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88Nine Radio Milwaukee

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Alex Ballard and Sugarfoot, The Carolinas, Rectifier

April 11, 2014 - 20:30
Shank Hall
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After releasing the "Madeira" EP on the label in 1994, Musician Magazine called Alex Ballard and Sugarfoot one of America's "Top 10 Best Unsigned Bands." 

The group then released some CDs on its own, making a name for itself throughout the upper Midwest as a rock solid, American roots rock and roll band. But front man Ballard broke up the band in 1996, and reunited it two years later, only to split again -- more definitively -- in 2001. 

Fast forward to 2012 and Ballard and company played it's first show in a decade.The Carolinas were formed in Milwaukee in 1993 by singer-songwriter Dan Patscot and quickly became regional Americana favorites. Dan's from-the-heart songs are brought to life by the innate chemistry of the band, which can deliver a lovely two-step twang or Crazy Horse-like thunder as the song demands. The band has won fans all over the Midwest with appearances at the now-defunct Mississippi River Music Fest in St. Louis, North by Northeast in Toronto, and the Roy Orbison Festival in Wink, TX, and have shared the stage with the Smithereens, Veruca Salt, Walter Salas-Humara/The Silos, Bob Wiseman of Blue Rodeo, Sam Llanas, Dolly Varden and Jon Dee Graham of the True Believers. Noted for their glacier-like forward progress, they have nearly 50 original songs in their repertoire, precisely five of which have actually been released on a commercially-available sound delivery medium. Currently in their 20th year, the band is working on not one, but two full-length records.

A wall of sound, built on whiskey soaked rock 'n' roll tale-tellin', entwined with a case of PBR and a box of old records. There's no mistaking RECTIFIER's dual chainsaw guitar attack, vocal reciprocity and thumping rythm section. Mix in a storytelling fervor with offbeat poetry, hangovers and ferocious wit, RECTIFIER delivers a solid performance.

Alex Ballard and Sugarfoot, The Carolinas, Rectifier