CD Release Party – you’re invited

Hey – just a quick reminder before the tryptophan sets in, the J Ryan Trio will be holding our CD release party:

Saturday November 26

6pm until 9pm

Milwaukee Sail Loft

649 E Erie St., Milwaukee, WI 53202


We’ll be playing live music, and have time to sample tracks from the album. It’s a FUNdraiser with food, drinks, easy free parking, a petting zoo, expired lunchables, a toss-the-piano-man game, make-overs, do-overs, and Arnold Palmers.

Not really on most of that, but the food, drinks, parking, music and fun are for-real.

Now don’t feel obligated to purchase a CD – but if you do want one on a pay-what-you-feel basis, every dollar from CD sales benefits the Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Initiative. The phenomenal work that MHVI does for veterans in our community is critically important, especially as the temperature drops.

Can I say the phrase?
I don’t care – I’m sayin it anyways… “Our CD makes a great holiday gift”.
What? No – it yu-huh does too make a great gift.
Well what did you get last year?
See it’s way better than a Lens-Crafters gift certificate.
What’s now? A three season Dean Martin Celebrity Roast DVD box set? Well no, it’s not better than that, I mean duh.
Well heck no it’s not better than vintage Stevie Wonder on vinyl.

OK ok, so the JRT CD makes a great gift for folks you like, but don’t like all that much.

Greetings From The Middle Kingdom

I write this month’s J Ryan Trio newsletter from 39,000 ft somewhere over the Pacific. Bringing back with me from Shanghai some rusty chops, mild intestinal distress, pictures of new friends enjoying (or pretending to enjoy) our new CD, and a desire to never drink baijiu again. Jason on the base guitar is wheels-up from Osaka, Mike returns from ‘ole Me-he-co. We’ll all gather State-side for a few outings in November. Can’t hardly wait.

5 O’Clock Steakhouse

The Alley Cat Lounge upstairs (top floor, baby)

24’th and State – drive right on up and enjoy the valet parking

Reservations: (414) 342 3553

Friday November 4

8:15 to 11pm

It’s 5 O’Clock Steakhouse – THE Milwaukee steakhouse experience. I had the Steak Diane last month and wouldn’t shut-up about it for a week. It was that good. We’ll play real old school stuff maybe even fire up that vintage Hammond B3 organ for a few numbers.

Bugsy’s Back Alley Speakeasy

218 N Water St – enter via the alley off of Chicago street

Saturday November 12

9pm to 1am

What more can I say about this place? It’s always a party. Sometimes a birthday party, sometimes a bachelorette party, sometimes with festive hats, always a good time.

The Bay Restaurant

342 E Silver Spring Dr, Whitefish Bay

(414) 455-3045

Thursday November 17

8pm to 11pm

The Bay is your place for casual dining with attention to detail. Great ambiance, tasty food and a full bar all in the heart of walkable Whitefish Bay. We’ll add an eclectic mix of whatever you feel like hearing, from Miles Davis and Frank Sinatra to the Temptations and Michael Jackson. Eh, maybe we’ll play whatever I like.

And lest we forget – the J Ryan Trio CD release party is coming up.

Milwaukee Sail Loft

649 E Erie Street

(414) 223-0100

Saturday November 26

6pm till I dunno

bring the kids if you like

RSVP by replying to this email

Or just show up

Or both

Fun promo video HERE

Enjoy drinks and hors d’oeuvres or however you spell that, and pick up a copy of what is a only somewhat dissonant exploration of quarter tones – our new CD – J Ryan Trio – Under Cover. Our second release, this disc makes a great coaster, or shim for an uneven table. Every dollar raised from your donation goes direct to the Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Initiative – just in time to help our local vets before the Milwaukee winter sets in. Heck, make a donation and you don’t even have to take our CD, I’ll sell you an old Van Halen disc – now that’s a deal. They did rock though, didn’t they? ‘I’ll Wait’ off of 1984? Yeeeeah.

