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Tweed Funk / Press

“14 ‘New Old Soul’ Acts You Need to Hear Right Now - So great for Tweed Funk to be included in this article that includes some of our favorite soul bands: Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings; Leon Bridges; St. Paul & The Broken Bones, John Nemeth; Vintage Trouble, and more.”

“The track Sweet Music rises significantly over the rest of the tracks. An exquisite southern soul ballad that is a tribute to Memphis soul and in particular the Stax sound.”

Bo Majling - Jefferson Magazine (Sweden)

“Tweed Funk kicks off Come Together with 'Light Up the Night', and this is some extremely tight funk blues. From the intro the listener knows what the band is all about as the horns are popping over Madunic’s killer bass line that is perfectly in time with Schoepke’s drums. There is a lot going on here: Holman’s smooth tenor lyrics use Alice in Wonderland metaphors to spread the message of overcoming your troubles, Spadafora and Woolverton trade splendid riffs, and Dzioba and Moilanen’s backing vocals add just the right amount of soul. This is righteous stuff!”

“On the stage and behind the scenes, guitarist J.D. Optekar ’91 Th’92 is bringing Tweed Funk to the forefront of soul and blues. Drawing on his previous career as a project manager and cofounder of a software development company, Optekar is expanding the sound of the Milwaukee, Wisc.-based band.”

“The standout track is 'Love Ain't Easy' - the entire band catches this infectious groove and just rides it, while 'Smokey' Holman lets his road-worn, soul-soaked vocals really shine. This is an excellent example of just how far this band has come - it's obvious they've logged many hours playing together.”

“They want to play what they know by heart: Good old soul music, Memphis style! The old school exam they pass with Grade A plus, 'Don’t Give Up' or 'Muse' bring back almost forgotten tunes. 'Love Ain’t Easy' also qualifies for top grade, due to the trumpet playing of Doug Woolverton (Roomful of Blues).”

Blues News Germany

“Particularly effective are the work of the bass of Eric Madunic and that of the horn section with Andrew Spadafora on saxophone and Doug Woolverton on trumpet, in addition to the authoritative presence of frontman Smokey Holman.”

“He said it was like walking around at his own funeral. In April, Joseph 'Smokey' Holman, the 63-year-old soulful singer for local group Tweed Funk, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer of the white blood cells. 'I met a little girl through a friend of mine who went through leukemia,' Holman said. 'She got up off the couch and said, You need a whole bunch of these, and she hugged me. I almost started crying.' It's through support like that — from family, friends and his bandmates — that Holman has found the strength to 'get out of my pity party and do what I do.'”

“Come Together is clearly a team effort. While Holman struts his stuff on vocals, the horns and rhythm section purr like a finely tuned V-8. Whether playing sweet soul or hard hitting funk, Tweed Funk sounds spandex-tight on every track. The title track and “Light Up the Night” combine pulsating funk grooves with socially conscious lyrics. Bassist Eric Madunic and drummer Dave Schoepke have mastered the art of keeping a groove. The horn section is razor-sharp, with trumpeter Doug Woolverton getting a generous share of solo space.”

“In ten original pieces, the combo brings us directly to the best labels Stax and Hi Records by installing a warm and friendly atmosphere which automatically think of Wilson Pickett, Rufus Thomas, Isaac Hayes or Booker T. & The MGs and it is with a lot of its 'Don't Give up', 'Sweet Music', 'Who Is This', 'Bullet' and 'Soul Rockin' that Tweed Funk puts prominently and under the spotlight legacy of Soulsville USA.”

“You got your horn section, got your back up vocals, got your powerful singer, got your MONSTER horns, got your rhythm section, you got your big band with a big sound out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Ladies and gents, I give you the soulful explosive splendor of Tweed Funk. This is called “Love Ain’t Easy.””

“Joseph "Smokey" Holman has been nominated in the 2016 Living Blues Awards for the Most Outstanding Blues Singer. He is in some fine company - here is the list of nominees Most Oustanding Blues Singer: Buddy Guy, Diunna Greenleaf, Otis Clay, John Nemeth, Irma Thomas, Joseph "Smokey" Holman, Wee Willie Walker, Mighty Sam McClain, Trudy Lynn, Johnny Rawls.”

“'Don’t Give Up' raises the beat. Eric Madunic sits at the Hammond organ for this track that is dominated by Smokey’s voice, while Woolverton shines on the trumpet.”

“The Milwaukee based band are gaining considerable notoriety beyond their home city and listening to this new release from them you can see why. It's their fourth CD and they have progressed musically by leaps and bounds over the recent years.”

Mike Stephenson - Blues & Rhythm No 310

“The world is about to tune into what has been Milwaukee's best kept secret. Tweed Funk is a high-powered, horn driven ensemble that has been winner of Wisconsin Area Music Industry (WAMI) awards since their 2010 formation. Come Together is their fourth release on the Tweed Tone label, and is a seamless combination of top tier musicians fronted by an energetic vocalist.”

