**Associated Press circulates story about Tony Memmel nationally (2013)
**Nominated for four RadioMilwaukee Music Awards** (Nov. 2012)
--Album of the Year
--Solo Artist of the Year
--Best Live Show
--Best Album Artwork
**Performed at the Louisiana Superdome, in New Orleans, for National Youth Gathering (July 2012)
**Counting Crows Cover Song Contest Winner- Selected by the band themselves (Apr. 2012)
**Boston Globe "Critic's Pick" (Sept. 2011)
** "Be on the lookout for great things from this bright young artist" ChicagoTribune.com (2011)
**Champion, Lizard Lounge Singer-Songwriter FINAL SHOWDOWN (Cambridge, MA) (2010)
**#1 Ranked Americana Artist in Milwaukee - Reverbnation (2011-present)
**Two-Time Winner, Lizard Lounge Singer-Songwriter Competition (Cambridge, MA) (2009, 2010)
**Nominee, Shepherd Express - Acoustic Musician of The Year, Best Guitarist, Best Male Vocalist (2011)
**Keynote Speaker and performer for Society's Assets Disabilities Awareness Banquet. (2011)
**"Amazing!" NBC's 'The Morning Blend' (2011)
**Hailed as "Can't miss act" at Milwaukee's Summerfest Festival by Inside Milwaukee (2011)
Tony Memmel is a songwriter and performer with unique charisma and creativity. He was born missing his left forearm and taught himself to play the guitar, piano and harmonica. It is my contention that if you heard a song of Tony’s on the radio or on one of his albums and were not aware of his being an amputee, you would never know the difference at all. In fact, many people are often shocked to learn of it and/or don’t even notice at his live shows until he wipes the sweat from his face with the two characteristic arm bands that he wears on his left bicep.
But, Memmel is not one to try to sell you on his handicap alone. His music most definitely stands on its own. It is catchy, without sacrificing sincerity, and his lyrics are personal and real. Memmel earned a Bachelor’s degree in music and is a classically trained and acclaimed vocalist. He has gained a loyal following and support from fans and musicians alike in the Midwest, the Country, and even the World.
Memmel has toured extensively and is working to build a genuine grassroots following that will no doubt carry him far into the future. He is steadily making a name for himself in such places as Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Detroit, Chicago, Milwaukee, and Dallas.
He’s been featured in the Associated Press, Boston Globe and Chicago Tribune, was selected as a Grand-Prize winner in a Counting Crows cover contest by The Counting Crows themselves, and was recently honored to take first place in a prestigious singer-songwriter competition, in Boston. He’s sold several thousand CD’s and t-shirts, out of his trusty brown leather suitcase, to a growing national fan-base.
It may sound trite, but in this case trite is just plain accurate - Tony Memmel has a work ethic, talent, and personality that you simply do not see every day. It doesn’t fit to say it’s the beginning, as Memmel has accomplished more in his life with one hand than I have with two. Get on board now, as many already have, and be on the lookout for great things from this bright young artist.
All content © 2013
Tony Memmel - Vocals, guitars, Piano, & Harmonica
Lesleigh Memmel - Keyboards & Vocals
Brian Farvour - Percussion & Drums
Mike DeAngelo - Bass
"Lucky Fin Song" - Single - February 2013
"Clenched Hands Brave Demands" - EP April 2012
"Owen's Song" - Single - November 2011
"yours and mine" - EP - September 2011
"Here We Go" - Full Length - October 2010
"America To Go" - Single - August 2010
"Potter Road" - Full Length - August 2009
"The Tale of an Underdog"- Full Length - March 2008
"I love the vocal treatment, technically, musically, and just emotionally It makes it very personal. The melodic choices do that too. The outro is brilliant. Waiting that long in the song to come with the kick drum makes it kinda devastating. Restraint is tough at moments like that but it's a good choice. Makes you ache for it."
-Adam Duritz, Counting Crows primary songwriter and frontman
"The music is produced with the restraint that comes with maturity and confidence. Tony Memmel knows what he is doing, and he does it well."
-Amber Amick, Backstage Beat Boston
"These lyrics are so tightly written it’s ridiculous...Tony Memmel is the real deal, and some of these songs are going to be with me forever."
-Katie Darby Recommends
"Harmonies that send shivers up my spine every time I hear them... 'Here We Go' is a must own."
-Jason Wilkerson, Digital Hippos
lucky fin song
Clenched Hands Brave Demands
Lord Knows We've Got Time
Yours and Mine
One Week To Philadelphia
I Know, I Know
O Yea It's Christmas
Associated Press: LUCKY FIN PROJECT SEES WAVE OF SUCCESS
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BY CATHERINE KAVANAUGH THE DAILY TRIBUNE (ROYAL OAK) ROYAL OAK, Mich. (AP) -- If you see him pe...BY CATHERINE KAVANAUGH
THE DAILY TRIBUNE (ROYAL OAK)
ROYAL OAK, Mich. (AP) -- If you see him perform, Tony Memmel's blend of folk, rock and Americana music will probably hold your attention long before you notice he plays guitar without a left forearm.
The 27-year-old from Milwaukee, Wis., has that effect on audiences, especially in small venues like the Oak City Grille, Royal Oak, where he has given concerts sponsored by the Lucky Fin Project.
With a guitar pick taped to his upper left arm, Memmel plays from a personal, passionate set list that has critics predicting great things on the horizon for the singer/songwriter.
"He's magnetic," LFP founder Molly Ryan Stapelman of Royal Oak told The Daily Tribune of Royal Oak (HTTP://BIT.LY/UDGBCH ). "Then his song ends and he wipes his brow and people do a double take. They just watched him for 15 minutes and didn't notice he's missing a hand. It's kind of fun to catch people."
Memmel and his band recently released a theme song for the LFP - the nonprofit group Stapelman started in July 2010 as a support network for parents of children with "limb differences."
"Tony gave me the best gift ever," Stapelman said. "The chorus is so catchy and oh, I just love the lines: `When the day is feelin' long and the sky is gettin' dark, you have got to let your light shine. Know how great you are.' "
He could have gotten away with throwing LFP T-shirts to his crowds but Memmel said he gets so much more than tour sponsorship from LFP. To give back, he is donating half of all download proceeds for "Lucky Fin Song" to the group.
"Every day something cool is posted or I get a sweet drawing from a child with a hand or limb difference," Memmel said. "Being involved with LFP is awesomely positive."
The theme song is the just the latest in a wave of exciting steps forward for the group liked by 4,400 Facebook users. LFP also named a board of directors, sponsors rising stars in sports, and has a growing Internet following that is evolving from a support network into a true community.