So howsabout some pictures? Check out the attached for greetings from the Middle Kingdom.

Hello from the movie set

Hello from the movie set

Hello from the wee tykes

Hello from the wee tykes

Hello from JinLing road east

Hello from JinLing road east

Hello from flight 288

Hello from flight 288

We’re Back, Baby!

In this issue: Introducing our new(ish) website – & – CD release party

As always, let’s start with upcoming outings during which you can lodge your complaints about us in person:

The Bay Restaurant

342 E Silver Spring Drive, Whitefish Bay

Reservations: 414-455-3045

Saturday, Sept 3

Set from 9pm to 11pm

The Bay is a great space for dinner, drinks and music. Fish done right – cod and salmon, but also consider the steak sandwich – see I like those roasted onions and mushrooms. That’s why no-one borrows my mic. Or pizza, including mac-n-cheese pizza featuring bacon. Yuuup. bacon. Just read that word aloud one time nice and slow – and there you go – we’ll see you Saturday.

Don’t forget – we’ll be at:

Street Eats streeteats

Catalano Square in the Third Ward

Friday, Sept 16

4pm to 8pm

Outdoor party and food truck fest sponsored by the fabulous folks at the Shepherd Express. You gotta soak in the outdoor fun while you can – Santa is only 120 days away – that portly chimney hound.

Five O’Clock Steakhouse

2416 W State Street in Mil-Town

Reservations: 414 342 3553

Friday, Sept 23

Set from 8:15 to 11pm

With pedigree spanning back to 1946 the Five O’Clock is the original, genuine and fully certified steakhouse experience. Why not live like the real Madmen enjoying a martini and steak voted ‘One of America’s Best’ by TV host Rachael Ray, voted top 100 by OpenTable Diner’s Choice, and voted Best Milwaukee Steakhouse by the Shepherd Express, Milwaukee Magazine, and yours truly. Parking is easy in the attached fenced lot. We’ll be in the Alley Cat lounge upstairs.

Bugsy’s Backalley Speakeasy

218 N Water – enter thru the alley just east of water on Chicago street

Saturday, Sept 24

9pm to 1am

Regular readers know how fond I am of Bugsy’s – because it is old school classy and off the hook fun. We’ll play a thumpin set – you come on out and party with us.

Actually, you can now check our full schedule at Astute readers of this muckraker will recall our website was hacked a while back – presumably by wankerous level 9 gymbags. I mean who hacks the site of a charity band? But with much appreciated help from our good friend Brian, and some updated design work from the lovely and vivacious Heather (such a hottie), we are up and running – with a fresh new look and a treasure trove of useful and informative content. Well, not useful or informative, but mostly spell-checked, and that’s something. So check out or find us on facebook – fun new videos.

JRT newsletter September 2016 - image - Mr Conway TwittyAlso – mark your calendars for Saturday Nov 26, 6pm at Sail Loft (649 East Erie Street). It’s the JRT CD Release Party. I’ve heard the disc and it’s worth a listen. I mean it’s not Burt Bacharach good, and it sure as heck isn’t Conway Twitty good, but it does make a decent drink coaster. Speaking of drinks: dear readers of our mailing list (that’s you) receive this personal and cordial invitation, appetizers and a free round of drinks at the release party. What other band is going to love you like that? Bring the kiddos – it starts early at 6pm. Sponsored by the good people of the Shepherd Express, you know it will be a good ole time. Of course every penny from CD sales benefits the Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Initiative.

Well, there’s more, including some overseas stuff – but that will have to wait for October’s newsletter. Besides I’m missing Archer right now so I gotta go watch the telly.

Just the Facts

J Ryan Trio - image - may newsletterThe typical JRT listener is a cosmopolitan social media savvy multi-tasking jet-setter with no time for verbose nonsense. I know because I talked to both of them. We at JRT Publishing respect that and as such present to you the May newsletter in a streamlined, hard hitting just-the-facts format so compact you could text it while driving. Read it and tweet my friends.