“Tweed Funk's new release "Come Together" debuted at No. 19 on the Living Blues Monthly Chart for May 2016.”

“Particular highlights for this listen is the swamp pop-tinged “Embrace,” which Holman sings with the feel of a Percy Sledge and on which Spadafora takes a booting solo. The funky instrumental “Who Is This” has some blistering trumpet from Woolverton (“Don’t Give Up” is another track with superlative trumpet). “Bullet” opens with atmospheric amplified muted trumpet before Smokey sings about the four horseman and fighting the fear and how a bullet took away his last chance. Woolverton’s obligatos and solo set the atmosphere while the spare backing also contributes to this powerful, somber blues.”

"Come Together" — incredibly — is its best offering yet. The inspirational and autobiographical "Sweet Music" is on par with Daptone Records soul darlings Sharon Jones and Charles Bradley.

“On the funk tracks, vintage bands like War, Mandrill and, particularly, Tower of Power are conjured up, especially on Come Together and the instrumental Who Is This that lets the horn men stretch out.”

“Come Together (Tweed Tone Records) consists of ten stellar tracks that will make fans of vintage soul very happy, and should make new listeners wonder why in the heck it faded away in the first place. For their new release, the group not only operates like a well-oiled machine, but they also worked together in the songwriting process, turning out some top notch tunes in the process.”

“Holman’s beautiful gospel tinged voice lights it up on “Don’t Give Up”, “on your dreams, walk with purpose to your destiny”. Madunic’s church like organ completes the sound. Woolverton’s trumpet solo is especially nice as are the background vocals by Dzioba and Moilanen.”

“The album has everything you, as a listener, might expect: a great horn section and a glorious retro-sixties Memphis soul vibe.”

“The same goes with the sensational “Love Ain’t Easy”. This one tears the roof off in style and puts an enormous smile on my face with its bodacious bassline, and dazzling horns. I just let the music soak in when I hear “Muse” and “Sweet Music” back to back. Both are bathed in a delicious old-skool Stax soul sound, reminiscent of the Mar-Keys. Optekar pours it on Steve Cropper-style, and of course, I can’t help but think of the Memphis Horns when Woolverton and Spadafora do their thing.”

“Tweed Funk lead singer Joseph "Smokey" Holman ain't gonna let a little thing like cancer slow him down! Despite facing chemo and an elongated absence from the road, Come Together (Tweed Tone Records) positively reeks of that oldschool Memphis mentality. The horns, the excitement, the songs, and, especially, the vocals sound straight outa Stax until you realize they're from Milwaukee.”

“Songs like ‘Sweet Music’, ‘Who Is This’ and ‘Soul Rockin’ are just sheer delights, especially when the horn section gets to honking. If you have any hankering for the great days of Stax or Muscle Shoals, then you need this in your life.”

“The lyrics of “Sweet Music” recall his (Smokey) working with Rufus Thomas and Willie Mitchell in Memphis, his disappoint with Motown and his big break with Mayfield. The title track is a genius number, calling for people of the world to “Come Together” while referencing the iconic Booker T & The MGs album, McLemore Avenue, all in a style that hearkens to early 70s Marvin Gaye. Another favorite track is “Who Is This”, a greasy, jazz-infused, sliding note instrumental that showcases the talents of saxophonist, Andrew Spadafora and Roomful of Blues veteran, Doug Woolverton on trumpet.”

“'Come Together' swings from beginning to end. It's the Soul and R&B we know so well from Stax. Soulful singing, backed by a swinging and funky band, and a horn section that makes it complete.”

“If you like horn bands and good, old-fashioned soul, you’ll really like this one. The musicianship here is of the first order and the material shines.”

“This set from Tweed Funk contains perhaps their strongest material thus far. Add in musicianship of the highest order and a dynamite soul man fronting the band, and everything is bound to “Come Together!” Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.”

“This disc offers superb songwriting, vocals reminiscent of an earlier era, musicianship that drives it home and background vocals I haven't heard the likes of since the 60s. When I heard this for the first time, and realized that it was all original material, I was floored.”

“Come Together reminds of the glory in Vintage Soul music both in the groove and in the words as the band stands tall to deliver stories of breaking out and breaking free.”

“Tweed Funk makes the cover of the Sioux Falls Newspaper following the band's performance at the Sioux Falls Jazz Fest.”

““First Name Lucky” – (Tweed Tone) – Yes there are still bands that play good old-fashioned Rhythm & Blues and Tweed Funk are among the best. With the honey-voiced Smokey Holman belting out vocals and a sax and trumpet duo augmenting the grooves, Tweed Funk provide a solid set here with the ’60s-flavored soul pop of “Hoodoo Power,” a take on the Eddie Floyd/Steve Cropper chestnut “Knock on Wood” and album highlight, the James Brown-like “Sugarfoot.” Wherever this one goes a party is sure to follow.”

