© 1996-2019, Tom Brusky LLC
Goodbye to an
Oktoberfest in Tinley Park, IL
We're proud to have been the Saturday night headlining band for this
event, which we estimate drew around 2,000 people — the largest crowd
for which we've played to date. If you're looking for a spectacular
everything but you can't quite get to Munich, the Oktoberfest in Tinley Park, Illinois
is the best thing!
► Polkasound Studio Closing Its Doors
After thirty years of being in service,
Polkasound Productions will be
closing its doors to the public. The sharp decline in polka music sales
over the last ten years has rendered professional studio recording
economically unviable for most local bands. The studio will not be
dismantled, but in April of 2020, it will become private for the
exclusive use of Tom Brusky LLC.
notice to all past clients: Polkasound has shelves of multi-track
studio projects on 1/4" reel-to-reel, 1/2" reel-to-reel, Super VHS, and
IDE hard drive, as well as DAT and bin-loop duplication masters. YOU
OWN THESE RECORDINGS, NOT POLKASOUND. If you want to save your
must take possession of them before April, 2020. Please email to arrange for
pickup. Recordings not collected will be destroyed. (Note: I do not
have the capability to transfer music from these older formats to newer
Use of My Image and Musical Performance Gets Polka Artist's CD Pulled
There is a Wisconsin polka
accordionist who recently released an album of live music tracks. I
will not reveal his name, but only say that he is a young,
up-and-coming bandleader. Musically, he has a ways to go yet, but he is
a likable, ambitious musician nonetheless. Since he was a teenager, he
has been receiving support and encouragement from some of the best
musicians and bandleaders in
the business. Occasionally, the support he receives is in the form of
talent. To give him a boost, established A-list
musicians and bandleaders have performed with him on stage, sometimes
as a paid sideman,
this summer, I played a job with him on drums. I've done it before.
It's a small concert in a small town on a Monday night. I'm happy to
have played these jobs, but I always played them
under one very strict stipulation: no recording of the performance
could be commercially distributed (made available to the general
public.) I reminded him of this stipulation several times, which he
acknowledged and clearly understood.
other day, I discovered that he took audio from the concert, which he
recorded on his phone, and commercially released it as an album on CD
Baby. My photo was on the album cover as a member of his "band." Even though he was explicitly
forbidden to do that, he did it anyway.
CD Baby has since removed his
album from their website, and he has been instructed to remove the
album from his Facebok page.
use a musician's likeness and recorded performance for commercial gain
without their consent is a violation of professionalism, but sometimes
it's a mistake made by young musicians due to ignorance. To use a
musician's likeness and performance against
their express wishes, however, cannot be regarded as a mistake.
It is a willful, flagrant betrayal of trust.
harbor no ill will toward this young bandleader, yet, I must protect my
rights as a professional musician. I will no longer perform with him,
and I also must caution all other Wisconsin bandleaders and musicians
that if you perform with him, it is at your own risk, because you may
end up an unwitting, unwilling and unpaid session musician on his next
Bandleaders and musicians who need additional information are welcome
to email me.
Original Christmas Songs Slated for
been busy writing and producing three new songs for the Christmas
season. All of
them are in the same genre of music, but from different eras: the
1970s, the 1990s, and today. I'm not revealing at this point which
genre of music it is, except I'll say that it's not polka. Each song
will feature an amazing vocal performance from a different professional
have a specific release date set for the songs, but I aim to
roll them out between Thanksgiving and Christmas. When the songs are
released, you'll be able to hear them in their entirety on my website's music page,
where you'll also have the option to purchase and download them. You'll
also find them on all the major music download and streaming
of my music, there are still some Positively
Polka CDs available from
the Mollie B Store. The album
is barely more than a year old, but only a handful of CD copies remain.
CDs will not be reordered after they've sold out. Due to CDs becoming
obsolete, Positively Polka is
my last album to be released on compact disc.
I saw that the album was included on the ballot for the
2019 National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame awards. I'm grateful
considered for inclusion, however, I encourage all my friends and fans
who are voting members to vote for another
album on the ballot, not mine. An award given to me would be an award
wasted, because I create music purely for the love
of creating music, and the only awards for which I strive are the
smiles and compliments I receive from people who enjoy my music.
Trophies and plaques are best served going to musicians who proudly
view and display them as symbols of achievement. I'm just not one of
into Joey Miskulin at a function a few months ago, and he took
the time to acknowledge a song I wrote and share some high praise about
the arrangement. That conversation was worth more to me than an entire
wall full of Hall of Fame awards. Compliments like that are what
encourage me to keep making music.
Plaques and trophies can't do that.
► Polka Music vs. Pop Music
There are lots
of reasons why I've added the production of contemporary music to my
repertoire. Here are 8,427 of them:
& Editorial Archives: