Chick Singer Band
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Chick Singer Band

Madison, Wisconsin, United States | SELF

Madison, Wisconsin, United States | SELF
Band Alternative Pop


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



This band has no press


We are a new band, in the process of mixing our first EP. Video of the band is available on YouTube, and is linked at our website:



Chick Singer, as is true of so many things, is the chick singer's fault. I ascribe the band's genesis to the influence of two wildly different albums and the fact that, in addition to being a musician and a faculty member at a local technical college, I am also a hack of a writer.

The first album hails from an Icelandic Mambo Band (that ain't the whiskey talking, you read right), by Bogomil Font and His Millionaires, a side project of Sigtryggur Baldursson, who --temporarily marooned in Madison, Wisconsin-- was the drummer with a band I was in. (Note: this is like saying you were on the same Little League team as Babe Ruth, or did band camp with Chris Botti.) Bogomil was Siggi's creation, but "he" took on a life of his own, as is evident when you listen to "him" singing on the group's 1993 album Ekki thessi leidindi. While I will probably never render "Mambo Italiano" in Icelandic (as Bogomil does with great gusto on that album), I fell in love with both that song and the idea of inhabiting a character one had made up as the basis of a band.

Bob Queen, a Madison activist and Herculean organizer of East Side festivals gave me the second album, a compilation CD from the 2008 WOMEX music festival. The disc featured music I'd always wanted to tackle, from parts of the world I'd never been to or even imagined. I couldn't stop playing it. Worse, because of the thing about being a writer, I started trying to invent somebody who would be moved to sing everything from Afro-pop to ska tunes to Celia Cruz.

The end result was a completely imaginary, washed up, 1960's lounge singer named Chiquita "Chick" Singer. I pictured her as a second or third string performer, obliterated somewhere in the 70's by booze and pills, who went on some weird journey of self discovery and then resurfaced in Madison. Hooray! I would BE her. I would persuade outstanding musicians to join me in the venture. We would be other people. I would make up amusing names for them. It would ROCK.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------Chick Singer Lives! And Dies.
Or not. The music part of the venture has always been wonderful. The part where I pretended to be somebody else, turned out to be a "don't try this at home, kids" thing. As I got coaching from people who could actually act, it quickly became apparent that inhabiting another soul is something you commit to. The band did a show. "Chick Singer" fumbled her way through it without any animals being harmed in the process, but "she" was no Bogomil.

The band did another gig, a private one this time. It was on a farm, in midsummer, too hot to get into full regalia or put on an act. It was ten times the fun. I realized if I didn't want to pretend to be somebody else. I just wanted to wear a wig and put a hurting on tunes that thrilled me or the other band members.

Chiquita Singer is a novel. Or performance art. Or the story that kicks the music off. But there our paths parted.

Or not.

The band travels down dark roads with a shimmy, something new and very rewarding to me. It also leans heavily on Geoff, Kia, Greg, Michael, Lisa and Kevin's endlessly creative energies, and makes some space for us to suddenly turn a torch song into a polka. Somewhere in there is the imagined Chiquita "Chick" Singer and all those stories she must have to tell.