The 506 Sessions concert series offers the most exclusive audience we've ever had - only
30 people! Setup for these shows include cocktail style seating (and plenty of distance). Come experience the historic Thrasher in a whole new way...
Growing up in small-town Wisconsin, Schoepp’s first love was racing BMX bikes on dirt trails along the Mississippi River. When he herniated a disc in his back, his mother signed him up for guitar lessons. It wasn’t quite the same, of course. But then Schoepp heard Dylan’s "Hurricane” for the first time.
"It shook my world,” he says. "Dylan offered me a radical new lens to see the world through. I still remember sinking into the red checkered couch in my parents’ basement and thinking that my life had just taken on a new direction.” In early 2017, the news emerged that way back in 1961, just months after he’d first moved to New York City, Dylan had drafted a song about Schoepp’s beloved Wisconsin, imagining a homesick rambler pining for the cheese and beer of his faraway Badger State. More than half a century later, the handwritten lyric sheet was uncovered by a former roommate and put up for auction at $30,000. In Milwaukee, Schoepp saw a photograph of Dylan’s handwritten lyrics and decided to set them to music, recording a rollicking version of the song that he titled "On, Wisconsin.”
"I just connected with it immediately,” he says. "It’s so obvious. I knew immediately that I had to finish the song. I just thought, it’s got to be done.” Schoepp put the track online and moved on, continuing to work on his own new songs. But a month or two later, a cryptic message pushed "On, Wisconsin” right back to the forefront of his consciousness.
"So I’m laying in bed one night,” Schoepp says, "and my manager sends me an email that simply reads, ‘Dylan has it now.’ I immediately got pretty excited about that.” It seemed Dylan’s management team was considering an official co-write credit with intent to publish the song, but it needed a final seal of approval. Eventually, consent was given, bestowing his official imprimatur on the collaboration.
Having spent the last half decade "getting home just in time to leave again,” playing countless dates and sharing stages with such like-minded Americana mainstays as The Wallflowers, The Jayhawks, and Old 97’s, – Schoepp plans to tour especially hard behind latest album, PRIMETIME ILLUSION. "I love Milwaukee,” he says. "This is my home. But us singer-songwriters have to be citizens of the world to make it work.”
With its extraordinary melding of the personal and political, PRIMETIME ILLUSION firmly places Trapper Schoepp amongst the long American continuum of singing storytellers, a pedigree and place on the family tree that inspires and drives him each and every new day.
"I think a lot about the folk process,” he says, "how things are passed down to the next generation and are reinvented and evolve. That’s really important to me, to keep the spirit of what someone might consider old new. "Dylan, in his MusiCares speech a few years ago, made the point that his role in music is simply extending the line. That’s my whole M.O. as well. I want to push this music forward like my life depends on it. It’s all I have.”
To keep y'all as safe as possible, things might look a little different when you get here for this show. We appreciate your cooperation in wearing masks while you're here (singing/cheering encouraged...but WAAAYYY safer with a mask on!) We've also spaced out the chairs, added cocktail tables, put hand sanitizer EVERYWHERE and a few other things. Check out all of our Wellness Initiatives here. Thank you for understanding and for your continued support of the Thrasher Opera House!