Bascom Hill

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Bascom HIll

The members of Bascom Hill admit they have a tough time when someone asks them what kind of music they play. Usually, after attempting a few lame comparisons, they throw up their hands and say, "Have you heard of rock and roll?"

No, it's not "rap-rock," "indie-rock," "dance-rock" or any other hyphen-happy subgenre. Unlike many of their contemporaries, Bascom Hill plays a brand of music that does away with endless categorization and pigeonholing while embracing anything that's good--all while delivering effortless sounding hooks and instantly memorable choruses.

And really, to play spot-the-influence or name-the-genre is to miss the point. Just wade into the crowd and let the music carry you until you find yourself singing along. You'll be in good company.

While coming across as a quartet of good-natured, lager-loving lads from Kenosha, Wisconsin (setting of TV's That '70s Show and not far from where Richie, Ralph and The Fonz once held court), the band--vocalist Charlie Victor, guitarist Jason Sheridan, bassist Quin Stickler and drummer Tom Reschke--is more accomplished and seasoned than their unpretentious Midwestern demeanor might indicate. For starters, the irresistible songwriting is theirs, not that of hired guns, and the core Sheridan/Victor team has been together more than 15 years now, predating the band's formation. (All four band members have played together, on and off, for more than 12 years.)

The songwriting partnership got rolling nearly instantaneously just after Sheridan and Victor met, while in a choir together during high school--yes, no kidding. "The story goes that there was a battle of the bands, and I was a pretty good guitar player, and Charlie was obviously a good singer, so we got together and wrote a couple of songs for it," Sheridan recalls. "Instantly--at 16 years old--we were able to write songs together without ever doing it before. And we've been doing it ever since."

Bassist Quin Stickler, who worked with Sheridan at a local music store, was the next to come aboard, adding bass lines to duo's growing list of songs (forming an increasingly busy trio in the process). Following Quin came drummer Tom Reschke, who was a natural choice. He was widely known as the best drummer in southeast Wisconsin and they had all played together during their high school years. Tommy would later leave the band for a period to tour with others, only to return in 2007.

After solidifying the lineup, one thing led to another and eventually the quartet recorded two albums independently. Meanwhile, the band went to work building a loyal word-of-mouth following through well-attended shows--both close to home and around the Midwest. (The name comes from a landmark on the University of Wisconsin campus in Madison, where the band cut its teeth and is now based.)

Through the independent success of prior album Maybe, Bascom Hill has graduated to bigger stages, touring and sharing bills with the likes of Augustana, The Fray, Hanson, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Lifehouse, as well as performing at festivals across the country including the world's largest music festival and Milwaukee's own Summerfest, Sturgis' Harleyfest, and others.