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Brule event serves as musical homecoming for Northwestern, Willow River grads

Gretchen Grube and Jimmy Hill brings an unusual trio to the Kro Bar.

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Members of Tall Girl and the Bangers, from left, Jimmy Hill, Gretchen Grube and Madison Lyleroehr will perform at the Kro Bar in Brule at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 23.
Contributed / Gretchen Grube
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SUPERIOR — A Chicago band with roots in the Northland will bring its signature blend of violin, guitar and vocals to the Kro Bar in Brule for one night only Wednesday, Nov. 23. For two of the members of Tall Girl and the Bangers, the event will be an even split between performance and homecoming.

Irish fiddler Gretchen Grube, the eponymous Tall Girl, grew up in Poplar and graduated from Northwestern High School in 2008. She’s been playing violin since the age of 7 and currently teaches violin to ages 3 and up through the Music for Youth program in the Arlington Heights School District.

Although she’s been involved in numerous musical groups, including the Milwaukee-based Irish folk band Gleason, this is the first time the 6-foot-5-inch fiddler has brought her sound home to Douglas County.

“I haven’t played up there in 15 years,” Grube said.

Guitarist Jimmy Hill also hails from the Northland. He grew up outside of Moose Lake and graduated from Willow River High School. Rounding out the trio is Madison Lyleroehr, a classically trained mezzo-soprano from Tennessee.

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The musicians connected in 2020 during the pandemic, thrown together randomly through athletics.

“We were all on the same kickball team. We play recreational kickball,” Grube said. “And that’s how I met Madison and Jimmy. And then we just kind of just started playing together for fun when everything was locked down. We would get together and just make music. And then we were like, 'Well, we could try to get hired.' And we did, and we keep getting hired, so we’re just a band now.”

The group plays an array of songs from Irish tunes to hits from the 80s, 90s and 2000s — The Beatles, Toto, Fallout Boy, 4 Non Blondes, Adele and more.

“So all millennial hits, really,” Grube said.

Tall Girl and the Bangers can often be found playing for fans at Buddy’s, a Packers bar in the Chicago area.

“Madison and I are both Packer fans, so it’s how we connected,” Grube said. “We play there once a month at least.”

The trio will take the stage at the Kro Bar in Brule at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

“We’re really excited to come up north, because we’re going to have a lot of family and friends there,” Grube said. “My parents haven’t even seen us yet.”

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They’re eager to share their unusual sound with friends, families and anyone interested in stopping by.

“It’s exciting that we get to share our music that we created and it’s two northerners coming back to their roots, too, which is just really exciting to be able to share music,” Grube said.

Visit the Tall Girl and the Bangers Facebook page or the event page for more information.

Maria Lockwood covers news in Douglas County, Wisconsin, for the Superior Telegram.
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