Ally’s Bistro – Opening For Kings and Associates From Australia

Extra extra read all about it…was a phrase once used by newsboys to sell newspapers… newspapers, kinda like the internet, but made from trees.

So here’s the scoop: J Ryan Trio ( opens for the fabulous Australian blues band Kings & Associates during the Milwaukee stop of their US tour. They’ll play an intimate club event at Ally’s Bistro this Wednesday – details below. Here’s a primer to bring you up to speed: it’s summer here, winter there; Miller here, Fosters there; toilets flush clockwise in the US, counterclockwise down-under; and that’s not a knife… this is a knife.

Ally’s Bistro – with Australian blues band Kings & Associates
N72W13350 Lund Ln, Menomonee Falls, WI 53051
Wednesday July 10
JRT – 5pm – 6pm
K&A – 6:30pm – 8pm

Also be sure to check out our July session at the always cool and groovin Bugsy’s:

Bugsy’s Backalley Speakeasy
218 N Water St, Milwaukee
(but enter via the alley off Chicago Ave)
Saturday July 20
9pm – 1am

My Cat’s on Prozac

Got some great music on the way – check out details below or at We’re excited to share not only our sound, but our charity mission supporting both Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin and the Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Initiative.

Caroline’s Jazz Club
401 S 2nd Street
Wednesday June 26
8:30pm – 11:30pm

Opening day of Summerfest. Stop in on the way to the fireworks, or on the way back from the fireworks for a chance to win Summerfest tickets courtesy of your friends in the J Ryan Trio. Or avoid the parking and crowds and hang out old-school at club Carolines – it’s the zig to Summerfest’s zag.

MOTOR Restaurant and Bar
BBQ and Blues at the Harley Davidson Museum

400 W Canal St, Milwaukee, WI 53203
Saturday July 6
5pm – 8pm

Catch the Milwaukee Blues Rock Collective at MOTOR on the campus of the Harley Davidson Museum. We’re B students all night as we focus on Bourbon, Blues, BBQ and Breakin-it-down old school. Visit MOTOR for a unique and well crafted experience (on two wheels, or four). All proceeds from the MBRC appearance at this outing benefit Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Initiative.

Well – my cat’s on Prozac. I’m completely unmedicated but the cat’s on anti-depressants. That’s messed up on (at least) two counts. You see, one of our cats passed recently. The remaining cat (Pango) took the loss personally. In fact he stopped eating, gave up on doing much of anything. I’m sure with opposable thumbs he would have hit the bottle pretty hard. After a few days of no food we thought it best to have him checked out. Clean bill of health but learned the little fella was likely distraught over the loss of his feline brethren. Amazing social depth for an animal still willing to eat off the floor. Anyhoo, after a few days on happy pills, he’s back to his old self – remarkable. Good thing too as his despondence prevented him from sitting on his favorite sofa. Not sure how the therapy sessions were to work if he wont sit on the couch.

The J Ryan Trio – how does that make you feel?

Biting the Hand That Feeds You

School’s out, summer travel on tap – but still plenty of fun to be had in and around Mil-town. Wanted to keep you in the loop on the following dates – full schedule at

Arte´ Wine and Painting Studio
1442 Underwood Avenue, Wauwatosa, WI 53213
Friday June 14
7pm – 10pm

Part of the Arte´ Wine and Paint summer music series – enjoy drinks prepared by gracious staff, painting tips provided by their top artists and music courtesy of, um… well the little ole JRT of course. Ingredients of a perfect Friday nite.

Bugsy’s Backalley Speakeasy
218 N Water St, Milwaukee
(but enter via the alley off Chicago Ave)
Saturday June 15
9pm – 1am

The cavalcade of musical anomaly that is the JRT will convene our June plenary speakeasy session at the fabulous Bugsy’s. Both members and prospective inductees into our musical family are encouraged to attend.

