The Midwesterners have pulled out all the stops on this one, 12 songs of dancin', drivin', and backyard barbequein' music that's a party from beginning to end!
Call it "Americana" if you need to put a handle on the music, because the songs are certainly steeped in American musical traditions. The Midwesterners have earned a reputation for rollicking, twangy performances, but on this latest album, they pull out all the stops, from the opening manifesto, Keep The Dance Floor Full, to the full-throttle closer, Keep Your Motor Oiled. This is definitely NOT background music.
When Richard sat down to write some new songs, "the first one that came out was Ridin' With Chuck. There were these other "Ridin' With..." tributes to B.B. King and Bob Wills, and I thought it was time for an homage to Chuck Berry. He's been a huge influence on me and a lot of other guitar players. Then I realized that I had all these ideas for songs about cars and guitars. I added some newer songs and the pieces started to fall into place." All songs on the CD are originals, except for a cover of the Chuck Berry classic, C'est
This album is a bit of a success story -- just after basic tracks had been laid down, but with dubbing and mixing still ahead, songwriter and band leader Richard Wiegel suffered a severe heart attack. Thanks to great medical care, Richard survived. And thanks to the help of family and friends, plus the support of the Madison musical community, he has been able to recover and put the finishing touches to Ridin' With Chuck.
The special circumstances make finishing this musical project especially satisfying for The Midwesterners. "It feels great to get back to these songs and get them out," says Wiegel. "You sort of expect some things to stand in your way when you're trying to get a record out, but not a heart attack. It makes it feel that much more like a victory."
[ Tom McCarty ] [ Richard Wiegel ] [ Mark Haines ] [ John Chimes ] [ D. Ernie Conner ]