The Madtown Mannish Boys are a Madison-based Blues band who are steeped in Chicago-style Blues, including artists like Muddy Waters, Junior Wells, Otis Spann, Paul Butterfield, and Little Walter. They perform with raw exuberance and driving rhythms that make you want to boogie. Some of their tunes are harmonica-driven, played with gritty fervor and intense energy. Others are soulful ballads, heavily influenced by the likes of Otis Redding and Sam Cooke. This mix of styles and genres makes for an entertaining and dynamic show that you won’t want to miss.
Andy Smith has a powerful and soulful voice, reminiscent of some of the greats from Blues and R&B. Paul Schwoerer wields his harmonica with a chip on his shoulder and his vocals are gripping and yet smooth. Jesse “Honey Boy” Steinberg injects melodic flurries of guitar riffs into the lively grooves laid down by Tim Payne (bass) and Nate Morenek (drums). Adam Pryor (keys) is one of the most sought-after Blues keyboardists in the Midwest, with endorsements from Hammond, Korg, Rev33, and Stay Stands. When Adam is busy with his other projects, the Mannish Boys are often joined by Todd Phipps, who is also endorsed by Hammond and plays with various other bands in the Midwest.
- Madison Magazine’s “Best of Madison” award for being one of the best Blues bands in the Madison area in 2020.
- Finalists for Madison Area Music Awards (MAMA) – Best Blues Band in 2020.
- Finalists for the 2019 Wisconsin Area Music Industry (WAMI) award for best Blues band in the state of Wisconsin.
- “Mad Faves” award in 2019 for being one of the top three Blues bands in the Madison area by The Isthmus.
- Finalists for Madison Magazine’s “Best of Madison” award for being one of the best Blues bands in Madison in 2019.
PLACES WE’VE PLAYED:
The Mannish Boys have played at a variety of joints and festivals, including Atwood Fest, B Bar, Bacon, Beer, & BBQ Festival, BB’s Jazz, Blues, & Soups, Bos Meadery, Blooze Krooze: Classic Car & Blues Festival, Brink Lounge, Brix340, Breese Stevens Field, Capital Brewery, Chain O’Lakes Blues Fest, Cheel, Chief’s Tavern, Club Tavern, Come Back In, Concerts at the Portage, Covered Bridge Days Festival, Crystal Corner Bar, East Side Club, Edgewater Hotel, Evangeline’s Bistro and Music House, Fisher King Winery, Fiery Foods Festival, Flatted Fifth, Frequency, Full Mile Brewing Company, Gazebo Musikk Concert Series, Gibson Music Hall, Harmony Bar, High Noon Saloon, Kochanski’s Concertina Beer Hall, Knuckle Down Saloon, Lancaster’s Brews and Blues Festival, Liliana’s, Live In the Park Concert Series in Waunakee, Lone Girl Brewery, Lyran Society Concert Series, Me & Julio, Majestic Theater, Midway Tavern, Monroe Balloon and Blues Festival, Mr. Roberts, Nakoma Golf Club, New Glarus Food Truck Festival, Nomad World Pub, North Street Cabaret, Oasis Cafe, Olbrich Botanical Gardens, Orchard Lawn, Prairie Lakes Blues Fest, Red, White, and Blues Festival, Riverfront Rondezvous Festival, Rockin’ Marathon, Schwoeglers’ Bowling for Blues, Sun Prairie Blues Festival, Thirsty Badger, Tofflers, Tyranena Brewing Company, Up North Bar, Venue On Winnebago, Verona Concerts in the Park, Vintage Brewing Company, Wisconsin Brewing Company, Woodshed Ale House, Wood BBQ, WORT Festival, Yahara Bay Distillery.
We’ve been getting fantastic comments about our shows. Chris Kalmbach, the owner of the Knuckle Down Saloon, recently wrote:
The next big thing in Blues coming out of the Capital City!! Always a HUGE CROWD and always a great show!!…It is a very rare thing, and more rare as the years go by, to have a new Blues Band come on the scene with such energy, purpose and talent. I haven’t seen such a thing in many, many years. All of these guys have have very involved lives outside the band, but still throw everything they’ve got into every show. These days we always seem to be looking for new champions to take up the torch for our precious brand of music. These guys wear that mantle like it was made for them. Madison’s Blues scene owes these guys a debt of gratitude. Please support them wherever they play.
We’ve had some positive attention in local papers and magazines as well.
Celebrate the release of Live at the Knuckle Down Saloon with this bluesy Madison sextet. Helmed by the vocals of Andy Smith and Paul Schwoerer, who also plays the harmonica, MMB recalls the style of greats like Muddy Waters, injecting it with fresh vitality. Their 2017 LP, Old Dog, contains forlorn ballads such as “Love Her With A Feeling,” alongside brusque send-offs like “Get Out Of My Life Woman” (The Isthmus)
Borrowing their name from a Muddy Waters’ song title, this local ensemble has become favorites across generations through a busy performance schedule, solid musicianship, and a variety of material with origins in the Blues… (Max Ink Magazine).
…the Madtown Mannish Boys represent the new generation of blues musicians, delivering a passionate, respectful reflection of their forebearers… motivating dancers with music rooted in 1960’s and ’70’s Chicago acts such as Junior Wells, Paul Butterfield, and Otis Rush (Capital Times).
Music Review Roulette (Radio Program out of Milwaukee) had strong praise too.
Immediately toe-tapping and makes you want to get up out of your chair… You guys are keeping the blues tradition alive and taking those influences and making it your own.
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