Category Archives: Tribute Shows

Gregg Hall - Tom Petty tribute

Tom Petty tribute show

Deece Productions will turn its attention to the work of Tom Petty at its next show, set for Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013 at The Muse Theatre in La Crosse.

The show will feature all the songs from 1989’s “Full Moon Fever” and 1994’s “Wildflowers,” Petty’s first and second solo albums.

The band will feature Gregg “Cheech” Hall, Laun Braithwaite, Brian Beard, “Butcher” Taylor, Eddie “Hondo” Juntunen, Matt Pudas, and Javier Trejo.

Gregg Hall - Tom Petty tribute-2

source: La Crosse Tribune “Tom Petty tribute show set for February”

Gregg Hall - Neil Young Gold Rush tribute

Neil Young “After the Gold Rush” tribute show

The sounds of the ’70s (and ’60s) will echo on La Crosse’s North Side this weekend, with tribute shows Saturday and Sunday featuring Neil Young and Otis Redding, respectively.

The Saturday Neil Young show is the latest production by Gregg “Cheech” Hall, and it’s the third time he’s tapped Young as the recipient of a tribute. Previous shows featured Young’s work from “Rust Never Sleeps,” “Harvest” and “Zuma,” while this weekend’s show at The Muse Theatre will pull it’s first set from Young’s third solo album, “After the Gold Rush.”

Billy Hembd stood in for Young in the two previous shows, but he was unavailable this time around so Hall is taking on the lead vocal chores as well as playing guitar. “I hope people aren’t going to be too disappointed,” Hall said.

Hall will be backed by bassist Tim Powers and keyboardist Eddie “Hondo” Juntunen from the White Iron Band, which Hall also plays in. In addition, former White Iron Band guitarist Javier Trejo and drummer Eric Gerke will round out the band.

“We’re going to have a killer band,” Hall said. “It’s going to be a good show.”

“After the Gold Rush” was released in August 1970 on the heels of the huge success of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young’s “Déjà Vu.” Most of “After the Gold Rush” mines the country-folk vein so prevalent on Young’s huge 1972 hit, “Harvest.”

The album does, however, feature “Southern Man,” a rocker that inspired Lynyrd Skynrd to dedicate a verse of “Sweet Home Alabama” to taking a poke at Young.

“After the Gold Rush” had two singles, “Only Love Can Break Your Heart” and “When You Dance I Can Really Love,” the former a top 40 hit. But the songs that have endured in the classic rock play list are “Southern Man” and the title song.

The album was recorded with Crazy Horse and Stephen Stills, and was noteworthy as the introduction to the big time for an 18-year-old Nils Lofgren, now a member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band.

Lofgren played piano on the album, something he had little experience with, being much more adept at guitar. Hall also will try his hand at piano during the Muse Theatre show, the second half of which will feature a galaxy of Young’s many other greats.

source: La Crosse Tribune “Young to get the ‘Cheech’ treatment”

Gregg Hall - Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute

Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute show

Aaron Huntington wore his worries on his face. It was just a few weeks before he was to stand in for singer Ronnie Van Zant in a Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute show and it seemed as if the whole thing was destined to crash and burn.

Gathered on a Wednesday evening in the basement of Jimbo Zill’s guitar shop in La Crosse, Huntington and his musical mates were struggling. New drummer Eric Gerke was sitting in for the first time, one of the guitarists didn’t show up for the rehearsal and the other two guitarists occasionally couldn’t remember who was supposed to play which part.

Huntington was tabbed to sing for the Skynyrd show because of his well-known love of the band and because of his proven skills as a frontman as singer, guitarist and “alpha hog” for Sowbelly Bitchhog. He describes his band thusly: “If Skynyrd and (Black) Sabbath had a baby, it’d be us.”

A 1997 graduate of La Crosse Logan High School who now lives in Onalaska, Huntington wasn’t even born when a plane crash on Oct. 20, 1977, claimed the lives of Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, backup singer Cassie Gaines and three others. But if he had been alive, he’d have mourned the loss deeply, and he takes the upcoming tribute to one of his favorite bands very seriously.

“It’s going to be about rockin’ these songs out and doing them justice,” Huntington said.

