Two-man band brings a laid-back performance to Acoustic Cafe

Local duo combines sounds of jazz, blues and country

More stories from Jessie Meyen


Photo by Jessie Meyen

Larry Radle and Corey Van Norman performed at 7 p.m. Friday night at Acoustic Cafe.

Friday night at Acoustic Cafe involved coffee, socializing and an interactive performance.

Two Frets Up, the two-man band featuring Larry Radle and Corey Van Norman on both guitar and vocals, displayed a wide variety of genres in downtown Eau Claire.

The audience members ate hoagies, sipped coffee, chatted with friends and sang along to the catchy songs with reckless abandon.

Radle said he’s played at Acoustic before, but he hadn’t been back for a while. He said he was excited to get back into the relaxed atmosphere of the cafe and play with his friend.

“Acoustic Cafe has a concert feel,” Radle said. “People in the audience are actually there to listen and are invested. They make us feel welcome … and they feed us.”

Because of the laid-back nature of the cafe, the duo said they feel more comfortable trying new songs to get more experience. They don’t have a lot of time to get together and practice, so that’s why they said the cafes and open mics are so appealing.

Rachel Wiener, a junior sales/marketing student said she enjoyed the band’s acoustic guitars and said it was an easy listen.

“I love acoustic music because there’s something so soothing about it,” Wiener said. “I think they have a great sound, and you can tell they have good chemistry.”

The music Two Frets Up tends to present ranges from rustic country cover songs to hard rock classics.

The two-person band has been described by many as a mixture of several genres, and Radle said he would have to agree.

“We play a good mix of country, rock, blues, and bluegrass is also thrown in there,” Radle said.

“We try to get a good variety of tunes and most of the time we accomplish that.”

Radle said that he and Van Norman first met at an open mic in downtown Eau Claire and continued to bump into each other at other open mics. When they finally decided to play together it just “clicked.”

As Radle is retired, he has more time to focus on the band’s music and book more performances for himself and Van Norman. And Myra Radle, Larry Radle’s wife, also puts in time for the band. She sets up their schedule and takes on the responsibility of being their manager.

Van Norman said he is in a few different bands and performs solo on some occasions, while Radle is fully invested in Two Frets Up. They travel all over Wisconsin booking shows and usually play at two to three different venues every week.

According to the band’s Facebook page, the two-man band is returning to Acoustic Cafe at the end of March and plans to play there more frequently.

To find out more about the duo and their schedule, check out their Facebook page.