Blues /folk/ country/ fusion
Best known as an ace guitarist and Producer/Engineer of Trampled By Turtles, Erik Koskinen should also be recognized as a masterful songwriter and rousing country singer. His dulcet tone and demeanor rival artists like Sting and Bon Jovi. Come experience his original brand of American music at Oak Center.
"The Barley Jacks are musicians' musicians playing seriously good music. If you can sit there and listen to these guys without smiling or tapping your toe, check your pulse."
–Ron Arsenault, Rock Bend Music Festival
"The Barley Jacks had the crowd standing, clapping, dancing and (more…)
Alt-Country/ Folk/ Americana/ Bluesy Roots
If it’s possible for a band to own a town, then Molly Maher and her band of Disbelievers are as close as it gets to holding the keys. Molly is considered by some the reigning queen of the Twin Cities scene — she’s an incomparable singer and songwriter with compelling depth and soul, and has shared the stage with some of the best acts in the country, among(more…)
Blues, Cajun, Jazz, Zydeco& Folk
Drawing from a multitude of influences ranging from elegant classical and jazz styles to the rawest, most basic blues, country and soul, Radoslav Lorković has taken on an unusually broad musical spectrum and refined it into his distinctive piano style. With his great voice, incredible piano, and other worldly accordion, it just gets better every time. He is joined tonight by T. Bruce Bowers of Barefoot Wonder on electric and acoustic violin and acoustic mandolin. Together, they’ll perform an amazingly diverse and artistically performed collection of originals in all the musical genres of the planet.
Authentic, Northshore Blues
Authentic gets used way too much, but when you hear Charlie you'll understand its meaning. Charlie shows up with his lived-in rasp of a voice, a National Resonator guitar, a twelve string acoustic, a banjo, a batch of his own songs, and well-traveled numbers by revered bluesmen from other times. He executes his music the way it should be with a self-taught mix of slide, finger-picking, quasi-frailing techniques, and a voice that says, "this is the blues". Charlie Parr is (more…)
Alt Country/ Indie-rock/ Americana
Iowa-born, Minneapolis-based folk rock artists the The Pines have created a loyal following for their lush, layered sound and poetic lyrics inspired by the land and folklore of the American Midwest. Bridging the folk, roots and indie worlds with their modern take on American music, frontmen/songwriters Benson Ramsey and David Huckfelt share a common musical language rooted in the songs and songwriters of their native Iowa. The Pines' sound balance Ramsey's ethereal, somberly beautiful songs with Huckfelt's darkly romantic, cinematic (more…)
Pushing Chain is a folky-tonk duo formed in 2012 by longtime musical collaborators Boyd Blomberg on guitar and Adam Moe on fiddle that features marvelously exuberant vocal harmonies, impeccable timing and wit, and an infectious gonzo vibe that leaves audiences grinning. Folky-tonk is a term used by the duo to answer the question, "What kind of music do you play?" It's folk music with a country vibe, and vice-versa.
The Federales: Classic country for the modern world.
We're not from the Black Hills, the Texas Panhandle, or Appalachia. We're from the Twin Cities. Damn proud of it, too, but we play country music, because it's one of America's native languages.
We use it to tell our stories of love, good times, Grain Belt, and friends. Some are fact. Some are fiction with the truth hiding in there somewhere. All of them are heartfelt.(more…)
Straight from the great Mill City comes the Pistol Whippin’ Party Penguins. Don't let the name fool you! This is not a violent group of flightless aquatic birds looking for a party, but rather 5 self proclaimed gentlemen, 2 guitars, a mandolin, a bucket of fiddles, an upright bass, a banjo, and a 4 part vocal harmony that will make angels cry. This quintet from Minneapolis strives to maintain the original spirit of the "string band" while continuing to play new original music and creative cover songs. The combination of folk, rock, blues, bluegrass, and the (more…)
Blues, Folk and Rock
Part singer songwriter group, part rock band you can find Reina del Cid and company at the intersection of lyrical storytelling, catchy riffs, and scorching solos. They return to the Oak Center General Store for an acoustic trio performance. The band's blend of folk, blues, and rock draws a mixed crowd from jam heads to college students to white-haired intelligentsia. Their latest album, The Cooling, has been featured by Paste Magazine, NPR, and 89.3 the Current.
Anyone not familiar with the music of Bill Staines is in for a special treat.