“One More From the Road” — named for the band’s September 1976 double live album — is the sixth musical salute put together by Gregg “Cheech” Hall, a string of shows that started with a re-creation of The Band’s farewell concert movie, “The Last Waltz,” featuring 17 musicians.

If Huntington had been involved in any of the previous tribute shows, he would have known he didn’t need to worry. Hall is very selective about the people he recruits and they have always done whatever it took to get the band tightened up in time.

“Everybody comes together in a pinch,” said Hall, one of three guitarists involved in the project and a big fan of Skynyrd himself. “It’s going to be fun. We’re not going to suck.”

Bassist Tim Powers, who has performed in most of Hall’s tribute shows, echoed Hall’s confidence. “It’s always this way,” he said. “A week or two before the show, things begin to coalesce.”

Befitting a show dedicated to the music of Skynyrd, the band includes guitarists of the highest caliber. In addition to Hall and Zill, the band includes Paul Matushek of Moon Boot Posse.

Gerke, who plays with Zill and Mike Von Muchow in Actual Size and Skeleton Crew (Irene Keenan’s recently formed backing band), is filling in on drums for Ryan Torgerson, also of Moon Boot Posse. Torgerson discovered he had advanced in a prestigious drumming competition that is scheduled for the same weekend as the Skynyrd show (Sept. 20-21).

Rounding out the Skynyrd band on keyboards will be Nancy Stoll, a teacher at Onalaska’s Irving Pertzsch Elementary who had Hall as a student when she first started her teaching career.

Putting together a band and getting an evening’s worth of music put together normally is a process that takes months, but Hall is so plugged into the local music scene that he has a knack for picking people motivated enough and skilled enough to shorten that process to a matter of weeks.

Part of the reason Hall can do that is the musicians he picks love the artists they’re saluting and they love the idea of doing a show at The Muse Theatre where they will have the audience’s full attention.

“It’s not like a bar, where people are getting drunk and stupid. They’re there to listen to the music,” Hall said. “That’s part of the reason every person I’ve ever asked (to play a tribute show) has said ‘yes.’”

The band will do most if not all of the songs on “One More From the Road,” and might throw in some other favorites, such as “The Ballad of Curtis Loew.” And the show will offer one of the extremely rare cases in which shouting “Free Bird” at a band will be appropriate and will get a response that involves playing the song.

source: La Crosse Tribune “Sweet home La Crosse: Skynyrd salute coming to Muse”

Gregg Hall - Neil Young tribute

Neil Young “Harvest” & “Zuma” tribute show

Gregg “Cheech” Hall of Deece Productions is back with another couple of themed shows, once again choosing artists and particular albums to re-create with area musicians.

The second show is a tribute to Neil Young’s “Harvest” and “Zuma,” and will be staged at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 9, 2012, also at the Muse. This show will feature Billy Hembd as Neil Young, backed by Hall, Amy Hembd, Mike Stidolph and Cody Appel.

“I chose to do a Neil show because it seems to draw the most people,” Hall said.

“Billy Hembd is the best Neil Young you could ever ask for. We chose ‘Harvest’ because that has got to be one of the most popular Neil albums,” Hall said. “We decided to do ‘Zuma’ for the second set because it has a lot of

B-side tunes you don’t hear on the radio, thank God. It is a great album to be aware of if you’re a Neil fan.”

Hall said he planned the two shows for the same weekend because that’s when the Bandit County Fair in De Soto usually is.

“We decided to take a year off of the Bandit County Fair, so I wanted to do something different and cool that weekend to make up for that.”

source – La Crosse Tribune “Local musicians pay tribute to Pearl Jam, Neil Young”

Gregg Hall - Pearl Jam tribute show

Pearl Jam “Ten” tribute show

Gregg “Cheech” Hall of Deece Productions is back with another couple of themed shows, once again choosing artists and particular albums to re-create with area musicians.

First up is the Tribute to Pearl Jam’s “Ten” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 8, 2012 at The Muse Theatre, 1353 Avon St.

“I will be playing Eddie Vedder, and Moon Boot Posse will be backing me up,” Hall said.

“I chose Pearl Jam because I want to reach a different demographic than I usually hit,” he said. “All the other shows have been from the ’70s — my classic rock. Now Pearl Jam is in the classic rock category, but it is what I grew up on,” Hall said.

