Last week Dan Aykroyd aka Elwood Blues had Eric Clapton as his Blues Breaker. This week Tweed Funk is his Blues Breaker! Here is what Elwood had to say: You got your horn section, got your back up vocals, got your powerful singer, got your MONSTER horns, got your rhythm section, you got your big band with a big sound out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Ladies and gents, I give you the soulful explosive splendor of Tweed Funk. This is called "Love Ain't Easy."You can listen to the last week's episode on SoundCloud - Elwood talks about the band at the 1:48:10 mark before and after the tune
You can order your copy directly from Tweed Funk's website or the CD is also available on iTunes, Amazon, and CD Baby.
Joseph "Smokey" Holman has been nominated in the 2016 Living Blues Awards for the Most Outstanding Blues Singer. Vote online before July 15, 2016 at www.livingblues.com and click the VOTE button on the right. He is in some fine company - here are the nominees for Most Oustanding Blues Singer: Buddy Guy, Diunna Greenleaf, Otis Clay, John Nemeth, Irma Thomas, Joseph "Smokey" Holman, Wee Willie Walker, Mighty Sam McClain, Trudy Lynn, Johnny Rawls. Click here to view the full ballot.
Tweed Funk's new album "Come Together" reaches No. 11 on the Roots Music Report Top 50 Blues Chart for the Week of May 23, 2016 and debuts at No. 19 on the Living Blues Chart for May 2016. Additionally the song 'Come Together' hit No. 4 on the RMR Top 50 Blues Song Chart and the album is garnering praise from early reviews:
On par with Daptone Records soul darlings Sharon Jones and Charles Bradley. - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
The world is about to tune into what has been Milwaukee's best kept secret. Tweed Funk is a high-powered, horn driven ensemble that has been winner of Wisconsin Area Music Industry (WAMI) awards since their 2010 formation. Come Together is their fourth release on the Tweed Tone label, and is a seamless combination of top tier musicians fronted by an energetic vocalist. - All About Jazz
Tweed Funk's new music video for Love Ain't Easy was primarily shot at the historic Shaker’s Cigar Bar in the Walker’s Point neighborhood of Milwaukee, WI. Shaker’s Cigar Bar is rumored to be haunted and offers up ghost tours. Additional footage for the video was taken in Milwaukee’s historic Bronzeville district. Bronzeville was once the thriving area for African-American culture in Milwaukee until its demise in the 1960s with freeway construction and policy changes. The music video is for the band's new album "Come Together" which critics are praising: "reminds in the glory of vintage soul"; "innovative collection of pristine soul blues"; and "old school soul sound" - you can purchase the album directly from Tweed Funk's website.
Tweed Funk has announced that front man Joseph “Smokey” Holman has been diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma and has begun treatment with chemotherapy. Multiple Myeloma is a cancer formed by malignant plasma cells. Normal plasma cells are found in the bone marrow and are an important part of the immune system.
Smokey will need to undergo a stem cell transplant later this summer and the band has canceled all of their engagements after July 31, 2016. We are hoping that with successful treatment that Smokey will be able to resume performing later this fall and can have a number of happy and productive years ahead.
Formed in late 2010, Tweed Funk's national ascent has been driven by their horn-fueled, Memphis flavored blues, roots, and soul. This Milwaukee, Wisconsin 6 piece soul-blues revue is fronted by Joseph "Smokey" Holman, who recorded under Curtis Mayfield in the early 70's. Tweed Funk boasts 5 Wisconsin Area Music Industry (WAMI) Wins in the last 4 years for the band and it's members. Tweed Funk has been on the cover of Big City Rhythm & Blues Magazine and Smokey has been featured in Living Blues Magazine and on the cover of the Blues Blast Magazine.
On April 29, 2016 Tweed Funk released their 4th album, Come Together, which consists of 10 new original songs. The band made a concerted effort with the new album to focus on writing quality songs as opposed to writing to a formula. Additionally, Tweed Funk wanted to take advantage of their revised line-up and work more collaboratively in the songwriting process. Special guest Doug Woolverton (trumpet) of Roomful of Blues appears on the entire album along with special guests Chrissy Dzioba and Sara Moilanen of The Whiskeybelles who lend their backing vocals to 5 of the new songs.
Tweed Funk's 2014 Release, "First Name Lucky", was a 2014 Blues Blast Nominee in the Soul Blues Album Category; reached #10 on the RMR Blues Charts; reached #11 on the Living Blues Chart; and was featured as Dan Aykroyd's "blues-breaker" on The BluesMobile.com internationally syndicated radio program.
Tweed Funk won the WAMI for R&B/Soul Artist of the Year in both 2015 and 2012. In 2015, Andrew Spadafora took home the WAMI Award for Brass/Reeds Player of the Year; in 2013 frontman Smokey took home the WAMI for Male Vocalist of the Year and Bassist Eric Madunic for Bass Player of the Year. The song "Dancemaker" won Big City Rhythm & Blues Magazine's Coolest Blues Song of the Year for 2013.
Tweed Funk has appeared at some of the top festivals and blues rooms in the Midwest, South, and Northeast including: Kalamazoo Blues Festival, Chicago Blues Festival, Marquette Area Blues Festival, Byron Crossroads Blues Festival, Paramount Blues Festival, Prairie Dog Blues Festival, Buddy Guy’s Legends, Slippery Noodle Inn, House of Blues – Chicago, Jazz in the Park, Summerfest, and many more. Tweed Funk has taken their show on the road playing in the following states: Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, New Hampshire, New York, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin.
Fronted by Smokey's sweet, soulful vocals, audiences can quickly hear how Smokey was a pick to hit the Billboard Soul Top 20 back in the 70’s on Curtis Mayfield’s Curtom Records with the band Love’s Children. Eric Madunic's passion for Memphis-style soul in the tradition of Donald "Duck" Dunn can be heard in his bass playing and songwriting. Eric also played the organ, keys, guitar, and arranged the backing vocals for Tweed Funk's latest CD. Dave Schoepke, a veteran drummer of the Milwaukee music scene who has recorded and toured with Willy Porter, anchors the rhythm section. Dave is a 2009 WAMI Award Winning drummer and was a significant part of the songwriting process and new direction on Tweed Funk's latest album. Andrew Spadafora on saxophone, leads a 2 piece horn-section which augmented by the up-and-coming Travis Drow on Trumpet. Andrew has taken home 2 Wisconsin Area Music Industry Awards for Brass/Reeds Player of the Year (2015 & 2008). JD Optekar has served as the primary lyricist for the band and guitarist as well as introducing 5 of the tracks for the new album.