Robert J. & The Band of the Free - America(Oh Say Can You See) Live!

Jun 2 2023

I just uploaded a performance of my song America(Oh Say Can You See) recorded live at the Capital Theater in Madison, WI for the Madison area music awards. Check it out on my Video page  

International Song Competition

Mar 20 2023

I'm proud to say that 2 of my songs made it to the semi finals of the International Song Competition.  My patriotic protest song, America(Oh Say Can You See) and the bluesy/americana tune, Ghost Town Blues were chosen out of 15,000 entries! Results will be coming soon to see if they make it to the finals! Gives an old troubadour some hope! I've listed these songs at the top of my song page. Please, give a listen and download if you'd like. 

Robert J. wins 4 MAMA AWARDS

Nov 28 2022

I'm so grateful to have won four awards at this year's Madison Area Music Awards Show. Such a great way to end my many years of playing music in the Mad City! 
BARLAND - Folk/Country Album of the Year
Storm Watcher - Blues Song of the Year 
57 Chevy - Country Song of the Year  
Plus, Country/Blues Performer of the Year
4 out of 7 ain't too bad!
Listen and download these songs here

Robert J. and The Rowdy Prairie Dogs Nominated for 7 MAMA AWARDS

Aug 17 2022

How AWESOME is this to be a finalist for the Madison Area Music Awards in 7 different categories? By far the best thing that happened to me during the "Covid Years" was the chance to put this recording together. Thank y'all for your support and a special thanks to the Rowdy Prairie Dogs, Mike Zirkel and all the other fine players for their contributions to this record! Voting is FREE and lasts until September 16th. at this link. It's a great way to check out all the AMAZING MUSIC coming from my old stomping grounds, Madison, Wisconsin! #HumbledandBlessed
Album of the Year - Barland * Folk/Country Album of the Year - Barland * Blues Song of the Year - Storm Watcher * Country Song of the Year - 57 Chevy * Folk/Americana Song - A New Place To Start * Producer of the Year *  Blues/Country Performer of the Year

BARLAND Review from Local Sounds Magazine

Jul 18 2022

Very thankful for this review of Barland by Rick Tvedt of Local Sounds Magazine. Check it out!

Summer 2022

May 31 2022

Hey Y'all,
I'm looking forward to playing gigs throughout Connecticut this summer, and especially excited to announce my return to Wisconsin at the end of July for my "Whirled Tour 2022"!  Please check out my Events page for a full listing of gigs.  If you have any suggestions for shows in New England, please, send my a line at  Hope to see you Hanging Out in Barland!

Robert J. wins 3 Song Of The Year Awards!

Nov 8 2021

Breaking News (not fake) from BARDLAND!
I wrote my first song after learning my first two chords on the guitar (They were C and Am).
That was a long time ago and I've been writing songs ever since. So, to
receive the Song of the Year award for all 3 of my songs entered in 3 different categories for the Madison Area Music Awards, is about as good as
it gets for this old Bard! Thank you Madison for supporting me and my tunes. I'm honored and humbled and so appreciative to be part of such a great musical community!

Blues Song of the Year - The Saddest March of All
Country/Bluegrass Song of the Year - So I Can Be The Man For You
Folk/Americana Song of the Year - Fly Away

Check out these songs and more here on my songs page!

One Foot In Wisconsin and one in Connecticut!

Oct 1 2021

Breaking News(not fake) from BARLAND!
I've got one foot in Wisconsin and the other in Connecticut!
Thrilled and honored to have made the finals for The Madison Area Music Awards in 5 different categories. Song of the Year - The Saddest March of All (Blues), Fly Away (Folk/Americana) and So I Can Be The Man For You (Country/Bluegrass). Plus, Male Vocalist and Acoustic Guitar of the year! Wow, thank you for voting me and my songs into the finals and congrats to all the nominees! Voting is free and open to all. Go to

And... in my new home in Connecticut, I have my first two gigs coming up this weekend....
Saturday -10/2 - Dexter's Tunes Tales & Ales 7-9:30pm for East Hampton's Harvest Moon Village Stroll
Sunday - 10/3 Winchester Cafe in Portland 4-7pm
Hope to see you... Hanging Out In Barland!
May be an image of Robert J. Conaway, playing a musical instrument, guitar and outdoors

BARLAND by The Rowdy Prairie Dogs

Aug 19 2021

Officially, to be released on September 15th, you can get your advance copy at my shows or listen and download songs right here on my song page.

The Rowdy Prairie Dogs
Robert J. - Lead Vocals, Guitars, Harmonica, songwriter
Tom Dehlinger - Pedal & Lap Steel Guitar
Ron Granberg - Drums
Joey McCloskey - Bass Guitar, Back Vocals
Michael P. Tully - Electric Guitar, Back Vocals

Additional Musicians
Dave Adler - Piano, Organ
Pauli Ryan - Percussion
Drums - Kenny Koeppler - #5. Mauro Magellan - #8 & #9
Bass - Karen Hein - #5. John Wartenweiler - #8. Matt Rodgers - #9
Piano - Michael Massey - #3 & #8
Mando, Fiddle, Dobro, Accordion, Back Vox - Chris Wagoner - #3, #5, #9
Back Vocal - Mary Gaines on #5, #9
Pedal Steel on #5 - Eddie Rivers

All songs written by Robert John Conaway
Except "So I Can Be The Man For You" written by Robert John Conaway & E.T. Millar © 2021Two Con Music(BMI)

Recorded at Smart Studios, The Sound Garden, Palomino Studio and Big World Studios - Madison, Wisconsin.
Engineered by Austin James Bond, Mike Zirkel, Kenny Koeppler, Robert J. and Mauro Magellan

Mixed by Mike Zirkel at Mike Zirkel Audio (
Mastered by Justin Perkins at Mystery Room Mastering (
Cover Art and Layout by Glenn Fuller

Contact info -
Produced by Robert John Conaway

Special Thanks to -
Uncle Chris Lee, Kathy Lee, Christie Husted, Jonathan Little, Jefferson Keys, Glenn Fuller, Mike Zirkel, Justin Perkins, Rick Tvedt, Roy Elkins, Dick Bonds, Bob Goeres, Dave Plonka, David Cox, David Candelmo, Bob Wombacher and to my family Jill, Kristina, Josh, Addy, Jacy and Bennett.