What’s that?… No, I thought that was a figure of speech… Our attorneys said what? Well alright then.

It has come to my attention that the JRT neither condones nor recommends texting while driving.

Is that good enough to satisfy Legal? Who in the what now? … Look I’m not cranking out public service announcements here, I just don’t want to get sued… Well fine… So let ’em… Hey my car is worth $37 and my pants are from the lost and found… I know my rights… phffft – I got your punitive damages right here….

Now what was I talking about? Oh yeah, brevity of the written word made manifest via newsletter of sparkling word economy. So anyways they says to tell you all about our upcoming May outings. We’d love to have you join us.

Brewed Cafe


1208 E Brady

Saturday May 14

6:30 to 9:00pm

The food, coffee and iced teas are tasty, unique and genuine. Check out the menu at the link above and stop out as the weather gets warm for a real Milwaukee experience.

Traveling Beer Garden

Root River Parkway – Picnic Area #1


92nd & College Ave

Friday May 27

5pm to 8pm

Sponsored by Sprecher Brewery – get the kids hopped up on root beer and let them run around. Pets on leashes are welcome. Kids on leashes probably OK too – I dunno.

Bugsy’s Backalley Speakeasy


218 N Water – but enter thru the alley just north of Chicago Ave east of Water

Valet $6 = easy parking

Saturday May 28

9pm – 1pm

We are so excited to be returning to Bugsy’s. If you haven’t joined us for a Bugsy’s party – don’t miss out, it is simply uncorked fun.

So dat’s the facts. Stay tuned in June for an update on our recording project including voice-over radio plugs that put the smarm in smarmy. Continuing our law-and-order theme, we’ll have tid-bits about music royalties, licensing and legal affairs that I find as fascinating as they are relevant.

Be well – blessings on your Spring

If you build it – they’ll probably stay home ’cause ain’t nobody cares

Hey HEY hey

Stop on out and raise a pint – the J Ryan Trio will be at:

Riverside Brewery


Saturday April 9 – 8pm to 11pm

255 South Main Street, West Bend

For a sneak peak at summer bookings – check out the calender page at DId you know you can click on the website calendar dates and a handy map with info pack will pop up? Well there you go.

Recording project update: having much fun at Cave Studios with our friend and all around stand-up guy Mr. Joe Hite. I heard the first of the mixed down tracks last week. Not for nuthin, but this album might be worth a listen come CD release party time. Every penny raised through eventual CD sales and itunes downloads will go directly to benefit the Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Initiative (

Snow finally tapering, next stop summer with all the guuuuud stuff – warm weather, live music outdoors, cocktails outdoors, dinner on the patio. Actually pretty much the same stuff as winter just moved outside. Oh and baseball. America’s pastime involves a fair amount of spitting, standing around and scratching of privates on national TV. Not sure what that says about our great republic, but given the recent spate of political ads I’d guess it’s the least of our troubles.

In the spirit of peanuts and crackerjacks let’s debut J Ryan Trio trading cards. I’ll post to our beloved newsletter (you fine and upstanding folks) a trading card showcasing one of our people (degenerate miscreants) with pertinent and fascinating facts and figures. Print it out and store in a cool dry place – I could see the McOlash rookie card being worth boku bucks someday. Better than a 401k. Worse than a 403b. About the same as claiming your house cat as a dependent. Mercy I hate tax time.

Our first trading card is that of bassist and guitar man extraordinaire Jason Bower. Our next card might be who-knows-who. Let’s be real – I haven’t the attention span to keep this going beyond 2 months.

JRT - baseball card - April 2015Jason Bower – stats

  • Batting average (AVG) – Hasn’t needed to tune anyone up with a bat yet, but it sure is nice to know he can swing for the fences.
  • Runs (R) – Stays regular – no problem there.
  • Hits (H) – This guy is a hit everywhere he plays – blues guitar, thumpin bass – it’s a double threat
  • Earned Run Average (ERA) – I have never been able to figure out what the heck this means. It’s like “icing” in hockey and will remain an unfathomable mystery to me ’til the day I die (doctor says 5 months). Don’t even try to explain it ’cause mostly I don’t care.
  • Strike-outs (SO) – Never a one. Sorry ladies – he’s taken
  • Wins (W) – his previous bands.
  • Losses (L) – The JRT – Who knows why he signed on with this crew but God bless – we love him.
  • Base on Balls (BB) – There’s a joke in there somewhere but I ain’t gonna touch it.

