New Release Rack: Fritz’s Polka Band’s “The WSKG Sessions”

November 1st, 2013, 1:00 pm by Greg

Fritz’s Polka Band: The WSKG Sessions

The Verona-based Fritz’s Polka Band is releasing their new album today (Friday, November 1), and there are a number of reasons why the album holds a special significance:

1.) The WSKG Sessions is a 2-CD live set and the first recordings the band has released since the death of founding member-accordionist Fred Scherz in November, 2009.

2.) Recorded in February of 2012, it’s also the final FPB recording to feature guitarist Tom Campbell, who has since retired from the band.

3.) Astonishingly enough, The WSKG Sessions is Fritz’s Polka Band’s 18th album. That right, they’ve got 18 albums to their credit.

And if for some reason, you don’t think that a polka band can be cool, well, you’re just missing the point here. Not only is Fritz’s Polka Band the only polka band to perform at a Woodstock Music Festival (in Rome in 1999), but two of the band’s songs – “Grandparent’s Polka” and “Here Is Fritz’s Polka Band” – were featured in episodes of the smash hit TV show, “Breaking Bad.”

And if that ain’t cool, I don’t know what is…


A “Breaking Bad” Encore for Fritz’s Polka Band

October 3rd, 2011, 10:00 am by Greg
Fritz's Polka Band

Fritz's Polka Band

“Once is not enough.”

I can’t remember who said it – was it Friedrich Nietzsche or Jacqueline Susann? – but the quotation certainly applies to Fritz’s Polka Band.

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Breaking Bad With Fritz’s Polka Band

September 1st, 2011, 12:40 pm by Greg
Fritz's Polka Band

Fritz's Polka Band

It’s one of our very favorite TV shows, so we were psyched to find out that the producers of AMC’s hit drama, “Breaking Bad” had reached out to one of Nippertown’s longest-running bands to provide some of the music for an upcoming episode.

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Congrats to Fritz’s Polka Band…

August 13th, 2010, 2:57 pm by Greg

Fritz's Polka Band

Fritz's Polka Band

Verona-based Fritz’s Polka Band has earned a nomination from the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame in Euclid, Ohio, for their original song, “Come Home Safe.”

Written by FPB’s bandleader-vocalist-accordionist Fritz Scherz, the song has been nominated in the Best New Original Polka or Waltz category.

The song, which is featured on the band’s 2009 album “Tribute,” on the group’s recording, “Tribute” which was released in 2009, has a special meaning to the band.

“The guys in my band are happy that ‘Come Home Safe’ has been nominated,” said Scherz. “I wrote that song in honor of my friend of many years, Mike Bolton, as he was deployed overseas serving our country. And I’m pleased to say that he did come home safe.”

Winners will be announced at the Crystal Awards Show XXIII in Cleveland on Saturday, November 27.

Good luck, Fritz!

RIP: Fred Scherz, Sr. of Fritz’s Polka Band, 1930-2009

November 23rd, 2009, 12:29 pm by Greg

FredScherzOn Saturday, November 14, Fred Scherz Sr., accordionist and founding member of Fritz’s Polka Band from Verona, NY passed away after a brave battle with liver cancer. He was 79 years old.

“I am absolutely crushed by my dad’s passing,” said Fritz Scherz, the current bandleader of FPB. “My dad was a real role model, and I learned so much from him.”

In 2004, the elder Scherz became the first New York State musician to be inducted into the Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame in Euclid, Ohio.

His last performance with Fritz’s Polka Band was October 1, at a taping of “The Big Joe Polka Show” television show in Buffalo.

Fritz’s Polka Band has been performing for more than three decades and recorded 17 albums. In 1999, the band became the first polka band to perform at a Woodstock Festival in Rome. The band appears on “The Manchurian Candidate” DVD, which was released in 2004.

Among the band’s many awards are a Just Plain Folks Music Award (Best Polka Song, 2008), two Upper State Independent Award (International Category, 2008-9) and a Syracuse Area Music Award (Best Recording: Other Styles, 2009).

Mike Huckabee Gets Down!

October 29th, 2009, 10:39 am by Greg

huckabee01Former Arkansas governor and presidential contender Mike Huckabee strapped on a bass and rocked out with Verona’s own Fritz’s Polka Band at a Conservative Party Recognition Dinner in Liverpool, NY, on Tuesday evening.

“The guys in Fritz’s Polka Band were excited to not only jam with a former 2008 presidential contender, but also delighted that he used my bass player’s (Gabe Vaccaro) bass guitar,” said accordionist Fritz Scherz, FPB’s bandleader. “He was very gracious to us, and before we played, he even thanked me for letting him perform with my band! Talk about a classy guy!”

Fritz’s Polka Band has been performing for over 31 years and made history in 1999, when they became the first polka band to perform at a Woodstock Festival in Rome, NY. The band has 17 recordings to its credit.

So what song did FPB and Huckabee crank out during their jam session?

Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock and Roll.”

Fritz adds that the performance earned a rousing standing ovation.

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