OK; I’m not ashamed to admit it. In addition to my love for rockabilly music, I have a huge soft spot in my heart for polkas too! And it’s not just because I’m an old man or something. I’ve been listening to polka music voluntarily since my mid 20s. It’s just good, plain old fun music. And besides that, there’s always a lot of beer around whenever the polka music is heating up!
So, how can I resist Kochanski’s Concertina Beer Hall in Milwaukee, Wisconsin? Although Kochanski’s is a new establishment, it’s basically just an extension of a long-time business called Art Altenburg’s Concertina Bar under new management by Andy Kochanski. As Art’s, the bar regularly featured polka music. Now that the place belongs to Kochanski, it’s the perfect confluence of a couple of my musical loves. After significant remodelling and updating, Kachanski’s has kept the polka tradition going, but in addition has added regular rockabilly shows to the schedule.
Kochanski’s has been honored in a new photo essay book by photographer Phillip Kassner called Kochanski’s Concertina Beer Hall. Writer Christina Zawadiwsky has a written a nice review of the book and I’m trying to get my mitts on a copy so that I can do my own review in the Book Reviews section of this site.
I don’t get over to Milwaukee quite as often as I used to, so I haven’t made it out to Kochanski’s yet, but one of these days I’m bound to check out a rockabilly show there. And if I happen to catch a polka band at the same time (the club has two stages), well all the better. And I can’t deny that there will probably be some good German and Polish beer involved in the evening as well!
Have you been to Kochanski’s yet? If so, leave a comment and let us know what it’s like.