Born out of love for the back roads music of America’s past, The Fattenin’ Frogs play rock & roll in its original spirit by cranking up the electricity on the music of the juke joints, hootenannies, medicine shows and tent revivals of yesteryear. The Minneapolis sextet puts their heart and soul into every song so come on out, sing, dance, and clap along!
Gritty, soulful, and always danceable, The Fattenin’ Frogs have been described as Davina and the Vagabonds meets Howlin’ Wolf. Lead vocalists Amanda White and Chris Holm generate a freight train of emotional excitement over a landscape of multi-layered harmonies, scorching electric guitars, thundering drums, wailing harmonica, grooving bass, rollicking piano — and even a little banjo or accordion from time to time. A band in the truest sense, each member is a contributing songwriter and vocalist and injects their own personality into the music. Never safe or stamped out, they are not afraid to cap off a hot night of rock & roll with a zippy little kazoo solo because above all, rock & roll is supposed to be fun!
Folk/ Americana/ Rock
T Bruce Bowers and Ric Gillman are quite a pair. With almost a century of musical experience between them, they bring a wide variety of flavors to the table. From Doc Watson guitar picking, to blazing Led Zeppelin electric violin, it’s a banquet every night. With T Bruce Bowers on electric and acoustic violin, acoustic mandolin and Ric Gillman and Acoustic 6 and 12 string guitar. It is always interesting, and sometimes down right unpredictable, each performance is an adventure.
Bluegrass, Folk and Swing
The three members of the Hampden Rounders have been playing music for a total of 140 years. That's almost 3500 chipmunk years. Pop Wagner, Anni Spring and Adam Granger, who have been friends for about as long, started playing informally at St Paul's Hampden Park Coop and, after a couple of years, decided they'd better give themselves a proper name and actually be a band. The Rounders guarantee a fun, easygoing show chock-full of old-timey fiddle tunes and swing, bluegrass and folk songs, with a few originals thrown in for good measure.
WARNING: The Hampden Rounders cannot guarantee that silliness and frivolity will not ensue.
Since forming in 2006, The High 48s have been making music that
combines the soulful sound of classic bluegrass with a modern
attitude, original songs and a wide range of influences far beyond
Bill Monroe, the Stanley Brothers, and Flatt and Scruggs. In a genre
created and dominated by artists from the South, The High 48s were
born and raised in the Upper Midwest. And in a music scene where
playing standards is the norm, The High 48s are a band of
songwriters who perform their own material in addition to the
“festival favorites.” They return to Oak Center for another
entertaining, high-energy show.
Roots, Indie, and Folk
Rich vocal harmonies merge with intimate layers of guitar, fiddle and banjo to define the lush sound of the recently formed duo, Dusty Heart. Barbara Jean & Molly Dean are two songwriters recognized in their own right for their poetic lyrics and distinct vocal styles that when combined, fuse to create a powerful and haunting sound that takes on a life of its own. With a shared wanderlust and love of adventure, a passion for the open road, vast landscapes, and a mutual love for musical harmony, they join forces crafting a sound that bridges together the diverse musical worlds of roots, indie, and folk. As soon as they embarked on their collaborative journey, Dusty Heart was off to a running start, receiving an invitation to open a series of sold-out shows supporting Dave Simonett and Dave Carroll of Trampled by Turtles across Colorado.
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.
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.
Jillian Rae hails from the Iron Range of Northern Minnesota and has been a singer and violinist since the age of 7. She has been a heavy hitter on the Minneapolis music scene, playing in as many bands as she humanly can. Jillian formed her own band in 2013 and immediately began writing and recording. Her first album, Heartbeat was released in December 2013 and in February 2014 she was a finalist in Vita.mn's Are You Local Contest (best new bands). The band continues to tour extensively regionally and nationally and is showing no signs of slowing. One of the favorite shows each year at the OC General Store, expect a new album from Jillian Rae in the spring of 2016.
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.
Traditional folk & bluegrass sounds with poetic lyrics
Featuring Ellen Stanley on banjo and vocals, Mother Banjo is a New England-raised, Minneapolis-based songwriter. Called “an outstanding poet” (Inside Bluegrass), she was a Midwest Finalist for the prestigious Mountain Stage New Song Contest and has been featured nationally on SiriusXM Radio and CMT.com. Ubertalented pianist Ben Cook Feltz opens the show and will join Ellen on stage to share songs from their recently released holiday EP.
Sat17Dec20168:00 pmSOLD OUT! (with waiting list) PLEASE carpool if possible. The weather may make parking difficult. -Steven
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!
Sat21Jan20178:00 pmSOLD OUT! The Pines concert is sold out…if you sent a check within this first week of January, e-mail to find out if it got to Oak Center on time. Those that sent checks earlier…we’ll see you on the 21st! We are presently putting names on a waiting list in the order that we hear from you. -Steven
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 tales for a sweeping sound that evokes the vastness and loneliness of the Great Plains. The intricate guitar interplay between Benson and David is layered over the atmospheric keyboard work and vocal harmonies of Alex Ramsey (Benson's brother) to form the core of The Pines' instantly recognizable sound. The Pines’ sound captivates and elevates with rare intimacy – especially in the big room at Oak Center. Get tickets early!
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.
Root River Jam is an acoustic group based in southeastern MN. They perform the original music of guitarist and front man Dave Wilson, as well as covers of Americana classics. In the words of music blogger Jeff Hansel, Wilson’s music will “take you into the clouds and beyond with incredible instrumentals and joyous singing that's downright fun to hear.” Songwriter/guitarist Dave Wilson says, "we put 'jam' in our name and after listening to us you'll understand why."
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 ...
Sat18Feb20178:00 pmSOLD OUT!
World-class bluegrass entertainers Monroe Crossing will appear in concert at Oak Center General Store on February 18, 2017 at 8 pm. Named in honor of Bill Monroe, Monroe Crossing dazzles audiences with an electrifying blend of classic bluegrass, bluegrass gospel, and heartfelt originals. Their airtight harmonies, razor sharp arrangements, and on-stage rapport make them audience favorites across the United States and Canada. (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 (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…)
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 bluegrass including hints of jazz, blues, and roots music. Soulful original arrangements of their songs have already established the band in the hearts of the Midwest bluegrass community. Their success is based on the complimentary picking and singing skills of some of the best-known names in the area’s bluegrass scene. Always an Oak Center favorite.
Sat18Mar20178:00 pmThe “Pistol Whippin" Party Penguins show is SOLD OUT! E-mail if there are questions, but avoid phone calls. Checks mailed before today, March 15th, will be honored.
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!!!
French Musette, vintage swing, Euro-Latino dance music
Dan Newton, aka Daddy Squeeze and his Café Accordion Orchestra (CAO) performs an eclectic mix full of French flare, Latin heat and Bohemian attitude. The heart of the CAO repertoire is the romantic, gypsy-influenced valse-musette. The group complements the musettes with swing, ballads, tangos, cha chas, rumbas, and cumbias to create a wonderfully varied show. They inject their music with good humor and expressive abandon. Their highlevel of musicianship and passion for performance makes them an entertaining oncert act as well as a great dance band! Move some chairs and take a turn on the floor at Oak Center!
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.
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.
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...