2017 in Pictures: Them Coulee Boys Year in Review

2017 in Pictures:

Them Coulee Boys Year in Review

2017 was one of those years.  Like most years, there were highs and lows for just about anyone.  For Them Coulee Boys, we found a way to have our best year yet.  From the literal coulees of Wisconsin to the Rocky Mountains, we played 111 shows and had the year of our lives.  We've decided to take a look back at last year, and show you just how much can change in a year. So come along for the ride, we'd love the company. 


January 2017 saw a trip to Chicago, as well as some favorite spots in Minneapolis, the Fox Valley, Eau Claire, and Black River Falls.  We played Majestic Madison's Bluegrass Fest with a bunch of buddies, and generally had a whole lot of fun in the Wisconsin winter.  


February started with a weekend in beautiful weekend in Iowa, capped with a recording session at Daytrotter and a band trip to a Dawes concert that night. We played the after party for Pert Near Sandstone's Winter Gathering, opened for our Horseshoes and Hand Grenade's buddies in La Crosse, and finished the month at Ed's no name for a ripper of a show with Laska and Kind Country. 


March was a fun month for us, as we only played one show in Wisconsin. We went down to Illinois to play at Schubas in Chicago, with the immaculate band Parsonsfield. Next weekend we went to the UP to play the Main Stage at Mountain Top Festival. Finally, we made our first trip out to Colorado, where we played 4 shows, and hiked like madmen.  


April started with a recording session at White Wall Sessions in Sioux Falls, SD.  We then headed up to Fargo, ND for a show. Some other highlights include a performance at the university in Eau Claire, and a performance at the Historic Masonic Temple Theater in Winona as a part of MWMF 2017.  Finally, we were able to raise upwards of $1000 at our Concert for Campers in Black River Falls, WI. 


May took us all over the state, but the highlight of the trip was definitely back home in Eau Claire as we played a Blue Ox Pre-Party.  Between backstage jams with Sam Bush, and a late night jam at the Mouse Trap with Pert Near Sandstone, it was one memorable cap to an awesome month.   


June was a crazy month for us, with shows all over the Midwest.  We headlined a show at the Majestic in Madison, and played at Blue Ox Music Fest in Eau Claire.  We also played Country Fest in Cadott, WI and had cool shows at the Great Northern Radio Show in Grand Rapids, MI and a hometown show at the Trempealeau Hotel.  


We started July with our second tour out to Colorado, this time hitting up Denver, Winter Park and more.  We played in a cave in Nebraska, and made it back to La Crosse to open for the legendary John Fogerty.  We played the wonderful Moondance Music Festival and Eau Claire's Sounds Like Summer Concert series.  All in all, just a wonderful month of 2017.  


The biggest things in August were less about shows, and more about family for Them Coulee Boys.  Beau married his best friend Erin, and they moved into their house in Eau Claire.  We did get to play some fun shows too, including a stop in the UP, Lunda Park in Black River Falls, WI and People Fest.  


September brought our favorite festival Boats and Bluegrass in Winona, MN where we played 9pm on the Main Stage.  It was the warmest Boats we've ever played, and we got to swim between sets on stage and at the Latsch Sessions.  We also played Owen Park in Eau Claire, and headlined a festival in New Richmond.  


Our highlight of October was (and always will be) the HONEYCRISP HOOTENANNY at Ecker's Apple Farm.  We played to a packed crowd, and its getting too big for that apple farm.  We also played some fun shows in Milwaukee, and ended up as Them Kool-Aid Boys at a Halloween Festival at Lake Monster Brewing Company in St. Paul.  


November saw a lot of travel on our end.  We toured with Charlie Parr out to South Dakota and the Bluebird Theater in Denver, Colorado (and finishing our run with him all the way out in Salt Lake City!).  Adventures abound, and we had a crazy time throughout.  We also played in Door County, and did a nice little run up to the Upper Peninsula.  


In December, we finished our last two dates with Charlie in LaPorte, CO and beautiful Salt Lake City, Utah.  We then headed up through beautiful Idaho to play shows in Moscow and Boise.  The van broke down, but Beau and Jens (Big Fella and Little Fella) fixed us up, and we played two more shows in Montana (Bozeman and Livingston). Exhausted, we took the holidays off.  We came out of hibernation to play First Avenue in Minneapolis as a part of HHG New Years Eve festivities.  On the last day of 2017 we played a way-over-capacity show at the Charmant Hotel in La Crosse, a perfect end to a crazy year.  

Them Coulee Boys Year in Review


January -

January was a productive month for Them Coulee Boys, as we holed up in our practice space to put the final touches on the yet unnamed album.  We did settle on a tentative track list during those sessions, and added some new sounds in drums and electric banjo.  We played some awesome shows, with our favorites being Wisconsin Bluegrass Fest at the Majestic Theater in Madison and the after party at the Nomad for Pert Near Sandstone’s Winter String Band Gathering.

February -

February saw the first session of recording at Pine Hollow with our good friend and engineer Evan Middlesworth.  We did five straight days of tracking there, and finished exhausted but excited.  The next we went to Folk Alliance International in Kansas City, MO.  It was an international folk music conference where we played 5 showcases, and a countless hours of busking around the festival.  We also ate enough BBQ to last us the rest of 2016.

March -

March saw a fun round of shows for us in northern WI, Door County, and Milwaukee. We also had our first taste of the main stage at Mountain Top Festival at Indianhead Resort in the upper peninsula of Michigan, joining many friends in one of our favorite festivals of the year.  We finished the month in the recording studio again, spending two days adding color to our new record.  Eve Wilczewski of Seasaw joined us on violin, and Evan Middlesworth added his musical touch as well.  Tracking on the new record was finished, and we released a teaser video to our facebook friends to get excited for the new record.

