Episode 048 - Groundbreaking Studios with Jesse Wolf

September 4, 2016

Episode 48 is a great conversation with the talented Jesse Wolf.  Jesse is a songwriter & musician who is also the owner, operator, and founder of the La Crosse, WI based GroundBreaking Studios where he has recorded his own musical projects as well as a whole pile of local and regional bands.  Having only met Jesse briefly before this conversation I really enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about his musical history and dive into the joy’s and difficulties of running a small recording studio.

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Episode 047 - Adam Wiltgen

August 21, 2016

A great conversation with the wonderful Adam Wiltgen.  Having now known Adam for more than 15 years I have seen him grow from a lover of music, to a musician, to a music promoter and now ultimately into a powerful and positive force in the greater arts community through his work with a variety of art and community focused non-profits, and most currently in his role as program director for Lanesboro arts, a multi-disciplinary arts organization based in Lanesboro,MN.

All Lights Off - Writing / Radio

Photo Credit: Kara Maloney

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Episode 046 - Chase Bliss Audio w/ Joel Korte

August 7, 2016

A great conversation with the amazing Joel Korte. Joel is the founder and owner of the Minnesota based Chase Bliss Audio where he designs some of the most innovative and highest quality audio effects available.  In addition to being an audio effects guru and all around good guy, Joel is also a speech-pathologist who serves as co-leader of the Minneapolis chapter of the National Stuttering Association.  If that wasn’t enough, he is also a musician who plays with the very cool Minneapolis based rock band, Ghost Towns of The West.

Photo Credit - Kelly Korte

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Episode 045 - Old Towne Strings with Ty Striebel

July 24, 2016

A great conversation with the amazing Ty Streibel. Ty is a stringed instrument repair guru and owner/founder of the very cool vinyl record filled stringed instrument repair and consignment shop, Old Towne Strings on La Crosse’s North Side. Ty was kind enough to take an hour away from repairing instruments and sorting vinyl to allow me to ask a ton of questions about stringed instrument repair and what he learned in process of starting his own business.

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Episode 044 - Jacques Wait

July 10, 2016

A great conversation with an incredibly talented musician, audio engineer and producer Jacques Wait. I met Jacques more than 15 years ago when he engineered a Rearview Mirror album and remember having an immediate fondness for his sense of humor and deep respect for his musicianship and recording knowledge.  Jacques continues to record and produce records both in the Minneapolis area and beyond as well as playing in a variety of groups, currently including The Twilight Hours, Iguano, and the Boot.

Photo Credit - Charles Robinson

Background Music:
  • Intro - Space Fashion by Analog Spaceships
  • Outro - Dificil by Iguano

Episode 043 - Fitness Lying Down with Cory Cripe

June 26, 2016

A fun and informative conversation with personal trainer and entrepreneur Cory Cripe. Cory is the co-founder of the La Crosse area training gym, Fitness Lying Down, which focuses on functional and natural movement as a means to build strength and move better.  Cory is great at what he does and passionate about helping his clients build mobility in a sustainable way.

Fitness Lying Down - Web / Facebook

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Episode 042 - Tom Kammer

June 12, 2016

A great conversation with musician Tom Kammer. I met Tom more than 20 years ago when I started playing in a band, Rearview Mirror, with his son, TJ.   At that point Tom had been playing drums for nearly his entire life after getting his first drum kit at the age of 7 and performing live at the age of 10, and thus had a lot of great insight and advice to offer to us as young band starting out based on his years of experience in the business.  It was a great pleasure to get to learn more details of Tom’s musical history, hear some great stories from his touring days, and most importantly to discuss the way playing music can facilitate deep personal connections that last a lifetime.

Find out more about Tom's musical history at Hub City Music!

Background Music:

Intro - Flags (unreleased) by Analog Spaceships
        Outro - Dark Eyes by Shatter (one of the groups Tom played in)

Episode 041 - Dane Gonzales

May 29, 2016

A great conversation with Dane Gonzales. Dane is one of the nicest people you will meet and a community minded entrepreneur who is founding member of the Root Note, a downtown Coffee Shop, art space, and performance venue, as well as a co-founder of La Crosse, WI’s only farm to table restaurant, the Mint, which he started with fellow Root Note founder Corrie Brekke.  Dane loves what he does and his commitment to building businesses the benefit the greater La Crosse community is inspiring.

