Semi-Twang, the veteran Milwaukee band led by John Sieger, has been named one of the top 50 bands in the country by Alternate Root magazine, a national publication that keeps track of American roots music.
Semi-Twang was named No. 28 in the list, right behind Mumford and Sons and just ahead of The Lumineers. Other bands on the list include the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Los Lobos, Alabama Shakes and The Mavericks.
Here’s what the magazine said about the Milwaukee group.
"Semi-Twang reunited in 2009 to play the 20th anniversary of Shank Hall, the premier showcase club in their hometown of Milwaukee. The band were playing to help celebrate a venue they played on the night it first opened its doors and nothing else was being discussed. The response was immediate and overwhelming. Semi-Twang did not survive their major label debut and 23 years later, they are recording on their own terms, with the music being the star. Semi-Twang released Wages of 'Sin' in March of 2011, their first album in 23 years. In 2013 Semi-Twang is back with a new release, 'The Why and the What For,' slated for March 26, 2013. According to the band's press release the album '...ups the stakes as it traverses through the musical geography of Memphis, Muscle Shoals and New Orleans with passion and conviction. It's topical and personal with a bit more soul influence...'"
The magazine, which has been around for half a dozen years, goes on to describe its mission this way:
"American Roots music is an amalgam of traditional American music that draws from elements of folk, country, bluegrass, blues, gospel, jazz, ethnic and rock musical styles. While many of these genres of music are well defined and easily recognized, music that combines elements of these genres in many varying amounts is often dismissed by purists in the media or music industry and relegated to ‘boutique’ record labels, eclectic press and radio entities and relative obscurity. Things are changing for American Roots music. The recent addition of an American Roots music Grammy category, recognition of American Roots music by The Smithsonian Institute of American History and the recent formation of an American Roots music curriculum by the prestigious Berklee School of Music in Boston are all signals that something is happening under the radar that is raising public awareness."
The complete list of American Roots' top 50 bands can be found here.
Anyone out there ever heard of "Alternate Root Magazine"? Really? I'm all about celebrating local talent, but when someone makes a top 50 list of this sort, and we publish it, it makes us look like an even smaller city than we are. How about we spend our time writing about something more relevant, like say the foot of snow out the window right now. I noticed Onmilwaukee is choosing to ignore that today.
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