La Crosse Local

E.199: Shoeless Revolution

Listen to “E.199: Shoeless Revolution” on Spreaker.

My bread and butter is performance…it’s touring, private parties…it gave me an opportunity to write and contemplate the next move…what do I really want to do with all this?

We got to hang with a few members of the band Shoeless Revolution, we talked about origins in music, the start of the band in La Crosse’s music scene, live shows, covid and touring, and what the guys are excited for in the next year or two.

This podcast is sponsored by Balancing Act.  

Reed Grimm 01:03
My name is Reed Grimm. I was born in River Falls, Wisconsin. Grew up in Ellsworth, Wisconsin. And what led me to music is pretty wild. My mom and dad met in a show band in the 70s. And they fell in love and they got married and they had kids. And so then as they had children, we kinda just were born and like, hey, if you want to experience this, do you want to do this, then you have the opportunity. And so just kind of like crawled my way on the stage. And have been like singing and performing on stage since I was two years old. Yep, so that’s my story.

Jack Sabol-Williams 01:51
And Brent they still do it as a family they still perform, so you can see them in the Twin or the River Falls area if you wish. Right?

Brent Hanifl 02:00
Oh, I didn’t know that’s exciting.

Reed Grimm 02:02
Yeah. They’re performing in some capacity.

Brent Hanifl 02:06
You gonna take that on the road to like Branson, Missouri or something like that. Ongoing show.

Reed Grimm 02:11
My dad actually performed in Branson for a few years on the showboat Branson Belle.

Brent Hanifl 02:17
That’s awesome.

Reed Grimm 02:18

Jack Sabol-Williams 02:21
My name is Jack Sabol-Williams. I was originally born in, raised in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Moved to La Crosse to go to school at UWL. Now I live here in the Twin Cities. How did I find music? I think my path to that was sort of the way of theater. My mom is a theatre director and owned her own theatre company, nonprofit, for a long time. So I was very much similar to Reed, growing up in the arts world, laying in my sleeping bag next to the stage, hanging out watching productions and stuff. So it was sort of a path of music or theater and I didn’t want to be like my mom so I chose music and went that direction.

Reed Grimm 03:01
I didn’t want to be like my mom, come on Jack. She’s a legend.

Jack Sabol-Williams 03:07
But in the theater world, I want to do music.

Reed Grimm 03:09
So I kind of grew up in the bar scene, good or bad, in La Crosse, you know, and I remember Shoeless Revolution playing for a while throughout a decade there back in the, I don’t know what it was, early 2000s. How did Shoeless Revolution all start? So my freshman, our freshman and sophomore year, I started to do some like acoustic stuff around the school, UWL, and I got this offer to do to play in the Cellar in the Cartwright Center. And I was like I asked the the one booking I was like hey can, is that okay if I bring some friends? And she’s like, yeah, you know you have two hours, do whatever you want. I was like okay, so then I had my crew of people ask like hey, you want to play and put together this group that was labeled Reed Grimm and Friends, you know, that’s just what they put up there. And we’re like, oh, well let’s be something other than Reed Grimm and Friends. You know, you can keep your name up, but let’s have a different name. So then, the first the first other alternative name was Reed Grimm and the Bubblers. Reed Grimm and the Bubblers and we’re like, okay, that’s fine. And we did like two shows on campus like that. We did that one, then we did one in the basement of another, what was it? Was it another dorm room or dorm?

Jack Sabol-Williams 04:32
Yeah, another dorm hall. Yeah.

Reed Grimm 04:33
Yeah. And then we didn’t have gigs for a little bit, but we wanted to keep practicing. And as we did that, we’re like, alright, we need to have a different name. And so then, it was summertime and we yeah, we had a gig, we were rehearsing for it. And then I believe it was Jack. We’re like, we need a new name. And Jack was like, hey, you know, let’s just wait. Let’s just you know we’re all barefoot, let’s just call ourselves the Shoeless Revolution, for now. Like great. And so we did a hand drawn poster with a picture of like a Polaroid picture of us or something, and then copied it and put it up. And that’s how the Shoeless Revolution began. Nice. So for someone who hasn’t seen you guys play before, and it seems like La Crosse, which seems to be home for you guys for a while. What can people expect the upcoming show? Or what? Have you guys done much so far after COVID? Or is this going to be kind of a long time get together for you guys?

Jack Sabol-Williams 05:33
We’ve been actually pretty active over the last few years. We’ve been doing a lot of private stuff and gigs here and there, like once a year, once or twice a year. So but it actually been a lot busier just in the last few months. So we’ve been doing stuff outside, playing festivals and other more private events and things, but then this is definitely like a good coming home to La Crosse. It’s been a hot minute since we played in town. So like, this is definitely gonna be neat for that. And when Tammy and Joe hit us up about an opportunity to play at Pearl Street, we’re like, absolutely, yeah, let’s make it work. So then it’s just been kind of evolving into something we can do outside with them. And now Deece Is Dead is on the show. So we’re looking forward to seeing Cheech and all those fellows and just having a good old time. But yeah, we’re dusting off some stuff, bringing back some old familiar faces to play along with us for that show. But yeah, we just been having a blast doing it lately. And it’s, it’s been a lot of fun this last summer, so we’re looking to keep it going this fall.