“‘Ten’ is one of the soundtracks to my high school and adolescent years. I know I share that same connection with others,” Hall said. “Hopefully, I am correct on that.”

source – La Crosse Tribune “Local musicians pay tribute to Pearl Jam, Neil Young”

Gregg Hall - Neil Young Rust Never Sleeps tribute

Neil Young “Rust Never Sleeps” tribute show

Once he got a taste of music and movies mixed together, Gregg “Cheech” Hall just couldn’t get enough. So now with a couple of successful productions of “The Last Waltz” underneath his guitar strings, he’s moving on to Neil Young’s film “Rust Never Sleeps.”

Hall has formed Deece Productions to produce the shows, and he wants to continue putting local musicians together with famous moments of musical history.

While “The Last Waltz” was a grand production featuring about 30 musicians, “Rust Never Sleeps” requires just five.

Hall tagged Billy Hembd to play Neil Young.

“He is the absolute perfect fit for Neil,” Hall said. “He plays Neil better than Neil.”

Joining Hembd in the production will be Matt Mahlum on drums, Cody Appel on piano and organ, Tim Powers on bass, and Hall on guitar.

“I’ve got a bunch of other ideas we’re going to try out,” he said, based on the success of “The Last Waltz.”

Like “The Last Waltz,” “Rust Never Sleeps” will be staged at The Muse, 1353 Avon St. The church-turned-theater is the perfect venue, Hall said.

“My Aunt Patty helps out over there, and I’ve kind of got some North Side roots, anyway. The place is so cool, and the acoustics are awesome. I was just kind of blown away.”

But he didn’t want to keep repeating the same show, Hall said, and it was difficult finding open dates for that many musicians.

For “Rust Never Sleeps,” a bit of the movie will be played before the local musicians take over. And that’s when the fun begins.

“Everybody’s there to have a good time.”

source: La Crosse Tribune “Local musicians collaborate on production of Neil Young classic”

Gregg Hall - The Last Waltz tribute

The Last Waltz tribute show

Legendary concert movie “The Last Waltz” will be given a local flavor when La Crosse area musicians recreate the movie for one live performance at 7:30 p.m. Friday at The Muse Theater, 1353 Avon St.

A large cast of veteran area musicians will perform with clips from the original film interwoven into the performances.

Organizer and local man about music Gregg “Cheech” Hall said he has wanted to do this for a long time.

“I am a big fan of The Band and ‘The Last Waltz.’ I threw around the idea to some musician friends and we decided to do it. Everyone who is involved is doing a really awesome job,” he said, and he had no trouble finding the right musicians.

“It was actually pretty easy. I got Brownie (Brent Brown) to be Dylan because he plays a lot of Dylan. Billy (Hembd) plays lots of Neil Young,” he said, so that was also an easy choice. “I chose who I thought would be a good fit.”

And then he went looking for a venue and found The Muse.

“The Muse is a beautiful place and the setting and atmosphere are perfect. I wanted to do it somewhere different than a smoky bar because it’s more like a performance concert than a gig. And Vicki (Elwood) is really cool, and she’s really easy to work with. It is going to be a special night. There are so many good musicians in the cast. The music is some of the most influential and legendary tunes of all time, in my opinion anyway.”

Playing the parts of The Band and the other musicians are:

Robbie Robertson – Cheech Hall
Rick Danko – Tim Powers
Levon Helm – Frank Utecht
Garth Hudson – The Feelin’
Richard Manuel – Rick Weeth
Ronnie Hawkins – Brian Beard
Dr. John – The Feelin’
Neil Young – Billy Hembd
Neil Diamond – Adam Palm
Joni Mitchell – Nancy Caucutt
Paul Butterfield – Shawn Virock
Muddy Waters – Mark Grundhoefer
Eric Clapton – Cody Appel
Emmylou Harris – Fayme Rochelle
Van Morrison – Mike Caucutt
Bob Dylan – Brent Brown
Mystery Guitar Player – Jimbo Zill.
Guest bands: Mr. Blink, The Smokin’ Bandits, Stumpwater and Burnt Brownies.

source – La Crosse Tribune – Area musicians re-staging ‘The Last Waltz’