Tim Brickley
Tim Brickley

When Tim Brickley was playing one of his first gigs at Off Broadway Taproom years ago, he was really feeling the Madison music vibe and decided to pay our town a compliment from the stage.

“I’ll never forget it,” Tim said. “It was a big crowd and the energy was great. Everybody was smiling and looking at me. And I said, ‘I think Madison is becoming the next Austin!’ Well, the mood changed immediately. Everyone looked kind of confused. I didn’t even know there was an Austin, Indiana. I was talking about Texas, of course.”

“Madison is one of my favorite places to play. There’s so much talent here and everyone is so supportive. It really is the Austin, Texas, of the Midwest. There’s something different and magical going on here.”

Tim Brickley is a lifelong professional musician and Indianapolis resident, playing in at least 10 bands over his long and varied career, plus producing innumerable young artists at his Indy-based sound studio, Hit City Recording.

“I came to Madison the first time about 10 years ago to do a production called Pure Prine,” he said. “Kevin and Margo Watkins had seen it in Indy and brought it here.

“That weekend I went to Thomas Family Winery, I went to John Walburn’s memorial service and felt all that love. I went to Shipley’s and Hinkle’s and met Gary and Susan Duckworth. I fell completely in love with Madison.

“I became friends with Bill Lancton who enticed me to play Obscure Neil Young Night at Thomas Family Winery back in 2011. Steve Thomas, he hired me for some gigs, then I started playing at Tiffany’s and I met Mark and Julie Perkins.

“The thing about Mark and Julie, they are the quintessential reason we musicians all do it. They are so appreciative. It’s people like them who make it worthwhile.

“Anyway, it wasn’t long until I’m playing at the Broadway, which led to gigs at Off Broadway. I’ve played New Year’s Eve at the Red Bike. I’ve done Madison weddings and parties and a Derby Bash.

“And then I’ve been really fortunate to play in the big productions that Bill Lancton leads, like O’ Madison Where Art Thou, The Last Waltz shows, and just this past weekend, the Woodstock revival shows. You can ask any of the musicians who have been part of those shows; it’s an honor and a joy to be included.

“There’s a musical diversity here in Madison, like a crossroads of talent. Maybe it has something to do with the town’s roots as a river town. It’s a melting pot in many ways, with people like Bill Lancton moving here from Indy, and Jordan Wilson bringing his style and energy here from Kentucky. Plus, all the home grown talent, of course. When I mention Austin, Texas, I don’t say that lightly. Music is part of the DNA of this town.”

Tim has a new album coming out soon with his band, The Bleeding Hearts. “It’s a double record set. Plus it will include a digital download of 192 songs, basically the full span of Bleeding Hearts tunes over three decades. That is going to be called ‘If a career fell in the forest …’ or maybe ‘If a band fell in the forest …’, we’re still deciding.”

If you want to see Tim work his musical magic here in Madison, you have plenty of chances coming soon. He’s playing at Thomas Family Winery on Sept. 14th, and he has dates at Off Broadway in October and December. He’s also going to play the House of Jane Songwriter Series in late January, so keep an eye out for that.


If you like bluegrass music and you haven’t been to the monthly show at the Goodwill Conservation Club, check it out this Saturday. Starts at 5 p.m. and it’s free. I’d also recommend Leonard Miller at the piano on Friday and Saturday at 6 p.m. at Rembrandt’s. The atmosphere in there is pure jazz club, swanky and serene, but not too loud for conversation. Good food too!

Charlie Rohlfing is a stalwart of the RiverRoots Festival committee, a campfire guitar strummer, and a partner in The Red Bicycle Hall music venue. Find him out and about or at charlie@madisoncourier.com

This Week In Music - September 5, 2019

Friday, September 6:

Off Broadway Taproom – Four Piece Chicken Dinner Band

VFW – Jimmy Davis and Bobby Robbins

Rembrandts – Leonard Miller (6 p.m.)

Red Roaster – The Chestnuts (6 p.m. to 8 p.m.)

Saturday, September 7:

Off Broadway Taproom – Jimmy Davis Band

Thomas Family Winery – Sharlee Davis & Will Devitt

Rembrandts – Leonard Miller (6 p.m.)

Goodwill Conservation Club – Bluegrass Music (5 p.m.)

Louisville Big 4 Bridge – Arts Festival/Free music

Sunday, September 8:

Mad Paddle Brewery – Craig Phillips, Bill Bettler & Jared Thies (4 p.m.)

Off Broadway Taproom – Davy or Daryl

Louisville Big 4 Bridge – Arts Festival/Free music