Chris Brubeck’s "Triple Play"
On Saturday, December 8, at 7:30 p.m., Chris Brubeck’s "Triple Play" will hit the stage of the historic Thrasher Opera House in beautiful downtown Green Lake. Triple Play is the name given to three outstanding and versatile musicians, Peter "Madcat" Ruth (brother of local resident, Brad [Sue] Ruth), Joel Brown and Chris Brubeck. Collectively they bring a rare level of joy, virtuosity, and American spirit to the folk, blues, jazz, funk and classical music they perform.
Triple Play’s live performance enthusiasm is documented on their first cd, "Triple Play Live" recorded at one of their college concerts. In reviewing this disc, All Music Guide wrote: "This boundary stretching cd should be investigated by anyone who enjoys great American music." Their second cd, "Watching the World" was recorded in studios across the country and according to All Music Guide: "It's great to hear a group that combines top-notch musicianship, potent originals, and a touch of humor. This cd is truly a Triple Play in any fan’s score book."
Triple Play’s musical roots go way back (as many as 30 years!) in each member’s history. Chris and Madcat have toured and recorded together in different settings since 1969, first as young rock musicians in the group "New Heavenly Blue" (with albums on RCA and Atlantic Records), "Sky King" (on Columbia), and then as jazz musicians touring the world with Chris’ father, jazz legend, Dave Brubeck. Madcap and Chris were audience favorites wherever the group played and were featured on two Atlantic Records released by Dave Brubeck.
Chris went on to become co-leader of the group "Crofut & Brubeck" with the uniquely talented banjo player and folk singer, Bill Crofut, which also featured Joel on guitar. Telarc released a highly unusual and critically acclaimed cd, "Across Your Dreams", featuring famous mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade. Flicka sang in a more intimate style performing "art songs" written by Chris, Dave and Iola Brubeck. Their next project was the recording of "Bach to Brubeck" at Abbey Road Studios with the London Symphony Orchestra, which was released on Koch International Classics.
After Bill Crofut passed away in 1999, Madcat joined Chris and Joel to form the group TRIPLE PLAY. With an ever-expanding repertoire, the Trio continues to play in concert halls, clubs and festivals all over the country, including performing many of Chris’ symphonic arrangements with orchestras across the U.S. In September 2006, they played a set at the Monterey Jazz Festival and later that evening, were featured in the premiere of Dave Brubeck’s Cannery Row Suite.
Paul deBarros, writer for the Seattle Times and Downbeat, commented: "Triple Play is what jazz always was and always should be about: good-time rhythm, unbridled joy and the sweet release, but bittersweet aftertaste of the blues. If there's a better old-time blues and jazz harmonica player out there than Madcat Ruth, I'd sure love to know where he lives!" www.brubeckmusic.com
When asked about his brother coming to the Midwest to perform, resident, Brad Ruth commented, "my brother, Peter, lives in Ann Arbor Michigan near Detroit so we don't get to see him and his family very often. Over the years, Triple Play has come to Wisconsin only twice that I know of, so we feel very fortunate and proud to have them come to our home town."
Tickets for this very special concert, sponsored by the Green Lake State Bank with additional hospitality provided by Heidel House and Two Chez, are only $24 and available at Thrasher Office, Knowledge Emporium, Green Lake State Bank, (Green Lake); Ripon Drug, & Pick ‘N Save (Ripon); Twister (Princeton) or by calling 920-294-4279. To order online, visit www.thrasheroperahouse.com.