Stapelman's daughter, Ryan, 5, was the inspiration for the LFP and its goal to show that people have differences, not disabilities. She has symbrachydactyly - a little understood, congenital anomaly that usually results in one or more fingers failing to develop on one hand.
With a thumb and four nubbins on her right hand, Ryan knows no limits. She climbs tress in princess gowns, plays soccer, and strings together beads for the trademark LFP bracelets. Her can-do attitude led to the LFP motto: "Ten fingers are overrated."
Memmel attests to that. He started teaching himself to play guitar when he was in middle school. It took a lot of determination and eight years to fine tune his method.
"I had a friend who was an accomplished guitarist and I was getting into music and listening to rock," Memmel said in a phone interview. "I wanted to write and play my own music. I convinced my parents to split the cost of a guitar with me. Through trial and error, I came up with a way to play when I was 21."
His breakthrough turned out to be Gorilla Tape - a super sticky adhesive likened to duct tape on steroids.
"With it I could play in live settings under stage lights and not have my pick sweat off," Memmel said.
He is getting ready to tour again in March and he can be sure some of the people in his audiences will also be fans of LFP, who take advantage of meet-up opportunities like concerts and picnics.
Stapelman marvels at the ripple effect that started at her kitchen table 2- 1/2 years ago. That's where she started making Lucky Fin bracelets to celebrate how "wonderfully made" children with limb differences are. Each bracelet is centered with an orange and white bead that Ryan likes. It reminds her of the Disney clownfish Nemo, which navigated an ocean of challenges with its lucky fin in the animated film "Finding Nemo."
Almost 4,000 bracelets later, LFP is making a bigger splash by sponsoring not only Memmel but fighter Nick Newell, the Xtreme Fighting Championships lightweight world champion.
The left arm of Newell, 26, ends just after his elbow from congenital amputation, a condition that causes part of the limb to detach in the womb. Regardless, he became the XFC's undefeated belt holder with the LFP logo on his fight shorts and banner. Newell now is fighting to compete in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Stapelman cheers on her ambassadors' careers and what their accomplishments mean to the 2 million Americans with limb differences.
"They are examples that everything is possible," she said. "It's great to show people with newborns, this is what your kid can potentially be doing at 20."
Stapelman herself is an example of tireless advocacy. She has made and shipped 3,900 Lucky Fin bracelets. She uses the money from bracelet donations and sales of LFP bumper stickers and shirts, to sponsor Memmel and Newell, help send children to Camp No Limits, and create brochures about limb differences for hospitals in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and Puerto Rico.
Stapelman also heads up LFP's volunteer board of directors, which includes Memmel's mother, Katie Kolberg Memmel, who wrote a book last year called "Five Fingers, Ten Toes: A Mother's Story of Raising a Child with a Limb Difference."
Stapelman, who has three daughters, also maintains the group's website and Facebook page, which has followers in all 50 states and 20 countries.
At least once a day she posts inspirational stories and quotes, such as "It's not what happens to you that matters most, it's what you do about it."
The website has more than 300 pictures, too, in its Lucky Fin photo album, mostly of smiling children wearing their bracelets adorning partially formed arms and hands.
"I hear about people in waiting rooms going to see a doctor and they take off their Lucky Fin bracelet and pass it on to new parents," Stapelman said. "They tell them they're in a cool exclusive club. That's what I mean about the Lucky Fin family. That's how we're pushing 5,000 Facebook fans. People embrace it with enthusiasm and say it is awesome to be part of it."
Stapelman is particularly pleased when parents-to-be find out about the LFP and turn to the website to get educated and prepared.
"They see this isn't the horrible thing they thought it could be," she said. "They see their child will be fine. They get over it. They get reset for the amazing time it is when you're having a baby."
Other parents learn about their baby's limb difference in the delivery room because it didn't show up on ultrasounds. They usually find out about Stapelman's group when they are referred to specialists and given LFP brochures. The LFP family embraces them.
"I understand their shock," Stapelman said. "I want them to know what they are feeling is normal. They feel it is unfair. They feel guilt and they wonder if it is their fault. They feel angry because they did everything right during their pregnancy."
They also have questions. Should they be looking into occupational therapy? What about tutoring? How about prosthetics?
Stapelman's answer is no, no, and no - not now anyway. She recommends parents focus their attention and energy on the arrival of their newborn rather than worry about events that may or may not be necessary in the years to come.
Then, there are the successes she gets to share and the dreams she helps further. Last week LFP became the first contributor to the Never Say Never Foundation, which is raising $8,000 for Paralympian athlete Regas Woods (aka Legz) to get new running feet and legs.
Stapelman was just as proud to add a picture of a 7-year-old girl named Ruby from Connecticut wearing a LFP bracelet while on the gymnastic bars.
"Her parents told me it would be an honor to be in the photo album and I just cried. It never gets old," Stapelman said.
Such requests are a simple reminder she is achieving the LFP goals to celebrate, educate, support and unite.
LFP friends are trying to get Memmel and Stapelman on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show." The comedian was the voice of Dory in "Finding Nemo" and there is talk of a Disney sequel.
"Can you imagine if Dory herself gave the Lucky Fin project a shout out?" Stapelman asked.
RadioMilwaukee Music Awards Finalists Announced
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**Nominated for four RadioMilwaukee Music Awards** -Album of the Year -Solo Artist of the Year -B...**Nominated for four RadioMilwaukee Music Awards**
-Album of the Year
-Solo Artist of the Year
-Best Live Show
-Best Album Artwork
Alternative rock act Into Arcadia, singer-songwriter Tony Memmel, pop rock group Vic and Gab, alternative country act Hugh Bob and the Hustle and folk band Field Report are all up for the big prize, album of the year, at the 2012 RadioMilwaukee Music Awards, 88Nine Radio Milwaukee (WYMS-FM) has announced.
Arcadia, Report, the Hustle and Vic and Gab are also up for band of the year, along with genre-jumping rock group Sulek, for the radio station's sixth annual local music celebration. Memmel is competing with fellow singer-songwriters Hayward Williams and Wolfgang Schaefer, and hip hop artists Klassik and Dana Coppafeel, for solo artist of the year.
The Hustle is also nominated for song of the year with its track "Milwaukee Man" from its self-titled debut album. Other tracks nominated in the category are "American Martyr" by Mike Mangione & The Union; "Paper Tigers" by Painted Caves; "Switchblade" by The Delta Routine; and "Waste a Lot of Things" by Jaill. Finalists were selected from public voting.
The awards will be held at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Turner Hall Ballroom, 1040 N. 4th St. Jaill, Report, Vic and Gab, Klassik and folk act Juniper Tar are scheduled to perform. Tickets are $8.50.
