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Beef Tea Elevates Roots Rock With Debut Album, Morning Light
Hailing from Sheboygan, WI, Beef Tea has created a hearty blend of roots rock with a brush of bluegrass, and their album Morning Light (2013) has seen impressive successes as it spreads throughout their hometown and beyond. They’re even going to be featured on an upcoming installment of WiFi PR Group’s Indie Anthems series.
Beef Tea is comprised of six talented musicians: Danika Williamson on vocals and accordion, Court Ramaeker on backing vocals, banjo, mandolin and bouzouki, David Koebel on guitar and dobro, Eric Hudak on fiddle, Lucas Cleary on bass and percussion and Dave Williamson on backing vocals, guitar and mandolin. Despite having so many members and instrumental textures to work with, Beef Tea has figured out just the right balance of notes, rhythms and timbres to create a sound that does not appear crowded or jumbled. Rather, it harmonizes and synthesizes, bringing about the best in each player and instrument.
In addition to having different instrumental talents, each member of Beef Tea comes from a unique background as well. Lucas, David Koebel and Court have extensive hard rock backgrounds. Eric, the fiddle player, comes from a symphonic background, and Dave Williamson has jazz experience. Danika has been “all over the place,” and instead focuses on each individual project or song as its own entity.
Some of their musical influences include The Avett Brothers, particularly their lyrical content, and a number of Americana artists, such as The Duhks, Cadillac Sky, Trampled by Turtles, Alabama Shakes and more. They also look to bands such as PHOX, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Rodrigo Y Gabriela and The Head and the Heart for inspiration. One influence that binds them together is having grown up in the 80s, where they found inspiration from the unique beats of Michael Jackson and hair band rock.
This amalgam of backgrounds and influences comes together to create a sound that is indescribable and incomparable for many listeners. It is a distinct type of roots music that forms the backbone of Beef Tea’s music. If the group had to be compared to another artist, Beef Tea has heard that they sound like Nickel Creek and Crooked Still.
To share this sound with new and current fans, Beef Tea released their self-published debut album, Morning Light, in March 2013. To fund this album, they ran what turned out to be a very successful first Kickstarter campaign which ended up attracting a famous and tremendously talented mixing engineer and producer, Mike Shipley. He had just come off a project with Alison Krause and Robert Plant which he won a Grammy for, and he admired Beef Tea and went to bat for their record. They didn’t end up working with him directly on the album, but they learned a lot about themselves and the methods behind creating an album in the process.
In addition to their album release, Beef Tea have had other notable accomplishments over the years. Shortly after releasing their album, they won the Independent Music Awards Vox Pop award for best bluegrass song for their track “Bring Me Along.” They also won a CD roulette contest and were nominated for best Americana group in 2013 by their home statewide music association, the Wisconsin Area Music Industry, an organization that nurtures the local Wisconsin music scene.
Beef Tea’s track “Bring Me Along” will be featured on WiFi PR Group’s compilation, Indie Anthems Vol. 4, which is a collection of independent talent from around the globe spanning a number of different genres. The digital mixtape will be handed out on 3,500 download cards to attendees at SXSW in March 2014, and 1,500 more copies will be available on the Indie Anthems Bandcamp page.
As for the future, Beef Tea has more shows planned, and they’re well into the development of their second album with another Kickstarter campaign on the horizon in the next few months.
If you’d like to catch Beef Tea live, they are working toward scheduling more local and festival appearances in the coming months. They are performing at Dairy State Cheese and Beer Festival in Kenosha, WI, on April 12th and at Bastille Days in Milwaukee, WI, on July 13th.
To download or purchase Beef Tea’s music, visit iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby, Spotify and other major digital music distribution sites. You can buy hard copies of their album at live shows at at Roots Acoustic and Paradigm Café in Sheboygan, WI, which is actually owned by David Koebel.
You can also check out their video for “Empty Room” and others on their YouTube profile.
About Beef Tea Music
Morning Light (2013)
Alisa St. Rock
WiFi PR Group
About WiFi PR Group
WiFi PR Group, www.wifiprgroup.com, based in Los Angeles, CA, is an innovative marketing force in the interconnecting worlds of Philanthropy, Business and Entertainment. Specializing in digital publicity and branding, WiFi PR works closely with its clients to create business to business and business to consumer campaigns.