Much like Bob Dylan and Jon Prine and more current contemporaries such as The Avett Brothers and The Lumineers, Milwaukee, WI-based band Listening Party is indebted to the traditions of folk, rock and Americana and taking those styles to new horizons. At the heart of their sound, storytelling and melody reign supreme, with songs seeking to examine stories rooted in the joys and perils of life. 

After earning a Music Education Degree, Jacob Wood decided to move from his hometown in Iowa to Milwaukee to focus on live performance. It was there he met Weston Mueller, a Wisconsin-based singer-songwriter. They formed the band in 2013 in an effort to create and perform original music together. 

Over the years, they cut their teeth touring the greater Midwest region evolving their sound, style, and performance. The band went through a few different permutations before transforming into a folk trio. Together, the group went through a prolific period of songwriting. After being a trio for several years, the band mutually cut ties with a long-time band member.  

The lineup change and onset of the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns forced Mueller and Wood to take a deep look at their life trajectory and decide if they wanted to continue performing. Ultimately, their passion for music won out, and they decided to perform as a duo. Wood has taken on more responsibility, playing multiple instruments. During their live performances, he’ll even use a train whistle. 

In 2021, the band traveled to Hartland, WI, to record the new songs they had compiled at Axis Studios, a converted 19th century chapel that sits atop a hill, with studio owner Vinny Millevolte. The non-traditional recording space inspired the songs and led to their latest album Been a Long Time Comin,’ released in 2023. It’s their fourth studio album and first in four years.

~Joshua Miller, 2023


Photos by: Jessica Kaminski at The Refinery Photo Studio