Jamie Lee Rake

Jamie Lee Rake is a freelance writer based in Waupun, Wis. whose wide breadth of tastes in and studies of music and food put him in good stead to write about those very things for Shepherd Express. He aspires to make more of his living by way acting and voice-over work, so if you like his writing, you may want to see or hear him as well. When he's not consuming, reading or writing about food and music, he can be found taking online surveys, studying for and teaching mid-week adult class at his place of worship, listening to more radio (mostly online) than watching TV, and providing incidental humor and, it's hoped, intentional insight for those in his eclectic orbit.  

Fear of a Norb Planet: The Complete MaximumRockNRoll Columns 1994-1998 by Rev. Norb (Norbert Rozek) is a compelling read from a strangely, amusingly obsessive dude, who sometimes wrote entertainingly about rumblings on the punk-rock undergr... more

Sep 12, 2017 2:16 PM Books

On Flying Carpet, the German world music ensemble Quadro Nuevo collaborate with Cairo Steps, a German jazz band, on an album that explores the music of the Middle East. more

Sep 5, 2017 2:50 PM Album Reviews

With the release of Superbitch, Milwaukee’s Black Belt Theatre concoct a welcome tonic countering the emotional direness of current commercial radio hard music. more

Aug 29, 2017 2:58 PM Album Reviews

Milwaukee’s Altered Five Blues Band releases its fourth album, Charmed & Dangerous on the national label Blind Pig with notable producer Tom Hambridge. more

Aug 22, 2017 3:21 PM Album Reviews

European group Talinka releases an album of undefinable yet jazz-influenced music. more

Jul 18, 2017 2:06 PM Album Reviews

Milwaukee jazz singer Roxi Copland releases her third album, Bad Decision. more

Jul 18, 2017 2:01 PM Album Reviews

Ricky Phontaine, a Milwaukee rapper with an alias adapted from a minor character on Martin Lawrence’s ’90s sitcom, debuts as an album artist with his artistic persona fully formed. more

Jul 11, 2017 2:04 PM Album Reviews

In a reversal of the usual American order of the day, Stax’s stars were African American but behind them stood integrated ensembles such as The MGs. more

Jul 11, 2017 1:58 PM Album Reviews

Into its third generation as a tavern-restaurant, Dino’s Riverwest (808 E. Chambers St.) offers an unpretentiously homey decor in which to dine on Italian fare smartly presented. more

Dec 13, 2016 4:17 PM Short Order

Jack Rabbit Slims (8028 W. National Ave.) is a wood-paneled hutch of a sports bar and restaurant beckoning with a colorfully cartoonish neon depiction of its mascot critter. Slims meat-intensive menu features lots of hearty protein options.... more

Oct 18, 2016 3:55 PM Short Order


Photo by Pat Robins

With a mirrored wall, portraits of jazz greats and a wide gamut of jazzy sounds coursing through its cozy confines, City.Net Café (306 E. Wisconsin Ave.) has a cosmopolitan, yet comfy take on a breakfast-lunch nook and coffee house. more

Sep 27, 2016 4:10 PM Short Order

Soul food is proof that adversity can lead to invention—delicious, filling invention. Milwaukee offers several great options. more

Jun 7, 2016 4:17 PM Dining Out

If the sonic attack on The Clitboys’ lone vinyl release, the just-reissued We Don’t Play The Game, differs little from what was coming from the punk undergrounds elsewhere, the band’s attitude was at least a bit more developed than many. Mi... more

Dec 1, 2015 5:50 PM Album Reviews

Muskego’s John Domanski and the Daydreamers reside in an almost deceptively airy space on their debut EP, Ignite. Consciously looking to the ’90s for inspiration, their sound approaches a masculine complement to the folk emphasis of Lilith ... more

Oct 20, 2015 6:54 PM Album Reviews

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit (five Southeastern Wisconsin locations) derives from BBQ styles native to the central and eastern regions of the Lone Star State. Dickey’s offers a wide variety of savory fare and don’t forget to ask for a free cone of... more

Oct 6, 2015 7:21 PM Short Order

Forever, the third album by Milwaukee folkie Francesc, rings with a generally more positive, even slyer, frame of mind than her previous Lucky One. It is carried confidently by Francesca and her mostly two-man acoustic band, the 440 Hum. more

Oct 6, 2015 6:39 PM Album Reviews

My Radio is Brookfield country singer Nora Collins’ most commercial release yet. Its radio readiness comes from recording in Nashville with the same sorts of studio gloss, heavy guitar tones and rhythmic inflections derived from hip-hop. more

Sep 15, 2015 4:59 PM Album Reviews

Paint Me a Picture, the second album by Milwaukee folkies Patty Stevenson and Craig Siemsen brings together two singular but complementary musical personalities. Stevenson’s songs tend toward personal vignettes from which she draws more uni... more