Stay tuned for our next newsletter – we got a hot cookin announcement about a summer tour that involves family friendly outdoor fun and barrels of beer. We got a CD release party. We gots a road trip to Indiana. We gots a piano man who ain’t quite right. Most importantly we got you – you who (yoohoo) stop out and see us and support our charity mission. God Bless

A Contest with Fabulous Prizes

The JRT is fixin to lend some soulful grooves to the 2016 House of Love Celebration, Auction and Dinner. The HOL’s group homes and programs prepare challenged youth to lead self-sufficient lives. An incredible organization led by remarkable folks, they are positively impacting Milwaukee. Not too late to sign up for this shindig – click the iink below. You could even place an auction bid on the JRT for your party or event – first $1.37 takes us I would guess.

House of Love Celebration


Tuesday Feb 23 – 5pm live music and silent auction, dinner at 6pm

JRT back at Bugsy’s next week. Could be a packed house like last time, so maybe make a reservation – mention the JRT to sit with friends in the official hecklers section. Minus 6 bonus points to the first jackwagon who yells out ‘Freebird’. Valet parking, great venue and all the hard cookin motown, funk, blues, rock and fun we can muster. You’d be crazy to miss out. Crazy I tells ya.

Bugsy’s Backalley Speakeasy


Friday Feb 26 – 9pm to 1am

218 N Water (enter via the alley off of Chicago just east of Water)

– see website for map and reservations –

Hows about joining us at Riverside Brewery in West Bend? The tasty food compliments perfectly the ales, weisses and IPAs brewed on site. Live music in the shadow of mighty stainless brew kettles? Sounds like Saturday night to me, baby.

Riverside Brewery


Saturday March 5 – 8pm to 11pm

255 South Main Street, West Bend

Women’s Nite Out at Brookfield Lutheran. Catered dinner, nationally renowned speaker and live music. Male members of the band will be cordoned off behind velvet rope ensuring they don’t bother nobody. No feeding the bass player. That’s what the sign says. Still time to sign up, link below.

Women’s Nite Out at Brookfield Lutheran

Saturday March 11

Info and signup at (

Much love to those who caught the JRT playing the east atrium at the Bucks game last week. Bucks by one point at the buzzer. Hoping ‘New York State of Mind’ worked to throw the Celtics off their game.

Also excited to announce the crew is back in the studio – first time since 2012. This new album might be worth a listen: J Ryan Trio – the Live Sessions. Singles also slated for release on i-tunes. Concept is this: live recordings in a free flowing improvisational setting with minimum overdubbing, no looping, never any autotune and as always, gluten free. The sound is high energy, a little raw and a whole lotta fun.

JRT - image - no whammyBut how to use these recordings? I dunno. So I am leaving that up to you, gentle reader. Send me your suggestions on how best the album and digital singles can raise money and awareness for our charity mission and you might win a fabulous, tax free (read: worthless) prize package including the following:

  • A VIP invitation to attend a closed set JRT rehearsal at the illustrious 3 Chimneys (uh, that would be my house).
  • Proof that we actually do sometimes rehearse – no flash photography, please. Better to sketch our majestic forms in charcoal pencil anyway.
  • Drinks of your choice expertly mixed and served to you in clean glasses – woooooahh. Not a fan of the hard stuff? No worries, we have beer, wine, soda, tea, coffee, juice boxes, tap water, snow melt (both yellow and non), scope, Nyquil, and Fresca.
  • Appetizers. Um, actually no, let’s say instead – a fun size snickers bar… There’s nougat.
  • A glimpse into a mildly messed up scene of which we are rather proud. Mildly is a judgment call, but it is most assuredly messed up.
  • Named credit on the CD liner
  • A free hand-crafted nickname made especially for our winner – whether they like it or not.
  • All of the unattended board game pieces you can eat. Please note the monopoly race car is not currently available, but we anticipate its return over the next few days.
  • No whammys

Oh, one more thing. As you know this newsletter is little more than a personal kvetch platform. Helps me cope with the aggravations of the day-to-day. Jason.

