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Unique Blend of Blues, Jazz, and Roots Stylings
Two of Minnesota’s most innovative musicians, Tim Sparks, known for his celebrated series of recordings on John Zorn’s Tzadik label, and James Buckley, one of the Twin Cities busiest bass players with The Pines, Har Mar Superstar, Mystery Palace and The Blenders, are collaborating on a new duo, taking a Post-Modern Road Trip with Ornette Coleman and Buddy Emmons, rambling through an Americana Landscape littered with Broken Hearts and Rusty Jukeboxes. Performing their unique blend of Blues, Jazz, and Roots stylings, the Sparks/Buckley duo is a Symposium of Soul-Nourishing musical musings.(more…)
Dazzling audiences with precision picking and sharp harmonies developed over 13 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.
During a live performance by the Sawtooth Brothers, audiences can expect creative original songs, hard driving bluegrass, classic country, gospel, and classic rock. Tying it all together is the band’s ability to put on a good show. Each band member’s strong passion for performing music is communicated through their entertaining and endearing stage show.(more…)
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 thediverse musical worlds of roots, indie, and folk.
Fendrick & Peck's music gathers in many genres with a freshness and originality that centers on harmony, lyric writing, composition, groove and heart. Brian's instrumental work and Madeline's tremendous energy pair for a wild and soaring ride. Together with guitar and mandolin in hand, they balance each other marvelously and their devotion to the audience, their craft, and each other will bring joy to your heart.
Sterling and the Silver Lining is a Rochester Minnesota based band that blends country, folk, alternative, and rock sounds. With fun guitar, sweet violin, ethereal pedal steel, and full harmonies, the music of Sterling and the Silver Lining is dynamic, unique, and original encompassing a wide variety in the sound scape.
Sat16Feb20198:00 pmNote from Katey: "In honor of your amazing venue (& our dobro player Chris O'Briens Birthday) our band is going to donate 100% of our ticket sales back to the Oak Center General Store. We are also going to gift free CD's, t-shirts and more to all of the guests at the show."
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 eventually performing on her own. She still loves the old tunes, but now mixes them up with her original songs, and those of contemporary songwriters like Gillian Welch. She released her first full-length album in 2013. It was partially recorded in Nashville, finished in Minneapolis, and has received countless amazing reviews by listeners. Fans frequently describe her songs as ‘unforgettable’ tunes, blending modern pop sensibilities with fundamental bluegrass instrumentation.
Sat23Feb20198:00 pmCANCELLED due to severe weather forecast!
Roots and Blues Oddity
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 tunes they barely knew. The band reworked the songs as they went along. Their music developed naturally and unforced, something that is rare and hard to find these days.As the band became a well-oiled machine they released a live in-the-studio recording called VALHALLA in October 2015. The album quickly become a fan favorite and was released at a sold-out performance in Lowertown St Paul. (more…)
Sun24Feb20193:00 pmCANCELLED due to severe weather!
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 Hootenanny at the legendary Club 47 in Cambridge. Bill quickly became a popular performer in the Boston area. From the time in 1971 when a reviewer from the Boston Phoenix stated that he was "simply Boston's best performer", Bill has continually appeared on folk music radio listener polls as one of the top all time favorite folk artists. Now, well into his fifth decade as a folk performer, he has gained an international reputation as a gifted songwriter and performer.
Singing mostly his own songs, he has become one of the most popular and durable singers on the folk music scene today, (more…)
As the thirty year anniversary of my performing at Folk Forum approaches I stand humbled by the incredible people I have been lucky enough to perform for. I have never missed a year. Many years I was lucky enough to perform 3 times! I hope to someday hit the century mark. I am over halfway there.
The real blessing is the phenomenal artists I have been paired with. Greg Brown (first show), Dave 'Snaker' Ray, Dean Magraw, Andy White, Joel Rafael, Kristina Olsen, Joe Price, Willie Murphy, Barbara Jean, Bo Ramsey and the list goes on ...
The Good Intentions have been playing driving bluegrass music for over a decade. Silver says that “we were originally inspired by the sounds of Bill Monroe and other first generation bluegrass pioneer, but we created our own blend of bluegrass that taps into some of my original compositions and other contemporary songwriters. Our success has been based on the complimentary picking and singing skills of some of the best known names in the area’s bluegrass scene.
