Reporting Natalie Nyhus
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — This Saturday night, The Honeydogs are playing a show at First Avenue, but many of the fans will be there to hear the opening act, Farewell Milwaukee.
They’ve been grabbing attention locally this past year, particularly with their single “Always be Your Man.” It was featured on the Cities 97 Sampler this year.
Despite the name, all five band members reside in the Twin Cities. The name pays homage to the Midwest and to lead singer Ben Lubeck’s hometown.
“Some people ask, ‘Are you sticking it to Milwaukee, are you saying farewell Milwaukee? You know? Good riddance?’ It’s not that. It’s a name that encompasses where we’re from and the place we love,” explained Lubeck.
Their sweet Americana sounds border on country, and their lyrics read like a page out of a book.
“We have tons of influence in country rock like Neil Young and the Eagles and Jackson Brown,” said Lubeck. “I want people to be able to read the lyrics on a page and have it read like a piece of poetry or a story.”
Lubeck was recognized for his songwriting skills when he was invited to a songwriting competition for rising artists.
“We were this close to taking it home I think,” Lubeck recalled. “We were told that we were the runners up.”
Each song, though, is a full band effort.
“Certain songs tend to stay almost exactly the way Ben wrote them in the beginning, and other songs take on a whole different life when the band comes in. And that’s the beauty in my perspective,” said guitar player and backup vocalist Aaron Markson.
After years of these musicians trying to fit into other genres, they’re throwing out expectations as Farewell Milwaukee.
And it’s working. Their single “Always be Your Man” was featured on the most recent Cities 97 Sampler. “Now we just make the music that we love, and we just hope that others love it, too,” said Markson.
Farewell Milwaukee is getting ready for a tour of the southeast. They’ll play in Nashville, Atlanta and the Carolinas.
But before they hit the road, they are playing at First Avenue downtown Minneapolis Saturday night opening for The Honeydogs. It’s an 18+ show, and tickets are $13 at the door, $10 in advance.