Updates

Watch Facebook & Twitter for live updates of activities as they take place at the Monroe Balloon Rally & Blues Festival


Altered Five

The Monroe Balloon & Blues Festival is proud to announce that the Altered Five Band will be playing live Friday, June 14th, 2019 8:30-10:00pm.

ALTERED FIVE BIO

“Ripping up the Midwest band scene for over a decade” – Living Blues

“An outstanding blues and soul band… barrel-chested frontman Jeff Taylor’s voice is gloriously gritty” – Minneapolis Star Tribune

JEFF TAYLOR Lead Vocals
JEFF SCHROEDL Guitar
MARK SOLVESON Bass
RAYMOND TEVICH Keyboards​
ALAN ARBER Drums

For 17 years, Altered Five Blues Band has been winning audiences with a swaggering stomp of bruising, barrelhouse grit. According to Downbeat magazine, frontman Jeff Taylor “sings powerfully” and “Jeff Schroedl’s live-wire guitar reaches the high bar of mixed invention and fluidity.” Blues Bytes magazine declares the group features “the funkiest rhythm section outside of Memphis.”

For its fourth album, Charmed & Dangerous, the Milwaukee-based quintet joined forces with Blind Pig Records, one of the world’s premiere blues labels. Produced by multi-Grammy-winner Tom Hambridge, and featuring guests on harmonica and backing vocals, the 13 tracks of original, contemporary blues prove worthy of the recent groundswell of acclaim. American Blues Scene proclaimed the album, “will be making huge waves… one of the year’s best!,” and the title track has been in regular rotation on SiriusXM’s Bluesville for more than a year. The band was nominated for a prestigious Blues Music Award in the category of Best Emerging Artist Album, and the song “Cookin’ in Your Kitchen” won Blues Song of the Year at the 2018 Independent Music Awards.

The group’s third album, Cryin’ Mercy, reached #3 in the iTunes blues store, hit #1 on the Roots Music Report blues album chart, and won Best Self-Released CD at the 2015 International Blues Challenge. The band was also named Blues Artist of the Year at the 2014 WAMI Award Show, and was recently asked to contribute a track (“Tightrope”) to a Stevie Ray Vaughan tribute album being released in 2019.

Charmed & Dangerous delivers blood-pumping blues with a fiery mix of deft songwriting and simmering musicianship. Taylor’s smoldering baritone howls in the opening title track, and breaths fire-and-brimstone on cuts like “On My List to Quit” and “Three Alarm Desire.” The soul-drenched “Eighth Wonder” and scrapyard shuffle “Mint Condition” showcase A5’s songcraft, while “Cookin’ In Your Kitchen” and “If Your Heart Went Public” prove you can still rattle the rafters with pure, stone-cold slow blues. The album’s third track, “Three Forks,” was inspired by legendary Delta bluesman Robert Johnson and features music, adapted with permission, from the seminal classic “Crossroads.” Hambridge also plays drums on all 13 tracks, adding even more energy and authenticity to the record. ​ “Charmed & Dangerous” won Song of the Year at the 2018 Wisconsin Music Awards.
​From day one, Altered Five dared to be different. The quintet formed in 2002 and earned a reputation for its inventive arrangements and distinctive sound. Isthmus magazine called the band “a rising blues unit” and OnMilwaukee.com declared, “The group delivers the element of surprise.”

Within a few years, Altered Five caught the ear of Cold Wind Records and, in 2008, signed a recording contract with the Minneapolis blues label. The debut album featured the band’s penchant for putting an earthy spin on numbers; the aptly titled Bluesified included roadhouse versions of ten popular songs. The group performed live on three television morning shows and honed its sound playing regular club, festival, and concert dates.

​​​In the ensuing years, Altered Five turned its attention to recording and performing its own material, and the 2012 release of Gotta Earn It drew rave reviews. Barrelhouse Blues called it “a great and powerful recording,” Downbeat commended its “solid songs,” Living Blues called the band “a tight, unified talent” and Big City Rhythm & Blues called A5 “Hands down, one of the best newer blues/R&B bands.”

The band’s third album, entitled Cryin’ Mercy, delivered the next chapter in Altered Five’s musical odyssey. The 11-song set is a fierce collection of original, contemporary blues fused with vintage soul, and the debut release for OmniVibe Records. With Hambridge at the helm, the band hit on all cylinders. “JT” Taylor’s powerful voice anchors the sound and drives home the message in songs like the roaring opener “Demon Woman”; the stinging strut of “Stay Outta My Business,” the vivacious shuffle “I’m in Deep,” the soul-soaked ballad “Find My Wings,” and sassy ”Counterfeit Lover.” The album earned the band two Blues Blast Award nominations and five WAMI Award nominations, including Artist of the Year, Album of the Year, and Song of the Year (“Find My Wings”). “Find My Wings” also made it to the finals of the International Songwriting Competition.

Bassist Mark Solveson anchors the rock-solid rhythm section with drummer Alan Arber, who joined the band in 2017, and Raymond Tevich melds his crafty keyboard work to top off the group’s signature sound. It’s been said that “the blues is a feeling,” so when the Minneapolis Star Tribune states that the band is a “righteous blast,” you know they play it right.

Check them out at: https://www.alteredfive.com/

In Memory

ARC, the organizers of the Monroe Balloon and Blues Festival would like to honor and send it’s regards to the Family of Jack Monaghan. Jack was a wonderful father of his children and exemplifies the dedication of a man who knew the importance of children of disabilities.

Parents are very important in all our lives, but those with children and adults who have special needs go well above and beyond!

ARC recognizes and salutes all parent, like Jack and his memory will never be forgotten!

Getting Ready!

Monroe Balloon & Blues Festival is getting things ready for this afternoon, ARE YOU READY?!?!?

GATES OPEN AT 4:00PM FRIDAY AND 5:00AM SATURDAY!

  1. Blues Band Tent & Stage are going up this morning and are 100% FREE – Beer wagon is available to quench the thirst of any fan. Feel free to bring chairs. Carry in Alcohol is prohibited!
  2. Of course, nothing slows down the Classic Car Show on Saturday and it is likely we will have a special visit from the Planter’s Nutmobile & Oscar Meyer Wienermobile.
  3. Midway will be full blast with unique food, crafts, vendors and activities for the kids.
  4. Dairy Day Cattle Show, which will be hosted by the community of Monticello, will be held Saturday.
  5. The Balloon launch is set for 6:00PM Friday and Saturday. Early risers can come out for a pancake breakfast before the 6:00AM Saturday launch.
  6. Balloon Demonstrations & Glow at 8:30PM Friday and Saturday evenings. Field packs up early, so arrive prior for good seats.

Remember, will do everything possibly so everyone remains as safe as possible and weather plays a very important part in this! For balloon activities: rain, thunder, lightening,as well as even wind speed and direction (both at ground level and higher altitudes) can require modifications to balloon activities. Remember, our balloonists come to fly and are more disappointed then anyone when things don’t work out.

PLEASE monitor our FACEBOOK and TWITTER account as we post live updates as soon as changes are required!!!

 

Flying High