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Episode 040 - Dan Collins

May 15, 2016

A great conversation with the very talented, singer, songwriter, and teacher Dan Collins. I first met Dan years ago after seeing him perform solo and with his band his band at the time, Mouse Pocket, and was immediately impressed with his vocal and piano chops.  After graduating from the university of Wisconsin here in La Crosse, Dan has relocated to Chicago where he continues to write and record music, both as a solo artist, and with his band NonPronto as well as continuing to teach and manage the online piano education service, HDPiano.

Photo Credit - Chris Collins - Isthmus Portrait

Background Music:
  • Intro - Skeletons by NonPronto
  • Outro - Tell Everyone Your Meet by Dan Collins and a Piano

Episode 039 - Russell Leak

May 1, 2016

A great conversation with broadcast tv consultant, musician, songwriter, and producer Russell Leak.  This is also the first episode to feature a guest who is not local but lives across the pond in the United Kingdom.  I really enjoyed the opportunity to chat with Russell and get his insights on music, technology and creativity based on the wide range of experiences he has had in these fields, both personally and professionally.

Background Music:

  • Intro - Living With It by Response Collective
  • Outro - Whistle Me Pink by Response Collective

Episode 038 - Sunsoma w/Nathan Melby

April 17, 2016

An enjoyable and informative conversation with Nathan Melby, a young entrepreneur who recently launched his own alcoholic beverage line, Sunsoma, with his co-founder and fellow Onalaska, WI native Alec Bronston.  Having grown up in the wholesale alcohol distribution industry, Nathan provided a lot of information and insight regarding how alcohol distribution works both, within Wisconsin and nationally, and how he leveraged the knowledge, experience, and relationships he cultivated in that industry into the launch of his own business.


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Episode 037 - Jeni Holtan Grouws

April 3, 2016

A great conversation with the amazing Jeni Grouws.  In addition to being a fabulous singer,songwriter, and performer, Jeni is an essential element in Decorah, IA’s wonderful KDEC FM 100.5 independent radio station where she is on air every weekday morning and provides a platform for local and regional artists to share their stories and music through the weekly Artist Direct program that  runs every Friday morning.  I really enjoyed having the opportunity to learn more about Jeni’s creative path, which has taken her all over the United States and beyond, and was inspired by her deep love for music.

Photo Credit - Tracey Martin-Stumme

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Episode 036 - The Pearl Street Brewery with Tami Plourde

March 20, 2016

I really enjoyed this episode.  I have been a fan of La Crosse's Pearl Street Brewery for years and I had the great opportunity to talk to the brewery's co-owner and operations manager Tami Plourde. Tami, who is a former restaurant owner and serial entrepreneur who also owns and operates OnThree Printing was more than generous with her time and energy answering a pile of questions I had related to the starting and running of a successful brewery. You can find Pearl Street brews on tap at a bunch of La Crosse area restaurants and a variety of retail locations throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota, or I would highly recommend visiting the tasting room they have setup inside the brewery to sample the latest delicious concoctions from brew master Joe Katchever.

Photo Credit - Ian Wright

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Episode 035 - Pat Watters

March 6, 2016

An enjoyable conversation with songwriter and musician Pat Watters.  Having never had the opportunity to meet Pat before having this hour long conversation with him, it was a pleasure to get to know him better and have him share some insights and stories from his creative journey. Pat and I are about the same age but grew up loving different music, so it as a nice change of pace talk to someone who obsessed over the music and personality of Garth Brooks as much as my friends I did over that of Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain and Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder.  You can currently find the Pat Watters band playing a mix of Pat’s original songs and the classic country music that Pat loves.

Pat Watters Band

Photo Credit - Ilana Natasha Photography

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Episode 034 - Chris Malone

February 21, 2016

A great conversation with musician and former amateur wrestler, Chris Malone.  Chris takes us back to the beginning and we learn what got him interested in music and what continues to drive him creatively.  We also discuss which creative goals he has already accomplished and what is still on the list for the years to come.

Photo Credit - Karla Ellefson

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Episode 033 - Patrick Longmire Jr.

February 7, 2016

A fun conversation with touring musician Patrick Longmire Jr.  Pat stopped by on recent trip home to the La Crosse are to fill me in on his musical journey and how it brought him to Austin, TX where he lives with his wife and young son and makes a living playing bass as he tours around the Texas Country Music circuit. As a full-time working musician, Pat has a lot of insight into what it takes to make a living playing music and a pile of great stories to go along with it.

Background Music:
Intro - Bass Noodling from Pat Longmire

Episode 032 - Todd Wolfgram

January 24, 2016

A fascinating conversation with Todd Wolfgram.  In addition to being the electronics tech at Dave's Guitar Shop, Todd is also an effects designer, musician, instrument builder, former music store owner, and educator.  

