“Copper Box....is like a Texas Tornado that went through New Orleans and landed in Wisconsin”
With a slammin’ button accordionist and multi-instrumentalist, Danny Jerabek, and his other half, Michelle Jerabek, on baritone and tenor sax, vocals, guitar, washboard, etc., backed by a great rhythm section, Copper Box is a force to be noticed! The talented group draws inspiration from many types of Americana, roots music and beyond, resulting in a distinctive musical melting pot that is easy on the ears and good for the soul. Performing many originals, this band has been touring through the US promoting their highly acclaimed 5th CD release, “In the Summertime!”
Copper Box is highly recommended if you like to dance and/or listen to music that makes you feel good—and that it does! Their style is “like a Texas Tornado that went through New Orleans and landed in Wisconsin.”
Performing over 140 shows a year for Mardi Gras, Oktoberfests, music festivals, performing art centers, and community concerts throughout the US, Copper Box has been racking up the miles and gaining momentum and fans. They have shared the main stage at festivals across the nation with artists like, The Little River Band, Buckwheat Zydeco, Little Feat, Little Big Town, Little Texas, Peter Frampton, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Lou Gramm, Marcia Ball, C.J. Chenier, and W.C. Clark.
One of their most requested songs, The Pink Floyd Polka (Comfortably Numb), just scratches the surface of their eclectic talents. While they draw from rock, Tex-Mex, polka, country, jazz, blues and Zydeco music, their music comes across musically fresh and their stage show is quite entertaining!
As one music journalist commented, "(Copper Box)...as refreshing as a cool spring breeze blowing new life into a stuffy room...worth checking out!"
Copper Box received several WAMI (Wisconsin Area Music Industry) awards (“Americana Artist of the Year” and “People’s Choice Award”) and other nominations to date. Copper Box’s music video was selected to be shown at the NAB (National Association for Broadcasting) worldwide. In 2007, a video clip of Copper Box was selected for an American Band commercial from the producers of American Idol. Copper Box was also selected to represent American Traditions at The Southern Arts Conference in Atlanta, GA and the following year in Louisville, KY. They have received several awards--“Horizon Artist of the Year”, “Artist of the Year”, and Michelle was the first female to receive the award for “Side person of the Year” from the WPHF (WI Polka Hall of Fame). Danny Jerabek of CBx was featured on national television on “The Early Show” and was a featured performer at the National Accordion Convention in Dallas, TX in 2008 and also performed with Grammy-winning artists, such as Terrance Simien and Brave Combo.
Wisconsin Blues Society describes Copper Box as “…one of the favorites of the Fox Valley Blues Festival 2004. This hot Zydeco Swamp/Blues Rock outfit with a great baritone and tenor sax gal and a hot accordion man. This group cooks and swings with some of the best Zydeco-influenced groups I’ve seen anywhere in the country.”
The hot, new CD from Copper Box, In the Summertime, was released in July 2009, featuring Kevin Junemann (bass), Jason Van Ryzin (drums), Danny Jerabek (button accordion, vocals, keys, cornet, etc), and Michelle Jerabek (guitar, sax, vocals). This CD’s title track (In the Summertime) is written by Roger Miller, but done up in the Copper Box mood, featuring a guest musician on harmonica—Mr. Jim “Whoopie” Wilfahrt. Followed by a Zydeco-rocker-song called, I Wanna Go Out Tonight, written by Michelle Jerabek, in which she sings about having her turn to go out and let ‘er rip! Then, it’s time to ‘polka-disco’ to a ‘feel-good’ Danny Jerabek original called Take a Picture ([lyrics]..Take a picture of your smiling face, close your eyes we’ll always have this place.) Follow that up with I Like Zydeco Music that Danny combined into a medley with Allen Toussaint’s Everything I Do…Gonna Be Funky, which again brings back the whaling harmonica talents of Jim “Whoopie” Wilfahrt. Grab your dancing partner and roll into a Tex-Mex polka called La Curva, giving plenty of attention to Danny as he demonstrates his virtuosity on the button box. Poor Georgie is a schottische written by Danny Jerabek about a true story of an old neighbor. Michelle sings, Maybe Next Time (written by Danny) which has a tantalizing melody backed by a groovy, cumbia-rockin’ rhythm section. Dwight Yoakam may wear the tightest pants, but Michelle does a bang-up job belting out her ‘female’ version of Fast As You, another crowd pleaser. It’s hoedown time! Jason Van Ryzin brings out some fancy brush work on the snare drum for some Good Ole Mountain Dew…mmm good! Do Good Baby, a simple rocker written by Michelle Jerabek about a good friend that’s hard to find. Start Over Again (written by Danny), is an easy listening song sung by Michelle that tells about helping a friend. And last but not least, CBx takes you back in time for a beautiful, acoustic French waltz featuring Danny on button accordion, Kevin Junemann on ukelele and Jason Van Ryzin on the triangle.
Danny Jerabek received his first 3-row button accordion, commonly referred to as the "button box," from his grandfather when he was 9 years of age. He was asked to learn a few Czech and German songs for his family and was later inspired by Don Cialkoszewski and the accordion legend, Steve "Esteban" Jordan to take his accordion playing to the next level and beyond. Danny is one of the few that can tastefully put the accordion into a diverse range of music from jazz to rock and everything in between. Many people have said, “I don’t care for the accordion, but I like how he plays it.”
Danny shares the lead with his other half, Michelle Jerabek (saxophones, guitar, flute, vocals). Michelle's vocals can be sultry one moment like a Norah Jones, but she can also belt out something like, Chaka Khan’s “Tell Me Something Good,” and give you something good. Danny and Michelle formed Copper Box (‘copper’-referring to a natural element, like music to them, and ‘box’ refers to the button box) shortly after they were married. They took all their wedding money to buy an old, used, gutted-out, granny-smith apple color, utility van for their band so they could get to their gigs with all their equipment. They were later joined by Jason Van Ryzin (drums) and Kevin Junemann (bass).
Other Copper Box CDs that are available on www.copperboxsite.com are Roots (2002); Sunny Days (2005), Backyard Party (2007), and Need a Little Squeezin’ (2008).
Copper Box Band Members:
Kevin Junemann: bass
Jason Van Ryzin: drums
Michelle Jerabek: saxophones, guitar, flute, washboard, vocals
Danny Jerabek: button box (accordion), keys, cornet, vocals, etc.