Much love to the P-Dogs....... Tully, Joe Boy, Tom and Ron

Dedicated to all my "Beverage Counselors", "Frequent Flyers" and "Repeat Offenders" and to all the places I've played over the years, hanging out in Barland!


Jul 5 2021



Sep 6 2020

I'm happy to say that my song, FLY AWAY is finished, mixed and mastered.
Another song recorded virtually with my friends doing their parts from afar.
What a great time to have the technology to be able to create music without
being able to get together due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

I wrote this song for my kids, Kristina, Addy and Jacy and soon to be
son-in-law Josh.They have all had to endure losing out on their life's plans
without warning because of this quarantined world we now live in.

This tune is dedicated to all our kid's and to all the dreams we parents have for them.

Credits -
Vocals, acoustic guitar - Robert J.
Cello and Cello Bass - Mary Gaines
Violin, Viola, ukulele - Chris Wagoner
Electric guitar - Josh Harty
Percussion - Pauli Ryan
Mixed by Mike Zirkel at Zirkel Audio
Mastered by Justin Perkins at Mystery Room Mastering
Graghics by Doug Normington at NORMCO Multi-Media, Inc
Produced by Robert John Conaway

The Saddest March of All

Jun 2 2020

I'm excited to say my fully produced, Covid-19 blues song, "The Saddest March of All" is mixed and mastered and will officially be released on June 15th on all music formats.
Recorded virtually over the last few months, the song is still relevant now as the quarantine continues to impact our country and our world.
It's up now on my songs page. Be the first on your block to listen and download a copy!

Featured contributors to the recording include....
Robert J. - Vocals, guitars, harmonica
Mauro Magellan - drums, bass
Todd Phipps - organ
Chris Bank - saxophones
Mary Gaines - back vocals
Chris Wagoner - back vocals
Mixed by Jake Johnson at Paradyme Productions
Mastered by Justin Perkins at Mystery Room Mastering
Graghics by Doug Normington at NORMCO Multi-Media, Inc

My Homeland Serenades on FACEBOOK LIVE from 6-7PM (Central)
will start up again soon. Until then, please check out my past Serenades at...

Thank you! Miss you!


May 8 2020

Facebook Live! Every Wednesday from 6-7PM

Welcome old friends, frequent flyers and repeat offenders! I'll be going live on FB
every Wednesday. Hope you can stop by for a listen.

Homeland Serenade - Version 1.0 - Listen here...

Homeland Serenade - Version 2.0 - Listen here...

Homeland Serenade - Version 4.0 - Listen here
Thank you! Miss you!

STAYING HOPEFUL! - Breaking News from Homeland!

Apr 20 2020

Hope you are fairing well during these uncertain times. I can't wait to get back to playing out in Barland, but for now, laying low is what we have to do.
Check out my new blues song for the times, "The Saddest March of All". A demo version is on my song page and I'm working on a full blown recording of the song as we speak.

Coming soon, look for some FaceBook live shows and more Youtube Videos!
Until the dark spell passes, Stay safe and stay hopeful while we're hanging out in Homeland!


Mar 17 2020

Breaking News (not fake) from Barland!
In my 48 years of playing music in Barland, I've only missed a handful of gigs. I've
played shows with colds (sponsored by Nyquil), shows with broken bones
(sponsored by pain meds), shows with a broken heart (sponsored by Tequila) and
I've missed a few shows when my kids were sick. Now unfortunately, due to the
Covid -19 virus, and the fact that I'm in the high risk age group and having
pre-existing conditions, I have to bow out of the rest of my shows for awhile. My heart
goes out to so many others who are affected by this pandemic, our bartenders,
servers, small businesses and so many, many other's. We all will have to sacrifice
and pull together for the common good. With that in mind, I have some extra TP.
If you need some, I can share a roll or two. Just message me and I'll leave some
on my front porch for drive by pick up!
.....AND, as soon as possible, I hope to get together with y'all and play
some music, "Hanging Out In Barland"! PEACE!

AMERICA (OH SAY CAN YOU SEE) new video version released now!

Feb 21 2020

Since we Americans are now in the most crucial election year in
the history of our country, I'm posting a new version of my
patriotic protest video, America (Oh Say Can You See).

MAMA CARES Winter Ball

Jan 22 2020

We are working to make this year's Winter Ball a huge success. Once again we'll be
holding our big fundraiser at The High Noon Saloon on Feb. 15th.
The show features silent auctions, raffles and great music by Raine Stern, Rare Element
and WURK!
Mama Cares is a program of the Madison Area Music Association and it's mission is to
help our area musicians and their families in times of medical emergency and family crisis.
To date we have raised and given out over $20,000 to our musical community.
To donate online or to find out more info, go to the Mama Cares website at


Dec 11 2019

This holiday season, I'm thankful for family and friends and for all
my frequent flyers who make it out to my shows. I'll be playing lots
of gigs this December and I've already booked a whole lot of shows in 2020.
Hope to see you hanging out in Barland!
Hope y'all have an outstanding holiday season and the best of New Years!

The MAMA CARES Music Fest

Jun 24 2019

Mark you calendars for Sunday, August 4th for The Mama Cares Music Fest at The
Wisconsin Brewery featuring some of Madison's most "iconic" bands from the past and present.

Admission is free, the beer will be cold and the patio will be rocking!
You can support MAMA Cares by buying a brat or by adding a few bucks to the donation jars!

