From a very early age Tony Goff knew that he was wired to be a leader. At age 15 he picked up the guitar, almost immediately “jamming” with other High School friends anywhere they could find, including church chapels, garages and school gymnasiums. Shortly into his guitar playing, he broke his thumb on a ski trip, leaving him with a cast up to his elbow and unable to play music with his garage-band mates. So he did what any music-crazed 15 year old would do, he picked up a microphone and taught himself to sing! By Tony’s 16th birthday he already had a half dozen club shows under his belt with his 80’s rock band “Overdrive.” In amongst Tony’s early musical endeavors, before age 19, he found time to start a music magazine and a manufacturing business, which to this day, he still owns.
By 18 Tony was asked to join a touring cover band where he met the person who would turn out to be his lifetime musical partner, Joe Hite. Tony, Joe and their band mates jumped in their van and got their first taste of what a touring band might experience. Ultimately, after being stranded in Denver with a broken down van and a band that was forced to live in a garage for shelter, Tony and Joe returned to Milwaukee to put together what would become one of the most popular original rock bands of the day “Lips.” Feeling that the only way to get a shot at a national recording career was to perform in Los Angeles, the two convinced their band to move across the country to give the L.A. music scene a shot. The band became favorites of the Sunset Strip, playing clubs such as The Whisky, Gazzarri’s, The Troubadour and The Roxy. The band now called “Mother Conviction” secured management, a development recording agreement with A&M Studios and a lot of great press from the L.A. music publications.
Despite some good momentum, 6 years had nearly passed and time had run out. Tony got married, had a child and felt the right decision was to return to Milwaukee to pick up his manufacturing business where he left off. Almost immediately, the singer started a shockingly successful 70’s Disco band, “The Boogie Men.” This gave Tony the ability to continue to perform while focusing on the business he had left behind years earlier. Tony led that band for the next 16 years while continuing to build his business.
In 2011 Tony started a “Music of Billy Joel” band, “52nd Street” and Co-Founded the “This Time Tomorrow” Foundation; an organization that uses music & the arts to give direct financial assistance to families that are struggling due to cancer. In 2011, Tony was honored to be named the Leukemia / Lymphoma Societies “Man of the Year” for the Midwest region.
Currently, Tony continues to sing in 52nd Street, as well as “Uprising,” a “modern rock” band that he put together. He also started an entertainment company called “A.G. Entertainment” which includes artist management (Shealeigh / Erica Hoyt) live production services and most recently “Cave Studios MKE.” Tony intends on combining his acumen for business and his passion for music for a very long time to come.
Brett Schimke is a musician, composer, arranger, and engineer currently residing in New Berlin, WI. He began his studies at the University of Minnesota School of Music in pursuit of a Music Education degree. After a year and a half of being classically trained in percussion, Schimke made the decision to transfer to McNally Smith College of Music, where he would pursue a more contemporary side of his musical interests. Schimke graduated from McNally Smith College of Music in the spring of 2013 with Bachelor degrees in both Music Production (BS) and Music Composition.
Since high school, Schimke has been focused on gaining professional experiences within his field on several fronts - particularly those of teaching, performing, arranging, composing, engineering, and producing. He instructed the Chisago Lakes, MN High School Drumline and Percussion Ensemble for four years, during which he arranged and composed several of their performance pieces, and also taught weekend recording classes at Guitar Center in Brookfield, WI. For nearly three years, Schimke dedicated himself to the pop rock band Strawdog, collaborating with its other musicians to arrange and compose pieces and taking the stage as its drummer.
During his time at McNally Smith, Schimke challenged himself to explore a variety of musical genres; thus, his final undergraduate demo reflects his expertise and proficiency in composing, arranging, engineering and producing a wide array of musical genres. As an arranger, Brett has provided pieces for groups such as the University of Minnesota Marching Band that have been performed at Gopher football game halftime shows and has arranged a Dixieland style piece performed by the Jack Brass Band on Tim Cheesebrow's "The Greatest Divide.” He is also experienced in writing pop, rock, and funk tunes amongst others. Additionally he has composed a film score for Su Lee, a 2012 graduate from Minneapolis College of Arts and Design. Not only has Schimke engineered and produced an album of his own work featuring multiple musicians around Minneapolis, but he has also provided records for acts such as Naima Adedapo, Coyotl, SoundColor Theory, Tyson Williams, Tom McGurk, Brecken Miles, Nate Wood, and Dan Jacobson.
To expand his professional experience, Brett was a Music Production intern at Egg Music and at Essential Sessions Studios, where he was eventually hired as a freelance engineer, composer, and arranger. Now Schimke works full time at Cave Studios MKE providing artists with professional records to help achieve their dreams.
Born and raised in Milwaukee, Joe Hite discovered his gift of music at the age of five. In a home with six sisters who were taking piano lessons, Joe never entertained the idea of taking lessons himself. In fact, he saw the piano as a piece of furniture -- a table upon which to set books and homework. Until one day he was home sick and looked at the piano for what it was – an instrument that would soon be his outlet for creativity. He sat down and played all the music his sisters had been learning for weeks – by ear. By age 10, Hite finally asked his mom to purchase a book on music theory so he could learn about the actual structure of musical composition. Hite still never took a single piano lesson.
He played throughout high school, picked up other musical interests and was awarded a full-ride college scholarship in saxophone. But Hite chose instead to go on the road with his band. He played a regular circuit of clubs and continued to head west. Shortly thereafter, childhood friend Tony Goff started a soul rock band and they laid their roots in Los Angeles for the next decade. Managed by a subsidiary of Warner Brothers, his new band was successful in Hollywood, selling out venues like The Roxy on a Saturday night. With their sights set on a music label, something happened in the music industry that changed their course. The “grunge movement” out of Seattle gave birth to bands such as Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam. Almost immediately, Hite’s hopeful fate took a turn.
Hite decided to move to Las Vegas, get a corporate job and settle down. During his two-year stint, he also was a musical director for Melanie Lopez, wrote scores and met entertainers like Celine Dion. But again, at the urging of his buddy Tony Goff, Hite moved back to Milwaukee to join Goff’s new successful project -- The Boogie Men. The band, which played hits from the 1970s and performed in full costume, was a hit in the Midwest. The Boogie Men played multiple shows every week, yearlong. After the 13-year run, Hite decided to stay in Milwaukee.
Currently, Hite is busy serving a producer at Cave Studios MKE, as musical director to Naima Adedapo (American Idol), records on various projects, is heavily involved with the K-Nation label, and plays with bands like Uprising, 52nd Street and the Kris Crow Band. It seems Hite is finally home.