Inner Sleeve Benefit

Editor’s Note: This morning I found a comment about the upcoming benefit for Mike Capista and Inner Sleeve Records from Charles Hughes, a PhD candidate and musician from Wausau who is now in Madison. I asked him if he would like to say a bit more about it and he graciously responded with the following piece. Thanks Charles and welcome aboard!

As readers of WausauBlog are certainly aware, the aftermath of the Inner Sleeve Fire on Labor Day has produced a community response that surpassed the expectations even of those of us who understand the love and support created by Mike Capista in his three decades of business. As many on this blog, my own blog, and other forums have so eloquently described, Inner Sleeve is much more than a great local record store; it’s a cornerstone of our social and cultural lives. For me, and for many I grew up with, it’s one of the fondest parts of my childhood and adolescence. And it was an absolute shame to see it driven so close to destruction.

In that spirit, Saturday night (October 15th) will see a benefit for Mike Capista and Inner Sleeve at the University of Wisconsin-Marathon County auditorium, at 7 PM. The event – “Sing A Song For Mike” – was organized and planned by Greg Venne, a UWMC faculty member, retired Wausau School District English teacher, and longtime musician and music fan. Venne’s efforts produced an unsurprising response from his musician friends – including me – and we gathered from literally around the country to produce a packed bill of 20 artists, each of whom will offer their own contributions to an evening of warm, energetic music that will celebrate the spirit behind what makes Inner Sleeve worth saving in the first place. This mainly acoustic-based event will include folk from local favorite Jim Carlson, ragtime piano from UWMC/Wausau Conservatory faculty member Ann Applegate, jazz from New York-based guitarist Dan Venne, bluegrass from The Biscuit Brothers, Finnish folk from Arnie Salli, a reading from D.C. Everest English teacher and writer Matthew Cepress, and folk/country/rock sets from (among others) Glen Moberg, Jon Shea, Jim Rubino, Bryan O’Connor, Rachael Anderson, and yours truly. My portion of the evening will be accompanied by Chris Jarvis and Kevin McCool, former rhythm section for Aurora Borealis and The Shakin’ 78s.

There might even be a couple surprises along the way, (surprises we’re still working on…) The musicians on the bill are talented and enthusiastic bunch, and most of us are friends, which should give the whole event a community/homecoming vibe. Since I’ve been getting a PhD (and playing music) in Madison for the past few years, I’m looking forward to revisiting some of the people I grew up with, in the service of supporting one of the places (and people) who made growing up in Wausau worthwhile.

Y’all come. Suggested donation is $10 for adults, $5 for students. Be ready to have a good time…


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