Special Alert: The JRT is very excited to be opening for Kings and Associates at Ally’s Bistro the evening of July 10 for a special event as part of their US tour. Awarded multi Australian Blues Music Awards and 2018 ARBA album of the year, you’ll want to eek out time on your summer calendar to reserve seats for this very, very special event. Rest assured I’ll keep you posted with further details. In the meantime check them out at the link below:

Speaking of special events, we had a little 8’th grade graduation shindig last Friday. Not sure when 8’th grade graduation became an event – but I’ve got the left-over cupcakes to prove it’s indeed a thing. Oh you know the cupcakes – store bought jobbers that if not consumed at the party, get unceremoniously dumped in the office break room on Monday morning – the hallowed tradition of feeding left-overs to co-workers. Ostensibly a waste-not, want-not arrangement but also a fascinating ongoing social experiment. I’ve seen left for the taking both delicious morsels, and less desirable fare:

  • Random vegetables – from a home garden or maybe from a relative serving in an agrarian work camp – and always includes zucchini. Any workplace in July / Aug invariably features abandoned zucchini. Why grows them if you don’t wants them? No-one takes them – no one wants unwrapped fringe vegetables on their desk all day, or wants to tote these nature-made punch-lines with them to the parking lot. Tomatoes? I guess, but the zucchini thing has got to stop.
  • Christmas cookies – anytime after Jan 10. I’ve seen these things show up in March…. March. Sometimes they’re broken into pieces in what I suspect is an attempt to mask their origin, but I know my cookie forensics and ain’t no way those rock-hard atrocities were crafted in any month other than December. Heck the tin says ‘feliz navidad’. Now my Spanish is limited to that and ‘donde esta la biblioteca’ but those cookies are ‘no bueno’.
  • Any candy not in a wrapper. And this goes for hotel check-in desks, banks counters all of that. M&M’s or Mike & Ikes or whatever ampersanded confectionery exposed to whomever last took a big unwashed handful… no. hecks no. In our resurgent age of measles, swimmers ear and restless leg syndrome the whole unwrapped candy scene is done. Shut it down.
  • Candy that IS wrapped, but has near it a sign-up sheet for boy scout troop 007 or brownie troop YYZ or whatever wee-tyke paramilitary club y’all are into. Don’t get me wrong – those are all great organizations and I’m more than happy to buy a $5 Twix to support them. My request is simply that the sign-up sheet be explicit and clearly marked in direct adjacency to said candy. Else I think I found free candy (free candy!) but instead inadvertently commit a serious and egregious social misdeed inadvertently stealing from the wee tykes. Wee tykes with survival and military training.

Oh – and I don’t like potlucks.

Sampler platter

I’ve switched toothpastes. They had a taste test at the grocery store; I ate half a tube of the Aquafresh before the nice lady running the show shut it down. Gotta say it wasn’t bad. I’m minty fresh. Plus don’t gotta worry about tartar anytime soon.

Taste tests are great not only for mildly toxic dentifrice, but also for music. As you know, the J Ryan Trio has a sister band – The Milwaukee Blues Rock Collective. While the J Ryan Trio is a charity mission playing piano led jazz, blues and soul, the MBRC is a guitar slingin’ rock and blues band. Thus in the spirit of taste-testin’, I bring humbly to your ears two tender morsels for your consideration:

  • First a J Ryan Trio interpretation of a Sinatra classic: ‘One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)’ – see attached mp3.
  • Second an MBRC treatment of Janis Joplin’s ‘Piece of My Heart’ – see other attached mp3.

If you found either sample at all tasty, please know that both the J Ryan Trio and Milwaukee Blues Rock Collective are available to book your venue or event. Do feel free to reach out to yours truly, or to our fabulous Alissa if we can be of service. Four out of five dentists can’t be wrong.

Best of all: stop out and sample a veritable smorgasbord of music at any of our upcoming soirees and check our full schedule at

Caroline’s Jazz Club
401 S 2nd Street
Wednesday May 29
8:30pm – 11:30pm

Stop by and we promise to lay it down good and groovy on your Wednesday. Classic jazz club vibe (though we’ll rock it out a little)

West Allis A La Carte
Downtown West Allis
(on Greenfield Ave between 7oth & 76th Streets)
Sunday June 2
3pm – 5pm on the East Stage

West Allis knows how to throw a great party – and West Allis A La Carte is it. Find the Milwaukee Blues Rock Collective at the East Stage starting at 3pm. We’ll peg the fun-meter.

