Whiteshoes Blues
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Whiteshoes Blues


Band Blues Funk


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"What Venues Are Saying"

Alex, Steve, and Graham,
I just wanted to let you guys know that last night was so uplifting for us, for the New Year. We got to experience some incredibly talented, hot, hot, hot! band!! :]

You guys are well on your way, and we had so much fun with you last night and we look forward to seeing you again on Friday February 6th!

Thank you so much for joining Milwaukee's best musicians here at the LDL.

Love,Laughter, and Lots of smiles,
:) - Whiteshoes

"I'm a Bluesman"

Alex Smith Brief Biography

“I’m a Bluesman”
Written By: Karissa Tousignant

A Trumpet, Violin, Electric, and Acoustic Guitars and Blues music: what do all these things have in common? Well they could have many things in common, but I want to tell you about a person they symbolize. These all tell about the life and passion of a young man named Alex Smith.

Alex was born in Michigan where he lived until his family moved to Waukesha Wisconsin, where he and his family currently reside. His family consists of his parents, himself, and two sisters, one older then Alex and one younger. Alex was exposed to music early in his life as his older sister played the violin and his dad enjoyed Blues music. Alex began his musical adventures first with the violin, but as he said, “it did not fit him, it was boring,” it was not long before Alex moved on to another instrument more fitting for him, the trumpet. Enjoying the trumpet, he played for about Six years between home and the school band. But Alex’s real talents and eventual passion would not come from the violin of trumpet but from an unexpected encounter with an electric guitar. Alex owned an acoustic guitar but only played it on occasion. One day a friend of Alex’s asked Alex if he could trade or borrow Alex’s acoustic guitar for his electric guitar. This was a turning point for Alex, for as soon as he played the electric guitar he fell in love and has remembered this by saying, “I picked up the guitar once and haven’t been able to put it down since.” Alex began playing down in his basement as often as he could, even late at night and said, “he would keep running upstairs to see if the amp was too loud.” The electric guitar changed Alex’s life forever, as he just wanted to keep playing and playing.

But just practicing at home was not enough for Alex and he soon found himself involved in different gigs, where he would play with other musicians to bring his love of guitar to others. One of his favorite places to play is Bobby Rocket’s Live Bar and Restaurant, which he attended every Sunday for a education by the lead guitar player there, named Michael Coleman. Michael became a great inspiration for Alex. He taught Alex and continues to teach him everything he knows about music and the art of being a musician. Alex “see Michael as a father figure” as he not only passed on his knowledge of music but also his wisdom in ways of life as well. He say’s that “Michael keeps him humble.” Seeing how important passing on knowledge is to one another, Alex has inspired other guitar players through his own playing. Although Alex says he does not see himself as a teacher, he enjoys playing much better.

Another band that Alex played in was one that he himself started in his senior year in high school. It was called the “Blues Club.” There, Alex and other aspiring musicians would have fun playing. They even played for the high school basketball games and made a independent CD called “Groove Machine.” The credits for that CD go to Alex Smith (guitar and vocals), Chris Eicher (drums), Steven Martin (Bass), Kyle Stair (guitar), Richard Clifford (saxophone), and Kyle Roghan (keyboard). Although they still get together once in a while, it is more difficult, as now some of the band members have gone off to college. Continuing on his journey in music, he was hired to play in a band called Kenny J and Blue-Wagon. He played with them until recently, when he un-expectantly was told he could not play anymore as the bandleader decided to return back to one of his former musicians. But being driven on by a dream of playing the guitar blues, Alex was undaunted. Being present at the time of his phone call with the bandleader, I found Alex to be very professional and understanding. He said, “I take life as it comes to me and I have to learn and grow from difficulties in my life.” He had demonstrated an attitude toward life that will surely bring him success in his lifetime. He continues to be determined and ready to meet the challenges of the life of a musician.

Alex’s love of the guitar is not only in the actual playing but also in the type of music he plays. His favorite kind of music to play and listen to is the Blues. Blues music first evolved from African-American slaves and workers as a way to express themselves, either in a spiritual way, while they were working, or as chants. It began as one slave or worker called to another one in the field while they were working; this was called “field hollers.” Although Blues music is different from the way slaves used to call to each other in the fields, it still has the same call and answer rhythm. Although Blues music has the impression of having a “sad” undertone, blues actually had a big influence of rock and roll and even rap. Alex say’s that “there was a time when there was a big boom of blues music and the it died down.” He “wants to bring the blues back to the main stream.” He says, “I’m a bluesman”.

When Alex was asked where or what he foresees for himself in the future, he responded in these words, “In one year I would like to be in a big city like New York or Chicago furthering my education in music. In three years I will be twenty-one and would be able to play anywhere.” Alex went on to say in five years he would like to go on the road with his own band and then in ten years travel to Europe and make lots of money. Alex could even foresee himself in twenty years, touring the rest of the world, and well, maybe, getting married. He would then continue touring the world and become involved in a big music company and pursue starting his own big club. He even went as far as saying in fifty years, when old age sets in, he would limit the amount of touring he does and perhaps write a book and continue playing big gigs. He said, “I am going to play my guitar until the day I die.” As can be seen, Alex does not intend to stay in one place for long as his dreams and aspirations take him far into the future.