1:00 p.m. - Easy Action
1:50 p.m. - Funky Chunky
2:40 p.m. - London Fog
3:30 p.m. - From Earth
4:20 p.m. - Speed Trap
5:10 p.m. - 7 Seasons Deep
6:00 p.m. - Mars Hall

MAMA Cares is a program that provides grant funds to Madison area musicians and their families in times of need. MAMA Cares helps to support musicians during times of medical emergencies or catastrophic loss. Requests for support are reviewed by the MAMA Board of Directors. For more information, visit


Jun 24 2019

What an honor it was to play, America, Oh Say Can You See at the Capital Theater
for the MAMA Awards Show. Much thanks to the Band of the Free for accompanying
me. And thanks to Doug Normington for editing the video for the live show.

It was also wonderful to talk up our MAMA CARES program which helps Madison area
musicians and their families in time of need. Thanks to all the audience members who
pitched in for the cause. If you're interested in finding out more about MAMA CARES
please go to.....

I'll be doing lots of solo shows this summer, with a sprinkling of Moon
Gypsies gigs as well. Hope to see you Hanging Out in Barland!


May 21 2019

I'm excited for a full schedule of gigs coming up this summer!
There are two very cool gigs coming up in the next few weeks.
MEMORIAL DAY (May 27th) @ Christy's Landing w/ The Moon Gypsies! 2-6pm.
I've been doing this gig for 25 years now and it's one of my all time favorites.
Join us for a great afternoon on the western shores of Lake Waubesa!

The MAMA AWARDS Show at The Capital Theater at the Ovrature Center
on June 9th. Proud to be playing my patriotic protest song,
America (Oh Say Can You See) as one of the featured
artists on this night. If you're a fan of Madison music, there's
no better evening than this to showcase our city's great musical culture.
All proceeds go directly to the MAMA mission of putting instruments in the
hands of kids.
Hope you can make it.

2019 Mama Award finalist!

Apr 3 2019

I'm honored to be a finalist for Folk/Americana Song of the Year In the
Madison Area Music Awards for my song America(Oh Say Can You See).
Lots of wonderful competition in this category, so I'm in good company.
Please take the time to vote at Your $5 donation to
vote, allows us to help fund music programs for kids. Oh, and I'm also in
the running for harmonica instrumentalist of the year again. Whoa, real
harp players are up for this award too!

2019 Looks to be a busy year!

Feb 9 2019

I'm happy to have a whole lot of gigs this year, mostly solo, and a few cool
shows with The Moon Gypsies! Also I'm up for a number of Madison Area Music Awards including
Best Americana/folk song and Best video for my patriotic protest song,
America (Oh Say Can You See) and also, Best unique song for "The Blessing Song".
Give a listen on my song page! Other nominations are for Male Vocalist, Acoustic Guitar
and again harmonica. Please go to to vote. It's also
a great way to catch up on all the great music coming out of Madison.

Hope to see you Hanging Out in Barland!


Feb 9 2019

Check out Robert J's new patriotic protest song and video,
America (Oh Say Can You See) "is a song that not only sounds American, but one
that does its best to illustrate what truly is American - a spirit of patriotic dissent."
Tom Whitcomb -
"I suspect Woody Guthrie would approve." - Doug Moe - Madison Magazine


May 30 2018

Thanks Tom Whitcomb and the Isthmus for this article about America (Oh Say Can You See)

Robert J Releases Protest Song And Video With An All-Star Cast Of Local Greats

May 26 2018

Check out the Local Sounds article by Rick Tvedt

Robert J.'s Patriotic Protest

May 22 2018

Madison Magazine's Doug Moe's article about Robert J. and America (Oh Say Can You See)


May 17 2018

Here it is folks, my patriotic protest song. America (Oh Say Can You See)!
Check it out on Youtube at .........

And you can buy the song right here on my song page on this site or get it
on iTunes and most all the other digital formats!

Thanks for listening!


May 1 2018

Woody Guthrie once said, "It is a folk singer's job to comfort disturbed people and to
disturb comfortable people." With that in mind, I look forward to the release of
my Patriotic Protest Song! America, (Oh Say Can You See). To be released May, 2018.

SONG RELEASE - Memorial Day 2018
VIDEO RELEASE - Memorial Day 2018


Mar 28 2018

I'm excited to be putting the finishing touches on my Patriotic Protest Song,
"America (Oh Say Can You See). We'll be mixing and finishing the video in
April and plan to launch the song on May 1st! .....May Day, May Day!

Thanks to all of you at my shows who have responded so positively to this song.
Your encouragement and enthusiasm towards it's message gives me hope for our

WELCOME to 2018!

Jan 10 2018

Another new year is upon us and I'm excited to be recording new
material for release later this year. I'm also playing a lot of solo gigs
throughout Wisconsin. Please check out my "shows" page for a current list.

And, I've been working hard and am excited for our Mama Cares Winter Ball coming
up on Feb, 17th at The High Noon Saloon. This is a benefit to help Madison area
musicians in their time of need. This year's fundraiser features some great bands,
The Rousers, Honor Among Thieves and The Lower 5th.
Please go to for more info about our
program and the Winter Ball. Please mark it on your calendar and support this
worthy cause.

Happy New Year!

Fall Gigs!

Oct 23 2017

I've got a lot of shows this fall at a lot of great places. I'm thankful for the chance to
play so much music for y'all.
Aside from my weekly Wednesday Night gig at The Come Back In in Madison, I'll be
playing all around the surrounding area. Please check out my "Shows" page for a
complete listing.
One the MAMA CARES front, please join us at Mr. Roberts in Madison for a fundraiser
on Nov. 11th featuring, The Lower 5th, Sam Ness and yours truly.
For you Moon Gypsies fans, the MG trio will get together for a special THANKSGIVING
EVE celebration at The CBI on November 22nd at 7:30PM. Should be a great way to start out
the holiday season!
Hope to see you "hanging out in barland"!


Aug 16 2017

Welcome to the website! I haven't kept it up much over the last couple of years.
I've found that working 2 full time jobs (one in a factory and the other playing music)
has left me with neither time nor energy to keep it all together. Now that my factory
job is behind me, I hope to keep you a little more up to date.

I'm excited to spend my days this fall recording a couple of new CDs! There's over
20 songs I'd like to put down and I hope to have something released by the end of 2017.

