Trapper Schoepp Packs A Punch at the Back Room

Riverwest Steins and Colectivo coffees scattered the crowd as Trapper Schoepp delivered his charmingly charismatic set at the Back Room at Colectivo this past Saturday evening.

Schoepp is the frontman of his self-titled band. His renowned brand of Wisconsin-infused Americana combined with folk rock balladry adorned the show with a crowd populated by all ages. Schoepp’s family, of course, dominated the front row.

Chamber rock duo Nineteen Thirteen, consisting of former Violent Femmes’ percussionist Victor DeLorenzo and cellist Janet Schiff, opened for Schoepp. Together they brought an eccentric, yet vibrant and beautiful collection of compositions promoting their most recent EP “Sci-Fi Romance”.

Schoepp’s latest album is “Primetime Illusion”. He began his set with his delightfully robust cover of Sister Double Happiness’ “Freight Train” and he turned heads with the woman-dedicated “What You Do To Her.” Most notable, however, is Primetime’s closing track “On, Wisconsin,” which Bob Dylan had originally written portions of long ago, later completed by Trapper himself.

“In 1961, Bob Dylan started writing this song. In 2017, we finished it,” Schoepp said prior to performing it.

Songs from previous recordings, including the “Bay Beach Amusement Park” ballad “Ferris Wheel,” the “Rangers & Valentines” numbers “Ogallala” and “Settlin’ or Sleepin’ Around,” and “Run, Engine, Run” also found placement throughout the show.

The band has an international tour coming up next month, which takes them extensively through the UK, while they have another leg hitting the East Coast in May.

“It’s a release. It’s our time to give it the nudge out into the universe, and what better place to start than in Milwaukee, Wisconsin,” Schoepp said.

Schoepp first arrived to Milwaukee from Minnesota ten years ago. He describes Milwaukee’s music scene as having a mini-Renaissance since then.

“When I moved here ten years ago 88Nine was basically in a broom closet. It’s evolved and changed for the good. I sing Milwaukee’s praises everywhere I go.”

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