Sep 15, 2015 4:56 PM Album Reviews

The menu at Daddy’s Soul Food & Grille (754 N. 27th St.) includes a daily soul food buffet, as well as specialty items ranging including tilapia tacos, stuffed baked potatoes and chicken n’ waffles. Daddy’s is a soul food gem in the city si... more

Aug 25, 2015 7:23 PM Dining Out

The East Side corner spot that once housed Greek Village Gyros has become Baba Ghanouj, 1888 N. Humboldt Ave. Much has remained, including gyros, Greek salads and fries, a bright airy ambience and friendly service. more

Aug 25, 2015 7:19 PM Dining Out 1 Comments

From his home in Skokie, Ill., Jason Rosenberg is quietly preserving spiritual and musical history, even bits of Milwaukee’s, by amassing and compiling African American soul gospel obscurities onto CD-Rs. more

Feb 6, 2018 3:37 PM Album Reviews

El Rincon Criollo (1408 W. Windlake Ave.) offers hearty Puerto Rican fare. more

Jan 30, 2018 2:00 PM Short Order

The Milwaukee-born saxophonist and his trio offered tuneful interpretations of classics Friday night, but it was his meditative originals that truly stood out. more

Jan 29, 2018 1:26 PM Concert Reviews

There’s something about witnessing meat being cut, cabbages going through a shredder and the other machinations it takes to make a meal that creates anticipation for the mouthwatering nourishment to come. more

Jan 23, 2018 3:40 PM Short Order

Latrice McGlothin’s second CD, is rich with mature lyrical perspectives that could fit easily on adult R&B radio as well as soul/gospel programming. more

Jan 16, 2018 3:18 PM Album Reviews

Folk duo Crookhaven, and their 11 supplementary musicians, create soundscapes that take in classic folk textures, sprightly country, African rhythmic intricacies and other disparate sonic ingredients. more

Jan 16, 2018 3:18 PM Album Reviews

For their latest album, leader Ernie Broeniman and the 15-plus members of the polka band Dorf Kapelle stick to compositions from the 1910s through the ’40s. more

Jan 9, 2018 4:31 PM Album Reviews

At her Jazz Estate show, Youth in a Roman Field’s Claire Wellin used her voice, electric guitar and looped violin to mesmerizing effect. more

Jan 9, 2018 1:18 PM Concert Reviews

Back on the circuit after a break, Milwaukee’s Honky Tonkitis embrace the decidedly adult spirit of classic honky-tonk records. more

Jan 2, 2018 3:10 PM Music Feature

La Canoa stands out in Milwaukee’s crowded Mexican food arena for its excellent seafood. more

Jan 2, 2018 12:39 PM Short Order

Wisconsin hard-rock and metal outfit Crush Point demonstrate an interesting versatility musically and lyrically with their first release of original music. more

Dec 26, 2017 1:47 PM Album Reviews


Photo credit: Famous Dave's

Famous Dave’s Barbecue, a chain started in Hayward, Wis., with a convenient Greenfield location, provides great integration of others regions’ barbecue customs along with slightly exotic accompaniments. more

Dec 26, 2017 12:13 PM Short Order

Tontine Ensemble

Photo credit: David Szymanski

For the fourth year running, the two improvisational Milwaukee combos delivered exciting performances at Woodland Pattern Book Center. more

Dec 22, 2017 10:53 AM Concert Reviews

Milwaukee’s Tangled Lines reinterprets a root source of American country music for a fresh sound that at once threatens to be a genre unto itself. more

Dec 19, 2017 2:49 PM Album Reviews

This posthumous release finds the jazz vocal stylist assaying self-penned material from his first three albums as well as lending his accessibly elastic phrasing and penchant for rigorous scat singing. more

Dec 12, 2017 2:32 PM Album Reviews

Explorium Brewpub at Southridge Mall offers a culinary exploration of local and international tastes to complement its home-brewed selections. more

Dec 12, 2017 12:26 PM Short Order 1 Comments

The Milwaukee surf-rock quartet’s second CD implements the wetness of surf’s original guitar tone and the instrument’s buzzsaw timbre heard in surf’s late ’70s-early ’80s punk-informed revival to birth another thing altogether. more

Dec 5, 2017 4:42 PM Album Reviews

Fifty years after its original release, New York’s Sundazed Records has reissued the Milwaukee band’s self-titled album, which holds up solidly as a bridge from the clamor of mid-decade garage punk to the psychedelia that would follow. more

Dec 5, 2017 4:42 PM Album Reviews


Photo Credit: Rick Porter

Bruno Mars has proven that funk still sells in the 2010s. Now Milwaukee keyboard-bandleader Charles Walker wants to reach those same commercial heights. more

Dec 5, 2017 4:41 PM Music Feature

Milwaukee blues-singer Gerome Durham’s singing is a comfy fit to commercial Southern soul aspirations as heard on his latest release. more

Nov 28, 2017 4:28 PM Album Reviews