The roots of Left Wing Bourbon go back further than you’d expect for a blues band from West-Central Wisconsin. Weaned from a young age at the famous River’s Edge blues jams of the mid-to-late 1990s, along the banks of the Chippewa River, every member of the group was playing alongside blues veterans while young and unformed enough to take the impressions to heart.
While the blues jam venues may have changed over time, the members that would go on to form the core of Left Wing Bourbon continued to cut their collective teeth in various incarnations throughout the Chippewa Valley and south to the banks of the Mississippi. Officially formed in 2007, Left Wing Bourbon is a confluence of regional musical streams—some of which have run together for years, others just mixing.
Seasoned with years of hosting and playing at blues jams, serenading the night from some country porch, or moving the masses to swing their bodies at a summer festival, the collective members of Left Wing Bourbon mix soul, sweat, boogie and booze into a kinetic cocktail that leaves the foot tapping and the body wanting more.
Faith Ulwelling’s vocals channel 60’s soul and Delta grit, and her brother Jacob Ulwelling caresses the bass guitar until it moans and sings a counterpoint all it’s own. Jason Keisler works the guitar with finger, pick or slide, cascading a catalogue of blues from Clapton-like growls to a Watters mudslide. Tim Caswell, the veteran of the group, brings a sawdust-stage savvy, careening the band from ragtime to Motown and back, always solidifying the core. Derrick Biederman exudes seemingly boundless energy on the drums, and his diverse percussive vocabulary woos the audience to stand to attention, move their hips, and wander to the dance floor.
Left Wing Bourbon plays funk, blues, and feel good. Left Wing Bourbon mixes the season of experience with the zest of youth. Left Wing Bourbon sweats the blues out its skin and moves the room until you have no choice but to join in too. And why not? Funky blues won’t hurt a bit.