Malekko (They build and distribute some of Todd's guitar pedal designs)

Background Music:
Intro - Capture What Eludes You by Brahman Shaman
Outro - Cut Out My Heart by Random Tongues

Episode 031 - Sam Brown

January 10, 2016

Season 2 kicks off with the founder of the Winona, MN based Midwest Music Festival, Sam Brown, who is also a musician who records and performs under the moniker, Bo. Monroe (one of his songs, Threnody, is the intro and outro music for this episode).  He also just converted his Some Sum Studio music and art space in downtown Winona into the Midwest Music Store, which features music and merchandise from local and regional musicians and artists as well as housing an intimate performance space.

Background Music:
Intro & Outro - Threnody by Bo.Monroe

Download all of Season 1 at once

December 28, 2015

The entirety of Season 1 is now available as a pay what you want download at the link below:

Season 1 Wrap Up - Thank You!

November 20, 2015

There will be no new episodes for the remainder of the year, but I felt compelled to record this short season 1 wrap up to collect my thoughts and share a bit of what I have learned both from my guests and my own experiments in podcasting over the past year.


Episode 030 - Benjamin Hinz

November 1, 2015

A great conversation with Benjamin Hinz.  In addition to being a husband and father of 3, Ben also makes some intensely satisfying music with his band The Ronald Ray Gun and inspired by the creative math of new sounds = new songs, started his own guitar & audio effects company, the Eau Claire, WI based Dwarfcraft Devices with some help from his wonderful wife Louise. Ben and Louise were kind enough to let me come up to the Dwarfcraft headquarters and ask way too many questions while I ogled all the electronic goodies in various states of assembly.

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Intro - Detective Surgeon (unreleased) Analog Spaceships

Episode 029 - Benji Nichols

October 18, 2015
An enjoyable conversation with musician, sound engineer, and co-creator of the fantastic Driftless area quarterly magazine Inspire(d).  Benji takes us on a fascinating journey from the Midwest to the East Coast, to the West Coast and finally back to the Midwest again as he follows his creative passions.

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Episode 028 - Marshall Wayne

October 4, 2015
A fun and interesting conversation with photographer, artist, and entrepreneur Marshall Wayne.  We discuss how Marshall's experience with competitive athletics in his youth provided him skills and a work ethic that he has since applied to a variety of business ventures from international currency to advertising and branding.

Photo by Marshall Wayne

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Episode 027 - Paul Skemp

September 20, 2015
A great conversation with musician, actor, and writer Paul Skemp. Paul is a fascinating guy, spending part of his youth in Spain, before returning to the USA and then ultimately ending up in Italy. It was a pleasure to get to pepper him with questions about his creative life, which includes acting, screenwriting, and music.
Episode Image Photo Credit - Stefano with Unconventional Photography

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Episode 026 - Todd Hanson

September 6, 2015

An entertaining conversation with musician, artist, and blogger Todd Hanson.  In addition to playing in the fabulous rock band, The Ultrasounds, he does graphic design, writes the Winona, MN area community arts & entertainment blog, the Noisy Neighbor, and also organizes the annual Winona Zombie Crawl. Plus, he has a great sense of humor.

Photo Credit - Megan Hanson

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Episode 025 - Rick Kreuziger

August 23, 2015
An enjoyable conversation with musician and auto restoration specialist Rick Kreuziger.  In addition to owning and operating his own auto restoration business, Restorations by Rick, Rick also plays guitar and pedal steel in Red Sky Warning, The Pat Watters Band, and The Merry Weathers.
Photo Credit - Randy Erickson

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Episode 024 - Dave Orr

August 9, 2015

A great conversation with musician, songwriter, and live sound engineer Dave Orr.  In addition to playing both drums and guitar in a variety of groups over the years, including his current project Innocuous Voodoo, Dave is also an excellent live sound engineer.  Dave and I discuss how music came into his life and his deep commitment to becoming a better musician and songwriter.

Photo Credit - Mark Novak - Novak's In The Moment Photography (Coulee Nights)

Background Music - Brahman Shaman 

Episode 023 - Joe Gantzer

July 26, 2015

A fun conversation with musician and music educator Joe Gantzer where we find out how music became such an important aspect of Joe's life and how he developed and maintains such a positive creative perspective.  We also get to hear about some of Joe's many experiences with different musical projects and his work as an assistant band director and guitar teacher.

