Sgt. Sauerkraut's Polka Band:
If you want to liven up your event, Sgt. Sauerkraut’s Polka Band brings the fun, the good positive energy, the humor and the musical talent to give your audiences a rockin’ polka experience. Sgt. Sauerkraut plays high-energy polka versions of your favorite Beatles songs. You may have never heard them played quite like this, but the universal appeal of The Beatles combined with the danceable beat of polka music will have audiences of all ages and from all cultures singing (and dancing) along! They’ve been a hit every time they take the stage. “The Krauts” have that same boundless, youthful energy and fun-loving sense of humor that The Beatles had at the height of Beatlemania. They aren’t your grandma’s polka band… but then again, if your grandma liked The Beatles, they may become her favorite polka band!
From the Milwaukee Polka Riot to Chicago's Fest for Beatles Fans to Whiting, Indiana's Pierogi Fest, Sgt. Sauerkraut is the happy pill that 4 out of 5 doctors should be prescribing! Check out some of their live performances on the VIDEOS page.
MEET THE KRAUTS:
Band photos by Karan Payne and Joe Nagle, Nagle Photography, nagleweb.com
Danny Donuts (electric washtub bass, pogo cello, washbitar, tamboranjo, vocals) Danny founded the original Sgt. Sauerkraut's Polka Band in 2001 and then rebirthed this current version in 2015. His musical comedy career got its start at Chicago's Beatlefest (The Fest For Beatles Fans) in 1997. This is also where he met his future polka bandmates. It was Danny's dad who grew up on the southwest side of Chicago who told him about this crazy instrument contraption called a pogo cello. Once Danny finally saw one, he set out to build his own. He is addicted to building and improving wacky junk band instruments. Danny has two Christmas music comedy CD's that have both gotten local and national radio airplay. Danny played Stanley Marinski in Sgt. Sauerkraut's Polka Band: THE MOVIE. Find out more at DannyDonuts.com
Gintas Buinevicius (pogo cello, washbitar, drums, vocals) Gintas plays drums and guitar and provides backing vocals for Chicago's Pop-Punk Phenomena, Dead Freddie. He has played in various bands since
the 1980’s including Steak, Up, The Sloping of Water, The Ralleys and The Repeats. He writes and posts
solo and duet material as Friends of the Moth and plays The Saddleman in the stone-age country band,
The Saddleboys. Gintas has also worked on various musical side projects with Danny Donuts and
produced Danny's Christmas music comedy parody album, Crabby Road. Gintas played Dickie Smolinski
in Sgt. Sauerkraut's Polka Band: THE MOVIE. Check out DeadFreddie.com
Phoenix Beach (horizontal accordions, vocals) Multi-instrumentalist Phoenix Beach was brought on as a sub to fill in on keyboards for one show and his amazing talent and youthful, exuberant on-stage energy was a perfect fit for the band so he wasn't allowed to leave. The band is grateful to "Weird Al" Yankovic for making polka cool because Phoenix is both a huge Beatles and Weird Al fan so he was able to instantly apply his musical influences to the music of Sgt. Sauerkraut.
Karl Sperling (bass, vocals) Karl took quite the unique path to become a member of the band. Karl was Sgt. Sauerkraut's Polka Band's 100th Facebook Friend and as his prize he got to sit in on electric washtub bass
for a show in 2016. The band had him come up on stage as a guest performer for their 2017 shows and in
late 2017 he took the reins behind the pedal steel horizontal accordion and in 2018 moved to bass. Karl played young Wally Kubik in Sgt. Sauerkraut's Polka Band: THE MOVIE.
Dylan Dawson (pogo cello, tamboranjo, washbitar) At age 15, Dylan has been around Sgt. Sauerkraut's Polka Band since he was small enough to ride around on his dad's shoulders and run around with a Beatles apron tied around his neck like a cape portraying superhero, BEATLEMAN! When the band saw his weirdness, they knew he would be instrumental in carrying on the Beatles polka tradition for many years to come. Already an accomplished percussionist, Dylan is quickly moving up the ranks as a multi-instrumentalist who is destined to take over the polka world!
SGT. SAUERKRAUT ALUMNI:
Johnny Burnett 2015-2018 (horizontal accordion, vocals) Johnny has been a professional musician since he came out of the womb, performing with his talented Burnett family in Peoria, Illinois. Johnny has had a successful musical solo career behind the ivories and also leads both The Johnny Burnett Band and the winners of the 2015 Fest For Beatles Fans Battle of The Bands, The Pepperland Rockestra. Johnny played Stosh Jankiewicz in Sgt. Sauerkraut's Polka Band: THE MOVIE. Visit The Johnny Burnett Band's Facebook Page
Tony Giangreco (drums, vocals) Tony is an all-around musician who is very versatile when it comes to music and is capable of playing in any style. He's a multi-instrumentalist, proficient in guitar, bass, keyboards and sitar (and acquiring more instruments and skills everyday) but his main instrument has been the drums where he plays Ringo Starr in Chicagoland's Meet The Beetles tribute bad. Aside from that, Tony also plays in The Time Bandits, The Pepperland Rockestra, Bobby Midnight and the Big Ordeals, and The New Sex And Drugs. He also enjoys writing and recording original music.Tony played the filmmaker, Marty "MartyCraw" Crawford in Sgt. Sauerkraut's Polka Band: THE MOVIE. You can follow him at Facebook.com/TonyGiangreco
Paul Barile 2015 (vocals, electric washtub bass) Paul played one show, Pierogi Fest 2015
PINCH HITTERS (we got by with a little HELP from our friends)
Bob Dobro (horizontal accordion)
Sir Richard Starlight, The Polka Knight of Wisconsin (bass, vocals)
Jim Hondros (electric washtub bass)
Nicole Nigh Hondros (tamboranjo, vocals)
THE ORIGINAL 2001 LINE-UP (one song at Beatlefest's Battle Of The Bands)
Big D Dan Phillips - guitar
Stu Shea - guitar
Rick Foulkes - guitar
Rita Rossi-Foulkes - keyboards
Banjo Bob - banjo
Eric - drums
Naomi - bass
(and Danny Donuts- Tamboranjo)