As Alex’s life revolves around music he is always seeking out ways to keep that music in his life. One way for him to do that was to attend several concerts of famous Blues musicians for instance, one of the musicians he saw was B.B. King. But the most important way to keep music in his life in to insure the very instrument that makes all this happen in well taken care of. He does have a favorite guitar that he sanded and fixed by hand. His guitar is so important to him that his older sister Anna says, “Alex even sleeps with his guitar or at least has it always beside his bed at night.” Another way Alex keeps music in his life in by reading about it. He has been known to spend time in the library reading books about music.

Even though Alex dreams of being a great musician someday, he is well aware of the challenges ahead of him and the special difficulties he may encounter in a profession he so admires. Although he finds it interesting to play in different settings, many of his gigs take him to bars and restaurants where he has encountered those who are lost, have no close family, or have no job. Individuals have come up after the performance and talked to Alex and others about their lives. But his love of music and especially the blues drives him on. He has always loved to be on stage ever since he was little and will continue to courageously play and sing before and audience regardless of the circumstances.

Alex is only completely happy when he is pursuing his dreams in music and I believe that he will be able to succeed in his dreams and aspirations and become famous. With words of wisdom such as, “A good performer is the same person on stage as off stage” and “I live the life I love and I love the life I live.” Alex is bound for stardom on and off the stage.

1. Smith, Alex. E-Mail interview. 27 September 2008.
2. McElrath, Jessica. The History Of Blues Music. 28 September 2008 <http://afroamhistory.about.com/od/bluesmusic/a/bluesmusic.htm>.
3. Smith, Alex. Personal Interview. 28 September 2008.
4. Smith, Alex. Alex Smith and the Rounders. 28 September 2008
5. Smith, Anna. Telephone interview. 28 September 2008.
- UW-College System

"Alex Bio"

Alex "Whiteshoes" Smith is the real thing. Whether your hearing him play in a small club, a big concert hall, or a huge outdoor festival, you won't think of the blues in the same way after you see this young man. "I grew up listening to my dad's James Brown albums and BB King records", Alex says. He got his chops from many talented musicians, most notably, Michael Coleman, who has become part of his family. "He teaches me how to lead a band, how to play the blues, how to deal with woman, and whatever problems I encounter", Alex states. Attending Michael's jam at Bobby Rockets every Sunday for over two years has taught Alex how to put on a full length show. Even using Michael's name and his own persistance, Alex, thanks also to Tony Coleman, had the pleasure to meet BB King in 2008. "I tipped my hat and thanked him for everything he has done", Alex recalls. The Whiteshoes name comes from Kenny J of the Bluewagon band out of Milwaukee from when Alex had a short stint in the Bluewagon band. They separated when Alex was hungry to start his own thing again. Now that he's got his own thing he plans to take things to new heights with his funky blues. "I'm going to play my guitar until the day I die", he states, and after seeing him again and again you'll see the truth of it. Alex is currently attending UW-Waukesha college getting his general education credits taken care of and has been accepted to McNally Smith school of Music in St. Paul Minnesota and Columbia College in Chicago. The future is impossible to predict for anyone but one thing is certain, the world isn't going to be in short supply of blues anytime soon.

Alex also wants to thank the following people:

Charles Walker - for allowing me to sit in with his band countless times and for telling me stories, and for his friendship.

Misha - for showing me guitar tricks and for being like a big brother.

Robert Allen Jr. - For helping me so much with business of things and for being like a big brother.

And for all the other people who have helped in so many ways: Merle Perkins, Jared James Nichols, T-Man, Keith, Eichers, Graham and Steven, Harvey, Bob, Censkys, Aaron Williams, Mike Neil, and all you other people know who you are who have helped.

Most Importantly, all my family and the lord. - .

"Steven Bio"

Steven Martin, originally from Wisconsin, first got his hands on a bass when Alex was looking for a bass player for a school contest. Steven was learning guitar at the time but once he switched to bass, he had found his instrument. He is an avid learner and stubbern negotiator who can play his bass with more feel than people who have a lifetime of experience. Steven currently attends the college of UW-Madison and is working on an Enginneering Degree. Working his way onto the Madison music scene, Steven will impress anybody he plays for. Steven has gained advice from top professionals such as Michael Coleman and Merle Perkins (drummer for Eddy Clearwater). Bottom line, with a rhythm section of Steven Martin and Graham Bintliff, Alex just has to get the notes right and look good, not too hard. - .

"Graham Bio"

Graham Bintliff has been playing the drums for 11 years. His influences string from many different styles of music including the Police, Steve Jordan (the Verbs), Dave Matthews Band, and many more musicians. Graham has played in many bands around the area, and has went on tour with his former band Sanstereo, which is now history. Now he has found work with some very enthusiastic musicians around the area and is now working on some other projects besides White Shoes, so he can keep his chops up. Graham has been learning the blues and funk from funky Michael Coleman, Larry the Legend, and Donnie Mac, and he has taken great strides so far. He is 22 and currently resides in Greenfield, and his parents John and Judy Bintliff have been a big support in his musical endeavors. - .


Still working on that hot first release.



We (Alex Smith and the Whiteshoes Blues Band) are a solid tight funky band with many influences. Most notably though is the Chicago blues player Michael Coleman, who has lifted us high above the average blues or funk band to a level all our own. We got an original style we put on each song, whether it is a cover or an original. We got a tight groove which, personally, reminds me of Booker T and the MGs. But we are a younger band who are looking for exposure at festivals and clubs and are willing to travel (if the money is right). Also looking to build legitamate solid business relationships. Be sure to check out the website at www.whiteshoesblues.com


*Be sure to check the "Press" page to bios of the band members!*

© 2008 Whiteshoes