Formerly of the bands Stoney Lonesome, Tangled Roots, and the Kate Mackenzie Band, Silver plays fiddle and mandolin with a deep appreciation for traditional bluegrass music. His solos stretch beyond the boundaries of bluegrass including hints of jazz, blues, and roots music. Chris has amassed a credible sized discography featuring bluegrass, Americana, and global acoustic styles.(more…)
Composer, arranger, producer, guitarist Dean Magraw has fine-tuned his “Heavy Meadow” approach to music from years of performing and recording with some of the finest musicians in the United States, Europe, and Japan. His first recording, Broken Silence, came out in 1994 and won the NAIRD award for Best Acoustic Instrumental Album of the Year.
Dean has since produced myriad passionate albums, including his latest release, Fire on the Nile (Red House Records), a duo collaboration with renowned percussionist, Eric Kamau Gravatt.
“Dean Magraw's guitar playing transcends, transports and lifts the soul to a higher level as he weaves, cajoles and entices every note from his instrument. The note, length of note, tone of note, the bending of the note; every colour of the note is explored and delivered with a master's care and love. Just as important are the silences with which he knits his music… these can only come with being at one with one's art. Dean Magraw is an incredible world class musician who's modesty only makes him more appreciated by the listener.” -Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh (Altan)
“Dean Magraw… so liquid, lyrical and effortless it’s like listening to a dancer.” -Steve Tibbetts(more…)
Minneapolis-based soul blues singer/songwriter/guitar-keyboard
Joyann Parker brings a full range of talent to her performances as an accomplished singer, pianist, guitarist and songwriter. She has performed for thousands at major venues and festivals across the country, frequently sells out the most prestigious clubs in the Twin Cities and garnered national and international attention for her newest record, "Hard To Love." Joyann is a 2018 Blues Blast Magazine Music Award nominee and Heritage guitars artist. She has opened for Grammy winner Robert Cray, taken the stage for Grammy nominee Elvin Bishop in a pinch, represented Minnesota at the 2015 International Blues Competition in Memphis, TN and won the award for 2016's Best Self-Produced CD from (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 occasional stage banter will create an experience that anyone can enjoy! Don't miss this night of music!!!
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”.Scene Magazine says ” Vicki’s powerful bluesy voice evokes an image of a woman in a 1920’s speakeasy singing her heart out. If you like upbeat, straightforward blues, you can’t go wrong with what the Prices are laying down.” Come feel the music and shake them bones...
Honky-Tonk Jump plays swingin' Texas dance hall music in the tradition of Bob Wills, Milton Brown, Ernest Tubb and Spade Cooley with a sprinkling of Hank Williams and other early honky-tonk legends. Honky-Tonk Jump is made up of Dan Newton (accordion and vocals), Joe Savage (pedal steel/vocals), Tom Schaefer (fiddle), Dehl Gallagher (drums), Dan Lowinger (guitar) and Vaughn Asselstine on upright bass. This band rustles up a rhythm roundup with accordion, fiddle, guitar, pedal steel, bass, drums and vocals. Our music features signature twin and triple leads on accordion, fiddle, pedal steel and guitar with soulful vocals, all backed by a hard-swingin’ rhythm section. This band has fun and it’s contagious!
Singer, Songwriter, Storyteller, Song collector and Adventurer
Performed at Renaissance Festivals since 1970.
Performed at numerous Folk Festivals through-out North America and the Caribbean.
Artistic Director Coffeehouse Extempore 1983-1986, tutored under Steve Alarik.
Has written music for three movies ( Renaissance theme )
Miss Myra and The Moonshiners are a formidable 5-piece swing band bringing a fresh female-driven perspective to traditional New Orleans and hot club jazz, playing a broad repertoire of classic tunes from the ‘20s and ‘30s and inspired originals. With powerful vocals, a smoking horn section, and sweet rhythm, they are guaranteed to lift spirits and fill the dance floor.