“Tweed Funk was formed in 2010, and has been bringing the party to Milwaukee ever since. They got the horns, they got the rhythm section, they got Smokey Holman, the dynamic front man. Tweed Funk call themselves a show band, and they are proud of it. And now they are bringing a piece of that Milwaukee R&B to the world.”

“Born in Chicago and raised in Gary, Ind., the 62-year-old Holman has been singing nearly all of his life, in church as a boy, then as part of an a cappella group in junior high school. That led to a band called the Domestics, which earned an audition at Motown performing a composition Stevie Wonder wrote for them, 'You Make Me Feel So Good.'”

“When you tell people you`re in a band — like all my soccer moms and dads and PTO parents, they say ‘are you playing Summerfest?’ And if you can say yes to that question, you`ve got it for Milwaukee - JD Optekar”

“Curtis Mayfield is Smokey's favorite Soul Man. He was a visionary. Smokey knew it then and today his music still stands true...the thing Smokey remembers is that Curtis took them in and treated them like family. He was very down to earth and very protective.”

“(Tweed) Funk open with the funky Stax-influenced ‘Blues In My Soul’, a showcase for Smokey’s strident vocals and the horns of Jon Lovas and Kevin Klemme. ‘Time to Burn’ is a powerful and hypnotic and brooding blues that allows JD Optekar to stretch out with some fine blues guitar – the classic ‘Let The Good Times roll’ is performed BB King style with Optekar again to the fore – whilst ‘Hoodoo Power’ strays into Otis Redding territory replete with infectiously riffing horns and soulful backing vocals.”

Mick Rainsford - Blues in Britain

“Everything here is first or second take, and the performances impress, whether it is the Otis Redding flavoured funky opener, the rock tinged soul of ‘Hoodoo Power’, the wistful southern soul balladry of ‘Divided’ or the James Brown styled ‘Sugarfoot’, written by soul and blues revivalist Black Joe Lewis. On the blues side, ‘Time To Burn’ is a tough sounding mid tempo number with hints of Magic Sam in J.D. Optekar’s always excellent guitar work .... ‘Sippin Misery’ is a wee wee hours jazz flavoured blues – nice trumpet work from Kevin Klemme”

“One memorable moment during this period occurred in Columbus, Ohio. We were at the Sheraton Hilton – the company had bought the whole top floor of the hotel. After our show, I was thinking here we come, Jackson 5! I come from dirt-poor people, so that night was fascinating to me. I looked around at all the people, the media, the bodyguards – everybody was there. It kind of moved me that I was actually, finally somebody.”

“The life of soul blues singer Joseph 'Smokey' Holman has been dotted with ups and downs, good people and bad, and a near-death drug experience that scared him onto the righteous path. Despite his struggles, he has emerged as front man of the award-winning Milwaukee band Tweed Funk.”

“Tweed Funk made the cover of Big City Rhythm & Blues Magazine's Feb/Mar 2015 20th Anniversary Issue. The band is featured in front of the Slippery Noodle in Indianapolis, IN along with the Yeagy's (owners of the Noodle) and Tad Robinson.”

“Milwaukee-based R&B machine Tweed Funk is a powerhouse in the tradition of Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, laced with the stage presence of Luther Allison. The band could be compared to neo-throwback soul merchants like Charles Walker and the Dynamites or even Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, although Tweed’s Stax-influenced sound is maxed out with a horn section that’s loud and in charge”

“The album honors music that built America with blues, roots and soul. Songs and sounds that befriended the people that stacked the bricks, laid the roads and fired the steel.”

“Tweed Funk is a multi-faceted weave of old school Memphis soul, blues and rock, creating a sound you can wrap yourself up in....'First Name Lucky' is classic soul with a modern edge and may be the next thing to make Milwaukee famous.”

“Quick with a smile and a joke, Smokey is a natural entertainer who has surrounded himself with some of the best musicians in Wisconsin. With JD Optekar on guitar/vocals, Eric Madunic on bass/vocals, Jon Lovas on saxophone, Kevin Klemme on trumpet and Nick Lang on drums, the band will leave you limp after one of their sweat soaked sessions.”

“Tweed Funk's First Name Lucky debuts on the Living Blues Chart at #11 for April of 2014.”

“Sometimes when you hear a band for the first time, you really know that they're going to be something special. That's the feeling that your humble correspondent had when he heard Tweed Funk for the first time. They come at you from so many different ways, with a powerhouse blues attack that adds equal parts of soul and funk to the mix”

“There sat Curtis Mayfield and his Bass Player, Joseph "Lucky" Scott, with an opportunity to audition at Curtom Records. Smokey recalls observing Curtis Mayfield tell Eddie Thomas "I told you" after Domestic 4 finished singing a few of their original songs.”

“They can swing as well as groove, and testify to the fact on ‘Deed Is Done’, but are equally adept at the slow blues of ‘Sippin Misery’. The honkin’ horns are in fine form, Smokey lays down some of his best vocals, and if you’re looking for a Friday night party, then this is your new soundtrack.”

