Blues Blast Magazine - Kalamazoo Blues Festival Review
Quick with a smile and a joke, Smokey is a natural entertainer who has surrounded himself with some of the best musicians in Wisconsin. With JD Optekar on guitar/vocals, Eric Madunic on bass/vocals, Jon Lovas on saxophone, Kevin Klemme on trumpet and Nick Lang on drums, the band will leave you limp after one of their sweat soaked sessions.
Blues & Rhythm No 291 - First Name Lucky Review
Everything here is first or second take, and the performances impress, whether it is the Otis Redding flavoured funky opener, the rock tinged soul of ‘Hoodoo Power’, the wistful southern soul balladry of ‘Divided’ or the James Brown styled ‘Sugarfoot’, written by soul and blues revivalist Black Joe Lewis. On the blues side, ‘Time To Burn’ is a tough sounding mid tempo number with hints of Magic Sam in J.D. Optekar’s always excellent guitar work, Louis Jordan’s ‘Let The Good Times Roll’ gets a fine shuffle treatment, ‘Deed Is Done’ is a skipping blues with lyrics about paternity doubts, and ‘Get It On’ has a slightly rawer sound courtesy of Brian “Looper” Lucas’ harp playing. ‘Sippin Misery’ is a wee wee hours jazz flavoured blues – nice trumpet work from Kevin Klemme
Summertime Blues 2014: The Nighthawks and more of the season's best blues CDs
“First Name Lucky” – (Tweed Tone) – Yes there are still bands that play good old-fashioned Rhythm & Blues and Tweed Funk are among the best. With the honey-voiced Smokey Holman belting out vocals and a sax and trumpet duo augmenting the grooves, Tweed Funk provide a solid set here with the ’60s-flavored soul pop of “Hoodoo Power,” a take on the Eddie Floyd/Steve Cropper chestnut “Knock on Wood” and album highlight, the James Brown-like “Sugarfoot.” Wherever this one goes a party is sure to follow.
Ten Questions with Tweed Funk's JD Optekar
Sometimes when you hear a band for the first time, you really know that they're going to be something special. That's the feeling that your humble correspondent had when he heard Tweed Funk for the first time. They come at you from so many different ways, with a powerhouse blues attack that adds equal parts of soul and funk to the mix.
Blues in Britain Magazine Review
(Tweed) Funk open with the funky Stax-influenced ‘Blues In My Soul’, a showcase for Smokey’s strident vocals and the horns of Jon Lovas and Kevin Klemme. ‘Time to Burn’ is a powerful and hypnotic and brooding blues that allows JD Optekar to stretch out with some fine blues guitar – the classic ‘Let The Good Times roll’ is performed BB King style with Optekar again to the fore – whilst ‘Hoodoo Power’ strays into Otis Redding territory replete with infectiously riffing horns and soulful backing vocals.
Tweed Funk is Elwood's Blues Breaker!
Tweed Funk was formed in 2010, and has been bringing the party to Milwaukee ever since. They got the horns, they got the rhythm section, they got Smokey Holman, the dynamic front man. Tweed Funk call themselves a show band, and they are proud of it. And now they are bringing a piece of that Milwaukee R&B to the world.
The Alternate Root Magazine - First Name Lucky Review
The album honors music that built America with blues, roots and soul. Songs and sounds that befriended the people that stacked the bricks, laid the roads and fired the steel.
Joseph "Smokey" Holman: It's Important to Finish What You Start
There sat Curtis Mayfield and his Bass Player, Joseph "Lucky" Scott, with an opportunity to audition at Curtom Records. Smokey recalls observing Curtis Mayfield tell Eddie Thomas "I told you" after Domestic 4 finished singing a few of their original songs.
Tweed Funk Debuts on Living Blues Chart at #11
Tweed Funk's album, First Name Lucky, made the Living Blues Chart at No. 11 for April of 2014. This is the first time a Tweed Funk CD has appeared on the Living Blues Chart.