One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)
Piece of My Heart

Westallion Brewery Fundraiser, Bugsy’s ‘Fun’-raiser, and more

Genuine, friendly, down-home and fun describes both the Westallian Brewery and the fundraiser they are graciously hosting this Friday night April 5. Mark your calendars; it promises to be a groovily delicious evening of craft brews and music with the J Ryan Trio. Every penny raised goes directly to the Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Initiative. We are beyond excited to debut the Westallion – be there as it ain’t the same without you.

Westallion Brewery
1825 S 72nd St, West Allis, WI 53214
Friday April 5
7pm – 10pm

I’m told there’s no such thing as a sure thing. But odds are it’s a lock, a lock I say, that April’s Bugsys outing will be a perfectly blended a mix of swingin dance-able tunes, good laughs and gen-u-ine rejuvenation in Milwaukee’s coolest and friendliest spot.

Tell ’em Ryan sent ya.
To which they’ll respond “Ryan who?”
You’ll then clarify “you know – J Ryan”
Which generally prompts the response “Who’s in the what now?”
So yes, it will get awkward, but still – totally worth it.

Bugsy’s Backalley Speakeasy
218 N Water St, Milwaukee
(but enter via the alley off Chicago Ave)
Saturday Apr 20
9pm – 1am

It’s funny, this musical thing of ours. I gotta believe not too many bands slate Miles Davis and Lady Gaga in the same set. Or ricochet from Sinatra to the Temptations while grazing a Stevie Wonder tune. With the way down low notes being the bedrock of the rhythm section, a bassist with a stone-cold grip on that casserole of styles is as rare as hen’s teeth, but we got ’em. Indeed the little ole JRT is blessed to have not one but three, count ’em three tremendous bassists of stratospheric caliber: the triumvirate of Mike, Dave and Cadillac Jimmy.

With a ’64 Coupe Deville in the garage and decades of experience on Milwaukee’s rock scene under his belt, we had to bestow upon him the affectionate moniker of Cadillac Jimmy. Stuttgart? Tokyo? naaah. Only the hard-scrabble ground and true grit of Detroit could incubate things so iconically American as the Cadillac he drives and the Motown, blues and rock that he plays. Kicked around? Sure, a little bit. Both Cadillac and the Jimmy that shares the brand have seen their portion of hard knocks, tough times. But real cars like real people don’t quit. They know what really counts – being the best there is and in exchange enjoying the adulation of those that care deeply about them. Sure, Caddy’s have their enthusiasts, and any car club will geek like hell over a ’59 Eldo, but a Cadillac Jimmy bass line? not even full sticker price can buy you that – it can only be found when he weaves his magic with the JRT.

Polar Jazz Vortex – well at least slightly twisted…

That was some crazy Kelvinating cold and snow. Had to shovel my roof. My roof for cryin out loud. But I stand by my record: fell 4 times and not a single fatality.

Safety third I always say.

It was so cold. It was so cold I had to cut up the piano for firewood. Got two chords out of it. It was so cold even the groove seemed a little stiff. I tell ya, it was so cold my favorite cocktail is now coffee. No respect at all for this cold – it was so cold my wife resorted to giving me the regular shoulder. Saw the symphony last week, so cold that the guy in front with the little stick was super-conducting. I mean it was cold, man. Our drummer took some voltage when he swapped out his drum mat for an electric blanket.

Well anyways… keep in touch via email, find us on facebook, or at Not enough? There’s also Instagram and Reverbnation. Best of all, say ‘hi’ in person during any of our upcoming sets – details below.

Bugsy’s Backalley Speakeasy

218 N Water St, Milwaukee

(but enter via the alley off Chicago Ave)


Saturday Feb 16

9pm – 1am

The Original Trio (the OT) appears at Bugsy’s backing our fabulous Alissa on vocals. I look forward to third Saturdays of the month with good, good reason.

Caroline’s Jazz Club

401 S 2nd Street


Thursday Feb 21

8:30pm – 11:30pm

This time at Carolines: we deploy… all the Daves. But but… certainly that will rip the very fabric of musical space-time! I don’t care – to heck with parliamentary procedure – deploy All… The… Daves. It’s our friend Dave on drums and other fabulous Dave on bass – don’t miss out on what promises to be a solidly grooving and hugely confusing experience.