For more than forty years, Bill has traveled back and forth across North America, singing his songs and delighting audiences at festivals, folksong societies, colleges, concerts, clubs, and coffeehouses. A New England native, Bill became involved with the Boston-Cambridge folk scene in the early 1960's and for a time, emceed the Sunday (more…)
Dazzling audiences with precision picking and sharp harmonies developed over 8 years of playing, performing, and growing up together, the Sawtooth Brothers have created a strong musical rapport with one another, which is channeled through their infectious original material. The sound of the Sawtooth Brothers is rooted in traditional bluegrass instrumental and harmony work and is influenced by modern acoustic sounds, blending pop and indie rock sensibilities with heartfelt americana.(more…)
Curtis & Loretta’s music comes straight from the heart. The husband and wife duo’s extraordinary harmonies and proficiency on a parade of stringed instruments create an alluring frame for their poignant original songs, and traditional pieces from America and the British Isles. The current menagerie includes mandocello, folk harp, guitars, clawhammer banjo, ukulele, and mandolin, plus a bit of kazoo, harmonica, and shakers. Curtis’ down-home sense of humor and Loretta’s theater background engage the audience in an experience(more…)
Traditional Bluegrass with Roots, Jazz and Blues Led by Chris Silver,
The Good Intentions are inspired by the sounds of Hot Rize, Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, Tony Rice, and JD. Crowe. They deliver traditional bluegrass with polish and drive and play songs from the bluegrass masters to material penned by Silver. Silver plays fiddle and mandolin with a deep appreciation for traditional bluegrass music, but it doesn’t stop there. His solos stretch beyond the boundaries of (more…)
Katey grew up with a bluegrass and old-time music soundtrack playing in the background. Singing has always been very natural to her and she sing songs all day long about everything from putting on her socks, to what she’s going to eat for breakfast. She won her first music competition singing at the Boyceville, WI ‘Pickle Festival’ when she was five years old. Soon she began singing harmony with her dad Rod Bellville, a popular fixture in the Westbank Old Time Music Scene, and (more…)
A “roots and blues oddity” is a very deserving description for the Minnesota-based acoustic roots and blues musician Jeff Ray. Ray’s quartet, Jeff Ray & the Stakes materialized in the Minneapolis area over the past 6+ years with no formal rehearsals and no pre-determined musical ideas. Their first gig together was on Minnesota Public Radio’s Radio Heartland, again, with no rehearsal. The gig was quickly followed by a string of shows that started out as “get-togethers on stage” and quickly developed into full-throttle improvisations on (more…)
Extra-terrestrial folk- jazz
This team was one of the early duos that started folk forum off in this fabulous musical journey. Peter was well known back in those days as the best fiddle mandolin player in the country as a regular on Prairie Home Companion. He brought Dean Magraw with him for his first appearance at folk forum. Not only did Dean’s skill on guitar match and compliment the exquisite instrumentals of Peter…the combination of their two personalities and senses of humor infected all of us with unbridled laughter that still rings in memory. They are still great, they still do an exceptional show, and last time I checked…they were still gut-rippin’ funny. I think maybe they sing more and their voices have only improved with age.
Rich vocal harmonies merge with intimate layers of guitar, fiddle and banjo to define the lush sound of Dusty Heart. Barbara Jean and Molly Dean are two songwriters recognized in their own right for their poetic lyrics and distinct vocal styles that when combined create a powerful and haunting sound that takes on a life of its own. Through their shared wanderlust and love of adventure, a passion for the open road, vast landscapes, and mutual love for musical harmony, the two decided to join forces and craft a sound that bridges together the(more…)
Homegrown, Get-down Blues
Vicki and Joe Price are a husband and wife blues duo from SE Iowa. They do some dynamite blues in the old traditions as well as a good measure of high-powered originals. Vicki’s exemplary guitar playing and smooth vocals perfectly compliment Joe’s raspy voice and mean slide guitar. They have a well earned following who come again & again to see the incredible energy that comes alive on the stage in this quiet like-able guy that Greg Brown at times has called the “Buddha”. (more…)
The Dead Pigeons have come to be known for their infectious, foot stomping sound - an original mix of upbeat barroom bluegrass and lyrically driven ballads. One day they excel at corralling a rowdy festival crowd and the next they are captivating a discerning theater audience.
Born on the West Bank of Minneapolis, The Dead Pigeons have been touring, picking, and perfecting their americana-roots sound for the past 6 years. Constantly evolving, The Pigeons remain steady at the (more…)