Schwall, meanwhile, earned a doctorate in music, became a successful photographer, and has been active politically, running for mayor of Madison, Wisconsin, and working on housing for the homeless. But the blues beckoned. The live recording of Siegel-Schwall's 1988 reunion concert showed that they could still wail with the best of them, and that audiences still loved their blues. So they returned to the road with longtime bandmates bassist Rollo Radford and drummer Sam Lay, a stellar rhythm section whose roots go back even farther than Siegel and Schwall's. Radford has toured and recorded with, among others, Dinah Washington, Martha and the Vandellas, and Sun Ra, while Lay the drummer who backed Dylan in his notorious electric debut at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival has played with most of the top names in blues, jazz, and rock 'n' roll and has been inducted into all three halls of fame.
The Siegel-Schwall Band returns to the Ark on Saturday, July 17.
[Originally published in July, 2004.]