Beaumont James Brings the Party at Locust Street Fest

Riverwest summer favorite Locust Street Fest took place Sunday with some sporadic showers, but that did not stop honky-tonk country band Beaumont James & the Wild Claims from playing one hell of a beer-soaked set. They played the Linneman’s Stage mid-afternoon.

“It gets me fired up to see the friends and family come out from the neighborhood,” James said.

Beaumont James is a Baraboo native and grew up in country-heavy settings.

“A lot of punk rock dudes grew up with straightforward country music…and then later they start gravitating back toward folk punk stuff. I kinda went the other way. I started with country music videos on TV every day, and then later I started learning the harder shit.”

He sings and plays guitar, while the Wild Claims consist of fiddler Nathaniel Dickson, bassist Rob Collier, and drummer Dan Neis. Their debut album “Try Every Trick” came out last November – full of subject matter such as clowns, the cold, booze, and hometown blues.

“We recorded at Silver City Studios…we were trying to do it like we do it on stage as a four-piece…but once we got it down, we wanted more, so it became more extensive and took a better part of a year. Silver City Studios moved in the middle of the process so we recorded at both spots.”

The band embarked on their first tour just a few weeks ago.

“We learned a lot. It was the first time we had been on the road so definitely a learning curve there – both booking and knowing what to expect. We went down the Rust Belt and met up with bands that were good to us and turnout was honestly better than we could have expected. It was a party.”

James says the band has been on a hiatus from new material.

“We haven’t been writing that much; we’ve kinda been riding off this initial album exposure…but after that when we get bored we’ll start again.”

His favorite beer is…

“12 ounce can of Miller Lite….that’s the most perfect beer. I don’t even need to say why.”

Beaumont James & the Wild Claims play the Ragged Roots Music Festival in Wisconsin Dells on July 11th and alongside the Legendary Shack Shackers at the Cooperage on July 24th.

“We’re giving it hell…straight up.”

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