Prior to the awards, WYMS and the Yellow Phone Music Conference are hosting a music industry networking reception, beginning at 5:30 p.m. at Turner. Music industry author Martin Atkins will be presenting, and there'll also be a speed networking event featuring agents, representatives from local venues and engineering studios and more. I'll also be attending, so if you go please seek me out.
The reception is $10 and includes complimentary beer from the Milwaukee Brewing Company (until supplies last) and admission to the awards. For tickets to the reception, click here.
And see the full list of nominees below.
Album of the Year
Into Arcadia - "Escaper"
Tony Memmel - "Clenched Hands Brave Demands"
Hugh Bob and the Hustle - "Hugh Bob and the Hustle"
Field Report - "Field Report"
Vic and Gab - "Bridges and Guns"
Song of the Year
Mike Mangione & the Union - "American Martyr"
Hugh Bob and the Hustle - "Milwaukee Man"
Jaill - "Waste a Lot of Things"
The Delta Routine - "Switchblade"
Painted Caves - "Paper Tiger"
Solo Artist of the Year
Band of the Year
Hugh Bob and the Hustle
Vic and Gab
Catchiest Song of 2012
Hugh Bob and the Hustle - "Milwaukee Man"
Mike Mangione & the Union - "American Martyr"
Klassik - "Anything"
The Mike Bening Compulsion - "My Michelle"
Surgeons in Heat - "Flying Away"
Best Album Artwork
Tony Memmel - "Clenched Hands Brave Demands"
Into Arcadia - "Escaper"
Fever Marlene - "Medicated Friends"
Sulek - "Unbound at Last"
Painted Caves - "Painted Caves"
Best Music Video
Into Arcadia - "Into the Water"
Ikarus Down - "Friction"
Jaill - "House with Haunting"
Altos - "Sing (For Trouble)"
Sat. Nite Duets - "Genghis Khan"
Bandcamp Release of the Year
Milo - "Milo Takes Baths"
Young Holidays - "Young Holidays"
Wolves - "Dying"
Painted Caves - "Painted Caves"
Great Lake Drifters - "For Your Consideration"
Best Disc We Missed
Milo - "Milo Takes Baths"
Sulek - "Unbound at Last"
Wolves - "Dying"
Wolfgang Schaefer - "Typewriter"
Ian and the Dream - "Ian and the Dream"
Best Live Show
Hugh Bob and the Hustle
Vic and Gab
Local Musician Performs at Summerfest, Spreads Message of Hope
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**CLICK LINK TO SEE VIDEO** MILWAUKEE - 'Tony Memmel & His Band' packed the seats at the Summerf...**CLICK LINK TO SEE VIDEO**
MILWAUKEE - 'Tony Memmel & His Band' packed the seats at the Summerfest Cascio Stage last Saturday.
"It's an opportunity to play for a a lot of new fans," Tony says.
Tony's songs tell stories of life, love, and perseverance. He explains, "The deeper message of you can do anything you set your mind to, no matter what your setback is."
It's a message close to Tony--who was born without a left forearm.
"I was a complete surprise to my parents when I was born!" Tony exclaims. He defied the odds--playing sports and music in school.
He remembers when he first told his parents he wanted to play guitar. "My folks specifically asked me alot. Would it be something that I would continue with, or something I would buy, and then let sit in the corner collecting dusk--that was the quote."
It did anything but! Tony worked for years on the perfect way to play guitar with only one arm.
He demonstrates, "I have this little spot right on the end of my arm where I figured a pick would be perfect--if there's a perfect spot for a pick on a one-armed man then that's where it would go!"
The band is also a family affair. Tony's wife Lesleigh plays the keys. The two met at UW-Oshkosh.
"He walked into choir, and I was like oh, he's kinda cute, and he sat right next to me and I didn't really notice until he was sitting right next to me that he was missing his left arm," Lesleigh recalls.
The two have been making beautiful music together ever since: Whether it's a quiet night at home making dinner, or jamming together in their Wauwatosa home studio.
"Just everything, every challenge he just blows it out of the water," Lesleigh says.
Tony adds, "We really enjoy the same things and have similar goals."
One of those goals is to continue touring, and meeting people--spreading their message.
"I've been doing a lot more work with children and their families and adults alike who have hand and limb differences," Tony says.
Tony is even getting national attention.
The 'Counting Crows' picked Tony's cover of their song 'Recovering The Satellites' as the winner of a national contest!.
The young family is excited to see what the future holds.
"I would say to continue growing from here, have these neat experiences," Tony says.
'Tony Memmel and His Band' plan to go on a west coast tour this fall! Meantime--they have several local shows coming up, including this Saturday, July 7 at Kochanski's Concertina Beer Hall.
Passion, perseverance pay off for Tony Memmel
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**ARTICLE RAN IN THE NEWSPAPER AND ONLINE** Tony Memmel couldn't help that he was born with an incom...**ARTICLE RAN IN THE NEWSPAPER AND ONLINE** Tony Memmel couldn't help that he was born with an incomplete left forearm. But he could control his destiny. He picked up the guitar when he was 13, his perseverance has paid off, and at 26 he's living the life he wanted as a full-time musician.
That passion and dedication not only led to a career as a touring singer-songwriter; it also introduced Memmel to his wife, Lesleigh, whom he met in a choir class at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh on the first day at school.
"She became one of my best friends," Memmel said, not to mention a crucial musical collaborator.
Who's who in the band: Mike DeAngelo, 27, bass; Brian Farvour, 29, drums; Lesleigh Memmel, 26, piano and vocals; Tony Memmel, lead vocals, guitar, occasional harmonica; Max Misko, 26, lead guitar. Tony Memmel spoke for the band.
Day jobs: Mike and Brian both work in marketing, Lesleigh is a nurse, Tony is a full-time musician and Max works at a music store.
They say they sound like: A blend of rock and Americana and pop and indie rock.
Next project: EP "Clenched Hands Brave Demands," available on iTunes, CDBaby and Memmel's shows.
Learning to play with one arm: It took me about eight years to do what I can do now. It was challenging for reasons you might not expect. Under warm stage conditions or on a hot day, the tape for my guitar pick wouldn't stay on my arm. I came up with the idea to use Gorilla Tape in college, and it sticks pretty well. It really turned the tables. After that I was able to sing and play simultaneously and not worry that the pick was going to fall off. Every time I'm in front of people I feel more passion and confidence in what I'm doing.
Inspiring others: The Lucky Fin Project co-sponsored my previous tour. It's an organization that supports and encourages and unites families and people who have limb differences. It was a unique experience and particularly rewarding to be on the road to meet these families and to encourage others.