Ally’s Bistro

N72 W13350 Lund Ln, Menomonee Falls, WI 53051


Friday March 1

8pm – 10pm

For all those asking when the JRT can be found in the western suburbs: We are so very excited to bring our unique high energy sound and shenanigans to Ally’s Bistro – on the northwest corner of where Appleton Ave meets Good Hope in Menomonee Falls. Ally’s features truly amazing food and drink in a relaxed family friendly atmosphere. Their support of live jazz in our community bumps their flight level to Stratospheric. Please do stop out and enjoy.

Much love to you all for supporting our music and charity mission – stay frosty….

Perfect Time

Hello from the J Ryan Trio. It’s January and you know what that means… No? you don’t? Well I haven’t a clue what it means. Hey if we can’t figure it out this correspondence devolves from relevant and newsworthy to spam-filter fodder.

Let’s see, January is:

  • National Book Month – Pretty sure I read that somewhere.
  • National Get Organized Month – Now I think I had that jotted on a post-it, maybe under this coaster? …wait why is that sticky? eww that’s nasty.
  • National Thyroid Awareness Month – Are you aware of your thyroid? Good, just checkin’.
  • International Creativity Month – This reminder brought to you by our stale and formulaic newsletter.
  • National Hobby Month – Music is a hobby. In Wisconsin drinking is a hobby, enjoy both with the JRT.
  • High Tech Month – you are receiving this via email, which was pretty high tech circa 1998.
  • Reference Book Month – In the same month as High Tech month? Maybe it’s National Irony Month.
  • Jan week 2 – National Folic Acid Awareness Week – just be aware, it’s one of our nation’s most beloved acids.
  • Jan 5 was National Bird Day – If you forgot to flip someone the bird on Jan 5, you’ll have to wait a whole ‘nuther year. Gal next to me in traffic today is apparently working ahead.

Bottom line is although we don’t have anything booked for Peculiar People Day on Jan 10, we’d love to see you at any or all of the fine venues below – swing by and have a listen.

Bugsy’s Backalley Speakeasy

218 N Water St, Milwaukee

(but enter via the alley off Chicago Ave)


Saturday Jan 12

9pm – 1am

It’s a quintet with three, count ’em three part harmony. A rockin time is assured.

The Bay Restaurant in Whitefish Bay

342 E Silver Spring Dr, Whitefish Bay


Friday Jan 18

8pm – 10pm

Remarkable food and a great atmosphere in the heart of charming Whitefish Bay – stay warm and cozy at the Bay.

Caroline’s Jazz Club

401 S 2nd Street


Thursday Jan 31

8:30pm – 11:30pm

We’ll play almost right up to February as the clock strikes midnight – would love to see you there.

Until February (what’s with that ‘ru’?) – be well, stay warm and blessings on your start to 2019.

And for cryin out loud, find us on Facebook / Instagram.

Merry Christmas and All That

Merry Christmas! A compendium of upcoming outings for anyone looking to old-school up their holiday season. Find us out and about and say hello, you know we love y’all so much.

Von Maur

20111 Lord Street in Brookfield

(Bluemound just east of Barker)

262 599-7090

Saturday Dec 15

11am – 2pm

Von Maur – a simply beautiful place for holiday shopping. Need some help finding a gift? Their service is unmatched. Free gift wrap? You betcha. Live instrumental jazz and Christmas tunes? Yes absolutely. Do we still play ‘Baby it’s Cold Outside’? You know we do. Find us on the lower level.

Southridge Mall

5300 S 76th St, Greendale, WI 53129

On the lower level – in the Entertainment Area

Friday Dec 21

6:30pm – 7:30pm


Sunday Dec 23

6:30pm – 7:30pm

No excuse for bringing your nieces and nephews gifts purchased at the gas-station on the way to the party. I can assure you Little Timmy does not pine for a tire pressure gauge and a funnel. Find something worthwhile at the many great shops of Wisconsin’s largest mall, then swing by the entertainment area and say hello as we weave Christmas tunes.

Caroline’s Jazz Club

401 S 2nd Street


Thursday Dec 27

8:30pm – 11:30pm

Relax at a simply superb jazz club – Carolines. If you haven’t been, you are missing out. On this set, all members of the band are named Dave except for me.