Milwaukee Magazine - Funky Mood
It's not easy to transfer the experience of live music onto a recorded album, but Milwaukee's Tweed Funk has done it on First Name Lucky...Bring on the Funk.
Living Blues Magazine - First Name Lucky Review
Milwaukee-based R&B machine Tweed Funk is a powerhouse in the tradition of Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, laced with the stage presence of Luther Allison. The band could be compared to neo-throwback soul merchants like Charles Walker and the Dynamites or even Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, although Tweed’s Stax-influenced sound is maxed out with a horn section that’s loud and in charge.
Big City Rhythm & Blues Magazine - First Name Lucky Review
Tweed Funk is a multi-faceted weave of old school Memphis soul, blues and rock, creating a sound you can wrap yourself up in....'First Name Lucky' is classic soul with a modern edge and may be the next thing to make Milwaukee famous.
Kevin Klemme - 2014 WAMI Award Winner for Brass/Reeds Player of the Year
Kevin Klemme took home the 2014 Wisconsin Area Music Industry Award for Brass/Reeds Player of the Year last night in Appleton, WI. Kevin has been a key part of Tweed Funk for the past 2 years playing trumpet on the band's last two albums, gigging steadily with the band, and earning excellent praise from the press. Kevin has also been active playing with the Extra Crispy Brass Band, Herman Astro, and doing session work and gigs around the state.
Blues Bytes Review - First Name Lucky
For their latest CD, First Name Lucky (Tweed Tone Records), Tweed Funk’s aimed to capture the energy and excitement of their live shows. The Milwaukee band’s previous effort, 2012’s Love Is, was one of my favorite releases of that year, and I really dug the band’s raucous blend of blues, funk, and soul on that release. First Name Lucky improves on its predecessor and then some, with seven outstanding originals and four dynamite covers.
The Rocker (UK) - Reviews roundup – Dewa Budjana vs. Tweed Funk vs. Erja Lyytinen
They can swing as well as groove, and testify to the the fact on ‘Deed Is Done’, but are equally adept at the slow blues of ‘Sippin Misery’. The honkin’ horns are in fine form, Smokey lays down some of his best vocals, and if you’re looking for a Friday night party, then this is your new soundtrack.
Il Poplo del Blues (Italy) - First Name Lucky Review
E’ una bella atmosfera quella che ci viene proposta da questa band di Milwuakee, Wisconsin. Prima di tutto per la bravura dei musicisti, tutti più volte nominati e premiari per i Wima, gli oscar musicali di quello stato.
In a Blue Mood - Tweed Funk First Name Lucky
The slow blues, Sippin Misery, stands out. It has a 3 o’clock in the morning feel with Smokey’s low-key vocal, Optekar’s jazzy guitar here (and he might use this attack elsewhere) and marvelous playing by Lovas and Klemme (the latter making nice use of horns) for a magical performance and shows just how good they can get.
MusicZine (France) - First Name Lucky Review
"Time to burn" constitue sans aucun doute une des meilleures plages de l’opus. La voix de Smokey accroche instantanément l’oreille. Optekar démontre sa technique sur sa six cordes. Jon s’accorde un premier billet de sortie sur son saxophone.
Blues Blast Magazine - First Name Lucky Review
Album number three from this band is now out and available and I must say I think it is the best of the three so far! If you want to swing and jive with the Wisconsin kings of funk, blues and soul, then pick this album up and enjoy- you won’t be disappointed! Highly recommended!
Tweed Funk CD Party at Buddy Guy’s Legends, Chicago - Hot Shows
Milwaukee's Tweed Funk, a 6-piece blues, soul, funk, R&B outfit that frequently performs in the Windy City, will celebrate the release of new disc First Name Lucky. Be prepared to shake your booty and experience the super tight (like a tweed jacket, get it?) sounds of the WAMI winning Wisconsin band, fronted by native Chicago soul singer Joe "Smokey" Holman.