Up the Downstair

Being a weeklie podcaste from Madison, Wisconsin featuring several remarkable curiosities therein occurring being a compendium of live music from divers artistes

The Polkaholics Return to Madison

August 16th, 2012


gt2012 pp2 The Polkaholics Return to Madison

After work last Friday I met my lady, The Dulcinea, at the Essen Haus for their pre-Great Taste party featuring Chicago’s Revolution Brewing who brought The Polkaholics along with them for their first gig in Madison in eight years. (I was told they’d played at the Union Terrace.) I’d never had any Revolution brew nor seen The Polkaholics live so it was a great opportunity to correct both of these highly unfortunate situations.

The beer was pretty tasty and The Polkaholics were rockin’. The only Polkaholics album I have is Wally: A Polka-Punk Opera so I was yelling for “Division Street”. Bassist Jolly James Wallace heard my plea and they played it. They even took my second request – “Caldwell Woods”. At this point, The D ordered me to stop yelling requests. Not a problem as they proceeded to play lots of great tunes including “Existentialist Polka”, “Who Stole the Kiska”, and “Old Style Polka”, and “Polka On Guitar”. Guitarist Dandy Don Hedeker changed “Milwaukee Waltz” (or was that “Milwaukee Polka”?) into the “Madison Waltz/Polka”. One tune – I can’t recall which – opened with a tease of “Smoke on the Water” while Kiss’ “Rock’n'Roll All Nite” was polkafied. A little Johnny Cash even got thrown into the mix.

They were an absolute blast and all great fellows. James and Hedeker were in bands previously that had played here and James asked where O’Cayz Corral was. I pointed to the empty lot next door. (For non-local types, the place burned down in 2001.) The D and I also chatted with drummer Stylin’ Steve Glover and his significant other, Rosa, who was very friendly.

The owner of the Essen Haus approached the band after the first set and the plan is to have the boys return to play there in October.


gt2012 pp3 1 The Polkaholics Return to Madison

Related posts:

  1. The Polkaholics – Wally
  2. It's Happiness Returns to Madison
  3. Up the Downstair in Print
  4. A Polka-Rock Opera?!
  5. Polka Movie Tomorrow

2 Responses to “The Polkaholics Return to Madison”

  1. Jolly James says:

    This truly was a great night!! Any chance on gettin’ a high res of the last photo?? That about sums up how hard we played that night!

    Jolly James

    • Palmer says:

      Sure. I’ll send it when I get home. Any particular email addy? Otherwise I’ll just send it to the address on the band’s webpage.

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