“It's not easy to transfer the experience of live music onto a recorded album, but Milwaukee's Tweed Funk has done it on First Name Lucky...Bring on the Funk.”

“Album number three from this band is now out and available and I must say I think it is the best of the three so far! If you want to swing and jive with the Wisconsin kings of funk, blues and soul, then pick this album up and enjoy- you won’t be disappointed! Highly recommended!”

“Tweed Funk CD Party at Buddy Guy’s Legends, Chicago - Hot Shows!! Milwaukee's Tweed Funk, a 6-piece blues, soul, funk, R&B outfit that frequently performs in the Windy City, will celebrate the release of new disc First Name Lucky. Be prepared to shake your booty and experience the super tight (like a tweed jacket, get it?) sounds of the WAMI winning Wisconsin band, fronted by native Chicago soul singer Joe "Smokey" Holman.”

“For their latest CD, First Name Lucky (Tweed Tone Records), Tweed Funk’s aimed to capture the energy and excitement of their live shows. The Milwaukee band’s previous effort, 2012’s Love Is, was one of my favorite releases of that year, and I really dug the band’s raucous blend of blues, funk, and soul on that release. First Name Lucky improves on its predecessor and then some, with seven outstanding originals and four dynamite covers.”

“Tweed Funk's "First Name Lucky" debuts at #10 on the Roots Music Report (RMR) Top 50 Blues Albums Chart for the Week of April 11, 2014 and the album was #1 on the RMR State of Wisconsin Chart. "Knock on Wood" hits #24 on the RMR Top 50 Blues Songs Chart for the Week.”

“The slow blues, Sippin Misery, stands out. It has a 3 o’clock in the morning feel with Smokey’s low-key vocal, Optekar’s jazzy guitar here (and he might use this attack elsewhere) and marvelous playing by Lovas and Klemme (the latter making nice use of horns) for a magical performance and shows just how good they can get.”

“Tweed Funk has been bringin’ it ‘round the globe since 2010. The horns pump it up to create the kind of sweat-filled funked-up blues ‘n’ soul that tickles your innards. First Name Lucky (TweedTone Records) is a dandy approximation of their balls-to-the-wall live show.”

“For a few favorites from the Originals, I chose Track 4 "Hoodoo Power" and the closing Track "Get It On". When I started listening to "Hoodoo Power", I knew right away that this beauty was going to be my favorite of the album and indeed that held up right till the end. This one had it all with great Vocals, Fat Drum Beat, Awesome Horns, and the icing on the cake, with the heavenly Backing Vocals courtesy of Chrissy Dzioba & Sarah Moilanen. A great tune that I could listen to all day. "Get It On", let the fur fly as we get treated to a Harpfest courtesy of Brian "Looper" Lucas. JD Optekar also does some Killer Guitar work, with additionally great work from Eric Madunic (Bass) and Nick Lang (Drums), on this great uptempo number playing homage to the weekend and letting it all go.”

“We had two favorites, too. Brush-stroked drums and a muted trumpet back Smokey’s jazzy vocal, as he weaves a tale of one too many nights in a bar just “Sippin’ Misery.” And, bass man Eric Madunic takes the vocal on a tribute to the late Donald “Duck” Dunn with his in-the-pocket read of the classic “Knock On Wood.””

“First Name Lucky, on Tweed Tone Records, is the third album release from this stellar band. The seven originals and four covers are filled with 39 minutes of sexy, soulful blues that will carry listeners back to a time when funk and soul were honest, and infected with the blues. The fellas wanted to produce an album that had a live feel, with a minimal amount of overdubs, and they have done so in an animated fashion. The sound quality and mix here is excellent. Throw this on, and instantly you are walking through the door of your favorite club, feeling the warmth of the music wash over you.”

“In honor of the seven new original tunes on "First Name Lucky," the new CD by Milwaukee blues outfit Tweed Funk, we hit guitarist J.D. Optekar with seven questions about the WAMI Award-winning band, which has released three records in three years.”

“Sippin Misery has a really laid back blues sound and is likely my favorite track on the release. This is a track that you could feel Billie Holiday singing and Smokey does an excellent job. Horn work on this track from Klemme is excellent. Not a generic trumpet fan but this playing is not (generic) ... it's hot!!”

“Loaded with the kind of classic show band sound that inspired the Blues Brothers, this gang continues to show they know how to deliver the funk in top shelf fashion. Well done, again.”

“DAD BY DAY, MUSICIAN BY NIGHT: GUITARIST OPTEKAR has it all. “The only thing I’m really missing out on is sleep,” he says.”

“With Smokey up front, singin' those soulful blues; JD on guitar, playing those smokin' hot guitar riffs; those hot horns blowing the roof off with Jon Lovas on sax and Kevin Klemme on trumpet, [but you know that I love horn bands]; that great bassist, Eric Madunic and drummer Nick Lang holding the groove, it just don't get no better than that! You can't go wrong, 'cause this band is SMOKIN' HOT!!!”

