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Paul Cebar is a songwriter, singer, guitarist and bandleader from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA, who likes African, Latin American and Caribbean music. He has released four albums and an EP with his band, Paul Cebar & the Milwaukeeans, which have received airplay from adult album alternative stations across the US, one album with his current[when?] band Paul Cebar and Tomorrow Sound, and one solo album.
Cebar graduated from Pius XI High School in Milwaukee and began performing in coffeehouses on the local folk scene in the mid-1970s. His repertoire consisted in large part of rhythm and blues and jump blues songs, played solo on his guitar. He attended New College in Sarasota, Florida. Afterwards, he played in New York while working with the R&B Cadets in Milwaukee.
The R&B Cadets
Throughout the early 1980s, Cebar was a member of a rock and R&B combo, The R&B Cadets, with Jon Sieger, Mike Sieger, Robyn Pluer, Bob Jennings, Juli Wood and Bob Schneider. The band played Sieger's compositions, with obscure songs from the mid-20th century that Cebar had unearthed.
The R&B Cadets released an album entitled Top Happy in 1986, and a 7-inch 33⅓ entitled Get a Move On in 1981, including the song "Hook, Line, and Sinker", "One Is Green", "Headin' for the Poor House" and "Down by the River". uring this period Cebar and Claudia Schmidt released a 7-inch 45 "The Outskirts Of You" b/w "Baby, It's Cold Outside".
Paul Cebar & The Milwaukeeans
Parallel to his work with the R&B Cadets, Cebar had his own group, Paul Cebar and the Milwaukeeans. The group played many R&B, jazz,and bebop songs, by Louis Jordan, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and others. The members were Cebar (acoustic guitar and vocals), Robin Pluer (vocals), Rip Tenor (saxophone) and Alan Anderson (bass guitar). They were often joined by the percussionist Guy Hoffman.
After the Cadets disbanded in 1986 Cebar reconstituted the group, which then was made up of Cebar (guitar, vocals), Pluer (vocals), Juli Wood (saxophone), Anderson (bass guitar), Tenor (saxophone) and Randy Baugher (drums). The band explored African, Latin American and Caribbean sounds in a rhythm and blues context. The band gradually expanded into a unique R&B/Worldbeat fusion in the late 80s with horn section (Juli Wood, Tony Jarvis, Greg Tardy, Paul Scher), keyboard & accordion (Robin Pluer), lead guitar/lap steel (Peter Roller, Rob Gjersoe) and continuing Milwaukeeans (Cebar guitar/vocal, Al Anderson/electric bass, Randy Baugher/drums). Popular in Chicago (Lounge Ax, Fitzgeralds, Cubby Bear) and Minneapolis (Fine Line, Cabooze) & their hometown. The album best documenting this era is That Unhinged Thing (Shanachie 1993).
Reggie Bordeaux (who still performs with Cebar in his current band Paul Cebar and The Tomorrow Sound), was taught drums by his father from an early age. He had much experience when he met Cebar; he had already performed with The Artist Formerly Known as Prince as the lead drummer. His talent, combined with his performing experience, made him a perfect fit for Cebar's sound. Bordeaux's gospel biased drumming style brought a unique element to Cebar's already unique music. If there is anything that stands out about Cebar's music it is the drums, which carry the songs in a way that only a talent like Bordeaux can. Garrison Keillor commented to Cebar after the band's performance on his show, A Prairie Home Companion, "Mr. Reggie Bordeaux... You got a great percussion section there mister."
Patrick Patterson was one of the longest acting members of Paul Cebar & The Milwaukeeans, playing electric bass & singing harmony.
Some alumni of the band are:
saxophone: Tony Jarvis, Greg Tardy (briefly), Paul Scher
guitar: Peter Roller (Yank Rachell), Rob Gjersoe (-> Jimmie Dale Gilmore, The Flatlanders), Terry Vittone
bass guitar: Mike Kachou, Ethan Bender (briefly), Patrick Patterson
percussion: Michael Walls, Romero Beverly
Paul Cebar & Tomorrow Sound
The current[when?] line-up includes the former R&B Cadet Bob Jennings (saxophone, keyboards), Mike Fredrickson (bass guitar), Reggie Bordeaux (drums) and McKinley "Mac" Perkins (percussion). While earlier incarnations of the band were more pop-oriented, more recently[when?] the band is heavily into African, Latin, Caribbean, reggae, zydeco, R&B and soul styles.
The band continues to perform regularly and tours the US.
- Top Happy - 1986 (R&B Cadets)
- That Unhinged Thing - 1993
- Upstroke for the Downfolk - 1995
- I Can't Dance for You (EP) - 1996
- The Get Go - 1997
- Suchamuch - 2001 (live album)
- Tomorrow Sound Now for Yes Music People - 2007
- Beacon - 2008 (mostly instrumental duo set from Paul and percussionist Jeffrey Haynes; limited edition)
- One Little Light On - 2009 (solo album)
- Tell Me That Before- 2011 (David Greenberger/Mark Greenberg w/Cebar): Duplex Planet zine-related strangeness)
- They like me around here - 2012 (Greenberger/Paul & Tomorrow Sound): ditto
- Fine Rude Thing - 2014
Cebar began guesting on local musician Steve Cohen's show on WMSE radio in Milwaukee in the early 1980s. At the suggestion of another DJ there, he applied for, and received his own show, which he has hosted since 1985. The show runs on Wednesdays from 9:00 a.m. - noon. In the late 1980s, he also began hosting a show on Sunday afternoons on WYMS in Milwaukee, which ran until the station changed its format in 2002.