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Episode 022 - Brett Huus

July 12, 2015
An insightful conversation with musician/songwriter, producer, and owner/operator of Soundstrations Studio and audio production facility in La Crosse, WI.  We find out how a Brett found his calling and music and we dig deep into the art of songwriting and recording. 
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Episode 021 - Lara (Riedel) Olson

June 28, 2015

An enlightening conversation with musician and songwriter Lara (Riedel) Olson.  We discuss Lara's musical history, her relocation from Germany to USA, and her insights and perspective on writing, recording, and performing original music, both solo, and with a band.

Photo Credit - Eric Gerke

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Episode 020 - Davey Reinders

June 14, 2015

An enjoyable conversation with musician Davey Reinders.  While many of you may be familiar with Dave's work in Porcupine and Space Bike, we dig deeper into Dave's musical history and find out about how he used to run sound at the Warehouse, operate his own recording studio (Magneto 16), and fronting his own band.  I also get to pick Dave's brain about how he balances family time with his creative goals.

Photo Credit - Bronson Karaff

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Episode 019 - Bob Good

May 31, 2015

A conversation with photographer Bob Good.  We find out how Bob got started with photography, what inspires his art, and why he loves taking photos.  We also get into some the technical details of photography, photo editing, and the difficulties of storing and backing up so many HQ photos.

Photo Credit - Bob Good

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Episode 018 - Jason Herman

May 16, 2015

A fun conversation with musician and graphic designer Jason Herman.  We discuss how Jason got his start with both music and art.  Jason also provides some valuable insights about starting his own graphic design business and finding a healthy balance between work, family, and music.

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Episode 017 - Nick Shattuck

May 3, 2015

An enjoyable conversation with Wisconsin raised and now Los Angeles based musician and songwriter Nick Shattuck.  We discuss how Nick found his voice, guitar, and songwriting which resulted in dozens of original songs.  We also dig into how he balances his musical aspirations with his life goals, and what inspired his move from the Midwest to the West Coast.

Episode Photo Credit - Nick Sauer

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Episode 016 - Gregg “Cheech” Hall

April 19, 2015

A fun conversation with musician & songwriter Gregg "Cheech" Hall.  Gregg and I discuss his broad musical history and where is musical focus will be going forward.  Gregg also treats us to a couple of live performances of some newer tunes he has written.

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Episode 015 - Dave Rogers

April 3, 2015

A fascinating conversation with musician and entrepreneur Dave Rogers.  Starting with his first guitar, Dave provides insight into what inspired his obsession with the instrument and fueled a passion that led him from initially selling guitars out of his home in the early 1980's to ultimately building and operating one of the largest guitar stores on the planet, Dave's Guitar Shop.

Episode Image Photo Credit - Kevin Netz Photography

Background Music - Analog Spaceships:

Episode 014 - Steve Harm

March 21, 2015

An inspiring conversation with music venue owner/operator and musician Steve Harm.  We go back to the beginning and learn how Steve got interested in music in the first place, how he booked and toured with his synth/new wave band The Victims, and how he ultimately ended up starting and continuing to operate the Warehouse in La Crosse, WI which has ended up being one of the longest running all ages alcohol free music venues in the country. The Warehouse recently acquired 501c3/Non-Profit status, which means that your donations to support the Warehouse are now tax-deductible.

Episode Photo Credit - Bob Good

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Episode 013 - Clay Riness

March 8, 2015
An enjoyable conversation with musician, songwriter, photographer, and writer Clay Riness.  We find out how Clay started playing drums in his families pizzeria in Praire Du Chien, WI and ended up being a touring folk musician for many years ultimately starting his on independent record label, Weary Wolf Records.  Clay has been self-employed through a variety of creative projects throughout his life and we gain some insight about the benefits and drawbacks of such a path.
Guitar Lesson & Photo Contact:
clayrinessphotography@gmail.com or 608.498.2248

Episode Background Music:
Intro: Brahman Shaman -  Old Gold
Outro: Random Tongues - Passage of Time

Episode 012 - Mark Betthauser

February 22, 2015

An enjoyable conversation with Tomah, WI based musician, songwriter, and studio operator Mark Betthauser. Mark and I discuss recording gear, managing band dynamics in the studio, Mark's musical journey through the years, and the never ending struggle to find balance in creative pursuits. Definitely take a minute to find out more about Mark's music and his studio via the links below.