Live – Local – Late-breaking

The good folks of our sister band the Milwaukee Blues Rock Collective will be out and about at:

Paulie’s Pub and Eatery

8031 W Greenfield Ave, West Allis, WI 5321

Saturday Dec 22

9pm ’till late

We are obviously very excited to bring Christmas jazz back to Von Maur. I recall fondly my meeting Santa Claus during last year’s outing. Being a lifetime member of the ‘coal society’ I hadn’t had the pleasure of greeting him face-to-face during my formative years. Anyhoo, as we laid into our first set, ‘ole St Nick descended the escalator while shaking sleigh bells on 2 and 4 in perfect time. Sauntering past the line of kids and leaning over the piano he says to me, and I kid you not, “Hey man, can y’all play some Art Blakey?”. That’s right, Santa was a true blue jazz cat that knew. his. stuff. At that moment, in my mind, he was indeed the real Santa. Voice 2 octaves higher than intended and rife with child-like excitement I heard myself exclaim “Sure thing Santa!”. Well we busted out ‘Moanin’ from the Jazz Messengers and had ourselves a merry little time. So maybe pop on by this Saturday, Dec 15 at Von Maur and say hi to Santa’s groovin’est elves, Or catch us at any of the other superb venues listed above.

Much love to you all, thank you for supporting our music and our charity mission in 2018, blessings on your Christmas and to all – a guuuuuuuud night

Here’s a link to Santa’s favorite ‘Christmas’ tune – Goes great with milk and cookies.

Happy Halloween

Just a quick update to keep our loyal J Ryan Trio newsletter subscribers in the loop. Happy Halloween to you all, and do stop out and say hello. J Ryan Trio schedule available anytime at

The Cheel

105 S Main St, Thiensville, WI 53092


Saturday Nov 3

9pm to late

The Cheel was voted among the top 5 new restaurants in Milwaukee – and with good reason. Their handcrafted dishes deliver authentic flavors from quality ingredients. Enjoy the full bar – heck enjoy the music why dontcha.

Caroline’s Jazz Club

401 S 2nd Street


Thursday Nov 8

8:30pm – 11:30pm

Jazz and blues and a few surprises – with Cadillac Jimmy on bass – check it out. It’s a true jazz club and Milwaukee landmark.

Bugsy’s Backalley Speakeasy

218 N Water St, Milwaukee

(but enter via the alley off Chicago Ave)


Saturday Nov 17

9pm – 1am

No shame in reserving a table to get a good seat – simply call ’em up and they’ll put you within hecklin’ distance. Bugsy’s is always undiluted straight up fun.

I usually work to create a marginally uplifting newsletter infused with positivity. However, in the spirit of Halloween, I’ll allow this month’s edition to trend just a smidge darker. All in good fun – enjoy.

Halloween ranks behind Arbor Day and Broccoli Appreciation Day as my least favorite holiday. I’ve never been a fan of the ‘pop-in’ style of unannounced visit, and wee tykes in costumes are no exception. Although paying off the children with candy such that they don’t mess with the house is a refreshingly honest transaction.

Here’s a list of candy I don’t like:

  • Candy Corn – What flavor is it supposed to be? If brainstorming new candy ideas, best to start with something good and make it better – make it candy-er. Corn is not a starting point. Any vegetable really, no-one wants candy asparagus or candy spinach either. Plus they seem perfectly shaped to choke on – was that intentional?
  • Laffy Taffy – tastes pretty good but it sticks on my teeth and I find myself chomping and slobbering it into submission like a dog trying to eat a pill wrapped in cheese. More hassle than it’s worth.
  • Black Licorice – How tough must life have been when this candy was invented? This flavor could only be considered passable in a world yet to invent TV, the internet or indoor plumbing. Does it taste horrible? Sure, but back in the day it took your mind off of tuberculosis.
  • Little boxes of Raisins – don’t give out little boxes of raisins – kids don’t want that. Nobody wants that. Just, just don’t do it.
  • Anything with Nougat – I don’t know what nougat is and I don’t trust it. I don’t even like the word – it’s phonetically icky and seems a better moniker for an industrial lubricant than a candy.
  • Anything with Coconut – Coconut insists upon itself. It has no business ruining perfectly good chocolate but inserts itself into the party like an unwelcome guest.
    • Hey we’re getting together Saturday for dinner, feel like stopping by?
    • Oh yeah, sounds good – hey can Coconut come along? He just went through a rough patch and could use a night out – is that okay?
    • Uuuuuumm, well – yeah sure I guess that’s fine – he’s not bringing nougat, is he?
  • Leftover Valentine’s Day Candy Hearts – If you still have these sitting in the front-room candy jar mixed in with three sticks of Freedent and the keys to an ‘09 Scirocco, it is not OK to unload these expired candies on the trick-or-treaters. Save them for care packages you send to folks out-of-state. What are they gonna do about it? They’re outta state!
  • Pennies – pennies are not candy.

