Entertainment REVIEW by Milwaukee Accordion Club

October 24, 2007

It's all in the box!  Copper Box, that is.  Take four talented people, a dozen different instruments, stir with a large dollop of enthusiasm, let them cook for a couple hours, and you have the makings of a happy, fun evening.  It's difficult to describe.  You had to be there!

This current foursome is made up of Danny Jerabek, who plays the button accordions, and doubles occasionally on guitar, keys, cornet, and vocals.  His beautiful wife, Michelle, sings, plays flute, guitar, tenor and baritone saxes, and occasionally the stainless steel rubboard (washboard) for the Zydeco numbers.  Kevin Junemann, mainly manned the bass, but demonstrated his versatility with a solo on the taxi horn....Jason Van Ryzin, their multi-talented percussionist, also had his moment in the sun with a moving triangle solo....

So what kind of music does an eclectic ensemble like this deliver to our ears?  Well, some you can describe as Zydeco, some is like Tex Mex/Conjunto.  Some we call Polka, but then it really wasn't.  Some had the feeling of Reggae, and then there was a Brazilian selection called, Apple of Your Eye, which normally requires a six armed drummer.  Not to worry!  Jason was up to it.  The rest was really not readily classifiable.  Maybe 'party music' or 'back porch jammin'?  I guess you had to be there.  One thing for sure, it was great fun and the audience loved it!

Some numbers were Jerabek originals like Dance, Russian, Dance, which rocked with a Russian feel, but was not known in Vladiovstock.  Sure Fire was a Zydeco style rocker with a shining drum solo to light up your life.  Another thoughtful song called the Existentialist Polka (That was a polka?)  Lyrics like, "Am I here, Am I there, Am I really anywhere?" ...really made one think....

Many of us have heard the German traditional standard, Seeman...but it sounded different when Michelle Jerabek stepped up to the mic and sang the lyrics first in German, then in English.  You know it really sounded great with an easy rocking beat.  Demonstrating their versatility again, they played an Irish Jig created by Danny.  Even the band couldn't keep their feet still.

Clarinet Polka received a saxy treatment when Michelle picked up the big brass horn and blew every note at a breakneck pace, never missing a single one.  Showing her mulit-talented abilities, she picked up one of Danny's button boxes while he took her guitar, and they rocked on with "Try it, You'll Like It..."

If you dont know what Gypsy Zydeco sounds like, listen to their original composition Albanian Dancer, which is a brand new song.  He also wrote Tijuana, which had a three beat Tex Mex rock feel.  Someone in the audience had requested their original, Sunny Days....Can you imagine what a Zydeco Cha Cha sounds like?  Copper Box can, and showed us you can mix music styles too...

Of all the fun music these four delivered to the attentive audience, my personal favorite was a Tex Mex hit recorded by the Texas Tornados with Flaco Jimenez squeezing a button accordion.  This delightful jumper is titled, Hey Baby, Que Paso!  You gotta love it! I surely did.

Did the audience enjoy this highly talented fantastic foursome?  Mucho mucho!  How can I describe the program?  We had a party!  I'm still at a loss for words. Like I said, -you had to be there!

Thanks Stumpfer & Tailgaiting Party at the Packer

October 10, 2007

We performed at our first show at a Packer Game on Sunday.  Lots of green & gold, as well as navy blue & orange...I might add.  But we somehow managed to bring the opposition together....There were Packer fans dancing the polka with Bear fans....something I never thought I'd see!

Hats off to our good friend, "Stumpfer!"  Many of you have seen him with his stumpf fiddle jammin' to the tunes with Copper Box.  He not only goes to his regular job (3rd shift) after the gigs, but he makes almost every Copper Box show, he helps us set up & tear down, and he helps with whatever else we need.  Thanks Stumpfer!