Spotlight of the Week: Lodi

Lodi is a multi-instrumentalist who’s been playing in bands of many different styles around Milwaukee for a long time. His most recent endeavor is the Grateful Dead tribute band, Deadelijk.

ME: How did you get involved in Wisconsin Music Ventures?

LODI: Well, I’ve been doing some work over at No Studios and I’d witness the musician meet-ups that were happening on Fridays, which was a cool thing. Then Allison was at No Studios one day along with Joanna Kim, who’s a phenomenal guitarist, and they put on a show there that I happened to be doing sound for. I decided that it was something I wanted to be involved with; I’ve never been a great joiner, so to speak, so I’m trying out something new by doing this and getting more networked.

ME: Right on. So tell me about Deadelijk!

LODI: Well, it’s been kind of a labor of love (laughs) and a long time coming. I started trying to get it together a few years ago and had some original members move away, plus there were some members that no longer had the time so it’s gone through some personnel changes. It finally landed on the five of us that are playing in the group now – Joe Howard on drums, Tim Wright on guitar and singing, Rob Collier on bass, Nate Gray playing keyboards and I play guitar and sing as well. We trade off Jerry and Bobby duties; that’s always peoples’ first question (laughs). We had our first outing at Dinos back in May and we’re excited to play again at Enlightened Brewing in Bay View on August 7th, which is a Sunday afternoon show 4-7.

ME: Fun stuff; that’ll be great. Sounds like this project is a great release for you.

LODI: It is. I’m a longtime Deadhead, and for most of my life I veered away from even learning a lot of those songs. Honestly, I’m not sure why; maybe it was reverence for the music or something. I played in a lot of original bands over the years and kind of focused on that as well. Later in life I suddenly got an urge to learn and play these tunes. Of course, the improvisational aspect of it is huge; to me, that’s one of the highest art forms and I find it to be such a challenge that I’m always striving to get better at.

ME: All of it sounds like a blast. I know that Dinos just opened recently and that they’re bringing live music in; I haven’t actually been there yet since it reopened but I’ve got to check it out.

LODI: Yeah, it’s a nice room and a great outlet. They’re really trying to get musicians in there.

ME: How’s their food?

LODI: Food’s good! I’ve tried the wings and really enjoyed them.

ME: I’ve heard. I remember back in the day, Dinos had really good pizza. I’ve got to try the wings soon.

ME: What other bands have you been involved with?

LODI: Well, I used to play in a band called 4th Street Elevator for many years, and that was in the hot club jazz world; there’s a community of folks here in Milwaukee that play that sort of music. Depending upon who’s available, I put together different groups of musicians and work under the moniker Lodewijk’s Castle, which is a play on a Django Reinhardt tune; he’s like the godfather of the hot club style. That’s other musical endeavor that I have going on right now; I used to play in a lot of other bands like Twin Brother and Irock Z.

ME: Sounds like you’ve been able to explore a lot of different styles with a lot of different musicians, which is the way to do it.

ME: What are you working on now? What’s coming up besides the show next month?

LODI: I’m also an audio engineer, and right now I’m working on a mastering project with Brat Sounds. The full album will be seventeen songs so it’s a pretty big endeavor. They’re going to start releasing singles and small packets of the album starting in the next few weeks here. I just delivered the first batch of tunes to Scott and I’m excited to see those get out into the world. I’ll also be working on a recording project with a band called J.T. & the Congregants.

Visit Deadelijk’s Facebook page here.

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