Please check Facebook or call the store if weather is questionable
Drew Peterson is an independent Americana singer-songwriter who has captivated fans across the Midwest for over 15 years. Since fronting the Minnesota-based group Forty Watt Bulb, Peterson has spawned two other successful Roots projects;the twangy,upbeat Dead Pigeons and bluegrass-influenced Boxstore Bird,paired with the incredibly talented multi-instrumental Mandy Fassett.
Peterson has built a unique brand that transcends the genre. With clever, dry humor and thought- provoking lyrics, Peterson’s music is like oil over gravel. Drawing on influences from John Prine, Tom Waits, Cat Stevens, Van Morrison, among others, Peterson offers the world upbeat tunes with a soft- spoken gravitas that belies his years.
With a performance style that can transform from intimate listening room to rowdy festivals and bars, Peterson always gives his heart and soul to the stage. And with each new performance, he works to connect with the audience through storytelling.
Sat25Jan20208:00 pmNote tickets for this show are $18 advance / $20 at the door
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 the real deal. We’re not pulling your leg. But don’t take our word for it... listen to his music. You’ll be glad you did. Always a sold out show at Oak Center, get your tickets early!
Rachael Kilgour is a Minnesotan songwriter and performing artist whose sincere, lyric-driven work has been called both brave and humane. The 2015 grand prize winner of the esteemed international NewSong Music Performance & Songwriting Competition and winner of the 2017 Kerrville New Folk Contest, Kilgour has been featured at NYC’s Lincoln Center, at The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and by the ASCAP Music Cafe at the Sundance Film Festival.
Married in her early twenties, Kilgour devoted her young adulthood to parenting her stepchild and building family and community. Her work from that time (Self-Titled 2008, Will You Marry Me? 2011, Whistleblower’s Manifesto 2013) chronicled her life as a young parent in a same-sex partnership and addressed sociopolitical issues from government corruption to income inequality and religious hypocrisy. Kilgour’s music career took a backseat during those years as she lived a slow, home-focused life.
In 2014, divorce brought an unwanted end to her role as a member of the family she had helped to grow. In the aftermath, Kilgour found solace in songwriting. Her third full-length album, Rabbit in the Road, was born out of that time. (more…)
This midwestern-based bluegrass band features a group of talented, young musicians that play high-energy traditional bluegrass along with fun arrangements of contemporary favorites. Don’t let their age fool you: these old souls sound like they’ve been working on the craft for decades.
As the thirty-something 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 ...
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…)
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…)
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!!!
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.
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.
King Wilkie’s Dream is a four-piece acoustic band, committed to bringing something new to the music they perform. The band will be debuting some new material to welcome spring at this show. You can expect a mix of original and traditional music, tight vocal trios, and the usual attention to detail in the arrangements. Members of the band are:
John Niemann – guitar, fiddle, mandolin, vocals
Robbi Podrug – fiddle, guitar, vocals
Shane Zack – mandolin, guitar, vocals
Andy Olsen – bass
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…)
The Close is an Americana vocal trio from the southeast based in Nashville, TN. Shannon Walker, Lori J Rowton and James Mckinney are three lead singers, songwriters and multi-instrumentalists whose blend of genres and styles wrap around intricate three part harmonies reminiscent of Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, CSNY and other harmony focused bands made of multiple writers. They blend together Americana/Contemporary Folk/Country with a commercial Pop sensibility. Currently, they are touring heavily to promote their debut Americana EP release, Hello Heart, available now.
The Close – Hello Heart Video: https://youtu.be/iuKPPPYfaak
Folk-Americana Singer-Songwriter’s Sarah Morris, Vicky Emerson & Annie Fitzgerald share their original music in the round, swapping harmonies and bringing the listener into the stories behind the songs.
2018 Kerrville New Folk Contest winner Sarah Morris has spent the last 8 years earning a reputation for engaging performances - with a voice both clear and lush, and a penchant for sharply-crafted songs. Sarah hails from Minneapolis, Minnesota, music was etched upon her DNA at a young age. Morris immersed herself in her parent’s eclectic record collection before finally falling in love with the storytelling and songcraft in country music. The music of Mary Chapin Carpenter, Alison Krauss, and Kathy Mattea changed Sarah’s course entirely.After graduating from the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music, she wasted no time packing her bags for Nashville. Her years in Music City instilled a traditional songwriting sensibility fully on display over the course of her recent albums: 2017’s Hearts in Need of Repair, and 2015’s Ordinary Things. Both albums received critical acclaim, international airplay, and reached the top 100 of the Americana Music Associations radio chart. In addition to her recent win at Kerrville, she was a top 4 finalist in The 2016 NewSong Music Contest at Lincoln Center in NYC, took 2nd place at the 2016 Chris Austin Songwriting Competition at MerleFest in Wilkesboro, NC, was a 2016 Americana semi-finalist in the International Songwriting Competition, and received anhonorable mention in the 2018 Telluride Troubadour contestSarah has opened for JD Souther, Suzy Boggus, and Teddy Thompson, among others. Deeply rooted in the Minneapolis music scene, she maintains a national touring schedule as well - as a solo artist, with her longtime backing band, the Sometimes Guys, and as part of Americana duo The Home Fires – alongside good friend and fellow Americana artist Vicky Emerson.
Singer/songwriter, Vicky Emerson, has been heralded by the Minneapolis Star Tribune for her gorgeous, dusky voice and songwriting chops on previous releases but her new album, Steady Heart, which she self-produced, firmly establishes her as (more…)