I've got a lot of solo gigs and a few cool Moon Gypsies shows coming up this fall. Please
check out my "shows" page for more details. Hope to see you "Hanging Out In Barland"!


Feb 12 2016

I'm excited to say our new program, MAMA CARES is taking off this year.
MAMA CARES was created through the MAMAs (Madison Area Music
Association) to help local Madison musicians in their time of need.

After the huge support shown to our family after our son Jacy's emergency
brain surgery, we felt we wanted to help pay it forward to help others
in their time of need.



Jun 14 2015

I've just been told that I will be honored at this year's MAMA Awards
show for a Legacy Award for Songwriting. This is only the second year
for this award and I'm so grateful for being recognized!

Madison Musicians rally for Robert J.'s Family!

Apr 9 2015

Music Community Rallies For Family Of Robert J; Benefit Scheduled For April 19th at The
High Noon Saloon. 6-19PM.

Local Sounds Magazine

Thanks for your support!

Jan 15 2015

I want to thank everyone who has sent their love and support
to me and my family while my son, Jacy has been dealing with
recovery from emergency brain surgery. Trying times bring
out the best in people and we feel the love being sent our way.
Thanks again and all the best to you. Onward!

ROBERT J. Nominated for Folk Artist of the Year for WAMIs

Mar 15 2014

I did not see this coming, but I appreciate the nod of being nominated
for Folk Artist of the Year for the Wisconsin Area Music Industry. I believe you
can check out the other nominees and vote at


Aug 30 2013

Hey Folks, Due to problems with noise restrictions over at Christy's Landing, they can no longer have outdoor music this season. Therefore we have been cancelled for playing this Labor Day. Too bad as we were looking forward to playing together again and doing our annual thang. Anyway, enjoy your Labor Day Weekend and all the best. RJ

The Elephant Gerald Show

Jun 1 2013

Greetings Music Lovers of all ages,

I'd like to invite you to check out our new children's series about
Elephant Gerald and his krewe of jazz and blues playing sidekicks.
My wife, Jill and I, along with our artist, Glenn Fuller and the rest
of our EG team, have been developing the whole concept for about
6 years now and we're finally to the point of wanting to share Elephant
Gerald with you all. We've been writing stories and music and we
are now developing an animated short film as well. Someday we'd
like Elephant Gerald to become a TV show.
Here's three things you can do to get connected and help spread the word.

1. Like us on Facebook :

The Elephant Gerald Show page is now up and we're looking to have you for a friend.

2. Read our Blog:

Starting today and every Sunday, we'll be adding stories for you to read and share with your kids.

3. Check out our Website :

Here you can listen to the Elephant Gerald theme song and That's Where Your Mojo Is.
Also, you can get the full picture of what we're planning to do.

Playing Solo for the winter!

Dec 3 2012

My band The Rowdy Prairie Dogs are taking the winter off and I'll be playing solo shows in and around the Madison area for the winter. Look for a new and improved version of the band for next summer's shows.

North/South Meeting of Americana Songwriters

Sep 27 2012

*****Oct 11 2012 Madison, Wisconsin - The Brink - Billy Eli with Robert J. - 8:00PM*****
Two Americana singer/songwriter's, one from the North and one from the South, pair up for a night of Americana Music. A percentage of the proceeds go to two charities benefiting Autism and the Heart Association.

Billy Eli from Austin, Texas -

Billy Eli plays country that rocks and rock that's country, delivering songs that are vivid slices of real life lived to the fullest and chased down with a stiff shot of whiskey. With a style that's rooted in his small town Southeast Texas origins that transcends the Lone Star State to achieve an international reach, the Austin, TX-based singer and songwriter has been compared by critics to such stellar American music artists as Tom Petty, Steve Earle, John Prine and John Mellencamp, to name a few. And like them, Eli's music bears an indelible trademark that's all his own, nimbly riding the fulcrum where rock and country converge, and singing with fervent heart and soul about the range of human experience from sin to salvation.

Robert J. from Madison, WI -

Robert J. has been a mainstay in the Wisconsin music scene ever since releasing his first record Boys Town in 1986. He has won the Wisconsin Male Vocalist of the year, 8 MAMA Awards and songwriting awards including the Billboard Song Contest for his tune, "A Million Miles Away". Robert has had success with his bands, Boystown, The Moon Gypsies and currently, with his Bluesy Americana band, The Rowdy Prairie Dogs. In April of 2008, Robert released 2 CDs on the same day. "A Beautiful Blur" is a AAA/singer/songwriter record and "The Revenge of the Rowdy Prairie Dogs" is an Americana/Country-rock CD. The RPD Cd wound up at Americana radio where it reached #14 on the Euro-Americana chart and #15 on the Roots Rock Chart in America. Over the years Robert J. has shared the stage with many well known artists including, The Beach Boys, The Subdudes, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Delbert McClinton, LeAnn Rimes, John Eddie and Paul Thorn.

Last Minute Solo Show added!!!

Jul 17 2012

Hey Y'all,

I was just handed a last minute solo show at The Silver Eagle Bar & Grill in Monona for this Saturday night, July 21st. 9PM until midnight. This is my first time in at this well known establishment, so come on down and tip a few!

Hope to see you there. rj


Mar 29 2012

My dixieland song, "That's Where Your Mojo Is" has been nominated for JAZZ Song of the Year in the MAMA awards. I recorded this song in New Orleans last year with some great studio musicians. It's one of a new crop of songs I've been writing for The Elephant Gerald Show, a children's animated TV show that my wife and I have been working on for almost 5 years now. Check it out on my song page and if you want to vote for the MAMA Awards, there is a $5 voting fee which goes directly to putting instruments in the hands of needy children.


Mar 29 2012

What a night!

