We are so blessed here in south central Wisconsin to live within such a short drive to one of the greatest venues in the country.
The Stoughton Opera House was built in a time when music was meant to be felt, authentically and acoustically. There was no distortion or drum mics, there was just a performer with his or her rig. While the Stoughton Opera House has a world class sound system in the building, they don’t really need it. How many times have we been in the audience and seen the performer(s) step away from the mic and play unplugged? Too many to count. Because you don’t need to be in the room long to realize that it was built to boom, naturally. Every Harmonious Wail show at the SOH ends with a totally acoustic encore – in front of the mics at the edge of the stage. Very emotional to band members and audience alike.
The Opera House, in downtown historic Stoughton, has a long and storied past and you can feel the energy the moment you walk into the room. It first opened its doors as a City Auditorium
in 1901!. It played host to theatre, political rallies, boxing and wrestling matches, school functions and much more. It was later converted into a movie theatre, and finally, into the top-notch music venue that performers and audiences for hundreds of miles around have come to know and love.
There is an intimacy to the room that you can’t find in just any theatre. No matter how packed the house, it always feels like a close-knit group of people, coming together to make great music. Harmonious Wail had the privilege to play our first show there almost a decade ago. But we’d already been seeing some of our favorite musicians there for the better part of a decade, happy to sit in the audience and drink in the sound, the vibe and the feeling of this renowned theatre.
In fact, we love the Stoughton Opera House so much, we are recording our new album there (see video below from recording day)!
We are actually working on two recordings right now – on one we will record basic tracks for 10 gypsy jazz tunes and ship the files to Germany, New Orleans, Chicago Amsterdam ….. And incorporate solos and sounds from many of the past stars of the Midwest Gypsy Swing Fest. On the second recording, we are bringing fresh Wail tunes, plus a few jazz standards, into a more traditional album for our Wail fam. Both of these will feature the magic and the energy of the Stoughton Opera House. Needless to say, they’re both going to be great!
We are so fortunate to get to play at the Stoughton Opera House every year or so. We do hope you will come and join us in making some new memories, sprinkled in with just a little bit of that SOH magic.