Ever since their first performance in 1998,Wisconsin's own neo-old-time
stringband Sloppy Joe has been entertaining audiences throughout the
Midwest and South.
Following the tradition of string band and jug band music,
Sloppy Joe presents an innovative combination of old-time music, bluegrass,
country, humor, and original songs. Their style of music, with its banjo,
fiddle, guitar, slap bass, and singing, has become known as "slopgrass" to
their many fans, and the driving beat of the Sloppy Joe band has often brought
the entire audience onto the dance floor. The band boasts no less than four
talented lead singers, each one an accomplished songwriter and instrumentalist.
Original songs make up over half of the Sloppy Joe repertoire.
Along with a few guest musicians, Sloppy Joe put together the Sloppy Joe Jug Band
and won the 19th annual Minnesota Jug Band Championship in February 2000. Since then,
the homemade garbage can bass, wooden spoons, kazoo, and washboard have all found their
way onto the stage at various Sloppy Joe shows.
Sloppy Joe has performed at many music festivals, including Wisconsin's Cecil Fest,
SwampnGrass, Manitowish Waters Bluegrass Fest, Northland Bluegrass Fest and the Wisconsin
State Fair. They have toured the South twice, gigging at venues in Georgia and
North Carolina, and were featured at the Magnolia Fest in Live Oak, Florida.
Sloppy Joe has shared the bill with a variety of great acts: Ralph Stanley,
Leftover Salmon, The Side Men, The Country Gentlemen, Danny Barnes, John Hartford,
Vassar Clements, Little Feat, Merle Saunders, and more. Sloppy Joe continues to evolve
as a new musical philosophy for young and old alike to enjoy, making their authentic,
new-style, homegrown slop-grass not just a way of music ... but a way of life.
- Art Stevenson
Gavin Schaberg: (banjo, mandolin, guitar, vocals)
Gavin does most of the MC work for Sloppy Joe, sings lead with his
country-style baritone voice, plays the old-time clawhammer banjo, and
writes original songs. Along with Stef Lee and Jeff Sachs, Gavin organized
Sloppy Joe in 1998.
Stef Lee: (guitar, bass, vocals)
Stef rates as one of the best female alternative country singers in the Midwest.
Equally talented at lead and harmony vocals, her singing is unfettered, genuine,
soulful, and "home-grown." Stef is also a fine songwriter, and contributes to
the Sloppy Joe repertoire.
Jeff Sachs:(bass, fiddle, mandolin, vocals)
Jeff provides the driving rhythmic
foundation of slap bass that keeps the dance floor full. His old-time
fiddle playing adds a warm southern flair that makes you want to "kick
off yer shoes," and he writes many original songs for Sloppy Joe.
Jeff has toured with the Wayfarin' Strangers and
Unkle Pecos, performed with Vassar Clements, and is one of
the Midwest's best stand-up bass players.
Bryan Abernathy:(guitar, vocals)
Bryan is one of the Midwest's best alternative
country songwriters and singers. His steady rhythm guitar keeps the beat
driving ahead, and he sings his own songs with a powerful country
voice. Bryan and Jeff Sachs have played and recorded music together
for several years in various Illinois-based bands.
Jimer: (garbage can bass)
Jimer has been with Sloppy Joe since first performing with
the band at the Minnesota Jug Band competition. His homemade garbage can
bass with its flashing lights is a sight to behold, and gives
Sloppy Joe an authentic, booming jug band sound.
Dave Muelenthaller: (fiddle, mandolin)
Dave appears as a special guest on some
of Sloppy Joe's shows, playing fiddle in a fiery, hard-driving style as
he dances around on the stage.