Stone Arch Brew House and Mile of Music have paired so well with the annual festival in August that extensions of the two brands – Stone Cellar at Riverview Gardens and Mile Productions – are teaming up to offer a new weekly music series every Wednesday during the winter and spring called Rhythms and Brews, with the first concert set for November 9 when it welcomes folk duo The Lowest Pair from Olympia, WA.
According to Dave Willems of Mile Productions, the new series, which will encompass 28 concerts through May 24, will be a “listening-room” concert experience for local music fans and feature largely duos, trios and troubadours, with an occasional club-style performance by full bands touring the Upper Midwest. The lineup for the remainder of November and December showcases is nearly complete and will be announced very soon.
Like the summer festival and the popular Concerts in the Courtyard series staged by Mile Productions each Wednesday during the summer at the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel, Rhythms and Brews at Riverview Gardens also will be free to attendees. A paid VIP option is available, which includes food and beverage tickets, an artist meet-and-greet, and front-of-house seating.
“A big part of our original music effort is geared to making new music more accessible while keeping it affordable, or free,” Willems said. “Like the festival, we’ll build in opportunities for fans to also get a next-level experience for a small price that supports the movement.”
Adding to the experience for attendees, Stone Arch will craft new beer flavors in small batches each week. “Rhythms and Brews will be a combination of new music and new beer,” said Steve
Lonsway, co-owner and brew master for the Appleton-based craft brewer. “Mile of Music is about creating remarkable experiences for music fans and we’re excited to help craft this big addition to the growing year-round scene.”
In all, the series will span seven months with each week also featuring a mission moment for a local community cause, bringing music and message together each Wednesday. “Riverview Gardens is such an inspirational example of how the community can collaborate to get amazing things done,” Willems said. “We thought a collaborative flavor of music and message would be a nice accent at this particular venue.”
Willems said the commitment of bringing top touring and state artists to Appleton on a weekly basis is a big one, but represents a significant step in creating a year-round original music flavor for Downtown Appleton and the adjacent riverfront. “We’re gradually getting there, between the good work our local venues are doing and the special opportunities we’ve been able to curate with the community’s support,” he said.
Between the indoor Riverview Gardens series set to debut and the outdoor Courtyard series in the summer, Wednesday early evenings become a hallmark year-round for original music, Willems said. “It’s certainly part of the overall movement of Appleton being considered a go-to music destination for fans and artists alike.”
Rhythms and Brews showcases will run from 7:30 to 9 p.m. each Wednesday. Food and beverage options will be available for purchase each week beginning at 5 p.m. A variety of roots music showcases will be featured at Rhythms and Brews, including story and song sessions, solo spotlights, get-to-know showcases and more. Artists featured will include alumni of Mile of Music as well as artists new to Appleton.
In addition to the VIP spots available for purchase, a number of free spots for the series will be set aside each week for annual purchasers of the Music-Makers Badge, which provides perks for music fans related to the Mile of Music festival in August and the special concerts and showcases throughout the year produced by Mile Productions. Music-Makers will be able to reserve a spot in advance online on a first-come, first-served basis.
Among the artists already booked to perform at the series are folk icon Charlie Parr from Duluth, MN; emerging honky-tonker Luke Bell from Nashville, and Christopher the Conquered from Des Moines, IA, who’s last album was called “crazy and incredible” by Ryan Adams. Those dates will be announced in the near future.
The duo that will kick things off, The Lowest Pair – consisting of Kendl Winter and Palmer T. Lee – performed several sets at Mile 4, including showcases at Fox River House, Copper Rock, McGuinness Irish Pub, the Radisson Courtyard and OuterEdge. The duo alternates between picking banjos and strumming guitars while singing sweet harmonies as part of their bluegrassy, folksy, old-time roots music.
More information is available at www.mileofmusic.com/rhythmsandbrews.