“Tweed Funk will make a rare Rochester appearance when it headlines "Portraits in Blues" on Jan. 10 at the Wicked Moose Bar and Grill. Rochester's Sena Ehrhardt and Twin Cities blues guitar player Ken Valdez are also on the bill. The music starts at 7:30 p.m.”

“Dancemaker wins Big City Rhythm & Blues Magazines Coolest Blues Song of the Year for 2013.”

Robert Jr. - Big City Rhythm and Blues

“With a fascinating story singing with soul greats at both Motown and Stax during it’s heyday, Smokey’s been bringing his trademark sound to the blues in Tweed Funk.”

"Tweed Funk met and surpassed all expectations at their performance during the 2013 Jazz in the Park series! They deliver a high-energy and lively performance that is sure to get people on the dance floor. Their energy is infectious!"

Peter Adams - Assistant Director, East Town Association

“Tweed Funk truly rocked the Marquette Area Blues Fest. They had the crowd dancing from the first song. These guys are not only great musicians, they're showmen too!”

Mark "Stony" Stonerock - President, Marquette Area Blues Society

“Tweed Funk opened the 4th Annual Byron Crossroads Blues Festival and had the crowd up dancing from the start. Smokey worked the crowd into a frenzy with his great singing and then his dancing and interacting with the fest goers created quite the buzz. We also got so many great comments on JD's guitar and the horn section that we would love to have them return for a future engagement with us!”

Steve Jones - President, Crossroads Blues Society

“Fronted by soulful blues singer Joseph “Smokey” Holman, who won a WAMI this year for Best Male Vocalist, the band played their own horn-fueled versions of classics like “Knock On Wood” and originals....Tweed Funk carefully blended soul, blues and R&B with a touch of jazz on the solos from the horn men and the bass player, while guitarist/ bandleader JD Optekar played tasteful blues licks or rollicking rhythms.”

“Since its 2010 formation, Tweed Funk has been among the most accomplished and active blues outfits in the Milwaukee area. The perennial WAMI nominee and festival fixture has spread its soulful sound throughout the Midwest this summer, playing some 30 shows since May.”

“It was great to have a set with Tweed Funk for 414 Music. They're obvious a big and full sounding band, but to have this cool acoustic performance with half the band was pretty special.”

“Take a funky drummer, add in some slinky guitar, and a lead singer that’s been around the block a few times, and you’ve got a tasty combination - a simmering blend of blues, soul and funk. The core trio of Smokey on vocals, JD Optekar on guitar, and Marcus Gibbons on drums, is joined by guitar ace Greg Koch, who co-produced the record, and adds some killer fretwork”

“Tweed Funk's JD Optekar is on the cover of the October issue of RockWired Magazine and profiled in 25 Guitarists You've Gotta Know!!!”

“Performing a muscular blend of blues and funk that evokes groups like the Kinsey Report, the Bone Shakers, Funkadelic, Living Colour, and early Red Hot Chili Peppers, this Milwaukee quartet knows how to lock into a groove with equal parts fury and finesse.”

Thomas J. Cullen III - Blues Revue Magazine - CD Review - Bringin It

“Blues diva Thornetta Davis will be shouting the blues while talk of the industry, Tweed Funk, will provide some sweet soul funk with a hint of blueness.”

Felix Ybarra - Big City Rhythm & Blues Magazine

“Tweed Funk is a Milwaukee-based band who has been grabbing the attention of many over the past few years, including hitting the Roots Music Report Top 20 Blues Albums Chart for two months and longer.”

“Smokey and J.D. Optekar of Tweed Funk talk to ROCKWiRED about their latest release, Love Is, working with producer Greg Koch, and finding the groove that has sustained them as a band.”

“Smokey has a perfect soul voice, the trio of drums, bass and guitar create the infectious groove and the first-class guest musicians complete the cast. The result is a classic and worth listening to Soul Funk Rock Album.”

“..this faultless cd, which shines with deep elegance and good taste from the beginning to the end. GREAT.”

“Black Coffee has been played by every band (JD) has been in since it was written, yet no one brings justice to the lyrics better than Smokey with his sultry voice. JD with Smokey had the privilege to perform this song when they opened for Buddy Guy at Purdue University...I encourage you not to pass up the opportunity to see them.”

“When an ensemble of music veterans comes together with a multitude of talent and a single objective the result can be magic. And that is certainly the case with Milwaukee, Wisconsin based band, Tweed Funk. This is a true soul band in the classic sense and they find themselves at the forefront of a soul/blues revival all across the country.”

“On Fine Wine, the opening track, they provide R&B show band swagger on the strengths of lead vocalist Joseph "Smokey" Holman. Smokey is a seasoned pro, and it shows...His (JD Optekar) All Over You is a fiery freight train that features his exquisite work. Elsewhere, he shows a propensity for slinky funk, powerful blues licks, and overall expertise.”