Favorite food on the road: We try to sample local cuisines wherever we are. In the Southwest, we try Mexican foods. All along the East Coast there are oysters and lobsters and all kinds of good stuff.
First gig: My first paying gig as a singer-songwriter was for a restaurant, Winestein's. I was paid $100 to come and play for four hours. It was nerve-racking to memorize four hours of music, but I got through it, and they hired me back. It was really something special to feel I was being paid for doing something I loved so much.
Favorite song you cover: "Tangled Up in Blue" by Bob Dylan. I love that song. It's seven or eight verses long, and the lyrics are just unbeatable.
Favorite song you've written: "Clenched Hands Brave Demands." That one song in particular has become an anthem for my life. It's personal to me, and I hope it's exceptionally relatable to other people.
Best song ever written: "Born to Run" by Bruce Springsteen. I've heard it 1,000 times in my life, and I've always felt like I was a character in that song.
Greatest musical achievement: My wife and I put together a cover of Counting Crows' "Recovering the Satellites" for a contest, and the song was selected by the band itself. We won a free signed guitar, and the band will release our version on a future EP to their fans.
The next big challenge: I'll be playing at the (Mercedes-Benz) Superdome (in New Orleans) for a national youth gathering in July. They're expecting 36,000 people. I'm excited for that.
Where do you want to be in five years? More than anything, I really want to be a great musician.
Next gig: 6 p.m. Saturday, Cascio Interstate Music Groove Stage, Summerfest.
- Piet Levy,
Special to the Journal Sentinel
Tony Memmel visits with NBC's "The Morning Blend"
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**CLICK LINK TO SEE VIDEO** Singer and Songwriter, Tony Memmel, joins The Morning Blend to talk abou...**CLICK LINK TO SEE VIDEO** Singer and Songwriter, Tony Memmel, joins The Morning Blend to talk about his slot at Summerfest and the official Milwaukee CD release of “Clenched Hands Brave Demands.”
Though he was born missing his left forearm, Tony taught himself to play the guitar, piano and harmonica, and has been performing ever since. Memmel earned a Bachelor’s degree in music and is a classically trained and acclaimed vocalist.
Tony Memmel and his band perform at the Cascio Interstate Music Groove Stage on Saturday, June 30th, at 6:00pm.
For more information visit
Counting Crows Cover Contest - Grand Prize Winner
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**Notes from Adam Duritz - primary songwriter and frontman of the Counting Crows** "I love the vo...**Notes from Adam Duritz - primary songwriter and frontman of the Counting Crows**
"I love the vocal treatment, technically, musically, and just emotionally It makes it very personal. The melodic choices do that too. The outro is brilliant. Waiting that long in the song to come with the kick drum makes it kinda devastating. Restraint is tough at moments like that but it's a good choice. Makes you ache for it." - ad
BOSTON GLOBE Critic's Picks
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TONY MEMMEL Wisconsin native Memmel is a classically trained vocalist. He also plays the guitar, pia...TONY MEMMEL Wisconsin native Memmel is a classically trained vocalist. He also plays the guitar, piano, and harmonica despite the fact that he is missing his left forearm. He’ll be bringing his folky Americana, along with his band, to the Burren’s Sunday Night Songwriter Series.
"... be on the lookout for great things from this bright young artist."
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"... be on the lookout for great things from this bright young artist." -ChicagoTribune.com Read..."... be on the lookout for great things from this bright young artist."
Read full article by clicking link.
Tony Memmel- "Yours and Mine" Album Review
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Tony Memmel’s new EP, “Yours and Mine” is a dreamy six song journey through human emotion and faith....Tony Memmel’s new EP, “Yours and Mine” is a dreamy six song journey through human emotion and faith. He and wife, Lesleigh harmonize so well that sometimes it’s difficult to separate their voices into two, and other times the impeccable production makes them sound impossibly like a whole chorus. While the vocals and gorgeous lyrics are certainly the focus here, the instrumentation is brilliant, as well. Simple – bordering on minimal, the music is produced with the restraint that comes with maturity and confidence. Tony Memmel knows what he is doing, and he does it well.
He plays with such clarity and beauty that it doesn’t seem to matter that Tony is missing the lower part of his left arm. He plays left handed, and picks and strums with pieces of gaffer’s tape attached to his arm. On further consideration, it absolutely matters that he is overcoming something that most would consider a complete impediment to his playing guitar – or any other instrument requiring two hands, for that matter. It matters because he is so good. It seems impossible, but his impeccable guitar work compliments his slightly gruff, beautiful voice perfectly. Tony is an inspiration.
Lesleigh’s piano work is also lovely. Quietly layered in the background, her keyboards add a welcome dimension; when Lesleigh is featured, it’s absolutely beautiful. Brian Farvour rounds out the band with his percussion, but he is so good at his job that he almost disappears. Again, I believe such restraint only comes with experience and skill. Too many drummers don’t know how to disappear, but Brian seems a master at that difficult job. His drums only add to the songs – they never detract.
“Yours and Mine” is a lovely EP, and my only complaint with it is that it was over too soon. The Memmels transported me to beautiful, loving musical landscape for all of the nineteen minutes of the EP, and at the end, I was somewhat sorry to be dumped back into my living room. I look forward to a new full-length album from Tony in (I hope) the near future.
“Yours and Mine” as well as Tony Memmel’s (excellent) previous album “Here We Go” can be purchased through links on his website HERE.
We had the pleasure of chatting with Tony and Lesleigh this month! Check out their TBB exclusive live performance of “Control” off of “Here We Go”
Katie Darby Recommends New Tony Memmel "Yours and Mine" EP
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Highlight - "... these lyrics are so tightly written it’s ridiculous." Full Review: NEW: Tony ...Highlight - "... these lyrics are so tightly written it’s ridiculous."
NEW: Tony Memmel, “Yours and Mine” EP
October 20, 2011
Those of you who follow me on Twitter probably have picked up that I’m writing for a local magazine now, and I love it there. They’ve been kind enough to let me have a little bit of space to write an abridged Katie Darby Recommends column once a month. It is cool as hell to see some of this blog in print– but it’s also been challenging to learn how to balance writing I get paid for with writing for the blog, haha. So for my first month of writing a column about new, emerging artists I love, I chose to write about KDR favorite Tony Memmel.
I’ve been listening to Tony’s Here We Go regularly since I got the CD, and I often find myself humming the songs under my breath– especially “Helicopters and the Riot Squad”. I was thrilled to see both that Tony’s recording at a new home studio (which hopefully means more and more frequent music from him) and that there was a new EP, Yours and Mine, out now.