April -

April was our first month of festivals in 2016. We played a headlining spot at River Falls Roots and Bluegrass Festival as well as a Midwest Music Fest slot at the Cavalier Theatre in La Crosse.  Another important day for us was when we put on a concert to send kids to summer camps at the Lunda Theatre in Black River Falls, WI.  We were able to raise over $1,000 that afternoon.

May -

May started with another teaser video release to announce the release date of the new album “Dancing in the Dim Light”.  The album art was also released.  We played many fun shows that month, but most importantly, our banjo player Beau Janke graduated from UW-Stout.

June -

June was a huge month for Them Coulee Boys, with appearances at some of our favorite spots. We played a late night slot at Blue Ox Music Festival, as well as a main stage slot at Bonfire Music Festival.  We released our first music video for “The Mask”, and an album review debuted by Scene Magazine in Canada.  We finally released our new album “Dancing in the Dim Light’ on June 28th and started our album release tour at Sounds Like Summer Concert Series in Eau Claire, WI.

July -

July started with our album release tour, with shows in Eau Claire, Trempealeau, Minneapolis, and Viroqua, joined by our friend Zach Brawford on drums.  The month was punctuated for us by big shows in Madison, Paperfest in Appleton, and our first trip down to Chicago.

August -

August was a month full of outdoor shows in some of our favorite places.  We made our return to Ashley For The Arts in Arcadia, WI.  We were the first band to be featured on the downtown speakers on their new weekend local playlist with our song “You & I’.

September -

September was a huge month for Them Coulee Boys, with many crazy milestones along the way.  We played on News Channel 8 in the morning before playing Copeland Park in La Crosse with our new friends (and idols) in Pert Near Sandstone and Dead Man Winter.  The next day we released “Them Coulee Boys Cool Ale”, a beer made by Blue Heron Brewpub.  We ended the month on the Main Stage of Boats and Bluegrass, playing the 8:30PM slot for so many friends and family.  It really was a dream playing on the big stage. We ended our month releasing a video for our song “10 ft Tall”.

October -

October started with the purchase of our new tour van, which we ended up naming Clifford. We promptly broke it in with long trips to Iowa City and Fargo.  Volume One Best of the Chippewa Valley Poll named us the Best Bluegrass Band, and voted our record “Best Local Album 2016”. Our banjo player went and got engaged in October as well! We played the biggest Honeycrisp Hootenanny ever at Ecker’s Apple Farm.  Finally, we ended the month with a bucket list show by playing First Avenue in Minneapolis with Yonder Mountain String Band and Pert Near Sandstone.  The history was incredible, and we won’t soon forget the opportunity to play on that stage.  Finally, we celebrated Halloween at the Root Note in La Crosse as Them Cow-lee Boys.

November -

November was a bittersweet month for Them Coulee Boys.  We played some great shows with Pert Near Sandstone, but it also saw the end of Michael’s time with TCB.  Michael played his last show in La Crosse at the Cavalier Theatre, which was punctuated by an engagement of some friends in the crowd.  Neil Krause (formerly of Tin Can Gin, Absent Minded String Band) joined us in November, and is the newest full time member of Them Coulee Boys.  

December -

Our year ended with a handful of shows in some of our favorite cities of Eau Claire and Minneapolis.  We took most of the month to play more with Neil, and write/learn new songs for our next record.  2017 looks to bring lots of excitement for Them Coulee Boys.  In all, we played 80+ shows in 2016, and we look to get out on the road even more in the new year.  


2016 was a wildly unpredictable year for everyone, but a wildly fun and exciting year for Them Coulee Boys.  Many moments in 2016 didn’t feel real to us, and we hope that we can spend 2017 chasing that feeling all around the United States.  It wouldn’t happen without the support of our family, friends, and fans.  Your love and support makes it all possible and worthwhile. We love you all with all of our hearts. See you out there in 2017, friends!



Them Coulee Boys took part in the 7th annual musical celebration that is Mid West Music Fest.  Previously centered around the city of Winona, MN, 2016 marked the first year of the festival expanding to La Crosse, WI.  Them Coulee Boys started the day by playing an intimate video recording session held at metre downtown courtesy of the Ocooch Mountain Music Sessions.  They ended playing a featured spot at The Cavalier Theater at 7:30PM that night to a full-house.  Other bands to play that day included The 4onthefloor, Farewell Milwaukee, Christopher the Conquered, De La Buena, and mand more.


Them Coulee Boys partnered with area churches in western Wisconsin to put on a concert to raise money to send kids to camp.  50% of each ticket went directly to the churches to use to pay for tuition for summer camps.  The concert itself was held at the Lunda Theater in Black River Falls, WI with Them Coulee Boys and The Morton Sisters both playing.  Over $1000 was raised that day. Thanks to everyone for coming out!



One year after Soren took the grand prize in the Upper Midwest Singer Songwriter Championship at the River Falls Roots & Bluegrass Festival, Them Coulee Boys returned to play a slot at Shooter’s Pub in downtown River Falls, WI. They played the final slot on Saturday night, on a line-up that included Dead Horses, Kind Country, Black River Revue, and Art Stevenson & Highwater.


Them Coulee Boys spent 5 days in Kansas City, MO attending Folk Alliance International.  During the day they attended workshops and industry panels on a myriad of topics, and by night they played showcases in the hotel rooms of music industry elite.  Playing 5 showcases in all, with numerous unofficial ones sprinkled throughout the week in lobbys, halls, and street corners.