It was great to see our Chicago people at the Elbo Room last Friday! Thanks for being there and making it such a cool show. The Elbo Room's sound crew did a fantastic job and even happily accommodated our tardiness. Erm, sorry. I-90 was a madhouse! 

We're pleased to announce that we have several entries that have made it to the final round of voting in the Madison Area Music Awards (MAMAs)! We're represented in these categories:

Best jazz performer
Best jazz song ("Romeo Knows")
Best drummer (Joey B. Banks)
Best woodwinds (David Buss and Pete Ross)
Best brass (Jamie Kember)

Thanks for voting us this far into the awards. If you've already voted in the first round, your $5 registration fee is waived and you can vote in this round at no cost.

Stay hip,



We're very excited to be playing some fun venues in the next couple weeks. This Saturday, April 5 we'll be playing a FREE show at Callahan's Sports Pub in Madison. We will hit the stage as soon as the UW Badger basketball game ends, and hopefully we will be able to celebrate a victory with you! Again, this is a free local show, so come watch the game and party with us! 

The Big Payback @ Callahan's Sports Pub
Saturday, April 5
UW Badger game starts at 7:49, we will play when it's over

1902 Bartillon Dr 
Madison, WI 53704 (map)

We will also be playing in Chicago at the Elbo Room next Friday. This should be a fun show with The Clowder, Pres Maxson, and FULL SERVICE.

The Big Payback @ Elbo  Room
Friday, April 11 8pm
21+, tickets are $10 in advance, $12 the day of show
2871 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL (map)

We hope to see you at one of these shows!



Dates are trickling in! Keep an eye on the show calendar. We'll be in Appleton this Saturday to play for the Boys and Girls Club of the Fox Valley fundraiser. And we've got some cool shows lined up in April at Callahan's in Madison and The Elbo Room in Chicago. Stay tuned!



It's just about time for our first show of the new year. This one is extra special, as it's a birthday celebration and benefit rolled into one! Here are some words from Leah:

Hey friends, so I'm not big on celebrating my birthday, but this year I was inspired by a friend to use it as a chance to raise money for a worthy cause. So, I am throwing a birthday benefit for an organization called Rape Victim Advocates. RVA helps survivors of sexual assault get back on their feet through a variety of services. It would mean the world to me if you came to support me, support this organization and the many people who benefit from it. 

There will be raffles (including gifts from The Village Tap, Underscore Theatre, Bailiwich Theatre, Sugar Fly Studio & Boutique, and Aveda to name a few!!), booze, an opportunity to sing with The Big Payback, and plenty of live entertainment to rawk your world!

Tickets are: $10 in advance, $15 at the door
The show features my band, The Big Payback, and we'll be joined by several friends throughout the night including our MC and comedienne, Erin Lane, as well as Charlene Jones, Fruit Flies, Brigade, Lowkey, and Black Umbrella Brigade. 

You can get tickets at here. We'll also be selling tickets and taking donations at the door.

Hope to see you there!! 
Peace and love, 


Happy (belated) New Years! We hope your 2014 is off to a great start so far. 

We've added some shows to our calendar, and we've got some more pending dates that will be added soon. Our first gig in 2014 will be in Chicago at the Gorilla Tango Theatre on January 30. This will be a birthday bash for our very own Leah Tirado, so you can expect an extra special night! More details coming soon.

And don't forget, you can still download Romeo Knows for free just by signing up for the mailing list! 

See you soon!


Happy Winter Solstice!

To throw some extra light on the shortest day of the year, we offer you our brand new single for FREE! For a limited time, sign up for the mailing list and you will receive a free download of Romeo Knows. This new original song is hot off the press at Blast House Studios, courtesy of engineer Landon Arkens. It is the first track completed for The Big Payback's upcoming 2014 album.

Current mailing list members should receive a download as well. Please contact us if you run into any issues. 

We wish you happiness and warmth this holiday season! See you in 2014. 

