dos Proberos is primarily Hamilton on lap steel, electric guitar and mandolin and Atwood on guitar. Dos Proberos play bare-bones blues and rock, with reckless abandon. Other members of The Probers sat in on congas, bongos and harmonica.

Atwood has now left town for the Florida Keys and the other members are working on other projects. Gabor is in the band Porn in a Barn, Kneevers plays with Dirty Pawz, and Passow is playing with Chicago's Cash Money. But never fear, The Probers will be back, with the same force and intensity that they always bring to the stage.

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