Friday, July 06, 2007

Corporate Commendation: The Championship

Milwaukee band The Championship stopped at Mickey's Tavern in Madison on Thursday night and ended up playing to a very cool and appreciative crowd of about 15 people. I'd never seen the band before, but I've had its 2005 album, Dance Casador!, in pretty frequent rotation since Steve turned me on to it. The record filters the band's strong, baritone-voiced twang through dreamy electric guitar work. It's got the earthy tones you'd expect from a country record, but also a modern, sleek feel. The phrase that keeps coming to mind is: Cosmic American music for our times. (Perhaps I should send that down to WBC's thesaurus jockeys for a little fine-tuning.)

This time, the band brought along a multi-instrumentalist, who played steel (on the bar!), mandolin, harmonica, and some guitar leads. Bands playing Mickey's usually get tucked into this little corner near the door, and against all odds the bar's acoustics worked nicely, letting the room fill up with The Championship's rich, warm sound. Also, they're nice people. It looks like they're mostly playing within Wisconsin, with one Chicago date scheduled this month and a couple stops in Texarkana later on.