What: Farewell Milwaukee
When: 8 p.m., Saturday
Where: Cedar Cultural Center, 416 S. Cedar Ave., Minneapolis
Cost: $12 in advance; $15 at the door
Though the band’s moniker alludes to the idea that it’s a Milwaukee, Wis., outfit, Farewell Milwaukee is native to Minneapolis. Each of the band’s half-dozen members grew up in a Midwestern city, and together they make no effort to conceal their adoration for the central part of the United States. The band’s titular reference to Milwaukee signifies a well-wishing to the cities each member is from.
“It’s a nod to the Midwest and, we liked the way it sounded,” said Ben Lubeck, principal songwriter and lead vocalist of Farewell Milwaukee. “There’s not too much of a deep meaning; we just wanted to represent where we’re all from.”
The band’s Midwest origins and obvious reverence to the area’s culture is undoubtedly recognizable in its laid-back, Americana sound. Both Lubeck and additional vocalist Aaron Markson carry a lovely lilt within their tenor ranges, which track against weepy pedal steel, twangy guitar and steady rhythms. The band’s sound is redolent of the alt-country group the Jayhawks, which ostensibly isn’t a coincidence.
“We have a variety of tastes, but I think the thing that influences our sound is that Laurel Canyon sound from the ’70s — Jackson Browne, Gram Parsons, The Flying Burrito Brothers and definitely the Jayhawks,” Lubeck said. “We’re huge fans of the Jayhawks. They are some of our heroes.”
Since Farewell Milwaukee arrived to the music scene in the latter half of 2008, the band has crafted and released two albums whetted in soft acoustics, flowing harmonies and the heartache yearning squeal of an electric guitar. And album number three is on its way. Lubeck insists this latest project is an extension of the band’s country rock sound, made more potent by the addition of two new full-time members — Dave Strahan, and Joey Ryan of Joey Ryan and the Inks.
“I would say that it’s a natural progression from where we were,” Lubeck said, “and with Dave on pedal steel guitar and electric guitar, he brought his own sound to Farewell Milwaukee, and Joey brought some amazing harmony and melody ideas into this record. The collaboration between everybody was just so beautiful.”
The band just finished mastering its yet-to-be-titled album and is in the process of discussing release dates with an accompanying tour. Lubeck promises new music from Farewell Milwaukee will drop soon in an album that had an indescribable production.
“There were some magical moments on this record — in pre-production and in the studio —that I just had to step back and enjoy because they were so beautiful,” Lubeck said. “I think we made an incredible record.”