Sunday, February 3, 2013

New dates for 2013

Greetings 440 Hum Fans!

Yes, we have dates for our 2013 schedule.

You will find us at:
The Steaming Cup
340 W. Main Street Waukesha.
Our gigs start at 7:00pm

February 23rd

March 23rd

April 27th

May 18th

June 29th

July 27th

August 24th

September 14th

October 12th

November 16th

December 28th

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

We're Baaaaack!

Hey there everyone!

The Hum has been on a bit of a spring break but we are cranking it back up. Even with only one rehearsal in 5 weeks we had a good gig at The Steaming Cup back on the 21st of April. 

Photo by Jean Deutscher
We also spent some time in the studio and managed to capture a little tale about a panda named Paulina. She shared a little secret…all the songs for the new album have been officially recorded!!!!!! Now we will start mixing and tweaking what we have recorded.

We will be returning to The Steaming Cup on May 19th and we would be delighted to see all of you there. Please feel free to come on up and say hi!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

"Live Wire" - February

Greetings everyone and welcome to the first edition of our newsletter we call "Live Wire"! This will be a monthly update to keep everyone“Current” with all our latest news.

Francesca and the 440 Hum played at The Steaming Cup this last Saturday to a full house! In addition to some standard favorites we debuted a couple songs we will be performing at the upcoming Food Pantry Benefit at The Coffee House in Milwaukee.
 We got some very favorable reactions to our covers of “Stormy Weather” and “Ain’t Misbehaving” so they are likely to be put into rotation as a regular part of our standard set.

We will be heading back into the studio in early march to record the last tune for our upcoming CD. After we have that in the can we can start mixing and then it’s PARTY TIME!!!

Till next time,
Keep on Humming!

Monday, February 6, 2012

New Gig Announcment!!

Greetings Friends!
We have some exciting news! Francesca and the 440 Hum will be performing at a food pantry benefit on Friday March 2nd  at The Coffee House in Milwaukee. The theme of the evening is Songs from the Depression Era. We will be performing an entire set of cover tunes from this era! Here are the nitty grities of the gig.

Food Pantry Benefit
Friday March 2nd
"The Thirties-Songs from the Depression to Help Us through Our Recession"   featuring:
-John Blandino with Brett Kemnitz;                            
-John King;
-Tom Martinsen;                       
-Francesca and the 440 Hum  
Donation of $4.00 and two cans of food at the door

We hope to see you all at the very worth while event.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

January Recap!

January was an eventful month for Francesca and the 440 Hum. In addition to rolling out the new band name, we had our first gig of 2012 at The Steaming Cup. January 7th we set up in our usual spot at The Cup and play to a wonderful audience. They got to hear a brand new song called “Small and Quiet Love”. It has a Spanish feel to it which is jokingly referred to as “fauxmenco” since it was a written by a Jewish lady from Chicago. We also performed a cover of Joni Mitchell’s “Cold Blue Steel and Sweet Fire”. The crowd was very receptive to both securing those songs in future set lists. It was a very good time and we look forward to our next performance which will be February 18th at The Steaming Cup starting at 7pm. What better way to finish up Valentine’s Week than to take your special someone to The Steaming Cup for some “Espresso Love Cake”! We would LOVE to see you all there!

January also saw us back in the studio working on our forth coming album. We got together at Rainbird Studios in Big Bend Wisconsin and recorded “Little Bird”. It was a special session because we were filming it in order to put together a little video to share with everyone. “Little Bird” has been in Francesca’s repertoire for many years and is a crowd favorite. We are very excited to have it on this album. There is still some footage of the primary mixing of the song to be done and as soon as that footage is edited we will post it here for you all to enjoy.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Urgent Message!


There is an event in downtown Waukesha called Freeman Friday Night Live. It is sponsored by several businesses down there. It is also sponsored by TMJ 4 and of course The Waukesha Freeman. From June through September Waukesha closes a couple of the streets downtown and businesses band together and sponsor stages where live music is performed. There are 7 stages spread out all over downtown each featuring different artist and genres of music. You get to walk around, check out the various stores, caf├ęs, art galleries and clubs or grab a seat at one of the stages and listen to local live music.

For Free

There is no cover charge, not tickets to buy, no parking to pay at all to attend Freeman Friday Night Live. We have performed at this event on several occasions. Chris and Francesca have done solo performances in the past. It is a wonderful experience and unique to Waukesha.

It is also in danger of being forced out of existence.

It appears that there are some businesses in downtown that don’t seem to understand what a great opportunity this event provides for them and want it to cease. They have been unsuccessful in other attempts so they have proposed an ordinance change that would among other things ban people from walking their leashed dogs downtown during the event, requiring the sponsors of the event to supply a massive amount of “Porta-potties”, employ a dedicated police force expressly for the event and carry a 2 million dollar insurance policy.