Nov 13 2010

Just got home from my show with LeAnn Rimes in
Sheboygan, on the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan, on the eastern edge of my
adopted home state of Wisconsin. Well, hey hey, my my, I gotta was a
wonderful night! The Weill Center for the Performing Arts is an amazing,
historic, restored theater ...and, it had some 900 people who made me feel so
at home and comfortable that they had to drag me off the stage! And then, the
"BONUS".... getting to hear and see LeAnn Rimes from out front and from backstage! I tell you, in case you didn't already know, this young upstart has such an incredible voice that at times it had the timbre and the sound of a trumpet. WOW, it don't get much better than this!
For me, it was.......seriously priceless!

LEANN RIMES with special guest ROBERT J.

Oct 19 2010

ON NOVEMBER 12TH, Robert J. will be playing a show with the one and only LeAnn Rimes at the Weill Center for the Performing Arts in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.

LeAnn Rimes w/ special guest Robert J.
Weill Center for the Performing Arts
Sheboygan, WI
Fri, Nov 12, 2010 07:30 PM.

For Tickets

The RPDs to play show with PAUL THORN!!!!!!

Sep 30 2010

The Rowdy Prairie Dogs are opening for one of the best
singer/songwriters in the biz today.......PAUL THORN.
Great lyricist and story teller, great southern fried
grooves (ala Little Feat), this guy from Tupelo, Misssissippi
will blow you away with his funky brand of...AMERICANA!

October 13th, 2010, 8PM. The High Noon Saloon, Madison, Wisconsin!

The RPDs to open for John Eddie

Jul 1 2010

On July 31st The RPDs will be opening for New Jersey singer/songwriter, JOHN EDDIE at The High Noon Saloon. 9PM

The Rowdy Prairie Dogs Win Country Performer of the Year

May 21 2010

The RPDs took home the MAMA award for Performer of the Year in the Country category. Thanks for voting for us and congratulations to all the MAMA winners and nominees.

Buy My Songs Right Here, Y'ALL! OR go to the song page and order there! Thanks for listening!

Apr 19 2010

The Rowdy Prairie Dogs receive 3 MAMA Nominations

Apr 16 2010

The Rowdy Prairie Dogs receive 3 MAMA Nominations Posted: Apr 7, 2010
The MAMA award nominations are in and The RPDs are nominated in
3 categories.......

Folk/Americana Performer of the Year
Country/Bluegrass Performer of the Year
Folk/Americana Song of the Year for "Hanging Out In Barland".

Vote for your favorite Madison bands by going to this link There is a $5 voting charge
and all money goes directly to putting instruments in the hands of

The RPDs nominated for WAMI Award!

Mar 10 2010

The Rowdy Prairie Dogs have been nominated for a second straight year for
Americana Band of the Year in the Wisconsin Area Music Industry Awards.


Dec 15 2009

Every Wednesday night at Talula's -

Robert J. & friends - 8:00PM until 11:00PM
2 for 1 Wednesdays - No cover! .......Yup!
Twice the bang for your buck!!
***That's right, 2 for 1 on rails and on select beers!

Every Friday Evening at Ruth's Chris Steak House
Robert J. - solo - Early show from 6- 9:00PM.

Robert J. Interview with AMERICANA GAZETTE

Aug 27 2009

Robert recently sat down with Andy Ziehli from The Americana
Gazette to talk about The Rowdy Prairie Dogs and his life in
music. Andy states, "Robert J. is a songwriter?s songwriter.
A man that can turn a phrase into a lyrical opus. He is
Southern Wisconsin?s songwriting poet laureate."

Read the full interview on page 28 of this months Americana Gazette at

THE RPDs receive 3 MAMA AWARDS Nominations!!!!

Mar 30 2009

The Rowdy Prairie Dogs have been nominated for 3 Madison
Area Music Awards for Best Country/Bluegrass Performer,
Best Country/Bluegrass song for "That's Why" and our drummer, Ron Granberg
is nominated for best drummer. You can vote for
all your favorite Madison music at You
don't have to live in Madison to vote. There is a $5 charge to
vote but that money goes directly to putting music in the
hands of kids.

THE RPDs receive 2 WAMI AWARDS Nominations!!!!

Mar 30 2009

The Rowdy Prairie Dogs pick up 2 Wisconsin Area Music Industry
Nominations for Best New Artist and for Best Americana Band.
To see a list of all nominees, go to

The RP Dogs are finalists in The Independent Music Awards

Nov 24 2008

The Revenge of the Rowdy Prairie Dogs has been named
a finalist in the 8th annual Independent Music Awards
for best Alt.Country Album. And out of all the bands worldwide,
another Madison band, The Blueheels has been nominated to
the same category. Go Madison!

You can go and vote for your favorites at.......

Album Finalists : 8th Annual Independent Music Awards

The Cutting Edge Music Conference in New Orleans!

Aug 25 2008

From the very first moment I got to New Orleans
I felt at home there. On my first afternoon in town,
I walked through the French Quarter and before I left,
I had played on Bourbon Street in a funky little place
called the Funky Pirate. My thanks to Mark Penton for
getting me up on his stage and letting me do a few tunes.
On Friday night, I did my showcase at The Kerry Irish Pub.
Great place and great people! Thanks to Chip Wilson for
helping with the sound and thanks to Doris for the
opportunity. And Saturday night, I got to do another
solo show at The Blue Nile on Frenchman
Street before a great Americana band from Shreveport, LA
by the name of Dirtfoot. Check them out! It was great
to hang out with Pete Knapp from Shut Eye Records and
the whole staff from SJK Public Relations, not to mention
enjoying all the food and music and soul and spirit
that the Big Easy had to offer.

Let the Good Times Roll!!!!!!!!

The Colorado or Bust Radio Show Tour

Aug 8 2008

My thanks to all our friends and family who gave us
such a warm welcome throughout Colorado. KBUT, KDNK
and KRFC .....Thanks for letting me come in and
play some new songs and spin some of the songs off
the new CDs!

#15 On The Roots Rock Chart

Aug 8 2008

The Revenge of the Rowdy Prairie Dogs is still moving up and hanging on!

#25 on The Roots Rock Chart

Jul 15 2008

The 3rd week of radio and The Rowdy Prairie Dogs are at #25!!!!!!