A pretty logical continuation from Here We Go, Yours and Mine deals largely with intimate relationships between people; Memmel’s long suit is putting complicated relationships in plain language. The first song, “Yours and Mine,” is about a relationship that’s been failing almost from the outset. It’s got a different sound and feel than his last record; there’s a high harmony part in the background, and there are strange droning effects that make it feel a little out-of-place. Which is effective in a song with lyrics like–
Whenever I’m anywhere we were that summer
the thought of it still makes me gasp
for breath, and for air, for a needle-nose prayer
that might fix all the wrongs in our past.
I clung to my innocence, firmly I grasped,
I hid it somewhere you’ll never find
You’ve taken your fists and you dug us a ditch
This is the last song of yours and mine
Remarkable internal rhyme of that first lyric notwithstanding, these lyrics are so tightly written it’s ridiculous. It manages to be both hyper-specific (probably aided by the use of the word “gasp”) and general enough that this could be anyone’s last song. This is a remarkably written song, underscored perfectly by the discomfort present in the music. Memmel’s vocals, as always, are excellent.
My favorite track, at least at the outset, is “Our First Vacation,” which is the sweet story of a couple’s first vacation. There’s such a genuine warmth for the woman in the song– and the places in the song– that it’s impossible not to feel that same affinity. There are few songs this sweet that don’t slide into saccharine territory, but as usual, Memmel avoids it by being direct–
And I never once got tired, the caffeine did the trick
and I didn’t sleep a wink last night, still feel like I did.
But the hotel wasn’t ready so we napped inside the car.
We checked in after 4pm and shared a pizza in a bar…
Part of the trick to Memmel’s music– here and otherwise– is that he acknowledges suffering and misfortune without being too swept up by it. The little inconveniences here– the hotel not being ready, the long road trip– all seem like another part of the journey here. And Memmel’s journey is a captivating one, both in the sweet love songs and the more knowing observations of the sad songs. In “Burnt Bridges,” Memmel says,
These lies were built on sand
When we made our last stand
You flicked me like a cigarette
blind-sided by the light
ash in my eyes
It pays to have foresight
I’m on my guard all the time.
All of the lyrics on this record are wonderful– and even better, the music is good enough that it’s easy to forget how good the lyrics are. It’s a really balanced EP, and one that I’m happy to recommend here.
The Best Local Bands at Summerfest
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Every year, Cascio Interstate Music teams up with 91.7 WMSE-FM (and this year with The A.V. Club Mil...Every year, Cascio Interstate Music teams up with 91.7 WMSE-FM (and this year with The A.V. Club Milwaukee) to add a little local flavor to the biggest music festival on earth. Bands from around the state and the region are given the opportunity to showcase their wares for the fine, discerning music connoisseur that is the average Summerfest goer.
**"Can't Miss Act [at this year's Summerfest]"**
Now that this year’s lineup has been officially released, we take a look at the two weeks of goodness and give you our picks of can’t-miss acts from each day. So take off that shirt, grab a beer in each hand and toss your tube-topped girlfriend up on your shoulders. It’s time to Fest!
3:00 p.m. – Tony Memmel & His Band
Tony Memmel has gradually worked his way into becoming one of the most interesting, talented singer-songwriters the city has to offer. The one-armed guitarist shifts effortlessly from introspective, angsty anthems to upbeat bluegrass-tinged jams. So knock out of work a bit early, take Friday off, and get this party started right!
Local Love - Summerfest's Cascio Stage spotlights Milwaukee
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For much of Summerfest's history, local bands were an afterthought. With so many touring acts domina...For much of Summerfest's history, local bands were an afterthought. With so many touring acts dominating the schedule, local bands were left to compete for unglamorous day slots, with preference often given to reliable draws like cover bands over groups with edgier or more esoteric sounds. That began to change five years ago, when the Cascio Interstate Music Groove Stage quietly launched with a modest schedule of local and regional bands. The stage has since grown, and now claims a full lineup that includes many of the city's most respected local acts, including bands that rarely perform outside of 21-and-up club shows.
“It gives these really deserving bands a chance to play for much larger audiences than they usually might,” Cascio CEO Michael Houser says of the stage, which for this year's festival has moved to a larger location behind the U.S. Cellular Connection Stage. “The stage really contributes an important community feel to Summerfest, as well as a lot of diversity to the lineup, since we book a lot of niche and indie music that you can't always find on the other stages.”
Here is a rundown of some of the daily highlights at this year's Cascio Interstate Music Groove Stage:
Thursday, June 30
Milwaukee singer-songwriter Tony Memmel didn't let being born without a left forearm stop him from teaching himself to play guitar, piano and harmonica. Joined in his band by keyboardist wife Lesleigh Memmel and drummer Brian Farvour, Memmel will play a set of inspirational folk-rock at 3 p.m.
Local bands get dream show at Summerfest
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VIDEO: http://www.fox6now.com/videobeta/1ccdfbbb-db6e-47b0-a5a2-2ea922b44dd1/Entertainment/Local-ban...VIDEO: http://www.fox6now.com/videobeta/1ccdfbbb-db6e-47b0-a5a2-2ea922b44dd1/Entertainment/Local-bands-get-dream-show-at-Summerfest
NBC's The Morning Blend "[Tony Memmel is] Amazing!"
Video Only http://www.themorningblend.com/videos/117808234.html
On the Road with Tony Memmel
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Anyone familiar with Milwaukee-based singer/songwriter Tony Memmel has no doubt heard of the classic...Anyone familiar with Milwaukee-based singer/songwriter Tony Memmel has no doubt heard of the classically trained crooner’s ability to — with the assistance of a pick affixed to his elbow by Gorilla Tape — strum a guitar expertly despite the absence of a left hand and forearm. It’s an impressive sight, to say the least. Just as amazing as overcoming the physical limitation (if not more so) is Memmel’s rarely matched motivation that he plies to his craft. He and his band have just put the finishing touches on Yours and Mine, their fourth release since 2008, and have traversed the Midwest and East Coast in support of it over the past two-plus weeks.
At the tail end of his sixth U.S. tour and days before his Milwaukee release show, Memmel took a few minutes while holed up in Massachusetts to tell Music Notes some highlights from the road, discuss the freedom in self-recording his new EP, and even chat about the success of the Brewers and Packers.
How has the road been so far?
It’s been great. We’re just finishing up and making our way back home for the show in Milwaukee this Friday, but it’s been really good. We’ve definitely been making more friends and fans in all these new cities we’ve been playing. It’s been significantly improved from all the other times we’ve been on the road.
What are some highlights?
Well, actually, one of the biggest highlights is that just a few days ago we were listed in Critic’s Picks for The Boston Globe for the week, which is a pretty huge accomplishment for us.
I’ve also noticed you’ve been written about in other out-of-town publications as well. With you not getting much press locally, how does it feel to get out-of-town attention?
