Wisconsin-based Trapper Schoepp’s new album, Primetime Illusion, will be released worldwide on January 25, 2019. Produced in Milwaukee by Pat Sansone (Wilco, Robyn Hitchcock), Primetime Illusion sees Schoepp reaching for his own place in the canon with a truly remarkable collection of character-driven songs and stories, a carefully etched series of sonic snapshots in which people we all know struggle to fulfill their own American dream. The album also features a co-write with Bob Dylan called, “On, Wisconsin.” Rolling Stone premiered the song today alongside a Q&A with Schoepp, and the state of Wisconsin shot a mini documentary about it.
In early 2017, the news emerged that way back in 1961 just months after he’d first moved to New York City, Dylan had drafted a song about Schoepp’s beloved Wisconsin, imagining a homesick rambler pining for the cheese and beer of his faraway Badger State. More than half a century later, the handwritten lyric sheet was uncovered by a former roommate and put up for auction at $30,000. In Milwaukee, Schoepp saw a photograph of Dylan’s handwritten lyrics and decided to set them to music, recording a rollicking version of the song that he titled “On, Wisconsin.”
“I just connected with it immediately,” Schoepp says. “It’s so obvious. I knew immediately that I had to finish the song. I just thought it’s got to be done.” Once he finished the song, it was sent to Dylan’s management team to consider it for an official co-write credit with intent to publish. Eventually, consent was given, bestowing Schoepp’s official imprimatur on the collaboration.
“On, Wisconsin” – which closes Primetime Illusion – proved the catalyst for Schoepp, to get creative again after going through some rough personal times.
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