#36 on the Roots Rock Chart!

Jul 4 2008

The Revenge of the Rowdy Prairie Dogs reaches #36 on the Roots rock chart
after only one week!

#19 on Euro-Americana Chart!

Jul 3 2008

After only 1 week of radio promotion "The Revenge
of the Rowdy Prairie Dogs" CD has charted at #19 on
the Euro-Americana Chart.

June Newsletter

Jun 19 2008

The Rowdy Prairie Dogs have some great gigs coming up inlcuding.....

June 21 - in Waupaca opening for the New Riders of the Purple Sage.

July 5 - Riverfront Rendezvous -Stevens Point Fireworks display.

July 6 - Summerfest in Milwaukee

JUST ADDED - July 13 - Opening for THE BODEANS in Osh Kosh.

For more details and other upcoming Robert J. solo shows go to
the GIGS page


Jun 19 2008

It was an honor to be at the Steel Bridge Song Festival in
Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin last weekend. My thanks to pat mAcdonald
and everyone who made this wonderful event happen. I got to sing on
stage for the finale with Jackson Browne(one of my all time
songwriting heroes) along with all the talented musicians
and songwriters involved with the Fest. It's going to happen
again next year so put the 2nd week of June on your calendars
and come to one of the neatest little towns on any of the
Great Lakes and enjoy the music. The Rowdy Prairie Dogs
played an inspired showcase to a packed house at the Fest and
I wound up jamming with Freedy Johnson until way too
late or ..way too early as the case may be.



May 22 2008


PopBomb Records is partnering with Shut Eye Records
to promote "The Revenge of the Rowdy Prairie Dogs"
worldwide to Americana Radio! The Radio Campaign
will begin going for adds on June 23, 2008 and
sent to 320 stations in the U.S., Canada and Europe!

Robert J. WINS 6 MAMAs!!!!!!

May 12 2008

The Madison Area Music Awards last Saturday at The Barrymore Theater
will be a night to remember for the rest of my life. Thank you
to all the fans and to my music peers who voted for "A Beautiful Blur"
and the "Rowdy Prairie Dogs" songs and CDS. Thank you! Thank you!
Thank you! Again I want to thank all the musicians who played on
these records and I want to officially apologize to Mike Zirkel and
Smart Studios for leaving them out of my special thanks. I will
be naming my next born child Mike Zirkel Conaway and my next CD
will be titled, The Revenge of Mike Zirkel for the amazing contributions
Mike has made to my recorded life. Thank you Mike Zirkel!

I also want to thank Kenny Koeppler at
The Sound Garden for his contribution to these recordings.

And ............The awards are:

Rock Album of the Year
"A Beautiful Blur"

Country/Bluegrass Album of the Year
"The Revenge of The Rowdy Prairie Dogs"

Country/Bluegrass Song of the Year
Loved Like That - The Rowdy Prairie Dogs

Folk/Americana Song of the Year
Home Movies - The Rowdy Prairie Dogs

Pop Song of the Year
A Room With A View - Robert J.

Male Vocalist of the Year
Robert J.

Link to Madison Magazine Interview with Robert J. about MAMAs 2008

Robert J. Receives 7 Nominations for MAMA Awards!

Apr 8 2008

Robert J. is nominated for his new PopBomb Records releases,
"A Beautiful Blur" and "The Revenge of the Rowdy Prairie Dogs"!

The Nominations are...

A Beautiful Blur...Rock Album of the year.
The Revenge of the Rowdy Prairie Dogs...Country/Bluegrass
Album of the year.
Loved Like That...Country song of the year.
A Room With A View... Pop song of the year.
Home Movies... Folk/Americana song of the year.
Male Vocalist - Robert J.
Instrumentalist - Robert J.

To vote for your favorite MAMA nominees (And it is an honor to
be nominated with such a wonderful pool of Madison area
songwriters) Go to
There will be a $5 donation charge to vote, but your money goes
directly to fund kids music programs. Plus, you'll enjoy the music!!

April News/Thoughts!

Apr 8 2008

Well it's a great ride!
A great night at The Brink for my CD release party.
(To all of you who were there...Thank you, I had a blast!)
A new band that's rocking and an old band that
is still one big happy family. Two songs in the
movie "Madison" which debuted last weekend at the
Wisconsin Film Fest. 7 nominations for MAMA awards
for "A Beautiful Blur" and "The Revenge of the Rowdy
Prairie Dogs"!!!!!!! 22 pounds lost! A strong heart.
An amazing family! And........a whole new crop
of songs that I hope to record and share with you soon!


January News!

Jan 17 2008

Thanks to all of you who have reached out to me over the past months
since my heart attack. I feel both amazed and blessed to have such
a wonderful family and so many true friends who have offered
me so much encouragement through this down time! I am just beginning
to feel my energy returning and life getting back to it's typical
hectic pace. But, life is different now, or at least I am.
The meanings of certain concepts seem in a way, so much more
pure now. Things like appreciation, happiness, faith, commitment,
love, family, health, humility, fear, hope, tolerance, forgiveness
and compassion have filled this broken heart and enabled me to
become a healthier, happier, more at peace version of my former self.
Life has always been about change and adapting to it. After all, isn't
surviving what we the living do? This year my life is rich with
simple lessons, blessed with family and friends and open to
the possibilities that come to someone who has been given a
second chance.

Peace and Happiness for a Heart Healthy New Year! Robert J.

Feature Article in the Wisconsin State Journal by Gayle Worland.

Jan 17 2008

Otis Redding Tribute

Dec 6 2007

For those who couldn't make the Otis Redding Tribute.

Here's a link to with a news report about the event.

Special thanks to Katy Sai for doing this report!

Doug Moe Article in the Capital Times

Dec 1 2007

The front page article by columnist Doug Moe from November 29th.
Here's to second chances!!!!!!

Musician Gets a Second Chance at Life!

Health News!

