Chicken Wire Empire returns to The Bend Theater for another highly-anticipated performance, promising an evening of foot-stomping music and infectious energy.
Born in Wisconsin, Chicken Wire Empire began as a traditional bluegrass band. The band honed its traditional sound in 2014 with their debut album Chicken Wire Empire. With half of the group rooted in bluegrass, and the other half steeped in jamband music, a change occurred when CWE performed an Old & In The Way tribute show. A new sound was found in Milwaukee, and Chicken Wire Empire joined the roster of high energy acoustic music happening across the nation. This journey from traditional to progressive was documented by director Ross Monagle in the film ”All It Takes,” premiering in 2016 at the Oriental Theatre in Milwaukee. Recorded and mixed by sound engineer Sam Donoghue, the film follows the band around Wisconsin and includes performances in Milwaukee’s historic Riverside Theatre. In 2018, the band returned to the studio, recording their sophomore album “What Moves Mountains” at Axis Recording Studios with engineer Vinny Millevolte and the mastering talents of Justin Perkins. With support from their family and friends, What Moves Mountains was released January 1st of 2019.
In November of 2019, Chicken Wire Empire toured Germany, Austria, and Switzerland as part of the 9th annual Bluegrass Jamboree, hosted by Rainier Zellner. While the band fell in love with Christmas markets, the European audiences were enamored with the CWE sound. Arriving back in America, the band sifted through recordings of all 24 shows. With the help of their engineer Daniel Machnik, the tour was encapsulated in two live 2021 releases, ”Live from Deutschland Vol. 1 & 2.”
In 2020, as live shows were drying up, the band turned to live-streaming, and were featured showcase artists in virtual renditions of the IBMA and Folk Alliance International conferences. The band used their time to arrange and record an album with Minnesota songsmith Chris Castino (The Big Wu) at NeonBrown with Ryan Young (Trampled by Turtles) engineering. The album features guests Peter Rowan, Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Andy Hall, Tim O’Brien, and Nick Forester. Entitled “Fresh Pickles,” it was released in February 2022.
Chicken Wire Empire has been blessed to share the stage with renowned musicians Yonder Mountain String Band, 30db, The Big Wu, Peter Rowan, The Travelin’ McCourys, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades, and more. With love from their local scene, friends, and families, Chicken Wire Empire looks to the future, with a goal to strengthen Wisconsin’s bluegrass scene, and further the appreciation of acoustic music.
Doors open at 6:30 PM to give you time to find your seats, visit our historic lobby, concession stand and fully stocked bar!
Show begins at approximately 7:30 PM
Date & Time
Thu, Dec 28, 2023 7:30 PM - 10:00 PM