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Broomstick Rock Star

The Making of Broomstick Rock Star

past shows
includes photos, posters, set lists, live music, and live videos!


The Salts
Broomstick Rock Star
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Release Date:

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The Summer Salts
Do A Somersault!
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The Summer Salts/
The Salts
Just A PInch
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Release Date:


April 5th, 2010

The Salts Officially Break Up!
The Salts Offering all their recorded music for FREE (3 albums, 33 songs)
full press release here

Chicago, Illinois –  Three piece indie/rock/alternative Chicago Supergroup The Salts have officially broke up on March 29th, 2010.  The Salts really never had a chance to show the world new tracks off their self-released second album, called Broomstick Rock Star (released on December 22nd, 2009). The Salts would love for everyone to have a chance to listen to the music they put so much time and effort into, so they are giving away this new album, along with their other 2 albums for FREE.

The Salts
active late 2006 to March 29th, 2010
(called The Summer Salts until 5.2009)
Albums Released: 3
Do A Somersault!, self-released 5.2008, 13 songs
Broomstick Rock Star, self-released 12.2009, 11 songs
Just A Pinch, self-released 3.9.2010), 9 songs
Total Songs Released: 33

Sure, bands form and break up all the time.  But once and a while there are those bands that when they were around they were only a blip on the radar….maybe they didn’t promote or play enough shows, but the band was really good spectacular and a special thing and made some great music and recordings.

The band members have gone their respective ways.  Travis Lee Wiggins is still continuing to play and record with his solo project Essex Chanel (, as well as with his other two current bands, The Personal FX ( and Dolphins Swimming ( Mike Rice is starting a new band (for the present time you can visit (  Luke Krause has been playing drums for City at Large  (

The Salts would like to thank all their fans for all their support during the years.

All 3 albums can be streamed and downloaded here at the site.

Download Broomstick Rock Star the full album with cover art at:

Download Do A Somersault! at:

Download Just A Pinch at:

New Salts Albums!

Old News

The Salts:
Travis Lee Wiggins - bass, vocals, keyboards
Michael Rice - guitar
Luke Krause - drums - mar 2008 - aug 2009
Eoin Burke - drums - jan 2007 - jan 2008
Jack Kackmar - drums - april 2006 - nov 2006

The Salts (previously The Summer Salts, changed in 2009) are a 3-piece indie/rock/alternative musical group based in Chicago consisting of Travis Lee Wiggins (bass, vocals), Mike Rice (guitar), and Luke Krause (drums). The band formed in late 2006 and they quickly started playing shows in early 2007 making their way through most of Chicago’s well-known venues drawing in fans along the way. Known for crafting catchy melodies varying from upbeat dance/rock tunes to melodic indie rock, the band has recorded two full length self-released albums. On March 29th, 2010, The Salts officially called it quits, with the band members going their seperate ways.

The Members
Multi-instrumentalist and lyricist Travis Lee Wiggins plays bass and sings for the Salts. His solo project, Essex Chanel has garnered much attention, as well as his other projects Fetla, Dolphins Swimming, and The Personal FX. In the Salts, his bass lines interconnect with guitarist Michael Rice’s notes and create a unique sonic color. It is rare to see a guitarist handle rhythm and lead at the same time, and Rice has developed a style of guitar playing that kids in Guitar Center will be imitating for years to come. Luke Krause is a natural born drummer, and without the rhythm section created by Krause The Salts would not be the same. The Salts don’t overplay, and frequently concentrate on the space in between the notes.

