Tracks Outta Town
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Tracks Outta Town

Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, United States | SELF

Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, United States | SELF
Band Americana Adult Contemporary


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



"Local Band Opens Concert in the Park Series"

By Judith Sulik
Local band Tracks Outta Town will be the first act to perform at Black Earth’s weekly Concerts in the Park series, and it’s a band that knows how to entertain an audience.
Tracks will open this year’s concert series with a concert in Veterans Memorial Park this coming Tuesday, Jan. 22 (6:30 p.m.)
The band specializes in railroad country, but it also plays rock, blues, Texas swing, oldies and more.
“Tracks” was built on an idea lead vocalist, guitarist, and fiddle player Mike Forkal of Mazomanie had years ago. Forkal combined his interest in railroad history and railroad-related music, songs like “Orange Blossom Special”, “Wreck of the Ol’ 97”, and “A Travelin’ Man”.
“As I got deeper into it, I found out there’s just an awful lot of good music out there that has to do with the railroad,” said Forkal. “It’s something that crosses a lot of musical genres.”
Not all of the band’s songs ride the rails, but a lot of them do, and they’ll be playing most of them Tuesday night.
Forkal’s singing ability was recognized by his parish priest when he was ten. He was asked to join two other boys as cantors. Then he became one of the millions of young people caught up in Beatlemania who picked up guitars and taught themselves to play. When the bluegrass band he played with needed a fiddler, he put aside his bass guitar and began fiddling. He’s been playing with bands for years: the Rosebuds for a decade, the Snowbillys for about the same, and now Tracks Outta Town since 2001.
Over the years, the band’s composition has changed, though Forkal and lead guitarist Steve Baillies have been on track for the entire trip. The modern version of Tracks also features Rick Becker (drums/vocals), Mike Kezer (bass/vocals), John Donaldson (keyboard/vocals), Baillies and Forkal. Often, a guest musician takes the stage and joins in. Rumor has it one of those surprises will be in attendance Tuesday night.
Talking about the band’s playlist, Donaldson noted, “You won’t hear a lot of Top 40-type stuff out of this band, but you’ll recognize a lot of the tunes if you’ve been paying attention.”
“We try and search the periphery for quality songs that have something to say,” Donaldson added. “We play songs that we like; we’re not into the human jukebox thing.”
Donaldson and Kezer are 1972 graduates of Wisconsin Heights. Donaldson lives in the Town of Vermont and runs the local newspaper. Kezer is now a resident of Middleton, but he returns to the Heights area often as a member of the Iron Horse Cornet Band and another area band, Staff Infection.
Donaldson says he’s known Forkal for 30 years or so, but they had never played together.
“I just met Steve and Rick a couple of years ago, but it turns out we’ve known a lot of the same people over the years. It’s kind of like that Kevin Bacon thing. I hope we’re still playing 30 years from now.”
When Tracks Outta Town plays, it’s clear the band members are really enjoying themselves. Donaldson explained this vibe well when he said, “The thing that impresses me about these guys is that they’re really easy-going. If somebody’s got an idea, we can talk about it without any band politics getting in the way. Maybe that comes with maturity, which I guess is a nice way of saying we’re old. I think what Tracks has got going for it is that none of us are too pretentious about the music, so we’re all pretty willing to try different things.”

- News-Sickel-Arrow


Tracks Outta Town EP. You can stream our music at



It all started as a concept Lead Vocalist and Fiddle/Guitar player Mike Forkal had combining his interest in railroad history and railroad related music. The Tracks Outta Town were formed in 2001 by musicians from various bands around the Madison, Wisconsin, area. We specialize in Railroad Country, Western, Rock, Blues, Bluegrass, Texas Swing, Oldies and other types of music. A wise person once said, "Blues musicians play 5 or 6 chords for hundreds of people. Jazz musicians play hundreds of chords for 5 or 6 people." The Tracks Outta Town respect and appreciate Jazz and Blues. At present, Tracks Outta Town musicians play more than 5 or 6 chords and we usually play for more than 5 or 6 people, but not always. We are striving to expose more of humanity to the Tracks Outta Town experience. We want your event to be a fun and memorable experience at a price so low you'll think we've suffered brain damage. We will gear our set lists for your event. Heck, we will even let you come up and sing a tune or two if that's what you want. Special guest performers are part of the Tracks Outta Town experience. For some great tunes and a heck of a good time, check out The Tracks Outta Town.