Reed Grimm 06:29
Kind of speaking about that, and maybe individually or talking about the band. How did COVID affect this past 18 months not being able to play live? I know, I’ve gone to a lot of shows this past summer outdoors. How was it for you guys? Man, you know, just like not being able to play. I mean, for me, my, you know, that’s kind of my bread and butter is performance. You know, like I do some teaching, you know, I do some, like some writing for, you know, I can get hired to write songs for organizations like nonprofits and things like that. But for the most part, it’s performing, it’s touring, it’s, you know, doing private parties, weddings, and corporate events, things like that. So it, you know, definitely hit me, took me back was like, alright, how’s this gonna work? And so then I ended up doing more teaching, but it gave me an opportunity to write and to, you know, like, contemplate, you know, the next moves. And like, what do I really want to do with all this, you know, and so, now that, you know, things are opening back up, it’s nice to come back with some familiarity, you know, with Shoeless, and with other groups that I’ve, that I’ve played with. But also, you know, COVID gave me an opportunity to really get some things in place to bring some new music and some new projects to the forefront, which is great.

Jack Sabol-Williams 07:49
Yeah, it’s definitely been a trying time for artists and just our entire industry in general, it’s been crippling. I would say, to that extent, I’ve been dealing with it a lot, playing a lot, practicing a lot, which has been fun dusting off my drums and doing that thing. But I also work sort of on the other side of the coin, on the venue side here in the cities. So I’ve seen, you know, my friends and colleagues, performers that have been really suffering. But then also like, on the like, are shows going to be a thing again, like when are like traditional events going to really fully return? We’re really hoping that it can kind of continue this momentum. And that, you know, the more and more rates of vaccinations and stuff get higher and higher, we’ll keep seeing just better opportunities for artists to perform and for venues to stay open. Because that’s the stuff that I really worry about, especially during COVID times, is losing those institutions in those places where that allows bands like Shoeless, to grow, and to come out of La Crosse, out of the music scene. And just not having that for almost going on two years. If you think about it, it’s staggering. So it’s just been a lot to sort of deal with as an industry and then also on the creative side as performers too. But I say people have been, people are resilient. And video is now become such a synonymous thing with live shows. And I just don’t see that slowing anytime soon. So the more that we can embrace that stuff and get that technology under our belt, the better your position you’re going to be to be successful, especially going forward these days.

Reed Grimm 09:16
I’ve talked to a lot of artists and individual musicians and bands and it seems like creative people have taken this time to kind of rethink their lives in terms of what they’re doing and how they’re how they’re managing their projects. And it’s really kind of interesting, what people have taken from this past, you know, 18 months, two years. With that, what are you excited for, you know, over the next year or two years, is there anything that’s coming up for each one of you guys? Me personally, I’ve got a backlog of tunes, you know, songs that I’m recording and you know, getting that out and just doing the next chapter of my own personal brand and expressions. So I’m excited about that. We’ll see, you know how the rest of fall and winter goes as far as being able to like play out. And you know, looking forward to releasing some music in the spring, early summer. And then you know have just thought about different projects that are not music, I have some things that are in motion that still need to take solid shape that I’m excited about. But it has something to do with like this of like we are creating now, which is a phrase that this is one of my one of my shirts, just so everybody knows. But I like the idea of short, potent phrases that just really get to the heart of the matter whatever that is. And so I’m excited to bring more of that to the forefront now just kind of leave it at that.

Jack Sabol-Williams 10:51
Yeah, I’m excited for just a lot of my of nonprofit work and stuff just how things are ramping up hopefully and continuing to kind of stay this way as far as shows coming back and things. But I guess personally like I’ve been having a ton of fun playing music again lately which has been just so refreshing and awesome. So yeah, looking forward to do more stuff with Shoeless and, and my best friends and just playing music and enjoying each other’s company and just just rockin. It’s a great time.

Reed Grimm 11:22
Coming up people can check you guys out at Pearl Street Brewery Saturday, October 16th with Deece Is Dead. So I’m going to be there, I’m inviting all my friends. I believe there’s gonna be a bonfire. It’s going to be some good fall beer drinking weather. So if people want to find out more about you guys, or individual, can you throw out a few website addresses or social media? Where should people go? Yeah, on socials, grim music. Instagram is reedgrimmmusic as well. Then my personal website is just

Jack Sabol-Williams 11:57
And then Shoeless you could also find on facebook/shoelessrevolution. And then I think all the other stuff is on the Pearl Street site. But yeah, we’re so happy to be doing that show. And thanks to Pearl Street for being accommodating. We moved it outside so it’s just going to be a great day of enjoying that fall weather like you said Brent, have some tasty Pearl Street beer and a bonfire. Sounds like a pretty awesome time to me.

Reed Grimm 12:20

Amy Gabay 12:26
La Crosse Local Podcast is a production of River Travel Media. Do you have an interview idea you’d like to share with us? Message us on Facebook at La Crosse Local. Find out more about us at and you can subscribe to the La Crosse Local Podcast on your favorite podcast app. If you like us, rate us five stars. We appreciate it.

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About La Crosse Local

La Crosse Local is an arts, food, and entertainment podcast and publication for La Crosse County and its surrounding communities.

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