Born in a scrappy little town called Kenosha in the far southeastern corner of Wisconsin, (a scrappy state) John Sieger was smitten with Everly, Beatles and Stones fever as a young lad before Bob Dylan delivered the knockout punch. The choice was clear, although the path wasn’t — songs were to be conjured and sung. The way forward didn’t look easy though. As far off the music industries radar as you can get, Kenosha was a factory town where the southern migration met second generation immigrants and fought for a little place in the rarely seen sun. It was still a good town to begin one’s artistic development. There was a strong arts and music program in the local schools. Of course, doing well in school was not an option for a distracted connoisseur like John and he soon fell in with a bunch of stubborn locals and clawed his way through some darkened nightclubs that didn’t care to know about anything but covers and selling drinks.
A move to Milwaukee and an association with Paul Cebar and Robin Pluer in a three headed monster called the R&B Cadets started the ball rolling. The first one to notice the charms of John, Robin and Paul, with the added bonus of John’s great harmonizing bassist of a brother, Mike Sieger, was Nick Lowe, who had to come back a second night during a layover on tour to double check his opinion that this band was onto something. He wound up producing a track for them on their Twin Tone Debut, “Top Happy.”
With three viable front people the Cadets lasted until 1986, when the lure of doing more of his own tunes, many written with his close compatriot Michael Feldman of Public Radio’s “Whad’ya Know?” led John to a new band, Semi-Twang. In short order, major label reps were booking flights to Milwaukee to catch the band at local watering holes. This long dance of seduction wound up with Semi-Twang on Warner Brothers and the rest is (or isn’t) history. A fine record called “Salty Tears” was released to glowing reviews and little else and John, now married and a dad, moved with his songs, now covered at a pretty good clip, and his family to Nashville.
After six years in the shadow of Music Row, some close friendships and a steady diet of co-writes, Milwaukee and family beckoned and the Siegers moved back north. They have been at the same address for over ten years and enjoying all Milwaukee has to offer, and that’s quite a bit, as John continues his crusade to get songs out in the world. There have been five releases since his return (please see the discography — typing is hard!) and many more planned. Two bands and a busy schedule of teaching guitar and songwriting, a Pro Tools studio in the basement (room w/a vu) where John produces himself and others, not to mention a job at Milwaukee’s best music store, Cream City Music!