Filled with soul

The Mighty Short Bus at Taste of Madison. Band members from left to right: Ben Stitgen, Frank Busch, Nic Adamany, Rob Junceau.

The Mighty Short Bus at Taste of Madison. Band members from left to right: Ben Stitgen, Frank Busch, Nic Adamany, Rob Junceau.

Courtney Van Horn, Staff Writer

The atmosphere was laid back. Taste of Madison patrons strolled about eating and drinking their way around Capitol Square. A small crowd had gathered in front of the stage awaiting the performance of Madison-based band Mighty Short Bus.

The band members came out on stage with a shot of energy and immediately started rocking. Everyone watching could not help but tap their feet, and within a few minutes several people were dancing.

There is a mix of rock, country and bluegrass, but their songs are not for just rednecks. Wearing holey jeans, aviators and ball caps, the band members were not hung up on putting on some huge production. Instead, there seemed to be an intimate amalgamation happening between each man and his instrument.

This particular show featured electric guitar, bass, drums, fiddle and banjo. The lyrics were never whiney like how some country music fails. Rather, their songs were filled with soul. A couple songs had a “working man blues” feel to them, such as one featuring the line, “All our hard work is no match for all the lawyers and their money.”

All their songs were played with a lot of energy, but some were less passionate and more playful, such as “Nothin’ but the Summertime.”

The crowd grew every minute they played. More couples started two-stepping. One character, wearing a Brett Favre jersey under his Tommy Bahama-style button up, was cutting a rug wildly back and forth in front of the stage having a great time. The rest of us were digging the set as well, clapping our hands and shaking our hips. There was a good mix of ages. They’re a self-proclaimed “family band,” and I did see plenty of little ones boogieing to the beat.

Mighty Short Bus played all original and catchy songs, except at the end when they played their version of Aerosmith’s “Sweet Emotion.” They really rocked it (considering it was a cover) and the audience really enjoyed it, singing along loudly.

I recommend going to see a Mighty Short Bus show if you like rock and roll, country, bluegrass, jam bands or just a good time. I bought their cd, but this is band you have to see live. I appreciate their energy, tight rhythm and chemistry.