So here’s my pet peeve of the month: TV and cinema bar scenes featuring vintage décor, grimy patina, Scorsese-esque lighting – you know, blazing spot with a sharp falloff to an inky background, and absolutely killer music played quietly behind the dialogue. Music undoubtedly culled by a music director of encyclopedic knowledge. Music invariably old school and menthol cool.

Makes me desperately want to climb through the screen (they’re here – who’s here? – the TV people). Aw heck – I’m just happy to use scenes such as these as motivation to bring the coolest sound we can muster to every place we play.

  • Better Call Saul season 1 episode 10 – a sweet funk version of Art Blakey’s ‘Mercy Mercy Mercy’ from the
  • Goodfellas Christmas party scene: Darlene Love’s ‘Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)’. ‘Are you stupid or whaht?… What didt I tell you? We got a million bulls out there – you’re gonna get us all pinched.”
  • The Wire season 1 episode 5 – Lester Freamon’s explanatory speech delivered to the sounds of ‘Kind of Blue’ – Miles Davis, of course. “…and four months”

Anyways – we’ll see you around.


Johnny B Goode

The J Ryan Trio would love to see you at some awesome January venues – do feel free to phone in reservations.

County Clare

1234 N Astor Street

(414) 272-5273

Saturday January 9

10pm – Midnight

Why not have dinner? The food is great. We even have a few JRT friends that have booked an overnight stay and are making weekend of it.

Bugsy’s Backalley Speakeasy

218 N Water Street

(414) 221-6565

Saturday January 23

9pm – 1am

Don’t forget – Enter thru the deli on Water Street via the secret door OR thru the alley off of Chicago Street – just look for the bright red light. The valet parking makes it easy. It’s an experience not to be missed.

New year’s resolutions are a great opportunity for self improvement. While researching how I might possibly improve on my already delightful demeanor, I happened across a list of pointers summarized in “Johnny Do” and “Johnny Don’t” format. You know – the vintage 50’s illustrated manners guide best read in a Rod Serling voice while sporting a suit and haircut cut sharp as a razor.

newsletter jan 2016 image

  • Johnny Do helps with chores around the house.
  • Johnny Don’t stays in his room listening to Foghat on giant headphones.
  • Johnny Do invites you to join in the neighborhood game of stick-ball.
  • Johnny Don’t upgrades you from wet willys to atomic wedgies.
  • Johnny Do shares the armrest with the middle row passenger in seat 3B.
  • Johnny Don’t stuffs the overhead bin with his left-over Sbarro box from terminal 3.
  • Johnny Do always gets his flu shot.
  • Johnny Don’t releases the virus and the zombie apocalypse.
  • Johnny Do enjoys what the band plays.
  • Johnny Don’t shouts out requests for ‘Freebird’.
  • Johnny Do subscribes largely to Keynesian economic policy leveraging limited interventionism to boost free market effects.
  • Johnny Don’t manipulates his currency in a bid to unfairly gird domestic industry and boost exports.

You get the idea.

The JRT’s Johnny #1, we’ll call him ryan, found himself heading home late after a set and happened upon an older lady bundled up and on a sidewalk bench. Recalling the JRT exists to do the right thing, he introduced himself, mentioned she looked to be outdoors, you know, and offered to help out a bit. Rebuffed, Johhny #1 was promptly informed that she was 1) not homeless, 2) offended at the implication and 3) uncool with having her Marlboro moment interrupted as she is not allowed to smoke in her apartment.