It’s been wonderful! Everyone’s been really nice to talk with and has been really excited to help share our music and our story, and, you know, it’s been a big lift. Every time you see something coming through like that, it’s really exciting. Especially when it’s coming from out of town.
I’ve noticed that for every Boston on your tour itinerary, there’s a cluster of places like Ithaca (NY), Higganum (CT), Wadsworth (OH) and Scranton (PA). What’s the logic behind the locations you chose?
Yeah, we tried some new towns. We did some different types of gigs this time. We played in some coffee shops, some restaurants, some clubs. We also did a farmer’s market, and we just tried to get in front of more people; places with really strong built-in crowds. At the farmer’s market in the small town of Higganum, Conn., we actually made quite a few new friends and fans, sold a bunch of people our new EP, and they were really excited to have us. Pretty much anywhere that people are enthused to have us is a town that we’re excited to go to.
Of your five other tours, how does this one differ?
It’s actually been better. The more we get out there, the more we keep building friends and fans, the better it gets because we’re able to promote a little better and we’re able to get more people out at shows.
That’s kind of the point of touring at this level. We just keep trying to build our presence in each city. This has been our best tour. We’ve had extra great press, and, from a business standpoint, we’ve been moving a lot of copies of our new EP.
Even though it’s been working out well, has it been hard being away from Wisconsin with everything going on here, with the Packers and Brewers doing so well?
It has been. I’ve got the MLB app on my phone, so I’ve been following every play on my phone if I can’t find a TV that we can watch the Brewers on. But we’ve actually caught most of the playoff games on TV, and then we watched the Packers this past Sunday. So we’ve been bringing our Wisconsin love out east.
You wrote and recorded the new record at your house, right? What are the advantages and disadvantages to home recording?
Well, the major advantage is that I really had time to craft the songs and continue to work on them over a longer period of time than I’ve ever been able to before. What I would consider the challenge was that since I’d never done it before, I had a lot of learning to do. And I’m still learning a lot. So I’m just kind of working my way through this new software and trying to figure out how it all works. It was kind of a trailblazing task for me. But I’m really happy with how it all turned out.
I actually noticed some differences with the new record… different arrangements and more vocal effects than earlier albums. Was that you having more of an ability to mess around and make it your own?
Yeah, I just tried to see what I could do to make it sound just a little different than my previous records. I tried some new things, tried some studio experimentation, and I also play all the lead guitar on this record, which is different. I’ve never played lead before. You know, just having the time to work with all the things, it was fun to get to work on it over a longer period of time.
Now that you have a new home studio, a new record out and one more tour under your belt, what is your aim? What’s next?
You’ll be the first to know that I’m actually planning on recording a new record. It’s going to be a full-length with more, like, full band kind of arrangements. I hope to have that released sometime in early 2012.
Interview With Tony Memmel
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This year's been a busy year for Tony Memmel. In February Tony and his wife participated in a Hurric...This year's been a busy year for Tony Memmel. In February Tony and his wife participated in a Hurricane Katrina relief trip, and on March 17, 2010 he announced that he would be entering the studio to work on his third full-length album, Here We Go. He's also been playing numerous shows, appeared on such radio programs as Chicago Radio's Razor and Di Show, played Summerfest, and watched his single “Michigan is Getting Closer” become the #1 most requested song on Michigan's 102.7 WMOM radio station. To top it off Tony recently finished up an east coast tour this past fall which found him in Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Maine, and Michigan; and performed his CD release party for Here We Go on October 28 in his hometown of Milwaukee, WI.
While Tony was on his east coast tour I had the opportunity to interview him to check in with him and ask him some questions concerning his band, his new album, and how life was going. Tony was most gracious enough to take some time between the tour and working on a music video for “Lord Knows We Got Time” (the first single from his new album) and answer my questions.
Digital Hippos: First thing's first: how's the tour going?
Tony Memmel: The tour was phenomenal! I love touring. There's nothing quite like making a record, and listening to it 1,000 times, and trying to iron out all of the kinks and make a product you're proud of, and then test yourself again by putting it out there in front of people. I started the tour feeling a little anxious, hoping that I/the album would be well received and I was really pleased with the outcome.
DH: Congratulations on the win at the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge, MA. How did the competition come about, and how did it work?
TM: Every Monday night at the Lizard Lounge there is an open mic competition specifically geared toward songwriters. A tremendously talented group of performers show up every week and play two songs each, and a single "winner" is selected. Then, twice a year there is a "Finalists Competition" where winners from their respective Mondays come together in a final showdown of sorts. We had the good fortune to take first place! It was a HUGE honor!!!
DH: Switching gears a little bit: a lot of our readers aren't familiar with your back story for the most part, at what age did you start playing guitar and how did you learn to play in the style that you do?
TM: I was born missing my left forearm and I am self-taught on guitar. I started playing when I was about 14 years old, and over time, developed a method of playing that involves securing a pick to my left arm with really strong duct tape and playing left-handed.
DH: At what age did you write your first song and what subjects did you tackle in your early writing?
TM: My earliest songs were written around the same time that I got my first guitar. I was 14 years old and really starting to dig into music more deeply. My best friend at the time was a great guitarist, and he had a home studio on his computer. So, he and I would sit for hours working on writing and recording music. We eventually formed my first band Raul's Wild Kingdom, and I got into that really heavily and played with a rotating group of friends under that name until we sort of disbanded in 2005.
My earliest songs were almost exclusively about relationships, "crushes" on girls (Haha), friends, etc. I also had some early songs that I wrote about faith. Being raised a Lutheran, I was confirmed in 9th grade, and so that was on my mind a lot as well.
DH: What musicians have influenced your music the most?
TM: In 2006 I had a "Bob Dylan Experience." I had always been a fan of his music to some degree, and had a number of his recordings, but in the summer of that year, his music started reaching me much more deeply... It just spoke/speaks to me. I dove heavily into his catalog of recordings and took a renewed interest in my guitar and songwriting and started learning his songs and literally studying his lyrics. Just talking about it really makes me want to listen to him now.
Just before that, in 2004-2005 I listened to Ben Folds really heavily. I was just starting to learn piano, a requirement for music school, and immersed myself in it and played every day. I love his songwriting and he plays the crap out of the instrument. Rock and Roll.
My other huge influence over the last few years has been Bruce Springsteen. "Born To Run" is me. Quite simply. I've also explored Bruce's music really heavily over the past few years and I just love his songs about a love of rock and roll and believing it can get you out there, take you places and change your life, and at the same time, having responsibility to friends, family, work, country, and home. He has written some of my favorite music.
