Songwriter, singer and guitarist JOHN SIEGER has a long resume. His band the R&B Cadets ruled the dance floors in Milwaukee in the 1980s, playing a mix of his originals and obscure soul tunes unearthed by bandmates Paul Cebar and Robin Pluer. Their debut, “Top Happy,” for Twin/Tone Records, turned out to be their finale. In the late 80’s his band Semi-Twang recorded for Warner Brothers Records. Both bands have regrouped in recent years and since then, Semi-Twang has released three more collections of his songs, most recently and ode to his hometown, “Kenosha.”
Other Sieger songs have been covered by a long list of great artists including Dwight Yoakam (Don’t Need It Done), Jerry Harrison of Talking Heads (Rev It Up), The Bodeans (The Strangest Kind), Flaco Jimenez (I Found Out), Robbie Fulks (You Break It – You Pay), Phil Lee (I Hope Love Always Knows Your Name, Neon Tombstone) and Greg Trooper (My Bluebell, Real Like That and others). Recorded but still waiting to be released, is a version of “Salty Tears,” sung by Etta James.
Asked to describe his newest release, an 11-song collection called Modern Folk, Vol. II, Sieger says, “These songs draw a bead on the cracks between folk, blues, country and pop. It’s dedicated to artists I admire, ones who avoid calling themselves poets, but always strive for something poetic in their writing.”
“Sieger on Songs,” his column at UrbanMilwaukee.com, is John’s ongoing love letter to the music he digs. A live show at the Jazz Gallery Center for the Arts (on hiatus for now) brings John and fellow artists together to talk about their songs and those that have influenced them in a new series called “Sieger on Songs: Conversations.”
For the second set he will be joined by special guest, ROBIN PLUER, a sultry diva with pizzazz and jazzy style- a multi-faceted songstress who elegantly but playfully delivers a mélange of vintage French ballads with a distinctive twist, as well as some R & B gems and non-French ballads.