Miss Myra is a threat on every level. Her golden voice will bring you from rock bottom to ecstasy and back while her driving guitar rhythm holds the Moonshiners together. Her style of hard hitting swing guitar is reminiscent of Django Reinhardt. She also draws influence from legendary blues guitarists such as Leadbelly and Blind Boy Fuller. If you let her near a piano, you'll hear virtuosity from ragtime to Lizst. In addition to her musical talent, she is known for lighting up the dance floor with tradtional American jazz dances such as lindy hop, charleston and blues.
"Beautiful horns, delicious vintage jazz and ragtime music and excellent vocals"
- Richard Wagenaar, The Next Gig(more…)
Jerry Kosak was selected as a 2019 recipient of a MN State Arts Board Grant and is presenting a guitar double-header with Prairie Home alumni Pat Donohue at a number of perfect listening venues around the state.
Grammy award-winning finger-picker Pat Donohue’s devotion to acoustic guitar has made him an American standard, as he echoes the tones of Robert Johnson, Blind Blake, Merle Travis or Muddy Waters. Chet Atkins called Pat one of the greatest fingerpickers in the world today; Leo Kottke called his playing “haunting.”
The guitar music of Jerry Kosak has incorporated the structure and complexity of classical, the soul and passion of the blues, the happiness and drive of Americana, and the groove and swing of R&B and jazz. His music has been described as a fusion of rhythmic drumming, grooving bass lines, and thoughtfully disjointed melodies, producing “a great reflection of many different styles” according to Kevin Barnes of KBEM Jazz 88.
Originals & Traditional Folk Duo
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 experiencethat runs the gamut of rolling with laughter to holding back tears, with plenty of side-trips in between. They rack up countless miles each year, crisscrossing the country to deliver their own unique brand of folk singer/songwriter music.(more…)
Michael Gulezian (gu-LAY-ze-in) is one of the most highly acclaimed solo acoustic instrumental guitarists of our time. He is a phenomenal technical guitarist with the rare ability to transcend his own virtuosity, creating music that touches and moves people at the deepest level. He’s been called the musical link between John Fahey and Michael Hedges. Artists as diverse as Michael Hedges, Willy Porter, and Henry Kaiser have claimed him as a primary musical influence; young lions such as Erik Mongrain and Andy McKee are quick to acknowledge him as an inspiration. In concert, Michael is all warmth and humor … and though it’s visually breathtaking to watch him perform, a concert with Michael is more than a display of cutting-edge virtuosity – it is the passionate communion of master musician engaged with his audience in the mystery of self-revelation, creating music of atmospheric power, ecstatic joy, and haunting beauty. If you enjoy the artistry of musicians such as Leo Kottke and Michael Hedges – guitarists who amaze us with what ten fingers and one guitar can do – then you will love Michael Gulezian.
but with unique and innovative arrangements, with a variety of songs from Britain and Ireland, accompanied by guitar and Northumbrian smallpipes (a quiet bagpipe from Northeast England), or various whistles. They also play plenty of traditional tunes from Cape Breton Island, Scotland, Ireland and Northumberland, with a good measure of original music in the traditional style. As well as a broad range of styles of Celtic music, this program also features an impressive range of emotion, from the jaunty and humorous to soulful, led by Patsy’s warm and multi-colored baritone voice, Dick’s variety of bagpipes and whistles, and the nimble instrumental virtuosity of them both.
Patsy O’Brien, from County Cork, is a fine traditional singer, and a superb guitarist for traditional music, but with an eclectic technique that allows forays into many different styles. He is also an awarded songwriter.
Dick Hensold is the leading Northumbrian smallpiper in North America, and for the past 20 years has performed and taught in England, Scotland, Japan, Canada, and across the United States. His solo Northumbrian smallpipes CD Big Music for Northumbrian Smallpipes was released in 2007.(more…)
Dan Israel will perform solo acoustic in his debut performance at the Oak Center General Store on Saturday, November 9, 2019. Israel, who was named Songwriter of the Year in the 2006 Minnesota Music Awards, has been performing live for 30 years, and has released 14 acclaimed studio albums, including 2018's "You're Free", about which No Depression said "Dan Israel's new 11-song release, "You're Free," is an individual work of musical art a year in the making and solidifies Israel's standing as one of the country's best singer/songwriters working today."
