Trapper Schoepp is a young man who’s befriended a strange and diverse cast of characters during his 27 years. That small army of rogues and rebels, drifters and dreamers, soldiers and schemers populate his songs, their tragedies and comedies, their lives and deaths recalled in his finely etched musical vignettes.
The Minnesota-born, Wisconsin-based tunesmith and teller of tales (both tall and true), returned with his second effort Rangers & Valentines (Xtra Mile Recordings). The record follows his critically acclaimed 2012 debut Run Engine, Run, with his band the Shades. That LP earned notices in Rolling Stone, American Songwriter and Paste, with the folks at Huffington Post calling him a “master storyteller” and PBS hailing his “story songs that explore and explode the conventions of rock and roll.”
Last summer Schoepp also released Bay Beach Amusement Park, a six-song concept album centered around the 125-year-old attraction located in Green Bay, WI on the shores of Lake Michigan. Produced by 18-year-old Minnesotan Eliot Skinner and recorded mostly live over a weekend at Pachyderm Studios, Bay Beach Amusement Park serves as Schoepp’s creative and wildly fun follow-up to Rangers & Valentines, an album Relix declared a “mini masterpiece” and named one of Billboard’s “Best of the Week.”
Perhaps the park’s most historic and notable attraction is The Zippin Pippin, a wooden rollercoaster known famously as Elvis Presley’s favorite ride. The King rented Libertyland on August 8, 1977 from 1:15 a.m. until 7 a.m. to entertain a group of guests. Decked in a blue jumpsuit with a black leather belt, huge belt buckle with turquoise studs and gold chains, the King rode the Pippin repeatedly during a two-hour period. Presley’s late night joyride was his last public appearance. He passed away eight days later.
40 years on, Schoepp celebrates the Pippin and the other classic rides with these six songs that take the listener on six different adventures, each song named for its respective ride (“Zippin Pippin,” “Bumper Cars,” “The Scat”). This musical joyride is suitable entertainment for both adults and children. “Come mothers, daughters, fathers and sons/You’ll feel a lot better after you’re done,” Schoepp sings in the first single “Bumper Cars,” where pop culture rivalries such as Jerry Seinfeld and Newman and the Jedi and Sith collide on the ride.
2018 will see a new release by Schoepp produced by Pat Sansone (Wilco, Autumn Defense).
This event is intended for UW-Madison students, faculty, staff, Wisconsin Union members and their guests. Anyone can become a Wisconsin Union member.