Local Musician Todd Eckart to Reinvent Himself as a Gangster Rapper

Paul Whyte

Todd Eckart has made some accomplishments recently. He came as runner up behind Trampled by Turtles for “Best Music” act in the Duluth Reader, and received the “Duluth’s Distinguished Artist Award for 2015” from the City. Eckart is known for covering acts such as Frank Sinatra and Elvis, but has performed his own original material on shows like The Playlist. After all of this he feels it’s time for a change.
We met with Eckart and immediately noticed that his attire of vintage button up shirts or dapper suits was replaced with a white tank top, a flashy necklace, baggy khaki’s with one leg rolled up his calf and a pair of untied K-Swiss tennis shoes. “What up? I’m about to bring some dope shit to Duluth, yo,” said Eckart as he took a swig off a 40 ounce beer in a paper bag. Eckart explained that now that he has been recognized as a musical artist it’s time for him to take on other things. “Sinatra, Elvis, I still think they’re a’ight. Those were just acts. I want to really let people see who I am. I’m keeping it real MC Hot Toddy Eck Style, you get me?” Said Eckart. “My rhymes are fresh and I’m a hustling G right here in West Side D-Town. No one wants to start with me. You better Eck yourself before you wreck yourself.” MC Hot Toddy Eck’s next performance will be at the Spirit Room in Superior.

“Drummer” Ryan Nelson Caught Playing Over Drum Backing Tracks

Ryan Nelson is known for his drumming with bands like The Social Disaster and The Farsights, and he was thought to be a solid drummer in the area, until now. Fans were taken aback when the drums cut out for a few seconds in the middle of a Social Disaster set at Pizza Luce’. “You could still see him pretending to hit the drums, but it was obvious that he had been playing over a prerecorded track,” said Laramie Carlson. There was jeering from the crowd and over half of those attending left when the drums started to play again. The band cut their set short and Nelson was said to have ran out of the building holding his jacket up over his head.  
“This is so embarrassing,” said Jacob Swanson the band’s guitar player. “Ryan can play all of these beats, he did record them, he just feels safer at shows to have backing drum tracks. Plus, he said his arms get tired swinging those sticks around for a whole show. We’ll probably have to find another drummer now or hope that our fans don’t mind that he’s playing over backing tracks now that this is out.” Sound engineer, John Farrell was running sound that night. “Yeah, every sound guy in town knows that Ryan plays over backing tracks. We’re here to make sure that things sound right, not pass judgement on the tricks and shortcuts that go into a good performance. You wouldn’t believe all of the musicians in town who play over back tracks,” said Farrell. We asked Farrell what other musicians use backing tracks and he declined to state anyone specifically, but did say, “some very popular ones.” Nelson did not return our call for a comment.  

Insane Clown Posse to Play at Big Top  Chautauqua

The legendary summer time venue, Big Top Chautauqua located just outside of Bayfield, has announced that they will be bringing in the horrorcore rap group Insane Clown Posse. “We’re taking Big Top Chautauqua to higher places,” said Terry Meyer-Matier. “There’s a lot of different styles of music out there and we felt it was time to think about acts that might be unexpected to perform at Big Top. Insane Clown Posse has always had an edge, but if you listen carefully, there’s a lot in their music that really reflects this area.”
Local officials feel that the large following of ICP fans who are known as “Juggalos” will create a boost in tourism dollars to the area. “They seem like such a fun loving and colorful bunch,” said Bayfield Mayor, Larry MacDonald. “I’m pleased to share with them the beauty of this area. They’ve already reserved around 70% of the camping space on Madeline Island for that weekend. The people on the island who are not Juggalos will have a unique opportunity to get to know these fascinating fans of Insane Clown Posse.” Management of Bayfront Festival Park have indicated that they are closing negotiations with ICP to play there the following weekend this summer.      


Paul Whyte

A South Shore native and University of Wisconsin-Superior journalism graduate. Lifelong musician, and former open mic host. Passionate about the music scene and politics.

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