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Maestro Subgum and the Whole


Maestro Subgum and the Whole


Music with Teeth for People with Gums..

This fantastically creative rock/cabaret band out of Chicago is long gone, releasing their last album in 1995. Their eight studio albums have been out of print for way too long.

To remedy that, Uvulittle Records has re-mastered and has re-released all the original albums plus previously un-available live and studio material.

MAESTRO SUBGUM AND THE WHOLE : A Brief History

Maestro Subgum and the Whole is the brainchild of Beau O’Reilly, who founded the band in Madison, Wisconsin, in the late 70s, then brought it to its creative peak in Chicago in the 80s and 90s. The band’s innovative sound – music with teeth for people with gums – was always a cabaret of rock, folk, and stage musical songs, strong on melody and intelligent lyrics. The songs were usually topical, though they never shied away from the personal politics of love and life.

Originally centered on strong trio vocals and a full piano sound (provided by first Kit Keasey, then Joe Huppert, then Michael Greenberg), the band has ranged from primarily acoustic to driving electric to the best known Maestro era featuring as many as 7 singers and a horn section. While quite an array of musicians have contributed to the Maestro legacy, Beau has always kept the focus on the vocals, although many a gig ended with everybody shaking the proverbial leg. The band has also been closely associated with the Chicago Theatre scene, especially the Curious Theatre Branch and the Rhinoceros Theatre Festival.

Beau always pontificated between songs as Lefty Fizzle, the Chaplin-moustached, cane-wielding conscience of the group, and he also assigned stage names to the other band members (Jenny the Magnifire, Joe Tech, Miki da Lip, Red Ned the Flaming Messenger of Love). At its most ambitious, the group toured regionally (particularly to Madison) and even abroad, but its core audience has always been Chicago, in theatres and in clubs such as Lower Links, Phyllis’ Musical Inn, and The Lunar Cabaret.

Songs in the Maestro canon are mostly original, often written in collaboration, and largely by Beau O’Reilly, Jenny Magnus, and Michael Greenberg. The cover songs usually did not ape their originals, but instead brought fresh sounds and interpretations to tunes by Greg Brown, Michael Smith, Jonathan Richman, and even back to Vaudeville and Music Hall writers. Recordings, released on various independent labels, were mostly made during the late 80s and 90s when Beau and Jenny were the primarily singers, and Miki directed the musicians.

Discography


March 11, 2013
In Stock

Maestro Subgum - Box Set


We printed 100 numbered copies. Each box contains all 8 original Maestro Subgum and the Whole albums and a "Rares" CD containing some of the best of the previously un-released tracks from the archive. Box buyers also get access to the on-line archive of live and unreleased recordings. The albums are also available individually and as downloads. The "Mp3" and "Flac" versions include all the albums... [read more]

March 7, 2013
In Stock

Rares


This collection of "Rares" from the Maestro Subgum and the Whole catalog spans their entire run, 1980 - 1995. Consisting of live and studio recordings, the sound quality varies but the creativity, beauty and humor remains high. In choosing the songs we prioritized songs that never made it onto one of the official releases and kept a lookout for the amazing. Produced by Jon Hain and Beau O'Reilly.

January 19, 2013
In Stock

Hot Ol' Wadda


By the early 90s, the creative font that was Maestro Subgum and the Whole erupted with an almost complete turnover in its song catalog. The sound changed significantly with the addition of a regular horn section, although a cappellas still happened, too. The dual cassettes that came out of the Double Amazement sessions were dubbed Stormin’ And A Fever and Hot Ol’ Wadda. Jenny, Beau, and Miki... [read more]

January 19, 2013
In Stock

Lost Lost Lost


The pinnacle of the band’s recording career was Lost Lost Lost, both because of the variety of writers and singers and the size and tightness of the ensemble. The writing was still strong, but the horn and vocal arrangements had reached a new, fantastically satisfying level. It was recorded at Acme Studios and mixed at C.M.C. Recorders, where mixer Joe DeLeonardis had a huge influence on the... [read more]

January 12, 2013
In Stock

Stormin' And A Fever


By the early 90s, the creative font that was Maestro Subgum and the Whole erupted with an almost complete turnover in its song catalog. The sound changed significantly with the addition of a regular horn section, although a cappellas still happened, too. The dual cassettes that came out of the Double Amazement sessions were dubbed Stormin’ And A Fever and Hot Ol’ Wadda. Jenny, Beau, and Miki... [read more]

January 9, 2013
In Stock

Jiggle The Constable


The touring version of Maestro Subgum and the Whole bopped around the Midwest and the east coast and points in between (and even across the ocean) as the band continued adding to its extensive original catalog. The 8-song EP, Jiggle The Constable, originally released only on vinyl, is a dance album and a fan pleaser. Updated versions of mid-80s stalwarts ‘Life Outa Wack’ and ‘Misty Mountain’... [read more]

December 19, 2012
In Stock

At The Wart Hog Museum


The 1993 album At The Warthog Museum was curated by Red Ned. The band had set out to do a live album, and indeed much of it was recorded direct to DAT at The Beat Kitchen and other venues. Some tracks were also done completely in studio (Sedistudio, Monster Disk), and the complete list of engineers and mixers included Spencer Sundell, James Koffee, Ricky Barnes, Jim Janick, John Hughes, Pink Bob... [read more]

December 13, 2012
In Stock

A Soft Fist In A Hard Place


Essentially the soundtrack for one of the first scripted Maestro shows written by Jenny Magnus and Beau O’Reilly, A Soft Fist In A Hard Place features the writers on all the lead vocals with a band lead by pianist Michael Greenberg. Davy, the show’s title song Careening Is A Skill, and Darkness, Darkness are among the most enduring tracks here. Originally released on cassette, it is now... [read more]

December 13, 2012
In Stock

Don't Flirt


The last official Maestro Subgum and the Whole release was Don’t Flirt in 1995. The core of the group was still cranking out titles like Dust and Self-Disgust, Eat the Beauty, and Buttocks on the Moon. Much of the recording magic happened at Junior’s Motel, a converted chicken coop on a farm in Otho, Iowa, with additional tracks laid back in Chicago. The songs reflect a sound and an attitude... [read more]

December 12, 2012
In Stock

A Diamond In The Dumpster


In the late 80s, after years of gigging, personnel changes, and demo tapes, the Chicago-based, Beau O’Reilly-led Maestro finally recorded a cassette designed for sale to the public. Recorded at James Bond’s home studio, the first official Maestro Subgum and the Whole full-length album, A Diamond In The Dumpster, featured songs and players from all over the Maestro history. Musical guests included... [read more]

April 5, 2012
In Stock

Maestro Subgum and the Whole Archive


The archive contains concerts and un-released studio sessions. We will continue adding material as long as stuff keeps turning up. Purchase a year long subscription and stream Maestro 24/7.


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Artist | by Dr. Radut