During the summer of 2006 drummer Jack Kackmar ran into a friend of Travis Lee Wiggins’s at a bar on Chicago’s North Side and he was able to gets Travis’s phone number. Jack & Travis played music in High School and played one show in college under the name Monopoly. They decided to get together and play some music and Jack brought with him guitarist Mike Rice. They were co-workers at Chase bank. Travis switched over to bass from his usual instrument of guitar, and the group started rehearsing once or twice a week. Some of the songs on The Summer Salts first album Do A Somersault! were written during this period, namely :Headache," "Trashy Romance Novels (Nobody Knows Me)," & "My Lucky Charm." In Late 2006 Jack developed a brain aneurysm and under doctor’s orders had to abstain from loud music. Travis asked his practice space roommate, Eoin Burke, to join the band as a drummer. They continued to play and in the late summer of 2007 recorded their first album, Do A Somersault!

Do A Somersault! (released May 2008)
The Salts’ first album, Do A Somersault! (5.2008), has a wide dynamic range of songs, from the dance/rock focused “NO,” to the sweet and melodic “Pennies, Nickels, and Dimes.” Burke had very much a less-is-more type style of playing, and that led the music to be very melodic with many parts. Recorded with the three members live at Wiggins’s Beware of Dog Studios in Edgewater, Wiggins produced, engineered, mixed, and mastered the album himself. Although the album was complete in December 2007, Eoin Burke married that fall and left The Summer Salts to pursue his other life interests.

After auditioning 10 drummers, The Salts found Luke Krause in the spring of 2008. May of 2008 saw the release of Do A Somersault! With the addition of Krause, the band took a sonic turn towards more dance/rock numbers and faster tempos. During the auditioning process Rice & Wiggins would make up stuff on the spot to see how the drummers would react, and many of these tracks, as well as what the band came up with in the first months playing with Krause, became base for what would become Broomstick Rock Star.

Name Change The Summer Salts – The Salts (may 2009)
The Summer Salts changed their name to The Salts during 2009. The name change was originally Krause’s idea, as the band wanted to distance itself from a summer-related theme. Their second release sounded so different compared to the first because Krause’s drumming was drastically different compared to second drummer Eoin Burke’s that this really was a new band, hence the name.

Broomstick Rock Star
(released December 2009)
The Salts sophomore release, Broomstick Rock Star’s (12.2009) instrumentation was recorded during a 5 hour session in Chicago on March 7th, 2009, at Engine Studios where such acts as Iron and Wine, Andrew Bird, and Modest Mouse have recorded. Mike Regan Engineered & Mastered the album, with Producing and Mixing credits going to both him and The Salts.  Broomstick Rock Star has 11 amazing tracks, varying from upbeat dance/rock numbers ("Body Moves," "Go There"), Western-themed double entendre ("Thinking With Your Gun"), to comedic themes of current times ("Parent’s House"). The album instrumentation was recorded live with the 3 members in one room at Engine, with vocal overdubs and harmonies being recorded at The Barn in Valparaiso, Indiana, in April and May 2009.

Just A Pinch
(released March 9th, 2010)
During the recording of Do A Somersault! and Broomstick Rock Star, the Salts recorded a lot of songs. They wanted to make a cohesive album, so they had to leave some out. The Salts are making these songs available to fans for FREE! 9 new unreleased tracks, from the recording sessions from The Salts first two albums!



A photo & video history of The Salts!
Check out this sweet scrapbook with never before seen pictures and videos!


3.7.2009 Recording Broomstick Rock Star @ Engine Studios
7.30.2008 LIVE Schuba's Chicago
9.29.2007 LIVE Chicago Antique Market
6.8.2007 LIVE Ronnie's

The Making of Broomstick Rock Star
7.30.2008 LIVE Schuba's Chicago
Public Service Announcement - Keisher


7.30.2008 LIVE Schuba's Chicago


The Deli Chicago
Broomstick Rock Star

Gapers Block

Roll Over
09.17.2007 in Concert by Kara Luger

The Summer Salts are traditionalists, rocking with nothing but three band members and a dream. Oh, and a hefty indie-pop sensibility. The Chicago trio (Travis Wiggins, Michael Rice, and Eoin Burke) want to share the love with you, gentle listener, at their show this Saturday, Sept. 22 at the Underground Lounge.

CONTACT: mail (at) thesummersalts (dot) com