JRT Johnny #2, whose name rhymes with ‘Jason’, was late for a meeting because he happened across a homeless gentleman (an actual… homeless gent), and rendered assistance including buying him lunch at Taco Bell.

So which of our JRTers is Johnny Do and which is Johhny Don’t?

Correct – Jason would be the Johnny Don’t as he subjected someone already down-on-their-luck to food from Taco Bell. I mean, when did Doritos qualify as an ingredient? And those little hot sauce packs kept in bins and mauled by every diner as they grab a handful – why not just lick a turnstile at the bus station? And that nacho cheese – glowing yellow thixotropic half congealed ectoplasmic goo. Makes a better industrial lubricant than it does a condiment.

Wait, what were we talking about? Oh yeah – homelessness. Far too widespread in our fair city. The JRT is excited to announce that we will be supporting the Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Initiative ( in 2016 and beyond (in addition to our continued support of the Feed My Starving Children campaign ( The MHVI spearheads multiple efforts right here in Milwaukee to serve those who have served our nation. Special thanks to Kirsten Sobieski, Executive Director, for taking the time to meet with us and discuss in detail the MHVI mission and programs – including a great tour of their new facility on Greenfield Ave. We are extremely excited to partner with such a dynamic organization making a real difference right here in Mill-Town.

So be a Johnny Do – come on out to see the JRT at County Clare on Jan 9 and at Bugsy’s Backalley Speakeasy on Jan 23 and support some great causes.

The Christmas Brag Letter – Decoded

In this issue: a Christmas letter decoder.

First I want to invite you to join us on our December “Bad Santa” tour. It’s gonna be fun – with laughs and not-too-dang-bad music including some of my favorite swingin’ Christmas tunes. Whether you’re naughty or nice, come on out and hang with us – I promise not to rat you out to old St Nick.

Metcalfe’s Market


6700 W State Street in Wauwatosa

Sunday Dec 6 – 12noon to 2pm

We’ve played at Metcalfe’s Market in Wauwatosa before and it was crazy fun. Second last place you’d expect to find live music (last place being the DMV). Grocery shopping is no longer a chore – it’s a party. Don’t miss out. Cleanup in aisle 3? nah – that’s just the JRT.

Double B’s BBQ


74’th and Greenfield

Thursday Dec 10 – 6:30-9:30

The food is so good. We’ll make it a blue, blue Christmas – but not without you.



Stonewood Village in Brookfield

Saturday Dec 26 – 6pm – 9:30pm

Such perfect timing. If you love hanging with the in-laws, bring them along and show them a good time. If they are by Dec 26 working your last nerve, bring them along and order up a good cocktail. You won’t have to to cook or clean the dishes. Pry the kids away from their new X-box and we promise to keep the entire crew entertained.

newsletter dec imageThe family Christmas newsletter – what a tradition. The vintage feel of ink-on-paper delivered by post, with the real news not in the typeface but hidden between the lines. Every author a Hemingway; every character a superstar of limitless accomplishment. Taken at face value, it might make mere mortals feel simply surviving another year pales by comparison.

Fear not! The editorial staff at JRT Publishing has compiled the below handy Christmas-Card-Letter Decoder -the debunkinator for short. Family Christmas letter excerpts are de-spun and un-hyped, laying bare their plain-English meaning.
The irony that the JRT, a rambling repository of run-on sentences, would dare critique others’ writing is not lost on us, but it was either this or a half page of schtick revolving around yule logs.

Excerpt 1

Newsletter copy:
Johnny was accepted at State – we’ll miss him until he graduates in 4 years.

Johnny got sentenced to state time after holding some stuff for a friend – we’ll see him in 4 to 8.

Excerpt 2

Newsletter copy:
The family told Santa exactly what we want, and are anxiously awaiting that magical Christmas morning.

Some gymbag was fixin’ to cut in line at Mayfair’s Santa’s village. The ensuing melee concluded with Dad unceremoniously ejected from shopping center by mall cop – and cited for round-housing two and a half plastic reindeer. And an elf.

