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Next Public Gig:

Saturday, September 7, 2019

The Landing at Hoyt Park

1800 N. Swan Blvd

Wauwatosa, WI

5-8 pm


(Duo Show)


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Superior Acoustic Powerpop since 1991...


The name Bockenplautz is a combination of Jonnie & Christopher's last names (Bock and Plautz), inspired by the Lowenbrau beer label. Remember Lowenbrau? We sure do. It also ties into our love of the Germanic beer brewing tradition here in Milwaukee, so that's cool. When asked, we usually describe our sound as somewhere between Guster, Tenacious D, Avett Brothers, and Matthew Sweet. Tight harmonies, acoustic instruments, energetic performances of melodic rock songs from every genre, and GUSTO are the key ingredients of every Bockenplautz show.

Band Member Bios:

Jonnie "J.B." Bockenplautz

Jonnie Bockenplautz (aka Jonnie Bock, Jonnie Geetahr, Bockstar, or J. Bizzle) was born into hard times, and his music has always been a reflection of his pain and his subsequent struggles against society.  His youth was filled with newspaper deliveries, lawn mowing, and the chaos of a loving two-parent home on the bad side of Appleton, Wisconsin. After failed attempts at the bassoon and place-kicking, he began playing guitar at the tender age of 13 as an outlet for his emotional pain.  Raised on a steady diet of hair metal, classic rock, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and 80's pop, his playing is a blinding and confusing amalgam of modern rock, blues, questionable rapping tendencies, and sincere emotional distance.  In high school his playing quickly earned the respect of his peers on the Wisconsin campfire circuit. Following numerous victories at the most prestigious Lutheran talent shows available in northeastern Wisconsin, he expanded his musical horizons in college.  He kinda sang professionally in college with some questionably sissy acapella groups and performed with his band "Electric Mayhem" at the worst frat houses on the east coast.  After college, he went through his legendary "balding period", and forsook his music for nearly 6 years.  After moving back to Milwaukee, WI in 2009, he has once again begun performing for the teeming masses with Bockenplautz. An evening with J.B. on stage performing for you is much like taking your best friend to the prom - an evening burgeoning with possibilities that leaves you frustrated and wanting for more.  A talent like this can't be tied down to just one fan, and he's seriously hoping that you might just be fan #2.

Jonnie has a long history of musical performance and training, including 11 years of classical piano, 35 years of guitar playing, and has performed solo acoustic shows all over the Midwest. He was once pitchpipe of the all-male acapella group The Yale Spizzwinks(?), and was a member of the Yale Whiffenpoofs, the oldest and arguably most prestigious college acapella group in the US. He's also a laryngeal microsurgeon and voice specialist at Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin for his day gig.

HOMETOWN: Appleton, WI

INFLUENCES: Stevie Ray Vaughan, Van Halen, Guster, Ron Sexsmith, Prince, Mason Jennings, Barenaked Ladies, Weezer, Neil Young, Huey Lewis, Crosby Stills and Nash, Led Zeppelin, Pearl Jam, Radiohead, Beastie Boys, Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, The Cars, Matthew Sweet, Old 97's, Black Crowes, White Stripes, Black Keys

GEAR: Jonnie plays two guitars - a Taylor 814CE (indian rosewood back and sides, tobacco sunburst sitka spruce top, maple inlays) and a Taylor 310KCE (koa wood back and sides, sitka spruce top). He always plays with Elixir Strings. He uses a Shure Beta 58A vocal mic. His pedal rack includes a Maxon overdrive pedal, Electro Harmonix Micro-POG octave pedal, Boss CS-3 compresson/sustain pedal, TC Electronics Stereo Chorus Flanger pedal, and a Boss RC-20 loop pedal. Occasionally known to play his Taylor directly through a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe tube amp. 


Christopher "Lumpy" Bockenplautz

A native of the Milwaukee area, Lumpy (aka Christopher Plautz) has performed in bands since high school, including a very successful band called "Valhalla" that performed many of his original compositions. He has a history of wearing a fairly long rat tail in high school, likely inspired by his passion for 80's alternative rock bands like The Cure and Depeche Mode. This has since been nicely trimmed. During his college years, he was actually in a cover band called "Joey" with Jonnie's identical twin brother, and this band was the inspiration for forming Bockenplautz. Christopher can play just about anything, and he has been known to pull out multiple instruments during Bockenplautz performances, including banjo, mandolin, electric bass, harmonica, and of course acoustic guitar. He has a background in classical guitar, and this virtuoso skill is manifested in his lightning-fast soloing and amazing finger-picking skills on the banjo. Some would argue, however, that he is most in his element when he is rapping and shaking a tambourine. Some might very well be right. Variously bearded or clean-shaven, one can never be sure exactly which Christopher is going to show up to entertain you at any given performance. All that matters, though, is that you'll always be entertained by his serious guitar chops and singing skills. His penchant for traditional Irish music has also infiltrated our band in an awesome fashion, where we try to bring some Dropkick Murphys into our Bockenplautz. 

