After all these years hearing about the Milwaukee-based musical genius of Sigmund Snopek III, I finally had the opportunity to see him in action in the super intimate setting of the Holiday Music Motel in Sturgeon Bay during Snopek’s 3rd annual holiday show at the Holiday.
Wow! It inspired me to make the haul to Milwaukee to catch one of his polka shows at the Old German Beer Hall or one of his Irish shows at Paddy’s Irish Pub, or one of his rock shows at Linnemann’s, or, really, any show he puts on.
While Snopek and his three musical collaborators did not confine themselves to playing only holiday music, when they did turn their attention to that genre, it was done with a Snopekian take on each tune – with reverence to the original but with his highly refined musical sensibilities putting an elegant spin on things.
While Snopek sat at a bank of keyboards for most of the concert, he did haul out a toy piano that allowed him to stroll among the small but appreciative crowd. He also pulled out his flute and an Alpine horn that he was able to blow like a trumpet. He also displayed pleasing vocal abilities.
His musical cohorts were just as exciting. Multi-instrumentalist Michael Woods sang, played guitars, drums and saxophones, all executed with equal panache, but his tenor sax playing was enough to make angels weep.
Woods’ wife, Emily Wolersberger, provided beautiful vocals, and Snopek’s girlfriend, Denise Goetsh, played oboe, flute and piccolo. Amazing talent from all four.
If you’d like to know more about Snopek, get a copy of the recently released Adventures in Avant-Pop (Naciketas Press) by former Milwaukeean Michael Bielke, who writes a chapter each on Frank Zappa, Neil Young, Yoko Ono, Joni Mitchell, James Brown, Sun Ra and Snopek. Snopek’s chapter is titled “Who’s Afraid of Sigmund Snopek III?” in which Bielke writes, “to hear him is to like him. There’s some value for everybody in his complex and beguiling compositions.”
Or check Snopek out online sigmundsnopek.com. Also check out Michael Woods’ website (michaelvwoods.com), where you can find information on his debut recording, Burning Trees.