Surprising you since 1972.

Kaptain Karl

Kaptain Karl has been surprising and delighting audiences for over thirty years. He comes armed with unusual humor, a rich baritone voice, and a bright red guitar. Karl draws inspiration from love of rural Wisconsin, passion for literature, and appreciation of the absurd.

His influences range from from Tin Pan Alley to They Might Be Giants, Johnny Cash to Paul Simon, from Classical to Bluegrass, from barbershop to New Wave. His music has singular roots in both Americana and Intelligentsia. A prolific writer and accomplished multi-instrumentalist, he has released four albums of his own music and collaborated on numerous others.

He often perfoms solo, with just a guitar and harmonica. For more than 20 years he has been half of the eclectic duo Great Uncle Helmer. In 2006, he founded Shotgun Johnson & the Mississippi 7, a folk-rock band with two accordions and a flute. He also sings with and directs the Indianhead Barbershop Chorus. He's been in front of audiences from New York to Montana to Denver, but spend most of his time playing in Western Wisconsin and the Twin Cities.

His favorite audience complaint: "I hated it - I never knew what he was going to play next."
His favorite audience compliment: "I loved it - I never knew what he was going to play next."

Besides a catalog of over two hundred original songs, Kaptain Karl has a batch of old-time Gospel Songs in his repertoire, as well as Irish music, and traditional Americana.

He often covers songs by

Great Uncle Helmer

The Bright Knights

Shotgun Johnson & the Mississippi Seven

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