Nov 19 2007

I thought I should let you know that my Cd Release party on December 8th at The Brink will have to be postponed until sometime in the new year. A little over a week ago, on November 10th, I had a heart attack while raking leaves in my backyard and had to have emergency surgery where they put two stints in my right coronary artery. Because we got to the hospital fast and because of the amazing staff at St. Mary?s, they had me in the operating room within minutes and the damage to my heart muscle looks like it will be minimal. Over the next 6 weeks, I will be undertaking rehab to strengthen my heart and it is going to take some time to get back to full strength. But, hopefully I will be back!

I?ve dreamed of this CD release party for the past year while recording my new CDs and I still can?t wait to share these new songs with you. If you are interested, ?A Beautiful Blur? and ?The Revenge of the Rowdy Prairie Dogs? will be in stores in the Madison area on November 20th and will also be available here at the record company website.......

I want to thank my wife Jill and my family, friends and neighbors who have all helped me in so many ways. Life is a precious thing and everyday I thank God that I?ll have a second chance to live, to watch my kids grow and to make more music!

I hope to see you soon, have a wonderful holiday season and remember to take good care of your heart!


Robert J.

New CD's are Available Now!!!!

Oct 29 2007

"A Beautiful Blur" and "The Revenge of the Rowdy Prairie Dogs" are in stock and available for your listening enjoyment.

They'll be in stores on November 20th but you can order them today at

CD RELEASE PARTY at The BRINK in Madison on December 8th at 9:00pm featuring the Rowdy Prairie Dogs and The Crashers!

Check out my new myspace web pages

Sep 20 2007

Madison - the Movie

Sep 14 2007

Here is a link to check out the promo video for the movie "Madison". I had the honor to sing 2 songs for this movie as well as placing "Rewind" from "A Beautiful Blur" in the film.

A Beautiful Blur

Sep 7 2007

It's been a beautiful blur this past year as I have been working on my new Cds! I'm happy to say that I'm climbing out of self-imposed "studio hibernation" and all is on track for a November release. Mixing for "A Beautiful Blur" and "The Rowdy Praire Dogs" has just been completed by Sir Mike Zirkel at Smart Studios and we are set to master the projects with Trevor Sadler next week at Mastermind Productions in Milwaukee. I hope to post a couple of songs on the site soon.

For the first time in 25 years I don't have many gigs on the horizon. But I'll have lots to do with promoting these Cd's and handling the business end of PopBomb Records. I do plan on doing some shows throughout the fall and there is talk of putting "the Rowdy Prairie Dogs" together as an actual band. I'll keep you posted!


Jun 5 2007

Q: Where did you grow up?

A: As a child I grew up as my family criss-crossed North America following my Dad's career with the Canadian National Railroad.

Q: What made you realize that music was your path?

A: I've loved music ever since I can remember. But I think it was in college when I was listening to the old Buffalo Springfield song, "Bluebird", and specifically to the guitar break in the middle of the song when I said, "that's it, I'm going to be a musician!"

Q: How would you describe the music that you typically create?

A: Americana seems to fit. With a midwestern soul.

Q: Who are your biggest musical influences?

A: From Elvis and Hank Williams, to Bob Dylan and the Beatles, CSN&Y and Little Feat to Springsteen and everything in between. Also, I would have to say the musicians who I have worked with over the years have influenced me in amazing ways.

Q: What makes your music unique?

A: It's written from the heart with my own brand of soul. My songs are a result of my life's experiences and reflect a journey taken on the road less traveled.

Q: Has there been one particular moment in your musical career that you're most proud of?

A: I've had several........ being kissed by Bonnie Raitt! Playing shows with amazing artists like Ray Charles, The Beach Boys, Taj Mahal and Delbert McClinton. Winning the Billboard Songwriting contest. But, the one that stands out as the most humbling moment in my musical career is when I sang "Dock of the Bay" at the dedication of the Otis Redding memorial.

Q: What's next for you?

A: New Cd's, new songs! New musical ventures including producing other artists. Watching the kids grow! Staying healthy, staying positive and staying true to myself and my family and ............................staying happy!

Spring 2007

May 29 2007

Greetings and thanks for coming to my site!

The Lucas Cates Band won 3 awards for Best Pop Record, Best Pop Song and Best Pop Artist at the MAMA's(Madison Area Music Awards). It's been an honor to be a part of this young singer/songwriter's music and a real treat to have produced this CD.

I'm still working on what has turned into 2 Cd's to be released this fall. The Robert J. record will be called "A Beautiful Blur" and the Americana/Country record will be called "The Revenge of the Rowdy Prairie Dogs". I can't wait to share these new songs with you.

The Moon Gypsies will be at Summerfest this year on the Potawatomi Stage on July 7th at 2pm. Come on down and help us party on this lucky day(7-7-7)!

Winter 2007

Jan 19 2007

Thanks for coming to my website and I hope your New year is going great!

I've started tracking for a new CD and I'm looking forward to releasing several musical projects this year. The Moon G's are still doing some gigs and I'll be playing with the Lucas Cates Band as well.

Speaking of Lucas, here's a press release about The Lucas Cates Band's visit to Cincinnati this past week......... We had a great time!


The Cincinnati Ballet performs modern dance piece to song by Madison Singer/Songwriter, Lucas Cates.

The Lucas Cates Band has just returned from Ohio where the Cincinnati Ballet performed a modern dance piece to Lucas? song ?4everytime? from his debut CD, ?Contradictory? on PopBomb Records. The performance was a gift from the city of Cincinnati to the graduating members of their C-change leadership program for young professionals. The evening was attended by over 300 people who were also treated to a short speech by legendary recording artist and now Cincinnati resident, Peter Frampton.

The song ?4everytime? which has received significant national airplay on College radio and here at home on 105.5 Triple M, is a mixture of spoken word and an infectious sing along chorus. It tells the story of a fairytale/hermit type character and his dream for love.