Also, I go through lots of inspirational "phases" where I'll listen to an artist almost exclusively for months. Some more recent artists are: Counting Crows, The National, Modest Mouse, Iron and Wine, Brahms, Weezer, and a whole bunch of others.
DH: Your first album mainly just featured you without a backing band, has working with a band changed the way that you write?
TM: Yes and no. I can still play most of my full band songs acoustically and that's where they all start, with just me and my guitar or piano. It is fun for me to flesh out the "skeleton" solo ideas with the group. I do all of the writing for the band, so it all comes from my mind. I hear entire songs in my head, every intricate part, before they're brought to the band.
DH: Your first album seemed to have a little more of a folk feel, with a lot of the songs feeling almost like modern folk “standards.” You're recent two albums have had a little bit more of a rock feel. Is this a conscious choice, or do you think it just feels like that due to adding the backing band?
TM: I think it's mostly the backing band. There are songs on my first album that when the band is added really rock. The band and I have experimented with that a bit over the last couple of years.
DH: It must be interesting to work with your wife in the band, and it makes for some great harmonies too! Do you care to expound on your professional and artistic relationship?
TM: First of all, thank you for your compliment. I love working with Lesleigh (my wife). In a professional sense, she is exceptionally good at learning music, she has a great ear and she's very personable and a great companion to tour with.
Creatively, I do all of the writing for the group, but she hears everything first. I often bounce new ideas off of her and get feedback and I trust her opinions.
DH: On the new album you start with “Overture” which includes the lyrics from “Leaving Home Part II -- The Adventurer” (the final track from Tony's second album, Potter Road). Does this have a significant meaning to you going into this new album?
TM: I came up with the idea to have the "Overture" track be a track that fans would recognize as being carried forward from the last album. I thought it would be a great and fitting precursor for the title track, Here We Go. The same themes apply, and Here We Go is a hugely amplified version of those earlier ideas regarding wanting and hoping for bigger and better things in life, and working every day to achieve them, clinging to the hope that your turn is coming.
DH: I noticed a few elements to the music on Here We Go that I hadn't heard on your previous two albums. Did you feel that the added elements were a natural evolution of your style, or just a need to do some things differently?
TM: Natural evolution. When I recorded my first solo record, The Tale of an Underdog, what you hear is what I was capable of doing at the time in terms of writing and performance. A few years later, thousands of hours of practice, and shows, and writing, and just living... I think my style and themes have naturally developed from those experiences.
DH: One particularly noticeable, and brilliant addition, were the horns in “I Know, I Know”. Was that inspired by your recent trip to New Orleans?
TM: Thank you, we're really excited about how the horns turned out. It wasn't particularly inspired by New Orleans (although other parts of the record DEFINITELY were). I am a long time fan of ska-punk music. Actually, my aforementioned band Raul's Wild Kingdom was in the alternative ska genre and horns are common in that style. I started playing trumpet at an early age and played all through high school.
My friend Greg Richlin (from Raul's Wild Kingdom) provided the horn tracks and did a heck of a job giving the album an extra kick of brass adrenaline!
DH: I love some of your choice of song titles like “The Chicken and the Trampoline” on Tales of an Underdog, “Big Houses and Expensive Dogs” on Potter Road, and “Helicopters and the Riot Squad” on Here We Go. Are there stories behind those titles and songs?
TM: Definitely. The titles are sparked from the themes of the songs. Briefly, "Chicken or the Trampoline" is about finding where your priorities lie; "Big Houses, Expensive Dogs" is about getting out of town; "Helicopters and the Riot Squad" is about trying to overcome a hurdle and get around something that's standing in your way.
DH: Professionally and creatively where do you see yourself going from here?
TM: My main focus right now is to get my new album out to folks. Here We Go is a special album, it means a great deal to me, and I want to share it with as many people as I can. I think my level of success with that will likely steer me in my next direction. I've already been doing some new writing... There will be more music to come but for now, like I said, it's all Here We Go.
DH: If our readers wanted to help you get radio play, or to see you play in their neck of the woods, what should they do?
TM: You can contact me at email@example.com. Also, my complete show calendar is up-to-date on myspace.com/tonymemmel and tonymemmel.com. "Like" Tony Memmel on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter and Reverbnation. Most things "Tony Memmel" can be found via the internet.
DH: Is there any advice that you would give to young independent musicians who want to do what you're doing?
TM: Tough question... There's a lot of work involved in being an indie musician. I'd say focus on the music first. If you write good music, that's a really good start... Record your rehearsals and shows, and make a point of studying what you do. It's important to see what people are seeing and hear what people are hearing when they see and hear you. There are a lot of things to keep in mind... So, overall I'd recommend staying up to date with this ever-changing business by reading industry books, articles and other publications and do what works best for you. Good luck!
Innovator tells 'Tale of an Underdog' as his hard work pays off
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Innovator tells 'Tale of an Underdog' as his hard work pays off By LAURA DRITLEIN In one of Tony...Innovator tells 'Tale of an Underdog' as his hard work pays off
By LAURA DRITLEIN
In one of Tony Memmel’s songs, “Back to Milwaukee,” he croons, “I’ve been working hard, nothing has been easy,” but he plays guitar with ease and performs with a passion for music that began as early as when he was in grade school.
Memmel used the fingers on his right hand to play the chords of his left-handed guitar, while with his left arm, he controls a pick.
“I’m all right-handed,” said Memmel. “It makes me unique and different, but it doesn’t define me solely.”
It takes a lot for Memmel to play guitar. He relies heavily on his pick during his guitar performances, which include intricate melodies and strum patterns.
“I’ve had to trailblaze in a way. I had to figure it out on my own,” said the open-minded inventive Memmel, who, being born with one arm, has had to come up with new ways to play music. “I use Gorilla tape to secure a pick to my arm. It sounds simple, but it took a while to develop this.”
Memmel, 22, grew up in Waukesha and started playing the trumpet when he was 10 and continued throughout high school. He is also a singer, songwriter and pianist. He released a CD in March, called “Tale of an Underdog.”
His songs are based on many inspirations, including stories his grandparents tell, underdogs, hope and his upbringing.
The Memmel family loves music, “though no one has pursued it as much as I have,” he added.
Singers and songwriters such as Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon, The Beatles and several local artists are Memmel’s primary influences.
Memmel continued his interest in music while playing with the Waukesha North Northstar marching band and symphonic band. He also sang with the choir.
“At first, you think, how will this individual be successful in this activity?” said Jim Doepke, former director of bands for Waukesha North. “Once you meet Tony, he is remarkable. It is a nonissue. You look beyond it.”
“Because of his great outlook, his involvement with the band, his great rapport with his peers, he had a big impact on the band from a musical sense and a leadership perspective. He always kept it light,” said Doepke.
