(All the Seasons are fair game for HudsonWiNightlife, and read about some of the action in this web site’s Notes From the Beat Department).
Twenty-nine years of memories again come to Glenwood City this weekend, and it promises to be a wild and fun party. The St. Croix County Fair will again be held July 20-24.
As far as music headliners, country rock band Coyote Wild plays at 7 p.m. Friday in the Croix Court, The Memories, a musical variety show, at 8:15 p.m. Saturday and their offshoot, Ole and Elmer, musical comedy, at 11 a.m. Sunday.
Some of the men who make up the party known as Coyote Wild are known to sport three different kinds of hats and another has dreadlocks, a bit different for a country rock band, and their music also has variety. A pair of women round out the seven-member group’s lineup. Coyote Wild played a recent local show as a recurring gig, and had some different takes on the country format. They definitely are not heavy metal, but the bass player was wearing an Exodus T-shirt. And that dreadlocked lead guitarist rocked through Sweet Emotion by Aerosmith, doing the vocals as well, as part of their format where these duties are exchanged. To wrap up the night, there was a combination of introductory plinky guitar and power chords to a Journey song. Those same type of guitar stylings were present on my drive home, to Gimme Shelter by the Stones.
Country music has had a massive influence in the history of rock music, and rock music has changed the direction of country. You can enjoy both with Coyote Wild, whether you are a devotee of classic rock or a true country fan at heart. This band brings you the best of both worlds, performing an eclectic mix of both classic and current rock and country. With their blend of talent and creativity, this band has a professional sound without losing the energy that audiences would expect from a performing rock band, they say. Built around strong vocals and great harmonies, their set list is a diverse mix, meaning there is something for everyone.
Their show is high energy and fast-paced, great fun and sure to inspire dancing and singing along. With the raw and gritty edge you would expect from a seasoned band, and a female front line that rocks the room with their intoxicating harmonies and electrifying performance, this is the “go-to” country rock band in the Midwest, they say.
As far as The Memories, they were inducted to the Wisconsin Association of Fairs’ Hall of Fame in 1995.
As many groups do, The Memories got their start singing and playing music while in high school choir and band in Boyceville. In summer 1972, they were asked to perform for a friend’s wedding dance and 44 years later Warren Petryk and Tim Stevens are still making music together. They now have performed at the county fair for 29 straight years.
In what started out as a very part-time adventure, Warren and Tim, along with classmate and fellow founding member, John Lynch, performed anywhere and everywhere they could: village halls, golf courses, high schools, community festivals, wedding dances, night clubs, bowling alleys, street dances, ballrooms, barn dances, supper clubs and ski resorts included.
There have been many highlights through the years. Among them are:
– In March 1975, the group won first place at a regional talent contest held at the Black Steer Supper Club in Eau Claire, the first of many such contests captured.
– In 1979, they performed the entire six-day run of the Northern Wisconsin State Fair, serving as its Goodwill Ambassadors.
– Appeared as the opening acts for several nationally known artists, such as Merle Haggard, Alabama, The Oak Ridge Boys, Ricky Nelson, Ray Price and a special show with Barbara Mandrell at the 1979 Barron Farm and Feather Fest.
– In 1983, they took first in the country band contest of the Rhinelander Hodag Country Music Fest, and the same year were winners in the Wisconsin Country Music Band Contest sponsored by Wrangler Jeans and Dodge Trucks.
– Produced over 30 different recordings, which include 45s, albums, eight-track tapes, cassette tapes and compact discs.
– Performed annual Christmas concerts at the Mabel Tainter Theater in Menomonie for 30 years, and counting.
And, the seed that planted the whole entertainment bug: Being runnerup in the Boyceville Cucumber Festival talent contest in 1971 for a cash prize of $10.
At their peak, “The Boys from Boyceville” were full-time entertainers and traveled from coast to coast for 200 days a year. In 1995, they scaled back to a part-time schedule, and in September 2000, Tim and Warren began a new phase when they started performing as a duo — as they will on Sunday. Today, they continue the tradition of their trademark, “Music, Laughter and Wonderful Times,” by appearing at a select number of events each year, obviously including the county fair.
“I think there a few things that make us ‘different.’ We try our best to make sure our shows feature great
songs, performed well from a musical standpoint. But also, that our shows are entertaining, interesting and fun
for our audiences,” Tim said, adding that the band members were fortunate that they were best friends before
they started performing together. “We have been told many times through the years that our friendship really
comes across to our audiences when we are on stage.”
Growing up together in western Wisconsin, they not only know each other extremely well, but also their
audiences and the people and history of the area. “We bring that to the stage with us,” Tim said.
“As far as what is different with our show as a duo, it may sound basic, but I think we have continued to
develop a tighter performance ….and that comes from being on stage with the same guy for thousands of
performances for nearly 44 years,” Tim said, adding that for the last 16 of those years, there was actually the
involvement of “two friends – Warren and myself.”
Other fair highlights that have an entertainment aspect are: Thursday — a horse pull and the Fairest of the Fair Coronation, both at 7 p.m.; Friday — tractor pull at 6:30 p.m.; Saturday — Divas Through the Decades, a female trio, at 1, 3 and 6 p.m.; Looney Lutherans act, at noon and 2 and 5 p.m.; Jared Sherlock, magician and illusionist, 4 p.m.; four-by-four truck pull, 6:30 p.m.; and comedy hypnosis, 10 p.m.; Sunday — mud volleyball, 11 a.m.; talent show, 1 p.m.; and ATV and four-by-four mud races, 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
For more information, visit www.stcroixcofair.com.