Alright – have a good Halloween and if you find a bowl of candy on the porch of life, be a stand-up individual and take only one piece.

Young Musicians and Attack Dogs – A Surprisingly Entertaining Combination

Must be October as I’m already working on Christmas tunes. It’s a fun time of year. Made funner if you pop on out to see us at any of our upcoming shindigs:

The Bay Restaurant in Whitefish Bay

342 E Silver Spring Dr, Whitefish Bay


Friday Oct 5

8pm – 10pm

Remarkable food and a great atmosphere in the heart of charming Whitefish Bay – good, good stuff.

Bugsy’s Backalley Speakeasy

218 N Water St, Milwaukee

(but enter via the alley off Chicago Ave)


Saturday Oct 13

9pm – 1am

Bugsy’s does Saturday night right – hot time at a cool venue.

Caroline’s Jazz Club

401 S 2nd Street


Thursday Oct 18

8:30pm – 11:30pm

In a word: legit. A truly legitimate jazz club. For such a special club we are bringing a very special sound – a hard hitting rhythm section with a certain Dave on the electric guitar. Get ready for some blues and a little rock mixed in with high energy jazz and soul.

Milwaukee Blues Rock Collective at:

Just J’s

9033 W National Ave, West Allis, WI 53227


Saturday Oct 20


This newsletter is all about in depth investigative reporting. Here’s your inside scoop: a band affectionately known as the Milwaukee Blues Rock Collective will be appearing at Just J’s in Fabulous Stallis and you might want to check them out. You’ll recognize some familiar faces and also some heavier guitar led tunes from Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughn, The Beatles, Cheryl Crow, Stevie Wonder and many more. And that ain’t fake news.


So the girls and I on a recent Friday wandered over to a police K9 demonstration befitting the Wisconsin Veterinary Referral Center (WVRC). We are always interested in dogs doing cool things and are big fans of the WVRC as they recently saved our little cat Lucky from a serious illness.

Now recall The Corners is the community surrounding Von Maur in Brookfield – we’ll be lending some Coltrane to Santa when he visits Von Maur on Dec 15. So anyways we head to The Corners and in their very hip courtyard are amazed as police K9’s perform mock chases and pursuits. It’s fun watching things get bit that aren’t me. We pet the dogs, take photos and are ready to put out an APB on some pizza when I notice musicians setup in front of several large video screens. Shame on me for not gleaning the name of the group, but they were four girls ages 9 to 16 wailing away on some serious classic Rock. The bass player easily 3″ shorter than her instrument kept the groove nicely. Keyboardist / vocalist and guitarist / vocalist rang out killer harmony.

Now I’m not sure AC/DC’s ‘Hells Bells’ was the best song choice for these little cherubs, and it only got stranger from there. On-screen footage displayed behind them showed K9 fugitive take-downs in slow-mo. Picture that: Wee lasses grinding out Aerosmith’s ‘Sweet Emotion’ backed by scenes of a german shepherd (the woof woof kind, not the yodel yodel kind) laying waste to a trainer in front of razor wire at Taycheedah Correctional.

The take-away? That JRT sets can get a little wacky but level 9 weird is reserved for the ‘performance art’ offered on that cool Friday evening in the sleepy ‘burb named Brookfield.

On a side note, one of the police dogs was an adorable golden Lab. This dog was not for chompin’, but rather for sniffing out contraband and whatnot. They had him strategically placed on the sidewalk such that passers by could pet the pup and say hello. I noted not one bass player was willing to walk within olfactory distance of that dog.

Alright, move along – nothing to see here