Keep the music alive,


Well, it's beginning to look suspiciously like Christmas. This year, kick off your holiday festivities at the Brink Lounge!
That's right! The Payback will be joining local favorites Kyle Henderson and Beth Kille for a very special holiday celebration. In case that snazzy poster isn't getting your attention, here's the skinny:

Saturday, December 14 
7pm- 2am
$20 admission at the door (get your tickets in advance here)
Formal attire (black tie optional)
Food provided by The Brink Lounge and Blue Plate Catering
PLUS appearances by DJ Sherm, Miss Wisconsin 2014, and of course Santa Claus!
Facebook event page

Music schedule:
Beth Kille 7:00-10:30 in the main lounge
Kyle Henderson 9:00-11:30 in the nightclub
The Big Payback 11:30-1:30 in the nightclub

It's shaping up to be one jolly good time!

In other news, we're very close to a final mix for our new song, entitled Romeo Knows. This will be released digitally before the year is out as a little holiday treat and a teaser for our upcoming album! 

Stay tuned,


What a fantastic weekend!

On Friday, we had a productive 7-hour session in Blast House Studios with our favorite engineer, Landon Arkens. We now have nearly-finished recordings of two new original songs, Romeo Knows and Mauna Ulu. This marks the beginning of our second full-length studio album, but we have plans to release Romeo Knows as a digital single very soon. Stay tuned!

As with our previous album, we focused on getting a raw, live sound in the studio. The rhythm section tracked everything together simultaneously with "guide" horns, and the horns were recorded as a section. Overdubs were used for a few solos and vocal lines here and there, but they were largely kept to a minimum. All of us agreed that there is more than enough pop music today that has been meticulously recorded track-by-track, overdubbed, edited, washed, rinsed, and sanded down until there is very little heart and soul left. We wanted our music to sound like it was made by actual human musicians. There is still more work to be done with these new recordings, but we’re very excited about the sounds we captured!

Saturday was the beginning of our trip to Oshkosh. We played that night at the Titan Underground in the UW-Oshkosh student union building. We were able to try out some brand new material that you will hopefully be hearing soon. The whole weekend was put together by Students for Music, and we are endlessly grateful for everything they did. Thanks!

On Sunday, we held a masterclass/discussion with UW-Oshkosh music and music business students. We had a wonderful time sharing ideas with so many great people! Next came our performance in the music hall as part of the Chamber Arts Series. It was very cool to be able to explore our jazz and world music sides in a concert hall. We hope you enjoyed the performance as much as we did!

As much as we’d like to rest, we still have a lot on our plate. We have some cool potential gigs taking shape over the next few months that we will tell you about soon. We have work to do in the recording studio. We also have video footage from our recording session to go through.
Thanks for all your support! We will see you soon.


The Big Payback is pleased to be part of the Chamber Arts Series at UW-Oshkosh this weekend! The Madison-based funk/soul group will be sharing music and ideas in a series of performances and clinics. 
  • Saturday, Nov 16. 9pm-12am, Titan Underground. This performance will give UW-Oshkosh students and community members a chance to see the band let loose in a club setting before the more formal performance the next day.
  • Sunday, Nov 17. 1:30-2:30pm, Music Hall (Masterclass). The Big Payback will break up into small groups to discuss music and career issues with students. Topics covered will include: 1: A Career in Music: What That Really Means. 2: How To Present Your Art: Marketing Yourself. 3: The Band Dynamic: Composing, Rehearsing, and Managing. 4: Being Part of a Community: Professional and Regional Communities.
  • Sunday, Nov 17. 3:00-4:00pm, Music Hall (Performance). The group will explore its more jazz- and world-influenced repertoire in this intimate performance.

Further information about the Chamber Arts Series, including tickets and parking, can be found here. This weekend is an excellent opportunity for UW-Oshkosh students and music lovers in general.

We hope to see you there!
The Big Payback

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Sign up for the mailing list for a FREE download of the new single, Romeo Knows!

The first track recorded for our upcoming album! It is available as a free download for a limited time as a gift for the winter solstice.
Thanks to Landon Arkens and Blast House Studios for making this one shine!

Upcoming Gigs


The Big Payback @ Bratfest

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Willow Island at Bratfest, Madison, WI




The Big Payback @ Fitchburg Concert Series




Private Wedding




Private Wedding