Tom Speed - Living Blues Magazine, Issue #222

“With J.D. Optekar and producer Greg Koch supplying the guitar oomph, Tweed Funk takes the listener on an aural tour of various soul and blues roads without diluting any of the strength of those various avenues. Whether it's J.B. funk, old-school horn driven R&B, or a simple shuffle, the fellows know how to work it.”

John Heidt - Vintage Guitar Magazine

“On Saturday night, blues legend Buddy Guy opened his concert at Loeb Playhouse with a short guitar solo and said that he and the band were going to play so funky, you could smell it. The show opened with Wisconsin act Tweed Funk. Frontman Smokey Holman was charismatic as he danced around the stage in his Sunday-best pastel purple suit.”

“From the opening strains of 'Fine Wine' Tweed Funk kicks out the jams with a funky back beat that features Smokey on vocals, and some tasty Carl Perkins styled guitar by JD Optekar in conjunction with a rolling horn section that work together quite harmoniously and most seriously funky!”

“Tweed Funk has the setup and chemistry of a classic funk/soul/blues band, with a revitalized sense of creativity and respect for the listener. They understand the importance of making a song catchy, but not just maintaining the same four bars for five minutes. You've got to keep the listeners on their toes, you got to make them want more, make them NEED more, and Tweed Funk does just this with "Dancemaker". So, are you ready for some funk tonight?”

“Tweed Funk, a prolific new band from Milwaukee, follows up their 2011 debut album, Bringin It, with a CD that defies categorization – Love Is. Is it funk, or blues, or something else entirely? Whatever it is, this set of seven original songs and three covers has plenty of soul and attitude to spare; and its irresistible front-and-center beat will have you dancing in your chair…or wherever you happen to be.”

“Tight like a drum. Excellent vocals, both lead and backup, and precise instrumentation. Great swinging tempo throughout with tasty smart leads. Fine effort by the whole band.”

“5 Stars - I loved the old school funk James Brown back from the dead vibe. I will play this on my show maybe add it to the playlist of the happy hour. I dig it man oh so funky.”

“Ten songs are full of intensity, enthusiasm, funk and blues”

“Milwaukee-based band laying out some big, big funky blues w/ some R ‘n’ B and serious soul.”

“The CD produced by Greg Koch contains seven original songs and three songs among which is a super funky version (but could it be otherwise?) "Sex Machine" by James Brown.”

“Tweed Funk's new CD, Love Is, comes out swingin' with the opening song Fine Wine. The musical onslaught continues with ten mostly orignal funk, blues, and soul cuts.”

“Also this week is the much anticipated sophomore release from Wisconsin’s Tweed Funk. The new album is called Love Is, and it’s got plenty of horns, soul, and funk.”

“Occasionally, you will get to hear a CD that really puts a hop in your step, that is totally unlike anything else you've been listening to. I got the hop a couple of weeks ago when I heard Tweed Funk's Love Is. Holy Cow!”

“Tweed Funk freshens up Funky Soulful Blues, by putting a nice unique and creative spin on it and in doing so, brings a lot of excitement and energy that has no problem getting them raves reviews and accolades galore, from everyone, including yours truly. "Love Is" is a tasty and rare treat which nicely breaks through todays overly repetitive ho hum offerings.”

“I was becoming a citizen of the Tweed Funk Nation. To see as many highly talented people in one band rare. You know you’re witnessing something masterful when its delivery is made to seem so effortless. Which explains why Tweed Funk has only been a band for two years and has gained international radio play, booked renowned venues like the House of Blues, won a WAMI and released a second album like “Love Is”. ”

“4.5 Star Rating for Love Is!!!! If you loved Tweed Funk's debut album Bringin It then get ready for a treat. Love Is is like Bringin It on steroids. You can get a good feel for the whole CD by listening to track 4, “Dancemaker.” Like before you have the powerful and soulful vocals of Smokey Holman and the excellent grooves of drummer Marcus Gibbons and bassist Eric Madunic. And this is before you get the fine soloing of guitarist JD Optekar. Now here is what's new... horns like James Brown's, fabulous keyboard work from Jimmy Voegeli and backup singers good enough to be singing lead.”

“Like their debut, this second packed in a typical seventies cover, reminiscent of the Watts / Stax and blaxploitation days and that sort of atmosphere is a bit intertwined through these "Love Is", a nice mix of funk, blues and soul .”

“Tweed Funk can do just fine on their own, too, be it on remakes of inspirations such as Johnny "Guitar" Watson and James Brown (the latter in a most amusing manner) or on sweat-soaked originals that are sure to heighten their profile in the blues world—and likely beyond it.”

“Tweed Funk has with the second album, 'Love Is', everything right." It is a fiery mix of Blues, soul and funk, served very well here. Both thumbs up for Tweed Funk.”

“Soulful blues outfit Tweed Funk is still a baby, formed just 18 months ago...Believe it or not, the group's already got a second disc ready to launch at a release party this Friday at Shank Hall. "Love Is" was co-produced by local guitar giant Greg Koch and adds a horn section and some guest backing vocalists, adding even more dimension to the band's electric sound.”

