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Studio Milwaukee Session: The Lemon Twigs

Jen Ellis

Music discovery and music diversity are part of Radio Milwaukee’s DNA. All of our stations certainly have a core sound they lean on, but we love taking listeners on little side roads that might lead them somewhere unexpected.

In that way, this past week of wall-to-wall Studio Milwaukee Sessions (in conjunction with our Fall Membership Drive) unfolded perfectly as a range of sounds flowed through our space. We started with soulful and sultry R&B from Grace Weber before flipping to the groundbreaking blues of Buffalo Nichols. Slow Pulp brought in shoegaze-tinged indie, and Grace Potter followed with bold and brash highway rock.

The finale was another sonic shift courtesy of The Lemon Twigs — brothers Brian and Michael D'Addario, who stopped by a few hours ahead of their Cactus Club show Friday night.

Actually, calling it one sonic shift is selling the duo short. Their music sits in a decade-long stretch on either side of 1970, a phenomenon summarized nicely by The Guardian’s Ben Beaumont-Thomas, who noted they sound “perpetually caught in a time vortex where they get sent back to 1967 every time they reach 1976.”

Those words came from just one of the many raves that rolled in following The Lemon Twigs’ release of Everything Harmony back in May. The self-produced LP is respectful of the era without simply regurgitating it. Classic without being cloying. It fits comfortably alongside the influential albums that shaped its sound, and the brothers D'Addario are equally comfortable bringing those sounds to the live stage.

For the session, it took all of about two seconds for them to show just how much they love playing in front of an audience. Their eagerness got the better of them, in fact, as they just about launched into “Ghost Run Free” before host Dori Zori gently pointed out that we weren’t on the air quite yet.

The false start didn’t throw them off a bit, as Michael spent most of the set bouncing and leaping around the stage, when he wasn’t trading harmonies and guitar licks with Brian. Those musical elements were on point throughout, and the giddy energy hung around as they blasted through the finish line with “Way Over My Head.”

It was a magnificent crescendo as we closed out our week of sessions open to the public, which means the only way to guarantee an invitation to future ones is to become a Radio Milwaukee member. Take a look at what we have coming up, and then visit our membership page to see all the benefits of joining the Radio Milwaukee family.

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Set list

  1. “Ghost Run Free”
  2. “Corner of My Eye”
  3. “Rock On (Over and Over)”
  4. “Way Over My Head” (non-broadcast performance)