Last September, The Lucas Cates Band showcased at the Midpoint Music Festival in Cinncy where their Cd caught the attention of Brian Frank, an executive from Proctor and Gamble who helped sponsor the prestigious music conference. He put it in the hands of the Cincinnati Ballet?s artistic director, Victoria Morgan and in November, they flew Lucas down to coordinate ideas with Ms. Morgan and choreographer Jay Goodlett, which led to the performance this past Tuesday night.

Fall 2006

Oct 3 2006

Hey everyone! Thanks for coming to my site. Fall is here and the "Beautiful Blur" of life keeps on going!

We've had an exciting time with the "Lucas Cates" Cd. Over 200 college stations throughout North America have been playing his music. If you haven't heard Lucas' music yet, go to and check it out. Songs can be listened to or downloaded there; or, you can really support the arts by ordering the CD. Our thanks goes out to Tinderbox Promotions for doing such a great job promoting "Contradictory" to the college market.

The Lucas Cates Band had a successful trip to Cincinnati where we played a cool showcase gig for the MIDPOINT MUSIC FESTIVAL. We met a load of very cool industry people and saw some incredible bands!

I've just listed all the gigs that I/The Lucas Cated Band/The Moon G.'s have coming up this fall. Check out my Gigs page to find out about all of these musical endeavors.

Finally, I'm putting the finishing touches on a new crop of songs that I will be recording this fall and winter. I hope to have something out by the spring.

The CD is tentatively called.... "A Beautiful Blur".

Thanks, Enjoy the blur!!!!! RJ

Summer 2006

Aug 28 2006

Hope you are having a wonderful summer. Life is good for me these days.

We at PopBomb Records just released Lucas Cates' debut Cd "Contradictory" to 350 college stations around the country and in our first week we have had 65 stations adding it to their playlist. A great start, even if I do say so myself. The Lucas Cate Band is headed to Cincinnati to be featured at a Showcase at the Midpoint Music Festival in late September and we'll be playing on top of the roof at the Monona Terrace on September 27th, followed by an after work show at the Overature Center on October 19th.

I had a lot of gigs in July with The Moon G's and The Lucas Cates Band and some solo shows too. Summerfest was a blast! Playing at the UW memorial Union was another highlight and opening for John Eddie was an honor.

I'm happy to say that I am in the pre-production phase of a new CD that I plan to record throughout the fall, to be released in early 2007. I've been writing a whole new crop of songs over the last couple of years and I'm excited to record them for your listening pleasure.

Take care and I hope to see you out and about! Don't for get to keep Howling at the Moon!

Here's What's Happening!

May 16 2006

Welcome again to the website. I haven't had a chance to update this in a while.
I've been busy doing PopBomb Records work promoting Lucas Cates new CD, "Contradictory". His song "4everytime" is in regular rotation on 105.5 Triple M and we are about to release it nationally to Triple A radio.

I've been playing a lot of gigs lately. Solo shows, Moon Gypsies shows and The Lucas Cates Band shows. PLEASE, checkout my Gigs page and come out to a show or two! There are some cool gigs coming up including.......

THE MOON GYPSIES..... at Christy's Landing for their annual Memorial Day Celebration(May 29th @ 2:00pm), Monona Terrace Concerts on the Rooftop on June 8th and at SUMMERFEST on the HARLEY D Stage(July 3rd @ 2:00pm)

The Lucas Cates Band is playing Arts Fair on the Square on July 8th and at the Memorial Terrace at UW Memorial Union on the on July 28th.

Have a great Spring and I hope to see you soon!

Robert J. is an International Songwriting Competition Finalist

Feb 1 2006

Announced today.....

Robert J.'s song "Don't Go Away" is in the finals of the 2005 International Songwriting Competition. Selected out of 15,000 entries it is an honor to be included with the other final songs from around the world. "Don't Go Away" is nominated in the AAA/Roots/Americana category. The winners will be announced in March. You can cast a vote for the People's Voice award by going to

Listen to "Don't Go Away" demo recording by going to the Songs page on this site.

2005 News

Jan 12 2006

September 2005
Robert J. wins 2 awards in the Berghoff and Blues Song Contest!
Not only did Robert J.'s song "Will It Always Be This Way"(co-written by R.J. Reynolds and Mary Gaines) win first place in the Berghoff and Blues contest, but his Billboard winning song, "A Million Miles Away" placed second.
Berghoff & Blues Contest Winners
Congratulations to the nine artists selected by Berghoff to be featured on ! These artists, chosen for their exceptional blues tunes, will not only be spotlighted and have their songs available for download on the Berghoff & Blues website for the next year, but will also receive a cash prize and software from Broadjam. Go to to download the winning songs!

October 2005
Robert J. signs a 4 song Publishing deal with L.A. publisher, ?Transition Music?. His songs, ?A Million Miles Away?(both his version from ?Rewind? and The Moon Gypsies version) which was a Billboard Song Contest winner, plus ?I Ain't Blue? and ?I Will Be Strong? a gospel song from Robert J.'s ?Family Tree? CD were picked up. Transition Music has a long history of placing songs in TV and Film from The Sopranos all the way back to Raiders of the Lost Arc and Ghost Busters.


Jan 11 2006

Happy New Year and welcome to my official website. My thanks to Robert Johnson (the delta blues guy) and, Robert Johnson (the guy from Naples, Florida) who sold me for a very resonable price. Sorry to all the other Robert J.'s in the world --- It's my site now!!!!!

I've been busy this past year playing with the Moon Gypsies, writing a few songs, running an open mic, building PopBomb Records and spending all my other available time split between producing Lucas Cates debut CD, Contradictory and.......watching the kids grow.

It certainly has been a wonderful Blur!

Someone once said, "It's all good when your banging out your music on an old box of wood!" So, I'm truly blessed to have family, friends, fellow musicians and business associates like Dave Stratton and Lucas Cates in my life. We're looking forward to an exciting year, launching Lucas Cd and The Lucas Cates Band, playing with the Moon Gypsies, doing some solo shows and for always and forever.......Watching the kids grow! Stay tuned.

Until later, Robert J.

Check out the new site, you can now buy Mp3 downloads right here from the recordings or other song pages. Very cool!