What do you think of when you think of the Midwest, Wisconsin in particular. Cheese? Frozen tundra? Cornfields? The heartland? Small towns? All these everyday elements go into the songs of The Midwesterners. From the honky tonk story in Dark Tavern Blues, to the resurgence of hope in The Winter of 96', to the joy of rock and roll in Unsafe At Any Speed and Guitar Problem. Everyday life, salt of the earth characters, journeyman musicianship, and a pinch of humor are the elements for ' Midwestern rock and roll.' The Midwesterners is the brainchild of Richard Wiegel, songwriter and guitar player in the 'rock and twang' school of music. His major influences are Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, and John Fogerty, with an equal share of alternative country from groups like Son Volt and Lucinda Williams. The production and drumming were done by Mark Haines, who also engineered on Son Volt's Straightaways, and produced Rainer Maria, a band whose record made it onto Spin Magazine's top 20 list for 1999. The bass duties were performed by Dennis Reifsteck, and outstanding player in the 'doghouse' style of rockabilly, and leader of his own group The Swing Crew. In performance The Midwesterners play a blend of music from original songs to rockin' covers from greats like Johnny Cash and Hank Williams. The Midwesterners self-titled first CD was released in 1991, and the second one, 'Pretty Little Town', is due in June 2000. Both CD's contain songs and playing that exemplify 'Midwestern rock and roll.'