Surprising you since 1972.

Kaptain Karl

Kaptain Karl has been surprising and delighting audiences for over thirty-five 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 Johnny Cash to They Might Be Giants, Tin Pan Alley to Paul Simon, Barbershop to Bluegrass, Classical 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 thirty 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 spends most of his time playing in Western Wisconsin and the Twin Cities.

His favorite audience compliment: "I loved it - I never knew what he was going to play next."
His favorite audience complaint: "I hated 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 traditional Americana in his repertoire, as well as Irish music, and old-time Gospel songs.

He often covers songs by

A little Christmas Music for the season.

Kaptain Karl ยท The Guy

Shotgun Johnson & the Mississippi Seven

The Bright Knights

Great Uncle Helmer

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