Lawyers make music together at Walworth County Fair
ELKHORN They looked like any other duo performing on the Park Stage at the Walworth County Fair—two guys playing guitars and doing covers that ranged from the Beatles to Johnny Cash to Bill Monroe. They solid guitar play and their wide-ranging vocals were way above average.
“Who are these guys?” someone asked. Told that they were lawyers on opposite sides of criminal cases, the response was, “No way, they’re much too talented.”
Musicianship aside, the crowed gathered in the late afternoon sun to listen to Walworth County Deputy District Attorney Joshua Grube and Whitewater criminal defense attorney John Dade.
“I’m Josh, and he’s John,” said Grube, sporting shades and sandals. One wonders if he left last names out for a reason.
“We will play three songs and then play them over and over until you learn the lyrics so you can sing along,” Grube said. “He’s not kidding,” Dade chimed in.
Grube and Dade have no name for their act. Let’s call them “Legal Ease.”
An interesting show was evident from the first song, “I Saw Her Standing There,” a Lennon/McCartney tune from The Beatles breakthrough album “Meet The Beatles.”
From there they jumped into a Bill Monroe bluegrass tune, then settled into what turned out to be a blues, bluegrass and country set.
Between songs, Grube attempted humor. You be the judge.
“I recently went to a restaurant on the moon,” he said. “It had terrific food, but no atmosphere.”
Guilty as charged.
Dade also got into the banter.
“Here’s a sad song to slit your wrists to,” he said. “Please don’t.”
The pair then broke into a country standard, “Long Black Veil.”
During Dade’s guitar solo, Travis Schwantes was spotted lurking backstage. Another lawyer, no less. Schwantes is the attorney manager for the Walworth County Public Defender’s office.
“They are talented young men,” Schwantes said when asked what he thought of Grube and Dade’s performance. “Well, John is talented, and yes, I guess you could call him young as well depending on who’s in the crowd.”
By now, Grube and Dade were attracting lawyers like baby boomers to an AARP meeting.
Zeke Wiedenfeld, an assistant Walworth County DA, was hanging out in the rear.
“I’ve seen them three times, and they’ve been very good each time,” Wiedenfeld said, knowing his answer would probably get back to Grube, his immediate supervisor. “But, I draw the line at getting up on the stage with him. That’s one thing I am not going to do.”
That was probably a good call. Get three lawyers on the stage and lightning could strike.
What most fair-goers
didn’t know is that Grube and Dade represent some of the finest singin’ and pickin’ in the area.
When he’s not goofing off at local events, Dade plays the Hammond organ for the Richie Rich and The Chi-Town Blues Band. Grube, along with Owen Murphy, make up Old Farm Dog, which recently released a compact disc. More on those guys can be found at cdbaby.com/cd/oldfarmdog with a schedule available at facebook.com/oldfarmdog.
“John is one sharp knife in court,” Grube said. “We’ve had some hotly contested jury trials.”
The trial knives are left backstage when they make music.
“I don’t know what I’d do without music to unwind,” Dade said. “It’s just a natural fit to perform with Josh.”
Grube said he also needed the musical outlet.
“My work involves dealing with some astonishing things people do to each other,” he said. “Music is a great release, and it’s even better with John.”