- 2013 WAMI Award Winner for Male Vocalist of the Year
Smokey has been featured in some of the top blues publications including Living Blues Magazine, Big City Rhythm & Blues Magazine, Blues Blast Magazine, and Blues & Rhythm Magazine (UK). He has also appeared on the cover of Blues Blast Magazine and BlueMonday Monthly. In 2016 Smokey was nominated for Most Outstanding Blues Singer in the 2016 Living Blues Awards.
"With a fascinating story singing with soul greats at both Motown and Stax during it's heyday, Smokey's been bringing his trademark sound to the blues in Tweed Funk." - Click Here to Read the Full Article by R. Leckey Harrison in American Blues Scene Magazine
Joseph "Smokey" Holman rose onto the national scene coming out of Gary, Indiana in the late 60's with the Domestic 4. Initially the band made 2 trips to Memphis and worked with Rufus Thomas and Willie Mitchell recording songs for Hi Records. The business agreement fell apart and the songs were never released. With Stevie Wonder's first cousin (Charles Simmons) in the band - they also got a chance to audition for Motown. Motown liked what they heard and the band was sent immediately to Studio B to record 2 demos. Again the business fell apart and the music was never released.
The Domestic 4 were playing a show on the West Side of Chicago. Their manager had arranged for Curtis Mayfield to attend the show and he loved what he heard. Curtis Mayfield renamed the band as Love's Children and signed them to his Chicago based label, Curtom Records. Curtis penned 4 songs for the band to record. Their best known singles were 1971's "Soul is Love" and "This is the End." Soul is Love was a Soul Sauce pick by Billboard Magazine to hit the Top 20 on the Soul Charts. Love's Children toured extensively for 3+ years and had the Ohio Players open for them at a show.
Smokey left the band in 1972 and as with many musicians his road took a different path as he joined Marines, got married, and ended-up working in steel mill to make ends meet. During the ensuing years he also faced his own challenges and personal demons that took him further away from the music he loved. Eventually, Smokey righted his ship and in 1994 began performing in the greater Milwaukee area with Marvelous Mack and the Pressure Release Band.
Smokey's smooth vocals capture the magic of the classic "soul era" and contain a sweetness and joy that evokes memories of a simpler time. Meanwhile his journey and life experiences contribute to the grit and emotion as he belts out a blues shuffle channeling his "ups and downs" into every note. A consummate showman, Smokey is always working it on the stage providing energy and entertainment to audiences large or small.
Smokey took home the 2013 Wisconsin Area Music Industry Award (WAMI) for Male Vocalist of the Year. In 2016 Smokey was nominated for a Living Blues Award for Most Outstanding Blues Singer. In 2015, 2014 and 2012 Smokey was nominated for a WAMI for Male Vocalist of the Year. In 2014 Smokey was nominated for a Blues 411 "JIMI" Awards for Male Vocalist. Smokey has also helped co-write songs on all 4 of Tweed Funk's CDs and helped co-produce and arrange songs on "Come Together", "First Name Lucky", and "Love Is".
Click here for the interview on WHPK's program Sitting in the Park with Joseph "Smokey" Holman and Glenn Ross.
JD is endorsed by Lentz Guitars
JD Optekar has been instrumental in starting two WAMI (Wisconsin Area Music Industry) Award Winning bands since his arrival on the music scene in 2006 and has served as the primary lyricist and songwriter on the 6 albums he has released since 2007. His initial blues-rock project, Hounds Tooth, took home a 2008 WAMI and his current band, Tweed Funk, was the 2015 and 2012 WAMI Winner for R&B/Soul Artist of the Year.
In 2016 JD was nominated for a WAMI for Guitarist of the Year and featured in the Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Engineering Magazine in the Alumni Spotlight section.
In 2014 JD was featured in the April/May issue of Dartmouth Alumini Magazine's Voices in the Wilderness. In October of 2012 JD made the cover and was featured in RockWired Magazine's 25 Guitarists You've Gotta Know. JD continues to garner critical acclaim for his songwriting and playing receiving praise from Living Blues Magazine, Big City Rhythm & Blues Magazine, Vintage Guitar Magazine, Blues411, and many more publications.
JD exclusively plays Lentz guitars and Dr. Z amps.
- 2013 WAMI Award Winner for Bass Player of the Year
Eric has been a part of the Milwaukee music scene for nearly 30 years, getting his start gigging with his dad's oldies cover band singing and playing keyboards when he was just twelve years old. Throughout his high school years, Eric performed in the marching/concert band, vocal ensemble, and jazz ensemble as a multi-instrumentalist (guitar, piano) with his primary focus being on drums and percussion. During his senior year, he received The Louis Armstrong Award which is the highest interscholastic award given to a musician. In 1997, Eric first picked up a bass guitar and has since never put it down. 2006 brought his first Wisconsin Area Music Industry (WAMI) Award for Cover Band of the Year with former Milwaukee cover band Old Mil. Eric teamed up with nationally recognized blues and soul band Tweed Funk in 2012 and he in 2013 received the WAMI Award for Bass Player of the Year.