“We had two favorites, too. If you’re in the club and on the prowl, it’s best to “Pick ‘Em Early in the night!” And, their incendiary tribute to James Brown, “Sex Machine,” gets on up off its bad self and segues’ nicely into “Talkin’ Loud And Sayin’ Nothin!,” and is guaranteed to get you on your feet!”

“It could've been the magnetic purple suit he wore, or his impromptu serenade while accepting the award for best R&B/soul artist. Either way, blues singer Joseph "Smokey" Holman left an indelible mark on this year's Wisconsin Area Music Industry awards ceremony, held last month in Appleton.”

“Excellent, exciting funky blues. The album is captivating from beginning to the end.”

“Came out of nowhere from nowhere fast in the last two years lighting up fans and critics scoring the kind of awards and recognition that it takes big bankrolls and big corporations to get lavished that fast. Playing from the gut on originals and covers, they might be from Milwaukee but they have the southern show band circuit in their blood.”

“Tweed Funk’s 'Love Is' a Powerhouse Punch of Funk, Soul, Blues - Tweed Funk is the sultry, smooth, killer funk band that’s been blowing up the blues world with sexy vocals, hot guitar and, of course, that low down funky bass. Their latest, Love Is, was produced by the powerful Greg Koch, and is a compelling display of the kind of exciting out-of-the-box style that Tweed Funk is known for.”

“Tweed Funk has a big fat sound goin' on with the horns from cuts from their new CD, Love Is. Really dig Fine Wine and Pick Em Early, then they give you the blues with Gettin Home. Can't wait for the new CD, sounds like it will be a great mess of blues, fun and soul stirring, for all blues lovers.”

Ole Harv, 2012 KBA Recipient, Host of the Blues Revue 29 Years - 88.1 WVPE NPR

“This is a cd of quality produced by one of the guitar greats Greg Koch who also plays on two of the cover songs. He brings out the best of Smokey’s powerful, smokin’ vocals, JD’s great guitar work, a rhythm section to die for in Donnie Mac on bass and MG showing his prowess as a top drummer, giving us an album sure to please all lovers of Blues, Funk, and good ole R’n’B.”

“On April 26th, Love Is, the new Tweed Funk recording will be released. I've had a chance to listen to it a few times and it's a lot of fun. Dancemaker is right from the JB's songbook and Fine Wine has that swing blues down with horns, keys and guitar solos. Getting Home takes the soul/blues route featuring Smokey's great soulful voice the song is very convincing. It' also has the authentic Hammond sound on the first solo and a tasty guitar solo for the second. Pick Em Early takes the boogie route with horns and leads to a nice guitar solo.”

“The album was produced by Greg Koch, who is also heard on guitar on two numbers. "Love Is" has succeeded in completely and can only recommend. The album fits perfectly between similarly supported releases such as "Soul Shot" by Curtis Salgado and the debut of the "Third Coast Kings."”

“Tweed Funk’s newest release, “Love Is” is s-m-o-k-i-n-g! The band has grown tremendously since their debut CD, “Bringin’ It”.”

"Singer Smokey started out under Curtis Mayfield and demonstrates that he has a fine voice for soul and blues. The playing throughout is very good, especially the guitar of JD Optekar...I particularly enjoyed the more bluesy tunes such as “Super Mad Woman” and “Black Coffee” as well as “Salsa Blues”. The band has an excellent singer and strong instrumental players so I suspect that they would be worth seeing live when they come to your area. For those who like a good dose of funk mixed into their blues this CD is well worth checking out."

“The lyrics are impressive, but it's the musicianship that makes "Bringin It" what it is. While this is Tweed Funk's first release, the four band members all have illustrious resumes and the CD puts their talents on full display.”

"Super Mad Woman," a song written by Gibbons, is a blues based tune with Holman building his vocals as the song progresses. It is one of the best originals on the CD..."My Baby's Alright" a blues tune written by JD Optekar features the excellent guitar work of Optekar. The CD concludes with a Gibbons/McGregor instrumental tune "Salsa Blues," showcasing the instrumental expertise of the entire band. The final number is a new and sensational arrangement of Optekar's blues tune "Black Coffee"...This CD is great collection done by a world class funk band and hopefully we will hear more of Tweed Funk in the future!

“Tweed Funk checking in at #3 (of 10 albums) for Top Blues Album Debut from the Editors of Wasser-Prwada”

“Tweed Funk got a blast of fame in October with its song, "Beast Mode in Da House," a reference to the Brewers' celebratory gesture on the field.”

“A band that takes us back to a marvelous but unfortunately disappeared musical decade of a supreme originality and creativity. Tweed Funk makes us relive with an extreme passion, energy and high cool vitality, those wonderful seventies that will not come back, with a bunch of original vitalistic songs.”