The Quick Are The Dead - Website / Facebook
Episode Image Photo Credit - Andrew Hohlfeld Photography
Other links mentioned in the episode:
Background Music: Analog Spaceships

Episode 011 - Jason Knox

February 5, 2015

Deep discussions with musician & songwriter Jason Knox about recording music, songwriting, and learning how to understand and deal with band dynamics.  In addition to a full-time creative position at Jellyvision in Chicago, IL, Jason keeps busy with other creative projects, check them out in the links below:

Episode 010 - Jason James Robertson

January 25, 2015
A fun and candid conversation with artist, musician, and writer Jason James Robertson. Jason is quite literally a creative machine.  In addition to a full time graphic design job he has multiple music and art projects (reference the many projects linked below).  During our conversation we find out what drew Jason to the creative arts and what allows him to remain inspired to create on a daily basis.

Episode 009 - Norbert Nix

January 15, 2015

A great conversation with an old friend, musician, songwriter, Iron Man, and career music industry professional Norbert Nix. Norb and I dig deep into songwriting and learn how he developed a life-long love of music.  We also discuss the ever evolving music industry and Norb provides some great insights and perspective based on his 25+ years in the business.  

Episode 008 - Blake Auler-Murphy

January 4, 2015
A wide ranging conversation with rapper, wordsmith, and writer Blake Auler-Murphy (Hyphon). In between a variety of philosophical tangents on culture and society Blake and I discuss how writing ultimately led him to music, hip hop, and live performance.  We also gain insight into what inspires Blake and allows him to keep up his frenetic creative pace.  

Blake is a very busy guy and has a pile creative projects you can find out more about through the links below:

Hyphon - Web / Music / FB
Episode Image Photo Credit - Tiera D. Photography

Episode 007 - Stacy Hanson

December 21, 2014

A conversation with songwriter, musician, and chef Stacy Hanson.  Stacy and I discuss how the balance between his two creative pursuits, music and cooking, has shifted over the years.   We also go dig deep into the songwriting process and find out what we can expect from Red Sky Warning and Merry Weathers in 2015.

Stacy’s current musical projects include Red Sky Warning & Merry Weathers.

Episode 006 - Alex Toast

December 14, 2014

A fun conversation with songwriter and musician Alex Toast about the reason for his relocation from Wisconsin to Colorado, the difficulty of staying creatively motivated as life gets busier, and Alex’s love of performing live.

Alex’s past musical projects include: Mouse Pocket, We Are Patterns, Bake Sale, & Frederick

Episode 005 - Andrew Hughes

December 9, 2014

A candid conversation with songwriter and musician Andrew Hughes about the struggles involved with aging as musician and how that changes one’s definitions of success.  We contemplate the inherent drive to make and create that extends beyond musical projects and Andy also provides some valuable insights into the realities of touring in a band.

Check out Andy's band TUGG

Episode 004 - Casey Virock

November 30, 2014

A conversation with songwriter and musician Casey Virock.  Casey provides insight into his musical history and approach to songwriting.  We also discuss the difficulties in managing band dynamics, the integrity straining activities inherent in marketing one’s own music, and we get an update on some of what Porcupine will be doing in 2015.

Find out more about Casey and his music at www.caseyvirock.com

Casey's musical projects include: Porcupine, Space Bike, Dream 13, & Dolly Rocker.

Episode 003 - Randy Erickson

November 11, 2014

An in-depth conversation with journalist, musician, and songwriter Randy Erickson.  Randy details his creative path from his perspective as both a career journalist and an on again off again musician.  We also contemplate truth and ethics in the rapidly evolving media environment and discuss how having a creative outlet through a career in journalism has kept Randy’s well of musical inspiration from running dry.  Click here to check out Randy's music.

Randy's past musical projects include: The TroubadogsHighway 16, and Stage Fright

Episode 002 - Nick Maas

November 4, 2014

Musician and songwriter Nick Maas discusses the beginning of his creative path and the struggle to balance creative pursuits while going to school.  We also get plenty deep into songwriting craft.  Nick is currently writing and recording music for a new solo project but in the meantime you can check out his band Neon.

Episode Image Photo Credit: Nick Walsh - Nick Walsh Photo

Episode 001 - Joe Dawson

November 4, 2014

Joe Dawson is a musician and songwriter.  In this episode we delve deep into Joe's creative path and discuss what inspired him to start playing music in the first place.  Joe is currently the lead singer and songwriter for folk soul band Moth Mountain.

Past projects include - Wolf Phase, Project Me, Screet
Episode Image Photo Credit: Jason Stuempges - Jason Ray Photography