The Return of Scott Wooldridge

Long-time Milwaukee rocker comes back here to play at Shank Hall.

By - Feb 24th, 2015 02:36 pm
Scott Wooldridge

Scott Wooldridge

Many of us spend our lives searching for meaning, and in Scott Wooldridge’s recently released self-titled album, he invites us to reflect on our past in tandem with his own personal reflections. Full of mellow, mostly upbeat songs that show influences from Dylan, the Band and Van Morrison, among others, the album showcases Scott’s explorations of his past, from his days growing up in Kokomo, Indiana to his years spent in Milwaukee. He was known here as the front man of the Squares and for his work with brother Brian as the Wooldridge Brothers, and also wrote about music for several Milwaukee publications.

The new album is a collection of Scott’s solo musings, which work better as a solo project than they would with his current band, the Wooldridge Brothers, because the album is so personally reflective. He asks us to consider: Life’s been good—or not—now what?

“I started writing songs that fit that more sparse, stripped-down approach,” Scott told  “The new album is mostly acoustic instruments, with a healthy dose of pedal steel guitar.”

The songs recall everything from political grief to fizzled relationships. Though the album is complex and probing, it still has its fun.Though it explores and reflects, it’s still light enough to enjoy with coffee and a newspaper.

Songs are melodious without trying, and the album features a wide variety of instruments including mandolin, bouzouki, harmonium, violin, bongos, viola, keyboards, percussion and of course guitars all played by talented, supporting musicians.

“Something to Say” is clearly the toe-tapper of the album, but “Michele, Michele” is a close second. The electric guitar delights on the 4-track cassette recording of “The Millennial.” The album maintains consistency, even with its varying arrangements and beats. “Winter’s Walk”, a song heavy in mindful reminiscing, features violin by Sara Pajunen and harmonium by Jonathan Rundman, which both make the song dance. “One Word Away” even has a hint of Irish-ness thanks to the violin.

Scott will play here with Sloan Hamilton on mandolin and Josh Braun on pedal and lap steel guitars, two musicians also featured on his new album.

Scott Wooldridge at Shank Hall on Friday, Feb. 27, celebrating the release of his self-titled solo CD. The show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10.

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