With a Sousaphone and a floor length skirt (don't ask!) Carl took the stage at the band's inaugural performance in February of 2000 at the Stadium Bar. Since then he has retired the dress, switched to bass trombone and takes the lead vocals on about half of the band's repertoire.
The songs he sings and his colorful demeanor onstage are a good fit for the Dawgs' presentation. The swing tunes (like Minnie The Moocher,) "boozing" songs (Hey Bartender,) and "cheesy" tunes (Don't Pull Your Love and Hot Hot Hot) are considered his territory. As the rest of the band says, "Gitch, sing what you know."
Carl is a UW Band alum, like several past and present members. In addition to playing the traditional Wisconsin "Fifth Quarter" music, he often led smaller informal bands of UW musicians at area charity events, anniversaries, "surprise" wedding appearances and pep rallies. During this time he learned the difference between creating a show for an audience and just playing the songs.
Blending music with performance is what makes being a Horn Dawg fun. Carl says he realized he needed an outlet for his need to perform, which is what he missed most in life after college and the UW Band.
Carl's musical tastes include a wide range of American popular music, from the 1800s to about 1990. Sousa to Sinatra, Jerry Lee Lewis and Buck Owens to Billy Joel and AC/DC. He likes almost all forms of music though, especially those which include brass instruments. Some of the eclectic material in his library include Civil War brass band music and British regimental tunes. And don't get him started on Sesame Street–he'll launch into "I Love Trash" or "'C' is for Cookie".
When he's not wearing his trademark black chapeau onstage, he does some freelance writing and trains taxi drivers in Madison.
He's married to Sue, with son Garrett who is a firefighter and cranberry producer in central Wisconsin. They live in Mount Vernon with their dog; a "Snottie" (Schnauzer/Scottie mix.)