Dan Israel is a longtime fixture on the Minneapolis music scene. He was the first guest on 89.3 The Current’s “Local Show” and has been called “the hardest working singer-songwriter in Minnesota.” He won Song of the Year (for “Come to Me”) in the 2005 Minnesota Music Awards and Songwriter of the Year in the 2006 MMA’s. He formed Dan Israel and The Cultivators in 1996 and has released 14 critically acclaimed albums. He received a 4-star review from the UK’s “Uncut” (more…)
The Barley Jacks sing original vocals and play jaw–dropping instrumentals in a spirit of
excitement and fun. They are masters of the fiddle, guitar, bass and drum who meld their
divergent backgrounds of blues and bluegrass, classical and Celtic, R and B and bebop to inspire
each other and create something entirely new.
"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 shouting for almost the entire final hour. They are one finely tuned machine. An absolute
treat to listen to!"
–Greg Schmitz, Sioux River Folk Festival
"I LOVED the band... lot's of good feedback. The Barley Jacks are dynamic,
exciting and just plain fun!"
–Mary Doub, Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival
Original and provocative folk and storytelling
Singer/songwriter/farmer Chuck Suchy returns to the Oak Center General Store to perform his special original songs and stories. Suchy has been heralded as “One of the great American songwriters” by Rod Kennedy, founder of the Kerrville (TX) Folk Festival – the premiere songwriting festival in America. Dirty Linen Folk Magazine says of Suchy: “ Ya gotta love this guy, he writes a fine song , plays steady guitar, sings with rare confidence and lives his material!” He is the recipient of the 2015 North Dakota Governor’s Award for the Arts. Suchy raises grass fed beef on the farm he grew up on near Mandan, ND.
Combining a wintry longing with the warmth of a familiar folktale, Humbird stretches between experimental folk and environmental Americana to embrace the unexpected. This music invites a refreshing dissonance into the house, it leaves breadcrumbs along the path and reflects light back at the stars.
Currently based in Minneapolis MN, Humbird’s companion EPs “Elsewhere” and “Where Else” were released in summer 2017. Both collections explore themes of the human body within various environments and showcase minimalist soundscapes, looping, and extended vocal techniques to create an otherworldly, though familiar sound rooted in folk music traditions.
Now, moving between intimate solo performances, improvised duo sets and full band arrangements, the songs and stories continue to evolve, shift and flourish. Humbird’s debut full length album is set to be released in 2019.
We're a group of musicians in the Twin Cities that likes to focus on the music found on Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music. Mikkel Beckmen--percussion, Jillian Rae--fiddle and vocals, Adam Kiesling--guitar, banjo and vocals. We're usually down at the 331 Club on the first and third Sundays of the month.
In the fall of 2017, David Huckfelt left behind the familiar—the comfort of his home in Minneapolis; the camaraderie of his critically acclaimed band, The Pines; the luxuries of heat, hot water, and electricity—and relocated to Isle Royale, America’s most remote and least visited national park in mighty Lake Superior. Six hours by boat off the Michigan coast, Isle Royale is the largest island in the world’s largest freshwater lake, an isolated stretch of wilderness seemingly forgotten by the 20th century (to say nothing of the 21st). There, as an Artist In Residence selected by the National Park Service, Huckfelt spent ten hours a day for two straight weeks writing in solitude, channeling the mysterious and lonesome island’s spirits into his stunning debut solo album, ‘Stranger Angels.’
“The island is surrounded by 300 smaller islands, decrepit lighthouses and abandoned mines, lined with shipwrecks, ghosts, and the stories of the northern Ojibway, fisherman, and early settlers,” Huckfelt reflects. “I brought a mountain of notebooks and poetry and history books with me”, says Huckfelt, “and for the first time in nearly a decade, I found the solitude, depth, range, danger, beauty, and inspiration to go all kinds of places in my writing that I hadn't had the space to visit before. With a sense of place so strong, it was less like an anchor and more like a launching pad to free up and access all kinds of places from throughout my life. It’s easy to travel anywhere in your mind in that kind of solitude, your whole experience rises up from the deep.”(more…)
Her music is original, drawing on the influence of classic country, bluegrass, folk, and her own thoughtful spirit. Becky’s incredible voice floats, whispers then soars above music of the highest quality. She takes her listeners on a musical journey, exploring new places and meeting new people in every song.(more…)