At University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Memmel earned a music degree and was chosen to sing the national anthem during his graduation in May.
Memmel is writing a lot of new songs and working hard to achieve his goal.
“I want to be able to sustain myself with my music,” said Memmel.
“I try to write about what I know,” said Memmel, who referred to a quote by George Bernard Shaw, in which he says the man who writes about himself and his own time is the man who writes about all people and all time.
Memmel and fiancee Lesleigh Gilles of Milwaukee will marry in January.
Besides being a really good musician, “The thing that comes to mind is that he is a poet. His lyrics are what make him stand out,” said Gilles.
They met in chamber choir at UW-Oshkosh. Gilles is studying to be a nurse and will graduate in May. Gilles helps behind the scenes at shows and joins Memmel on stage to sing with him during Simon and Garfunkel sets.
After graduation, they plan to take the musical show on the road.
“He has grown so much, musically and lyrically. It has been fun to watch him.
“He really connects with the audience. People get lost in his lyrics and in his music.
“He is an innovator in every way, in his music, in everything,” said Gilles.
In one of Memmel’s songs, called “The Old Man and the Weatherman,” there is a whistling bridge. “People will still be whistling it as they go out the door,” said Gilles.
“He loves writing and making his music. He loves that people are taking it home with them. He is very diligent with his writing,” she said. “People like his music. It is really great to have it all pay off.”
Memmel will open for Madison singer-songwriter John Statz at the Art Bar in Milwaukee at 9 p.m. Saturday.
Memmel and Statz met as music students in college, and they invite each other when they perform shows. Statz describes his own music as more Americana in flavor. He plays old-time Carter family songs and Bob Dylan songs. Statz will also release a new CD on Saturday.
“It is a pretty incredible way that he is able to play guitar,” said Statz about Memmel.
“You can tell what a great time he is having, and his enthusiasm rubs off,” said Statz.
Memmel will continue to showcase his music and inspiration as he plays throughout Southeastern Wisconsin. He has shows coming up at Stone Bank Pub & Eatery and at Winestein’s in Oconomowoc, the Eagles Club on Grandview Boulevard in Waukesha and The Coffee Vault in Dousman.
To hear music of Tony Memmel, visit www.myspace.com/tonymemmel. For more on John Statz, visit www.johnstatz.com.
• The Art Bar, Milwaukee: 9 p.m. Nov. 1
• Stone Bank Pub & Eatery, Stone Bank: 7 p.m. Nov. 6
• Winestein’s, Oconomowoc: 7 p.m. Nov. 15
• Eagles Club, Waukesha: 9 p.m. Nov. 29
• Winestein’s: 7 p.m. Dec. 13
• The Coffee Vault, Dousman: 7 p.m. Jan. 22
SINGLE-HANDEDLY WOWING AUDIENCES "Here We Go" keeps the band on track. (10/22/10)
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It's no exaggeration to say that Tony Memmel has single-handedly forged an increasingly improving ca...It's no exaggeration to say that Tony Memmel has single-handedly forged an increasingly improving catalog of affable folk ditties and wowed audiences throughout the Midwest and East Coast. You see, the Waukesha-based singer/guitarist was born without a left forearm or hand. Moreover, Memmel has labored relentlessly to become a classically trained musician and then, to expose his musical renderings to as many people as possible.
Using his infectiously upbeat personality and a guitar pick affixed to his left elbow with duct tape, Memmel has become something of a folk hero at open mics and acoustic shows in the greater Milwaukee area. He and his backing band have recorded three albums since 2008.
The latest of those albums, “Here We Go,” seems to tell the story of a songwriter who's comfortable in his own skin, and who's seeking to tell the world he's ready for it to hear him. Memmel says as much on the album's title track, bellowing, “Here I am, America” with a temporary touch of Counting Crows in his voice. In all, the album's early songs seem rooted in up tempo tracks backed with lively drums, warbling piano keys and a steady diet of shouted “Hey!”s. Solid scaffolding as it is, the album's outset - complete with lyrics like “Misery loves company” - doesn't reinvent the wheel.
It isn't until midway through the album when you not only begin to get an idea why Memmel is warning the world he's come to play, but you also begin to believe it. Back-ended with catchy and well-thought number “The Vagrant” and the intricate picking and rhythm section trot of “Lord Knows We've Got Time,” the effort takes tardy shape, and the previously employed mush solidifies into something sturdy.
The especially folky “Control” finds Tony and his wife, Lesleigh, also married in a warm and altogether gorgeous hummed harmony reminiscent of Iron & Wine. “Sink or Swim,” the last song on the album, brings about a continued honeymoon of the melded octaves in addition to perhaps the best recorded insight to Memmel's keen musicianship and lyrical ability with the album's last line, “Love is like the water - beautiful when calm. All is well when waves are lapping, sink or swim when rough.”
In all, “Here We Go” is a fittingly titled indication that Tony Memmel & his band are on the right track to reaching many more ears in myriad new places. And when that happens, it will have nothing to do with Tony Memmel's missing hand, rather, the rich and beautiful compositions he's managed in spite of it.
Tony Memmel & his band will play a release show for “Here We Go” at Bremen Café (901 E. Clarke St.) Friday, Oct. 29.
Interested in reading more press about Tony Memmel?
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I have been fortunate, over the course of the last several years, to have a large number of print pu...I have been fortunate, over the course of the last several years, to have a large number of print publications, blogs, and websites cover my music and my story. I am not able to post all of my press here at Sonicbids.
If you are interested in reading more of my press that dates back into 2010, 2009, or 2008, please contact me at tony[at]tonymemmel[dot]com and I would be glad to send you what you're looking for.
Thank you for your time and interest in reading further.
**Note: Tony tries to be very flexible. His set is highly customizable and can cater to almost any audience.
He is available for hire as a solo-acoustic artist, or with his band.
Typical show length is 2-45 minute sets or 1-75 minute set.
Typical set: (all songs written by Tony Memmel)
Lord Knows We've Got Time
Big Houses, Expensive Dogs
Yours and Mine
Michigan Is Getting Closer
Helicopters & The Riot Squad
Wrong Ain't Right
I Know, I Know
A Song About Birthdays
One Week To Philadelphia
Here We Go
Our First Vacation
Fuels the Fire
Someday I'll Get There
America To Go
Cover Songs: Tony occasionally performs covers by: Jeff Tweedy, Bob Dylan,
The Arcade Fire, Ben Folds, Simon and Garfunkel, Iron and Wine, and Tom Petty.
|Dec 31, 2013 Tuesday||12:00 PM||OFFICIAL CALENDAR AVAILABLE at www.tonymemmel.com||, US|