Tweed Funk (Milwaukee, WI) has been around for less than 18 months, but already the band has garnered national and international recognition with the 2011 release of their debut CD, Bringin It.  Tweed Funk toured the Midwest and South in support of their debut release.



On April 26th, 2012 Tweed Funk released their sophomore CD, Love Is. The CD consists of 7 original tracks and 3 covers. World-renowned guitarist Greg Koch was brought on board to co-produce the CD and the addition of a horn section, B3 organ, and backing female singers on the CD has garnered some excellent early reviews:

Tweed Funk’s ‘Love Is’ a Powerhouse Punch of Funk, Soul, Blues – Overall, this album is a powerhouse punch, and we had a lot of trouble writing a review because we were too busy dancing to the stylistic grooves that Tweed Funk was laying down. Mix in some classic south side Chicago blues, smokin’ horns, a soul-drenched B3 organ, under the thick fog of some of the best funk to be waxed in years, and you’ve got the raw energy of Tweed Funk. Smokey’s vocals makes it sound like he was born for this music. JD Optekar plays a sometimes hot, sometimes soulful, always dead-on soul guitar…Jimmy Voegeli of The Jimmys contributed the hot B3 work. Marcus Gibbons lays down the prominent percussion, giving the band that crucial funk heartbeat. Love Is is a blast to listen to as the band calls up funk, blues and soul influences and spins it with their own exciting style.”

– American Blues Scene

Fronted by Smokey’s sweet, soulful vocals, audiences can quickly hear how Smokey was a pick to hit the Billboard Soul Top 20 back in the 70’s on Curtis Mayfield’s Curtom Records with the band Love’s Children. JD Optekar’s tasteful guitar lines and roots-rock vocals lend versatility to the band. Eric Madunic is the group’s newest member laying down the groove, singing harmonies and some lead vocals. Eric’s passion for Memphis-style soul in the tradition of Donald “Duck” Dunn can be heard in his bass playing. Marcus “MG” Gibbons rounds-out the line-up on the drums as one of the area’s hottest session drummers who has worked and toured extensively with national acts. The addition of a 2 piece horn section featuring Jon Lovas on sax and Kevin Klemme on trumpet sets the stage for some soul-drenched blues, funk, and R&B.

  • Tweed Funk is a member of the Grafton Blues Association and the Wisconsin Area Music Industry (WAMI).
  • Competed in the 2012 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN
  • WGN-TV national TV Appearance
  • Chicago Blues Guide Hot Pick of the Week (three times)
  • 18 Weeks on Roots Music Report Blues Internet Chart reaching #5
  • 47 Straight Weeks on Roots Music Report Wisconsin State Chart including 13 weeks at #1
  • Radio Airplay on over 150+ Stations Internationally
  • #1 Blues Airplay Album on KZSU Stanford Radio for April 2011
  • Top 3 Pick for Debut Blues Album of 2011 by German Publication Wasser-Prwada
  • Milwaukee TV Appearances on Fox-6 and CBS-58
  • House of Blues Radio Hour with Elwood Blues – CD Giveaway
  • Wisconsin Area Music Industry (WAMI) Nominee for New Artist of the Year
  • 2012 WAMI Award R&B/Soul Artist of the Year
  • 2012 WAMI Nominee – Male Vocalist of the Year – Smokey “Holman”

Band Lineup

Smokey – Vocals
JD Optekar – Guitar/Vocals
Eric Madunic – Bass/Vocals
Marcus “MG” Gibbons – Drums
Jon Lovas – Saxophone
Kevin Klemme – Trumpet
New CD, Love Is, Available NOW!