Friday Night Food, Brews & Racket: O’Marro’s, Bare Bones team up for night of music

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Local musicians Steve Trier and Stephen McCabe to perform

Few things are finer in Wisconsin than a Friday night fish fry paired with local craft beer from the tap and a music show.

What’s better? Doing all of that while while providing some much needed support for local business hard hit by the current health crisis.

Food, Brews & Racket Session 1 is set for this Friday, May 15, 2020, bringing together O’Marro’s Public House (food), Bare Bones Brewery, and local musicians Steve Trier (Twistin’ Egyptians) and Stephen McCabe (Redshift Headlights) for an evening of entertainment and giving back.

According to the organizers, the event provides a much needed chance to support the local business and musicians that have been strong contributors to the Oshkosh live music scene.

Orders should be submitted by 4pm on Friday. The music show will be aired online at 7:30pm, with supporters provided exclusive access.

How it works:

Head over to the Food, Brews & Racket online menu at https://watercityracket.square.site/

From there, you can order your dinner, with options such as a Friday Perch Fry and Brandy’s Steak Sandwich, as well as appetizers including Zittau, WI cheese curds and O’Marro’s Legendary Reuben Rolls.

Bare Bones is on tap, with growlers of the classic Oshkosh Lager and Swifty’s Irish Red served (21+ only).

Supporters are also presented the opportunity to grab a local recording, including Racket Fest compilation cds and even some vinyl.

All food, brews and racket merch will be available for pick up from O’Marro’s at 2211T Oregon Street, Oshkosh.

Supporting the businesses behind the local music scene:

Live music in Oshkosh (and most of the world) ended abruptly in March, as did nearly all sources of revenue for local music venues. Largely comprised of small, locally-owned bars, these businesses were either forced to close or reinvent their model with little assurance of success.

Former Oshkosh band H. Chinaski reunited for a memorable set at Racket Fest 2020, hosted at O’Marro’s.

Hosting live original music in smaller communities such as Oshkosh is a hard business that most often fails to deliver significant financial gains. Despite this, Oshkosh has been blessed with a strong number of establishments that are eager to host and provide funding for local music.

O’Marro’s, Fletch’s, Manila Resto, The Reptile Palace, Beckets, Barley & Hops, the New Moon, Peabody’s, Bare Bones, Fifth Ward, and Jambalaya have all become important hosts of live original music. These venues provide a public forum for the local creative community while delivering countless nights of entertainment, excitement and inspiration.

For events such as the Oshkosh Main Street Music Festival (OMSMF) and Racket Fest, support for the local music scene moves beyond the venue. Local breweries have been a constant financial pillar of support for the scene, providing much needed finances to pay band and promotion costs.

Session 1 of Food, Brews and Racket features food from O’Marro’s, which hosted the Racket Fest 2020 in late February and has increasingly become a key destination for live music in Oshkosh.

The featured brews will come from Bare Bones Brewery, who not only regularly hosts live music but also has provided financial support for OMSMF and the Independent Racket Nights original music series.

A Tale of Two Steves: Trier and McCabe Swap Songs

Longtime Oshkosh musicians Steve Trier and Stephen McCabe sat down together in the studio and recorded a 1 hour show for the event, featuring a collection of songs along with a bit of storytelling and humor.

Trier is a prolific and legendary Wisconsin songwriter, having played throughout the midwest with his former band Twistin’ Egyptians, and fronting The Felons, Half Clock, Steve Trier and the Evening Sons and The Steve Trier Band.

In 1989, he and Twistin’ Egyptians recorded at Jimmy Hendricks’s legendary Electric Lady Studios in NYC. Those tapes were recently remixed and released on a two album CD set entitled Complete Twistin’ Egyptians.

Twistin’ Egyptians (L to R: Steve Trier, Kurt Calder, David Geschke, & Brad Hoffman)

Stephen McCabe has spent much of his adulthood playing original indie rock in dive bars and coffee shops. Originally a percussionist, he plays guitar like a drummer and has written music alongside his friends in Cookie Bug, Congratulations On Your Decision to Become a Pilot, The Willis, Attack, Octopus, and current band Redshift Headlights.

In 2009, he and the rest of The Willis appeared on the final test show of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. He tends to write thematic albums, the most recent titled Oshkosh.

The Willis (L to R: Dean Hoffman, Eric Blumreich, Stephen McCabe, Eric van Thiel, & Todd Farber.

For more information on Food, Brews & Racket, visit the event webpage.

Support for the event comes from Big Garage Studios, Fusia Media, the Oshkosh Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, Racket Fest, and participating restaurants and breweries.

Racket fest photo by Justin R. Mitchell. Twistin’ Egyptians and The Willis photos courtesy of the bands.

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Justin R. Mitchell

Justin is the founding editor of the Oshkosh Independent.

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