'American Loser' looks like a winner for regional music-maker

2013-08-09T00:00:00Z 'American Loser' looks like a winner for regional music-makerTom Lounges Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
August 09, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Chicago music veteran Robert Rolfe Feddersen releases his latest solo album “American Loser” on Saturday with a release party at Crown Brewery Company (211 S. East Street) in his adopted hometown of Crown Point.

“We’re going to be performing the whole ‘American Loser’ album,” said Feddersen, who will be accompanied by his wife and musical collaborator Terri Ann Feddersen and violinist Ingrid Schimnoski. “Ingrid plays for symphonies and really adds a lot to the songs,” he added. “Terri Ann provides backing vocals and various percussion. When it comes to my songs, Terri Ann is my sounding board and my muse. I’ll also have a special guest sitting in on Saturday for some songs, a gifted young guitarist named Nick Smerz.”

Robert will happily step back on Saturday during the live performance of “Home,” a song Terri Ann composed in the early 1990s and sings lead on from the “American Loser” album. “It took a lot of prodding to get her to let me put ‘Home’ on the album. She is a great writer and singer and that song is a highlight of the album,” said Feddersen.

Produced in Chicago with veteran engineer Steve Albini (Nirvana, The Pixies, Cheap Trick, etc.) on the control board, “American Loser,” is a 10-song collection that continues the former heavy metal singer/guitarist’s latter day folk-rock career nicely. Although one new song references his former head-banging days as the lead singer of the Hollywood Recording group, Loudmouth.

“The song ‘Dave’s Lament’ is a tribute to Dave Mustaine,” said Feddersen. The song laments Mustaine being rudely booted from Metallica just after helping co-found the hugely famous metal group. Though Mustaine’s next band Megadeth has done well, his split with Metallica remains a sore subject of debate with many Mustaine/Metallica fans.

Feddersen’s post-Loudmouth career has evolved nicely. He followed up with a similar hard rock project, Metalhead, resulting in one album. Then unplugging, Feddersen began his current troubadour phase, with albums like “Milkman,” “Get A Rope,” and others. Along the way, Feddersen’s original songs have been used in a variety of major films and a variety of television programs, including MTV’s “The Hills.”

“It’s a journey I have enjoyed,” said Feddersen of the musical life he has led since first hitting the Chicago club scene with the band Vandal, which included Dan Donegan, future guitarist of the multi-platinum group, Disturbed. “I liken a music career and having to roll a boulder up a hill. It isn’t easy, but you get a sense of accomplishment with every push forward, just happy the boulder hasn’t rolled back and crushed you.”

“American Loser” should get an added push when the music video for the title track is completed by Chicago director/producer Lester Cohn (Smashing Pumpkins, Fight Or Flight, etc.) and released.

“I’m really looking forward to Saturday’s show. It’s all ages, so people can bring their families,” concluded Feddersen. “Billy Ozzello (currently in Survivor) will do a 30-minute set to showcase some of his original music. Then Jenna Epkey who is a wonderful singer/songwriter from Indianapolis will do a set, followed by us.” More: www.robertrolfefeddersen.com

MUSIC NOTES:

• The annual “Paws In Paradise Dog Walk & Pet Fair” sponsored by the Second Chance 4 Pets Rescue Network is Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Robertsdale Little League Complex (119th St. and Wolf Lake) in Hammond. Live bands and DJ music provide the soundtrack to a Police K9 demonstration, pet contests and more. Info: (219) 771-6768 or (219) 743-2037.

• Valparaiso blues jammers Planetary Blues Band continue to promote their latest CD, “Once Upon A Time in the South Loop,” with a performance tonight at Leroy’s Hot Stuff (333 W. Hwy 20) in Porter, then on Saturday at Shoreline Brewery (208 Wabash St.) in Michigan City. More: www.planetary.com.

• FOGHAT’s co-founder and drummer Roger Earl is the musical guest on Tuesday on “Midwest BEAT with Tom Lounges,” airing at 6 p.m. on Merrillville’s 89.1FM-The Lakeshore (stream live at: www.lakeshorepublicmedia.org/radio). Listeners can chat with Earl when they call in to win copies of FOGHAT’s latest album, “Last Train Home,” a collection of blues tunes that brings the legendary band back to their musical roots.

• Sixties stalwarts Oscar & The Majestics rock Wicker Memorial Park (intersection of Ridge Road and U.S. 41) in Highland from 7-10:30 p.m. as part of Calumet Township’s Annual Summer Concert Series. The show is planned for outdoors but takes place rain or shine (moving indoors in case of rain). More: www.oscarandthemajestics.com

The opinions expressed are solely the writer's. Reach him at beatboss@aol.com.

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