By K. Woodzick, Editor
Copper Box describes themselves as a Roots/Americana quartet loaded with energy and a mountain of instruments, influenced by blues and jazz. Their fans, lovingly called “Boxers” are enjoying their summer shows throughout Wisconsin. Northwoods audiences can soon enjoy the magic of Copper Box overlooking the Wisconsin River.
Music on the River in Tomahawk is celebrating its 14th year of concerts, and is excited to welcome Copper Box to its stage on Wednesday, July 21st. “Copper Box is an accordion-fueled, roots rock party!!! Threads of blues, rock, zydeco and polka are all fused together in a genre-blending celebration.”
I had a chance to chat with band members Michelle and Danny Jeraback to learn more about the band that Northwoods audiences can look forward to at their upcoming performance.
Woodzick: When did your band first discover your love of performing?
Michelle: Danny was actually a shy kid, believe it or not! His grandfather gave him a button accordion when he was nine years old and asked him to learn a song on it…even though he really didn’t want to. When he took it back home and taught himself how to play it and soon returned to play a song for his grandfather, he realized the power of music and the need to share it with people. It meant a lot to his family….especially his grandfather.
I was asked to sing a song with my grandfather’s polka band at age 10 and had so much fun I just wanted to keep doing it!
Woodzick: What is your favorite memory of performing in the Northwoods?
Danny: The music festival in Boulder Junction, opening for Peter Frampton, The Who and The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band….even though, our drummer (Jason Van Ryzin) and I got kicked out of Peter’s unmarked food tent for having a brat.
Michelle: Boulder Junction music festival was awesome! I also remember playing the Tomahawk concert series when it started to rain….there were two people in the audience determined to stay in their chairs fully equipped with umbrellas, etc. It wasn’t long and they were sitting in the middle of a giant puddle….I went out by them and serenaded and danced with them in the rain…probably not the safest thing, but it sure was fun! And I also loved the Tomahawk Fall Ride and Manitowish Waters concert series!
Woodzick: What can audiences expect when they come to see your shows?
Michelle: We want them to expect to be in a place where they can just relax and get carried away with the music and the moments. Most of all, we want them to connect with us….not only by listening, clapping and dancing, but talking with us after the show or taking pictures, etc. One thing that we really realized from the pandemic, was that there have been too many shows that we played that we wished we had taken more pictures to remember the people and/or the fun we had. Sometimes we forget to document all that when you’re on the road playing show after show. We could write a book of all the funny stuff that we’ve witnessed or been a part of on this musical journey….the ups and the downs!
Woodzick: When are you performing next and where can folks get more information?
Michelle: We perform for all kinds of events, concerts, Oktoberfests and Mardi Gras….anytime people want to celebrate life, music and culture. Our website is always updated with our shows: www.copperboxband.com.
Woodzick: What is your favorite song to play?
Danny: Richie Valens’ “Let’s Go!” which is on our latest recording, Squeeze Box Man.
Woodzick: Anything else you’d like to share?
Michelle: We would love for people to join our mailing list…it’s a fun place that all the “Boxers” (Copper Box fans) plug into and get connected to our story and what we are working on and giveaways!!!
The latest CD is “Squeeze Box Man” available in CD (while supplies last) or download at https://copperboxband.com/music.
Die-hard “Boxers” will also enjoy side projects of Copper Box, including The Bohemian, a traditional polka music CD. Another recommendation is to check out Elle McBelle: singer/songwriter, folk rock, with focus on originals by Danny and Michelle Jerabek of Copper Box.
K. Woodzick is a life-long theatre artist and has over a decade of experience as a non-profit marketing professional and writer. They live in Woodruff with their silver lab, River.