- 2013 WAMI Award Winner for Male Vocalist of the Year
- 2012 WAMI Nominee for Male Vocalist of the Year
"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 Wiscosin Area Music Industry Award (WAMI) for Male Vocalist of the Year. In 2012 Smokey was nominated for a WAMI for Male Vocalist of the Year. Smokey has also helped co-write songs on Tweed Funk's debut CD, Bringin It and latest CD, 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. His initial blues-rock project, Hounds Tooth, took home a 2008 WAMI and his current band, Tweed Funk, was the 2012 WAMI Winner for R&B/Soul Artist of the Year. He has served as the primary songwriter and has co-produced 4 CDs with Hounds Tooth and Tweed Funk. 2 of the CDs have charted nationally and received extensive reviews and worldwide airplay.
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 has studied guitar locally under Reverend Raven, Misha Siegfried, and Steve Cohen. JD exclusively plays Lentz guitars and Dr. Z amps.
- 2014 WAMI Nominee for Bass Player of the Year
- 2013 WAMI Award Winner for Bass Player of the Year
Eric got his start in music at a very young age. He received his first guitar at the age of four which he affectionately called "Biscuit", but didn't start playing music seriously until he was recruited to his dad's band to play keyboards and sing at the age of twelve. During his teen years he played countless gigs with his dad's band, including touring the midwest backing up internationally renowned Elvis impersonator Garry Wesley. In 1997, Eric started his journey with the bass guitar and realized his true love and passion for the instrument. Playing bass in various bands over the next several years, he joined up with Milwaukee rock cover band Old Mil in 2003. During his time with Old Mil, he played at most of the top clubs and festivals in Southeastern Wisconsin including repeat performances at Summerfest, Wisconsin State Fair, and at venues such as the Bradley Center, Eagles Ballroom, and Shank Hall. He performed for the President of the United States in front of an audience of 16,000 people in 2004, and received his first Wisconsin Area Music Industry (WAMI) award in 2006 with Old Mil for Cover Band of the Year. Eric teamed up with Tweed Funk in 2012 and in 2013, received his second WAMI award for Bass Player of the Year for his work with Tweed Funk and the vocal-harmony driven classic rock cover band, The Orphans. In 2014, Eric arranged, co-produced, and performed on Tweed Funk's release "First Name Lucky" and received his second consecutive WAMI nomination for Bass Player of the Year.
Having collaborated with many of Milwaukee's top musicians, both on the stage and in the studio, his bass playing style is known to have a very "deep pocket" added with just the right amount of flair to get his point across and make it really tasty.
Jon Lovas is an up-and-coming woodwind performer in the Milwaukee area and performs regularly on Saxophone, Clarinet, and Flute. He is a recent graduate of UW Milwaukee where he studied Music Education and studied the saxophone with local jazz legend Curt Hanrahan. Jon has performed with the Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra and Milwaukee Opera Theatre. During the day he teaches primary music education at two schools in the greater Milwaukee Area and has a large roster of students taking private lessons. Jon arranged all of the horn-parts for Tweed Funk’s CD, Love Is.
- 2014 WAMI Nominee for Brass/Reeds Player of the Year
- 2013 WAMI Nominee for Brass/Reeds Player of the Year
Kevin has been on the Wisconsin Music scene for the past 20 years, toured nationally, and contributed to Tweed Funk's sophomore CD, Love Is. Kevin works at Hal-Leonard during the days and saves his evenings playing in New Orleans style brass band and with Tweed Funk. Kevin has played in a variety of bands around Wisconsin including jazz, big band, funk and cover bands.
In 2013 Kevin was nominated for a WAMI for Brass/Reeds Player of the Year. Additionally, Kevin drew praise from Bruce Iglauer (Alligator Records) for his trumpet playing during a recent performance at Buddy Guy's Legends.