in a small west central Wisconsin village about 30 miles east of the Mississippi River lived a young farm boy whose roots were embedded deeply into old time folk music.
Brian Brueggen, born in 1965, has carried on a family tradition that goes back to the 1800's. Being the youngest of five children, it was not unusual for Brian's dad and all of the children to sit in the kitchen and play music.
At the age of 3, Brian's grandfather told everyone that Brian would be a great musician one day. Being a concertina player himself, Grandpa Herman was correct. At the age of 6, Brian began playing the trumpet.
After a couple of years, he joined his dad's band playing the second trumpet. Not being fully satisfied he decided to sneak into his dad's closet and try out the concertina. When his dad was off driving school bus Brian would practice the concertina.
One Sunday afternoon as the family took their afternoon nap, Brian took his dad's concertina out of the closet and practiced. When his dad woke up from his nap, Brian played "At the Spring Waltz." From that time on the concertina was never locked in the closet and practicing became a 6 to 8 hour daily routine for him. Sometimes he would go and practice in their barn just to give his family a break.
Although Brian can read trumpet music, concertina music remained foreign to him. Music has naturally come easy to Brian which has enabled him to play from the heart and allow him to compose beautiful songs, one being Kayli's Lullaby. Several of his compositions have been recorded and played by many bands in the Midwest.
Brian started his own band in 1985. It started as a six-piece band. As the years passed by, many larger bands decreased to 3-4 piece bands. However, over 30+ years later, Brian is one of the few band leaders who still maintains a six-piece band. In Brian's words, the credit would go to loyal side musicians who still love to be part of a big band.
The Mississippi Valley Dutchmen have secured one of the finest names in old time music, playing the traditional "Dutchmen Style" music!
Did you know....
The drums that started it all back in 1946 with our Grandpa Herman's band. The drum has been restored and is on display in the Community Hall in Cashton. Drum played its last gig in 1971 before Grandpa passed away. We love his slogan "Hot Rhythm Specialists"!