Area blues band make their mark

Left Wing Bourbon puts on charismatic performance at Barstow Street venue


SMOOTH LINE: Durand bluesters Left Wing Bourbon have performed in Eau Claire previously, and will be in town again on July 1. Submitted

Story by Glen Olson, Staff Writer

Last Friday, Left Wing Bourbon got down on the killing floor and let the good times roll at The Plus on South Barstow Street.

This polished example of a blues and funk band hails from the area, with four of the five members coming from Durand — most of the members have been playing together for more than five years.

Immediately into their set, Left Wing Bourbon burned through song after song with barely a pause, playing everything from blues standards to Marvin Gaye and James Brown covers.

Ashley Kosharek, in charge of booking the music for The Plus, said Left Wing Bourbon has played there several times before. She said every time there is an enthusiastic group of dancers, and the crowd, whether they came to watch or not, digs it.

“They’re one of the better blues bands we get,” Kosharek said.

The band consists of Faith Ulwelling on lead vocals, with her brother Jacob Ulwelling on bass. Tim Caswell plays keyboards, Jacob Keisler on lead guitar and Derrick Biederman on percussion.

Everyone except the drummer sang background and lead at some point throughout the night, adding even more variety to Left Wing Bourbon’s set.

The band also included Angie Coyle on tenor and alto saxophone, and guest singers and guitar players joined the band for various songs throughout the show.

Band members mingled with the crowd on their breaks, greeting strangers and patrons as readily as friends and family that came specifically to watch them play.

Amy Schmitz, who has been going to the band’s shows for several years, said they have a dedicated fan base in the area.

“People follow this band,” Schmitz said. “Every show, everywhere they go.”

Schmitz said the band usually has a good response, and she agreed they were the best blues band performing around the Eau Claire area.

Faith Ulwelling said the band officially formed in 2007 but they have been playing around since they were kids, and have had a lot of time to develop a tight show.

She said they try to play all different types of blues and funk, so having a good crowd response and people dancing is usual for them.

“Wherever you go, whatever you go into, there’s always that base,” Ulwelling said.

The next Eau Claire show they have will be July 1 in Owen Park for the Tuesday Night Blues series.