The SCENE: Music from inside the Copper Box

August 1, 2013


Summer’s end is drawing near, but there is still plenty of time to get out and hear some quality outdoor live music. If you enjoy listening to live music, then Oshkosh is the place to be during the summer months with an impressive blend of major music festivals, community concerts, rocker shows, and jazz performances.

Long-time community staple Waterfest in Oshkosh will be showcasing several well-known bands in August such as the Spin Doctors, Ruster Root, and Kenny Loggins, along with many solid local bands. The local musicians that make up the band Copper Box have found themselves very comfortable performing for music thirsty audiences much like what you would find at Waterfest. In fact, Copper Box will be taking the stage once again at Waterfest on August 8th.

Copper Box formed in Oshkosh in 2002, ....“We spent most of our teenage years playing in Polka bands with family and friends,” Michelle Jerabek said. “But we started to write more original songs that didn’t fit the polka category and polka fans really wanted to hear the old, traditional songs.”

Since then...other inspiring bands that have helped shape their sound range from Esteban Jordan, the Button Accordian Master and Los Lobos to Bonnie Raitt and Little Feat. It is easy to see why Copper Box has come as far as they have, with their eccentric sound and original style, incorporating different types of instruments many bands do not commonly use today. Their blend of accordions and saxophones gives Copper Box their unique grit and groove.

The band is comprised of four members: Michelle Jerabek, who does vocals, guitar and saxophones; Dan Jerabek who also does vocals, button accordion, keys and cornet; Kevin Junemann on bass and ukulele; and Jason Van Ryzin on drums.  Michelle describes the band’s sound, along with the band’s new album After the Rain as Americana/ Roots Rock. Songs from the upcoming album “Did Your Mama Ever Tell You No” and “Workin' Man” capture that unique Copper Box sound, with a bold accordion and Michelle’s strong, sleek vocals. After the Rain is the seventh album Copper Box has released and will be available fall 2013. Their music is available to download on their website, along with postings of their upcoming shows.

Copper Box has been activily touring throughout Wisconsin and across the US.   “Some of our favorite shows to date are International Accordion Festival in San Antonio, Texas, Cotati Accordion Festival in California, Westfest in West Texas, Art on the Lake in Curtis, Michigan and Waterfest in Oshkosh.”

It is obvious that Copper Box enjoys performing their music live, attracting familiar fans (they call them “Boxers”) and new fans with an ear for good music. The Copper Box sound has entertained a wide variety of audiences, people of every age and ethnicity. “They [fans] really just want to have fun, love the music, and love being out of the house living life!” Michelle Jerabek said.

Copper Boxes’ charisma on stage shines and is indicative of how much fun they have performing live. This energy, and the band’s original, creative sound has made them one of the area’s most popular groups over much of the last decade.  With After the Rain, Copper Box is set to continue this reign.