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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Aaron Lee Tasjan concert compliments Anodyne’s intimate setting

Photo by Aaron Lee Tasjan press photo via

At first glance, the Anodyne Roastery at Walker’s Point does not look like a coffee shop and certainly not a music venue. The building, which looks better suited as a warehouse, contains an intimate, eclectic environment that serves up live music alongside cappuccino. This past Sunday the coffee shop featured Nashville folk musician Aaron Lee Tasjan and Austin based country singer Bonnie Whitmore. The show also featured local act Ricky Ganiere.

Anodyne, which has roasted coffee in Milwaukee since 1999, has experienced remarkable growth in its decade and a half of business. After opening its second location at Walker’s Point in 2013, the company opened up shop at the historic Milwaukee Public Market the following year.

Retro radios adorn the wall near Anodynes’ bar, which was rescued from Milwaukee’s Nautical Inn. In addition to an assortment of caffeinated beverages, concertgoers have the option of ordering a variety of alcoholic beverages and local Milwaukee craft beers.

Ganiere, the front man for local rock troupe The Great Lake Drifters, played some of the band’s material in addition to tracks from his 2014 solo record I’m Not Dead. His personal blend of folksy blues and dynamic vocal range shined in the intimate setting at Anodyne.

Aaron Lee Tasjan, former guitarist for The New York Dolls, was joined by Bonnie Whitmore on bass and supporting vocals. He is touring in support of his debut solo album “In the Blazes,” released October 2015.

Tasjan combines incredibly conscientious lyrics with a sort of southern humor and charm. Coupled with his gritty folk acoustic guitar and Jerry Lewisesque ballads this creates a sound that is simultaneously fun and interesting. One of the first songs he played, “The Trouble With Drinkin’,” had the audience nodding their heads and stomping their feet almost immediately. Another of Tasjan’s tracks, E.N.S.A.A.T (East Nashville Song About A Train), brilliantly satirizes the modern state of country music.

Perhaps what was most surprising about the experience is that nearly 30 people attended the concert on a cold Sunday night for two relatively unknown artists. This indicates that the café’s success is built on its culture and atmosphere, not the draw of big named artists or bands.

Everything about Anodyne, from the acoustics, warm concert atmosphere and even rustic décor, enhances a stripped down acoustic concert performance. Concertgoers will feel as if they are drinking coffee and listening to professional musicians in their friend’s living room.

Anodyne Roastery at Walker’s Point is about a 10-minute drive from Marquette and tickets usually range from $8-$10. This coming weekend the café will feature Zach Pietrini Band on Friday, a Volcanoes CD release show on Saturday and Fox and Branch on Sunday.

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