We found out about this at our recent gig at The SteamingCup. Kerry Mackay, the owner of The Steaming Cup, asked to make a small announcement during our show where he informed us of the situation. Chris actually lives on Main Street in downtown Waukesha, right in the middle of this event. He went home and sent the following email to his Alderman Roger Patton and Mayor Jeff Scrima,

It has been brought to my attention that an ordinance is being reviewed requiring event organizers to meet a list of regulations that would effectively destroy Friday Night Live in Downtown Waukesha. I see no reason for any of the items listed in this bill.
I live on Main street, above "Art and Framing", and am always proud to tell people about this event. I've brought folks from Illinois, Michigan, even Texas to Friday Night Live and they are all impressed with the experience. No one has ever seen an event like this. In addition to living, literally, in the middle of this event I am a musician and have had the opportunity to perform at this event on several occasions in various bands and as a solo performer and I have never once seen the need to eliminate dogs, hire its own police force or supply a massive amount of Porta-potties. I've never had an experience where there was even the most remote possibility of getting hurt so requiring a massive insurance policy is also ludicrous. It appears to me that there are some businesses in downtown that don’t seem to understand what a great opportunity this event provides for them and want it to cease. They have been unsuccessful in other attempts so they seem to be enlisting the help of a legal team to make holding this event so expensive on the part of the sponsors that they won’t be able to afford to keep it going. 
I am angry that such petty behavior threatens such a worthwhile event. Waukesha has worked so hard to clean itself and its image up over the last several years thank by and large to the businesses that sponsor this event and put an effort into making Waukesha a city people want to visit and possibly even call home. While I understand you must consider the viewpoints of all your constituents, I implore you to do whatever you must to see that this ordinance is not passed. Waukesha deserves to continue reaping the benefits from events like Friday Night Live, if these restrictions are put in place I fear the entire Downtown business area will suffer. 

Chris Koterba
319 W. Main Street - Apt E
Waukesha WI, 53186

He got almost an immediate reply from the Mayor which was impressive considering it was after midnight. The Mayor replied,

I agree.
Please share your comments with all your friends and encourage them to come to the Ordinance Meeting this Monday night at 6:30at city hall, and share your comments with the newspaper.
Thank you 
Jeff Scrima
Mayor, City of Waukesha
201 Delafield Street
Waukesha WI 53188

Chris will be taking the Mayors advice and heading to the meeting on Monday in order to show his opposition to this ordinance which is not only detrimental to Freeman Friday Night Live but to all the events in Downtown attempting to showcase this wonderful little city. Francesca and the 440 Hum would like to invite anyone who is free to come down to City Hall located at 201 Delafield St # E  Waukesha, WI 53188-3646 and tell the council how important events like Friday Night Live are to this city. 

Thank you for your support!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sooo...What's your band's name again?

Our story starts with a lady named Francesca. One day, while performing at The Steaming Cup, Francesca met a man named Chris Koterba and struck up a conversation with him. At her next show, Francesca saw that the man had returned and he had brought some friends along. Chris became a regular audience member at her shows, often bringing different people to see her. It turned out that Chris was a Singer/songwriter as well and soon Francesca and Chris became good friends.

One day a conversation started up regarding Francesca’s next CD. When was she going to record it? What was going to be on it? Francesca wanted to record another CD but lamented about the cost of this process. Chris said he had an idea. It happened that Chris had been building a recording studio and he offered to record Francesca’s next CD for free in exchange for patience as he learned more about the recording process. Francesca agreed and after some planning they scheduled a date and began recording. They recorded several songs the very first day! There was much jubilation at Rainbird Studios as they left that day. However, clouds were on the horizon. Francesca gave a copy of the songs to her friend Jerry Danks, a fellow she’d performed with a couple of times and asked him to critique them. He returned to her with a 2 sided coin. On the one side, Jerry said the songs were great and well recorded.

Unfortunately, they were all out of tune. Disappointed but not disheartened she relayed the assessment to Chris who, after careful review, agreed and asked if Jerry might be interested in lending hand with the recording. Jerry agreed to help and began showing up at the sessions as well as performing with Francesca regularly at The Steaming Cup. Jerry also began suggesting harmony parts for the vocals and since they were performing these songs in public, it was necessary to add his guitar parts to the tracks already recorded so they would sound complete. At one point Jerry suggested adding a bass line to a song. Chris had played bass in a band before so he added a bass line to that song and a couple others. At Francesca’s next show they noticed that the songs that had bass lines added to them in the studio, felt empty when performed without them. Francesca asked Chris if he would be interested in sitting in with them when they performed.

He was.

Over time, the three of them, Francesca with Jerry and Chris supporting, blended talents and became regular performers together. They continued work on the CD, often recording and re-recording songs because they were learning and improving dramatically, making current recordings far superior to previous recordings. They also collaborated on new material. Someone would have an idea for a song to cover or Francesca would write a new song and the trio would spend their rehearsal night forging it into music that highlighted their unique and diverse backgrounds. Often they would be asked what their band name was and they would explain that they didn’t really have one. There were some minor discussions regarding a name but nothing really seemed to fit.

One day in late November, Chris arrived at rehearsal with a suggestion. He had been thinking about a conversation that took place at a recent recording session. He remembered Francesca asking about the noise that was being generated by one of the amplifiers. Jerry, an electrician by trade, explained it was similar to the hum you hear from power lines and that being 440 cycles which is related to a tonal pitch of “A”. He called it a “440 hum”. Francesca joked about that being the new band name. Chris got to thinking that even though they weren’t really and rock band that depended on electric instruments, they did use amplifiers. More importantly, the three of them took a genre of music known for being unplugged and added a noticeable spark or buzz to it. He also saw that they were no longer a group consisting of two musicians sitting in with a singer/songwriter but had coalesced into a musical kinship with a common horizon. The more he thought about it, the more he liked it so he suggested it.

Francesca and the 440 Hum

Francesca and Jerry were in agreement and the three of them decided to formally announce the official band name beginning in 2012 with the launching of this website.