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Southwest and Tex-Mex Music at Gilfest

by Kathy Sahagian

One of the more unusual and enjoyable small festivals in Milwaukee is Gilfest. It’s small in size but big on national recording artists and heart. Gil has earned a reputation as a true music lover through his intimate concerts in his upstairs lounge. His yearly festival covers Tex-Mex, rockabilly, country and other folk music paired up with good food, games for children and community charity. The proceeds this year will assist a local woman who has cancer with her medical bills. Bands on this year’s bill include from the southern states Sun recording pioneer Billy Lee Riley whose hits include “Rock With me Baby,” “Flyin’ Saucers Rock and Roll,” and “Red Hot” and one of Nashville’s unsung gems Phil Lee who has a basic understanding of what it takes to have fun with country music; stick your tongue in your cheek and don’t take yourself too seriously. From Texas country punk singer/songwriter and a creative storyteller Alejandro Escovedo and honkytonk alternative country band The John Evans Band. From Chicago bop to jump swing, rockabilly and rhythm and blues with Jimmy Sutton, formerly of the Mighty Blue Kings and his band The Four Charms. On a separate stage local bands, The Aimless Blades, Gram Parsons cover band Pinto and Country western swing that will make you dance or wish you could with Tim Cook and the Riverwesterners, will start the event at high noon. To have a good time and in the process give money to a good cause is a beautiful thing. In the words of Gil Rasmussen, “It’s a powerful feeling to be able to pull something off that benefits other people.” Gilfest is on Downer and Belleview on August 24th from high noon until the cows come home. Riverwest Currents – Volume 1 – Issue 7 – August 2002
by Kathy Sahagian