Eric's reputation has begun to grow nationally including backing up-and-coming blues star Annika Chambers with renowned blues guitarist Jeff Jensen at the 2015 Women In Blues Showcase at the IBC in Memphis. He has been a first-call session bassist for Studio Z in Milwaukee and has worked on a wide range of recording projects that include hard rock, gospel, pop, and country music. In 2014, Eric arranged, co-produced, and performed on Tweed Funk's release "First Name Lucky" and received his second consecutive WAMI Award nomination for Bass Player of the Year. He received his third consecutive nomination in 2015 for Bass Player of the Year with the WAMI organization. In 2016, Eric served as a primary songwriter, producer, and arranger as well as being a multi-instrumentalist on Tweed Funk's release, "Come Together".
Eric is a Bergantino bass cabinet user and has been highlighted on the Bergantino Website.
"Love Ain't Easy" sports a near Richard Bona-type "pumping in the pocket" bass courtesy of Eric Madunic. This boy knows his stuff and his work is supportive and yet, has a life of its own. - Bluebird Reviews (September 29th, 2016)
Bassist Eric Madunic rustles up comparisons to James Jamerson or Carol Kaye... - The Extended Play Sessions (June 21, 2016)
The bass slinks in like Jamerson with a Coffey styled guitar riff similar to "Ball Of Confusion" as the horns urge Smokey to "Light Up The Night" then bassist Madunic doubles down on Hammond organ and the backing vocals of Chrissy Dzioba and Sara Moilanen lightens the mood on the Curtis Mayfield-like anthem "Don't Give Up." - Big City Rhythm Blues Magazine (Jun/Jul 2016)
- 2015 and 2008 WAMI Winner for Brass/Reeds Player of the Year
Andrew is a multi instrumentalist performing primarily on the saxophone family as well as incorporating clarinet and flute, and is versed in many varying genres of music including Pop, Funk, Rhythm & Blues, and American Roots musics. An avid performer and recording musician, Andrew is now playing with Tweed Funk across the Midwest. He studied music at both Milwaukee Area Technical College and University of Wisconsin Parkside, and has a background in Jazz Improvisation and Live/Studio recording. He has been a professional musician for more than a decade, performing with groups that include the Paul Spencer Band, the Dead Man's Carnival, and the Uptown Savages. A WAMI award winner for Reeds and Brass Player of the Year in 2008 and 2015, he holds numerous nominations with multiple groups throughout the Wisconsin Area Music Industry.
In 2016 Andrew wrote all of the horn-parts for Tweed Funk’s “Come Together”, served as a songwriter, and helped produce and arrange the album. Andrew is endorsed by D’Addario.
Dave is the 2009 WAMI Award Winner for Drummer of the Year.
After one year of private lessons and armed with every Led Zeppelin album, Dave embarked on the journey of the self-taught musician. Playing professionally at age 15 with anyone brave enough to hire a minor, all styles of music were embraced at an early age helping to encourage a well balanced and dynamic approach to any and all forms of music. Soon Zeppelin gave way to John Coltrane, Tito Puente, The Band, Mahavishnu Orchestra, John Zorn, Al Green, Steely Dan, Tool, Charles Mingus, Frank Zappa, Neil Young, Fela Kuti, James Brown and the list of influences goes on, and on...Holding down the drum throne in the Willy Porter Band since 2002, Dave has tracked all the drums on the acoustic wizard's "Available Light"(2006)"How to Rob a Bank"(2009) and the forthcoming 2015 release "Human Kindness”, as well as toured North America with Willy numerous times and appeared on the legendary World Cafe Live nationally syndicated radio show among numerous tv and radio appearances. A busy session musician in Milwaukee with over 50 albums to his credit in all genres, and numerous instruction cds for the Hal Leonard Corporation, one of the world's largest music publishers, Dave also heads up the improvisational recording project, Blank Radio and is the chief engineer and curator of upwards of 30 sessions held yearly since 2008 with musicians from all over the greater Milwaukee area. The Blank Radio Sessions are recording improvisations in all styles from ambient soundscapes to classical, jazz and seething progressive rock and fusion. Currently Dave makes his home in Milwaukee and is a private lesson instructor at Cascio Interstate Music. He has done dozens of clinics and been billed with legendary drummers Ed Thigpen, Paul Wertico, Dom Famularo, Greg Bissonette, Ernie Adams, and Carmine Appice. He maintains a busy schedule of teaching, touring, clinics and sessions both locally and around the country, and is always striving to evolve in every facet of music making.
In 2016 Dave wrote songs, produced, arranged, and played drums and percussion on Tweed Funk’s latest release “Come Together”.
Since his thirteen year old debut onto the Milwaukee scene, Travis Drow has quickly become an in-demand trumpet player in Wisconsin and surrounding states. At eighteen years old, he is making a name for himself, receiving national honors with The Batterman Ensemble in Downbeat® Magazine’s 38th Annual Student Music Awards as well as being honored as an Outstanding Soloist at the Sixth Annual Charles Mingus Competition held in Manhattan, New York. In 2014, Travis was the subject of a feature article in the Quincy Jones Musiq Consortium Newsletter. Other honors include being honored as a soloist at the 2014 Eau Claire Jazz Festival, being invited to play at the Jazz Education Network Conference twice, with a different honors ensemble each time, and being nominated in two categories for the 2014 Wisconsin Area Music Industry Awards as well as being a part of two WAMI-nominated bands of the same year. Outside of Tweed Funk, Travis is a recognized jazz musician in Milwaukee, playing with a modern straight-ahead concept. Travis frequently plays as a proponent of horn-sections of other Milwaukee bands, including bands such as the Aluar Pearls and the Ethan Keller Group. Travis has been an active session performer, tracking horns for several local artists.