Excerpt 3

Newsletter copy:
Our summer vacation took us to 7 states worth of educational landmarks and scenic spots.

Once the heat started coming down on those warrants, we hit the road to see how far south it was before the Shoney’s started switching over to Stucky’s (Kentucky, by the way). We are working to un-see what we witnessed at several rest stops and truck stops.

Excerpt 4

Newsletter copy:
The band booked a major outdoor music festival.

We played the Renaissance fair… and flea market.

Excerpt 5

Newsletter copy:
We got a puppy.

You would not believe the size of the rats in my apartment.

So buck up, and don’t believe the hype, be it from Madison Ave or the folks next door. You and yours are doin’ the best you can, and that’s pretty good. There’s little solace in believing the world is a Norman Rockwell portrait. Rather take strength in knowing each of us struggles to fight the good fight. There is comfort and hope in each other if we let down our facade and reach out in true fellowship. Lend a hand, give a shoulder to cry on, and keep it all about the love. Stick that in your Christmas letter.

Just a sinner saved by Grace

None Of The Above

It’s JRT November newsletter time. Very excited to cordially invite you to join us at:

County Clare


Saturday Nov 7 – 10pm – 12am

414 282 5273

1234 N Astor

We are genuinely excited to be playing this Milwaukee landmark. Lead singer Alissa Weber is full blooded Irish and will be mixing in a few traditional tunes from the emerald isle during the set. We also have Amy – a fantastic violinist joining us on the fiddle – so I’d say that makes us fairly legit.



Saturday Nov 14 – 6:30pm until we get kicked out

262 790 1077

17700 W Capitol Drive (Stonewood Village N side of Capitol just W of Calhoun)

Down home party time – I am offering the JRT official guar-an-tee of laughs, pretty darn decent tunes, good food and over-sized drinks. If you don’t go home happy, next round’s on me.

Now say what you will of this blathering spam – we strive to inform, with knowledge nuggets neatly placed in Rumsfeldian categories: “Things We Know”, “Things We Should Have Known”, “Things We Wish We Didn’t Know” and “What You Talkin’ ’bout?”. In a deliciously non sequitur dodge of anything Thanksgiving related, November’s newsletter merely disgorges random thoughts.

Things we know

  • Coming up with newsletter material each month that is both reasonably spell checked and not patently inappropirate ain’t easy.
  • Per last month’s newsletter recommendation – we at the JRT haunted mansion passed out bonafide full size candy bars to the wee tykes during trick-or-treat last Saturday. And have become legend. The term ‘fun sized’ candy perpetrated by the dental-industrial complex will not stand.

Things we should have known

  • Playing the frozen foods aisle of a grocery store was awesome. Like a bizarre music video, it featured free samples of Kahlua, shopping carts and Jenny-O frozen turkey. Kudos to Metcalfe’s Market for bringing jazz to where it was definitely not expected. We appreciate your hospitality and support of our charity mission. I’m hoping our sound was good enough to eventually book the deli.
  • Kentucky is a state.
  • Playing outdoors involves outsidey type stuff – sun and bugs and rain and not-so-good spandex and a fully amplified argument between myself on the JRT PA and the Frame park softball annoucer on the field PA. I still say the runner was out.
  • The Bucks mascot is Bango, the Brewers mascot is Bernie. Neither mascot should be disparaged when playing West Allis where sports loyalty runs deep and is no laughing matter. In my defense, a dude in a fuzzy deer suit riding a segway is heaven-sent raw comedic material.

Things we wish we didn’t know

  • Hall and Oates’ ‘Maneater’. (Sorry, Dennis)
  • Non-dairy creamer is flammable.
  • Soylent Green is people.

image - JRT - none of the aboveWhat you talkin about?

  • You can vote for the JRT in the Shepherd Express Best of Milwaukee finalist round by clicking the link below. We would love your support – but also respect those taking a page from the Richard Pryor playbook and voting ‘none of the above’.

