Interview - Zach Vinson

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Name: Zach Vinson

Birthplace: Sheboygan, WI

Current city you reside in: Grand Rapids, MI

Band/artist name: Zach Vinson. There are a couple other guys who play with me from time to time. I keep trying to come up with a clever name for them, but I’ve got nothing.

What current projects are you working on? I released a full-length album called “Cracked Open” in November 2008. Lately I’ve started doing some writing for an EP that I’m tentatively planning on recording next spring.

Favorite music artists: Iron and Wine, Over the Rhine, Pedro the Lion, Bleach, Hem, Ben Folds

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Megafaun at the Forward Music Festival

It’s easy to come up with witty banter on Megafaun’s stage demeanor; Jed Clampett on Acid, Beards are Us, The Nephews of ZZ Top. But, when it comes time to describe the music, only one word is needed; Phenomenal!

Megafaun headlined Thursday night’s Forward Music Festival show at the High Noon Saloon in Madison and provided a unique experience that was both musically intense and entertaining.

Two Cow Garage - Jon Snodgrass - Austin Lucas

The Suburban Home Records showcase featuring Two Cow Garage, Jon Snodgrass and Austin Lucas hit Madison on 8/25. An early 6pm show at the High Noon Saloon was attended by a small, but enthusiastic crowd. The format for the evening was different than most showcases, with the musicians playing both collaboratively and solo throughout the evening.  


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Bloodshot Records BBQ - Indie Alt-Country Nirvana

Chicago-based indie label Bloodshot Records has been celebrating its 15th anniversary with a series of free live music showcases across the country.  The Bloodshot Beer-B-Que made a stop at the High Noon Saloon in Madison on 8/22 with Justin Townes Earle, Waco Brothers, The Bottle Rockets, Deadstring Brothers, Bobby Bare Jr., Ha Ha Tonka and the Meat Purveyers in tow.

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Cracker Rocks the Wisconsin State Fair

State fairs are not usually hot beds for new music; food on a stick, prize cows and cheesy rides usually come to mind.  Alternative rockers Cracker attempted to break that stereotype at the Wisconsin State Fair by playing a healthy dose of new material from their latest album "Sunrise in the Land of Milk and Honey." David Lowery put it all into perspective. "You know, we were walking around the state fair today and must of heard 'Sweet Home Alabama' at least four times," said David, "I told Johnny (Hickman) that we would have to take it out of the set tonight."

Opening with "Friends", David Lowery and Johnny Hickman delivered a punchy set to about 800 fans on the Cousins Amphitheater stage at the fairgrounds in Milwaukee. Backed by bassist Sal Maida and drummer Frank Funaro, the focus was decidedly on the future, while keeping the state fair crowd happy with Cracker chestnuts like "Low" and "Teen Angst".  I especially enjoyed the song Sweet Thistle Pie and Cracker's version of the classic "Shake Some Action" by the Flamin' Groovies.


I also had a rare opportunity to see David & Johnny at a small gathering at a Madison radio station the day before.  They played a short acoustic set along with interview breaks, afterward sharing random thoughts about deep fried, chocolate covered stuff on a stick and bringing a hipper image to hog judging at the fair. 

It was a great weekend with some of my favorite music, looking forward to having them back again, hopefully in Madison.

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