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NEWS & EDITORIALS



 
Snickers Brusky Memorial Fundraiser (and Dance!)
August 10, 2022

To honor the memory of my beloved cat Snickers who passed away in 2021, I am running a fundraiser to raise money for Happy Endings No-Kill Cat Shelter in Milwaukee. The fundraiser will run through August 30, ending with a polka-variety dance at Pat's Oak Manor in South Milwaukee.

For more information and to donate, please go to the fundraiser website: Snickers Brusky Memorial Fundraiser
 

Download this flyer as a PDF.






Major Change to Band for 2023
August 9, 2022

I'm making a significant change to my band that I have contemplated over the past few years. Since my band started gigging back in the mid 1990s, we've prided ourselves on delivering the classic Milwaukee polka sound to both the largest and smallest of venues. We're going to keep delivering that sound, but starting in 2023, we'll be delivering it as a duo for smaller venues only. We will no longer be playing larger events and concerts as a three- or four-piece band.

There are a couple of main reasons why I am making this change:

1. Polka musicans, especially during the Oktoberfest season, are in very short supply. Since they are independent contractors free to take any job with any band, most will take the first offer that comes in. When all the best musicians are taken, it can be impossible for a bandleader to put a full band together.

2. Over the past 25 years in gymnasiums, beer tents, and pavilions, I've been cranking myself through a powered monitor so I could hear myself over the other musicians and crowd noise, but when I do that, I lose the ability to discern pitch. It's always been a struggle for me to hear what I'm playing or singing in noisy environments, and I'm done fighting against the noise. I find playing as a two-piece band in places like small clubs, senior residences, and at outdoor gatherings to be the most enjoyable because we can hold the volume on stage to a comfortable level.

We may still play one or two special events a year with a full-size band, but most of the jobs we currently play as a three- or four-piece band will either be re-contracted for the two-piece band or passed on to other bands. We're going to focus instead on backyard parties, wedding reception cocktail hours, assisted living facilities, beer gardens, fundraisers, and anywhere else a smaller, more affordable band will be a good fit.





 
New Album Released!
July 17, 2022


I'm thrilled to announce the release of my 17th studio album, Escape to Polka Paradise. I started production on this album in Spring of 2021, and officially released it on July 15, 2022.

Link: Escape to Polka Paradise




 
 

Royalty Payments Hit a New Low
July 11, 2022

A couple years ago, I posted an article lamenting about some digital streaming royalty payments had dropped as low as $0.0001. That's one one-thousandth of a cent. At the time, I joked about how payments would eventually hit $0. Guess what?
 



 

 
 

Award Considerations for Album Appreciated but Not Necessary
July 7, 2022

Although very few people have heard previews of my upcoming album Escape to Polka Paradise, it's been strongly suggested I submit it to various awards programs for nomination. I am flattered by the suggestion, just as I was a few years ago when I was asked to submit Positively Polka and some of my original songs for awards consideration, but I don't submit my own albums for awards for a very specific reason:

I create music simply for the enjoyment of it. I do not create music — especially polka music — to compete with other bands and musicians.

I don't mean for this to come across as smug, but I already know where my music stands in relation to other songs and albums being released. I know how much time, money, and effort I put into writing, arranging, and recording my albums. I don't need an award to validate any of that. Whether my album were to win multiple awards or quietly drift into obscurity, it wouldn't have any effect on how my music makes people feel, nor would it affect how I feel about my own music.

So, if you are a voting member of an awards organization and may feel inclined to nominate this album for an award, thank you, however, I will encourage you to reserve your nomination for someone else. There are lots of musicians out there who like winning awards and will appreciate your vote.




 

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