Halloween Tips

J Ryan Trio October blog post – in this issue: Halloween tips

Why not hang out with us in person? Howsabout:

Mozzaluna – Saturday Oct 10 – 6:30pm to 9:30pm in Stonewood Village in Brookfeld – where the old Mr. B’s Steakhouse used to be. (
It’s loose and fun – eat, drink, laugh, join us for what feels like home.

Double B’s Barbeque – Thursday Oct 22 – 6:30pm-9:30pm74’th and Greenfield – West Allis (
Get some of this BBQ. For real, this is not a drill – get some of this BBQ. Just make that happen. Heck, at this point even if it’s on a night when we are not there, you still owe it yourself to, you know… get this BBQ.

JRT - image - October newsletter 2015Couple of special thank-yous to send out across the wire: Thank you MLHS class of 1965 – we had such a superb time at your reunion, really great event. Thank you also to Pastor German – the community concert was much fun – special shout out to your uncle and the mariachi musicians, their technical prowess and sound was muy asombroso.

And now for the fake thank-yous: Special thanks to ‘tourniquet’ Mikey whose quick thinking prevented future nicknames like ‘stumpy’ or ‘stubby’. Our gratitude to V-Mar and the VendleTones for reminding me that there is no shame in playing the key-tar. Gracious thanks to Jimmy E for not pressing charges. Who would have thought that flammable and inflammable mean the same thing? English is a strange language. Thank you to Frankie for letting me out of the trunk, and thank you to the lady at Target for preventing me from buying a ladies hat. I thought it looked good, had no idea. Did not notice the flower pattern on the brim. I’m sorry already.

OK, so October… it is National Vegetarian Month (kicked off by World Vegetarian Day on Oct 1) and Eat Country Ham Month AND National Pizza Month. Sounds like a recipe for conflict. Luckily the combatants will be either A) potentially weakened by a low protein diet or B) stuffed to delirious passivism from consuming an entire baked ham. In either case, if the fight takes longer than 30min the pizza is free.

Keep in mind Oct 13 is also International Skeptics Day. At least that’s what THEY want you to believe. So the above might be, as they say, kookie talk.

I would therefore encourage you, gentle reader, to build decorum and consensus by simply pigging out on Halloween candy. A few pointers for consideration:

  • Do not, under any circumstance, give out pennies to the trick or treat children. The penny should not event merit inclusion as currency, much less qualify as a treat. Hand out pennies only if you enjoy them being unceremoniously hurled back at you in the days following All Hallows Eve.
  • Same goes for those little boxes of raisins. What poindexter at Sun-Maid came up with that? Just push him down and take his lunch money.
  • “Fun size” candy bars. Now what if you gave out full size candy bars to the kids? For an investment of less than $50 you would be legend among the gradeschoolers. Problem is if you dial it back next year you may have a sugar-fueled insurrection on your hands. Better have the Ritalin tranq-darts ready.
  • Couple years back there were folks that lived 3 houses down from us; gave parents of trick-or-treaters little “fun sized” bottles of wine. Hadn’t seen that before – kinda cool. Likely frought with legal risk. I guess it’s a great 1964 idea, not-so-much 2015.
  • Now this one’s for the kids: wear a costume. Not a slapped on witches mask, not a throw-a-sheet-on ghost. I don’t care if it was good enough for Linus and Lucy, it will only earn you a mini-box of raisins at this house.
  • Halloween lawn decorations – I enjoy them like I enjoy boats. It’s great to enjoy seeing them without having to purchase, setup, maintain or store them. I leave it to you do decorate your lawns for my entertainment.
  • And finally – the unattended bowl of candy on the porch – a barometer of societal dysfunction. An experiment oft repeated that sadly returns the same statistically valid results. If we cannot as a nation manage to “please take only 1 piece of candy from the bowl” I fear for the very future of our republic.

OK, so now I’m depressed. But I know what fixes that – let’s play some music.