HOMETOWN: Milwaukee, WI

INFLUENCES: REM, Uncle Tupelo, The Smiths, The National, the ‘80’s, alcohol, Peter Gabriel, The Replacements, the ‘90’s, U2, Public Enemy, The Hold Steady, Wilco, Ryan Adams, traditional Irish music, Simon & Garfunkel

GEAR: Christopher plays more instruments and pedals than any man has right to, but they include a Taylor 500 Series acoustic guitar, Seagull 12 string acoustic guitar, D’Addario stings, Ibanez electric bass, Hondo 5-string banjo, Franciscan teardrop mandolin, Yamaha melodica, Hohner harmonicas, Line 6 POD HD 500, Morley Wah/Volume pedal, Digitech pedals - harmonizer, octave, and loop, Crate Acoustic 60W amplifier, and a Shure Beta 58A vocal mic. 


"Cousin" Sean Bockenplautz

Neither a Bock nor a Plautz by birthright, Cousin Sean (aka "Irish", Dr. Djembe, or Sean Nolan) was nonetheless the crucial last cog in turning Bockenplautz into the Superior Acoustic Powerpop juggernaut that it is today. After spending the better part of his youth as misspent as possible, as evidenced by the number of Phish concerts he has seen and Phish T-shirts he still owns, Cousin Sean worked for a time as a Catholic youth counsellor. He uses that pain every time he hits his drum. As the only band member not from Wisconsin, his Illinois heritage is a constant source of intra-band strife and will likely be its eventual downfall. Prior to performing with Bockenplautz, Cousin Sean most recently played with a punk rock outfit. He's still hoping we'll start doing some Danzig covers or at least Misfits. The nice thing is that with Bockenplautz, it's a significant possibility. He prefers most of his foods served in smoothie form, and is also nicely bald. Sean had never played a djembe prior to joining the group, but he quickly learned what an amazing instrument it is. He has been instructed to play anything EXCEPT a drum kit, so he will incorporate multiple other percussion instruments into a show, including cowbell, tambourine, shakers, hand cymbals, hi-hat, and some weird string of beads that he sometimes ties to his right ankle that we don't quite understand. Fisticuffs with Sean are de rigeur after our performances for a couple lucky audience members, so be ready for that. Just DO NOT MAKE HIM TURN AROUND. PLEASE!. 

HOMETOWN: Chicago, IL (yes, he likes the Bears)

INFLUENCES: Bad Religion, Phish, Misfits, Johnny Cash, Grateful Dead.

GEAR: Sean plays a Remo Black Earth Djembe, mic'd with a Shure SM-57 microphone at the head and Audix D6 kick drum mic at the bass. He plays Sabian hi-hat and hand cymbals. He also knows that if you have a fever, the only prescription is more cowbell.


John "H-Bomb" Bockenplautz

Also unfortunately neither a Bock nor Plautz ancestrally, H-Bomb (aka Johnnie Upright, or John Haas) was nonetheless adopted by the Bockenplautz family due to his blistering acoustic bass skills. H-Bomb previously played in a band with Lumpy back in the 90's when all of us were younger and cooler, and has a long history of solid bass guitar performance in and around Milwaukee, WI. H-Bomb started playing stringed instruments as a 4th grader, learning to play the viola. He switched to the upright bass in eighth grade, and has played bass in numerous bands since then. He picked up an acoustic bass and auditioned for our band after we put up a Craigslist post looking for a bass player in the winter of 2013, and instantly won us over with his solid playing and dedication to our Superior Acoustic Powerpop mission. H-Bomb enjoys spending his weekends working on his finger blisters, working on his bass-spinning skills, and mastering the finer points of Duran Duarn bass lines on his upright. His playing adds the final missing bottom-end piece to the jenga game of music we call Bockenplautz, and we're proud to call him one of our own.

HOMETOWN: Waukesha, WI

INFLUENCES: Van Halen, John Mellenkamp, Rush, 90's metal, soft and heart-wrenching acoustic 80's metal ballads. 

GEAR: H-Bomb plays a 1963 Kay M-1 acoustic upright bass, and uses a Levelar compression system, Fishman pro-eq platinum bass pre-amp, and a 1978 Peavey Mark III series bass amp. He uses his fingers and his wicked bass skills to play this thing. It's remarkable. 


Band PA: 4 QSC-K10 and 2 QSC-K12 speaker system (4 x 1000 Watt) and 2 Ksubs played through a Yahama digital board, shure wireless monitoring system.

Lighting: Blizzard lighting Skywire pucks x 4, Blizzard Stormchasers x 2, Skywire wireless lighting board.



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