“'Blues Is The Truth' – with this statement of Tweed Funk from Milwaukee are opening their debut album 'Bringin It'. A solid dose of Blues, Funk and Soul with reminiscences of the 60’s and 70’s is waiting on the audience...In the Retro Soul Scene the blues roots are often neglected. But with them, the combination of long blues lines of the guitar with hard funky grooves and this unbelievably disarming voice exactly build the fascination...'Bringin It' –a definite must buy recommendation.”

“Tweed Funk combines Rock, Blues, Funk, Soul & R&B for a truely unique musical experience. A high energy in your face band that will get you up and moving!”

“Sly & the Family Stone, Santana, Curtis Mayfield, Parliament, Johnny Guitar Watson, all names that you come to mind when listening to the Tweed Funk. It's all incorporated, in their sound: funk, blues, soul, gospel, even some urban hip hop elements ... and all packaged in a rather "vintage" sounding jacket, the seventies peek around the corner.”

“Summerfest, Local: Tweed Funk, 2:30 pm Harley-Davidson Roadhouse. The band's been together less than a year, but its funk 'n' blues originals are good enough to recall James Brown and Buddy Guy. That shouldn't surprise: Lead singer Joseph "Smokey" Holman fronted a soul band signed to Curtis Mayfield's label in the '70s, and guitarist JD Optekar founded Milwaukee blues staple Hounds Tooth. ”

Piet Levy - Journal-Sentinel Newspaper, Summerfest, Today's Picks

"Tweed Funk, you're an innovator of blues music, you pushed the boundary in the direction of soul and funk... you're definitely in a league of your own."

"During the critically-acclaimed PBS series, "Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues," director Marc Levin offered a segment entitled "Godfathers And Sons" which showed how today's R & B, rap, and hip-hop artists could trace their musical roots and beginnings back to the blues. Using this premise, the Milwaukee quartet that call themselves Tweed Funk have just released an eye-opening debut entitled "Bringin' It," that combines elements of jazz, neo-soul, funk, and the blues to create a high-energy, versatile sound , and includes nine originals and one cool cover."

"From the first guitar riff of the opener “Blues Is The Truth” up to the last tones of “Black Coffee” the band puts down a swinging album, on which it is hard to sit still."

"This is what tears down old borders, limits or something else. This is something that will wake up those old sleepy blues fans and will make them ask 'Hey what is this?'"

"The band's disc, "Bringin' It," is a sultry and soulful blues record -- constructed out of nine originals and a drumtastic cover of Sly Stone's "Thank You (Falletinme Be Mice Elf Agin)" -- that recalls the classic soul/blues crossover records of the '60s and '70s by the likes of Little Milton and Albert King."

"Great vocals with superb backing...Blues / Funk with some R & B woven throughout the Tweed , you can't sit still...get up offa that thang..!"

J.R. aka "Shameless James," The Open Road, KPVL 89.1 FM, D.A.S.Y. Productions

"Just got in the Tweed Funk-Bringin It' CD and I just got done listening to it and man it's a cooker! I will be popping that baby into our current rotation here at the station ASAP. Really like it - very old school yet fresh and current."

Leroy Alvarez, Blues MD, WNMC 90.7

"Liked it a LOT. Liked the Funk, the Spunk - all Killer no Filler. Liked that all cuts but the Sly tune are originals. Liked the Funk/Blues mixture. Who can object to a title like 'Blues Is The Truth'?"

Bob "Blues Doctor" Decker WNRB-LP Radio 93.3 FM Wausau, WI

“A stylish blend that is superbly versatile, and fits 'round your ears like a custom fedora. If 'Bringin It' doesn't get your mojo movin', ya'll better call the undertaker 'cause your spirit has done left the building.”

John “blueshammer” Hammer, www.bluemondaymonthly.com

"Tweed Funk: Blues, Funk, Soul, Gospel, R&B at it’s best."

Sugar's Picks - 3/21/11 - KVNF

“Tweed Funk's ‘Bringin It’ blends Blues and Funk into a nice little cocktail for the ears…they've gotta be a fun band to catch live!”

Jerry D, Blues Programmer, 103.9 F WQCY and 105.5 FM The KAT

"This Milwaukee quartet combines jump blues, old-school soul, and funk and hip hop to create their own brand of high-energy blues. A busy touring schedule and decades of performing have honed and informed Tweed Funk’s style and stage show. Parts Curtis Mayfield and Buddy Guy, Tweed Funk delivers the goods and will leave you wanting more.”

WMSE - 91.7 FM

“The quartet's sophomore outing (7 originals, 3 covers), buttressed by some code-red horns (mainly Jon Lovas and Kevin Klemme), dynamite organist Jimmy Voegeli and guitarist Greg Koch, proves most thrilling on numbers like the salutary shuffle 'Fine Wine', a rhythmic call-out called 'Dancemaker' (that Sam and Dave would have fun with), a Jimmy Reed styled, bluesy advisory titled 'Pick Em Early' (nice gritty guitar courtesy of Optekar) and the appropriately titled 'Fragile'.”

Big City Rhythm and Blues Magazine, Jun/Jul 2012