For over 30 years the Fabulous Minnesota Barking Ducks have brought a driving, diverse, blues-based music to the Twin Cities and all points in between. Mic McCormick has been with the band since its inception and has forever silenced crowds with his phenomenal, oh-so-tasty guitar. The "new" members have been Ducks for a little less than a decade. Ed Dunn plays bass and sings. Ed is intense, and plays deep in the pocket, Kit Kildahl sings and plays guitar and occasional harp. Kit has known Mic since '75, when he was playing with the Dust Bowl Blues Band and Ace in the Whole.
These guys have a lot of music to draw on, so the result is a wide-ranging songlist--blues of course; but also rock, R & B, and jazz standards like "Fly Me to the Moon".
Ray Bonneville is a poet of the demimonde who didn’t write his first song until his early 40s, some 20 years after he started performing. But with a style that sometimes draws comparisons to JJ Cale and Daniel Lanois, this blues-influenced, New Orleans-inspired “song and groove man,” as he’s been so aptly described, luckily found his rightful calling. Born in Quebec, his family moved to Boston when he was 12. He served a year in Vietnam as a Marine, struggled and overcame drug addiction, earned a pilot’s license in Colorado, then moved to Alaska, then Seattle, and Paris and New Orleans. But it took a close call while piloting a seaplane across the Canadian wilderness to make him decide it was time to get busy writing songs – gritty narratives inspired by a lifetime of hard-won knowledge set against his gritty, soulful guitar and harmonica playing.
He’s since earned many accolades, including a Juno Award for his 1999 album, Gust of Wind. His post-Katrina ode, “I Am the Big Easy,” earned the International Folk Alliance’s 2009 Song of the Year Award, and in 2012, Bonneville won the solo/duet category in the Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge. He has guested on albums by Mary Gauthier, Gurf Morlix, Eliza Gilkyson, Ray Wylie Hubbard and other prominent artists, and shared songwriting credits with Tim O’Brien, Phil Roy and Morlix, among others. Slaid Cleaves placed Bonneville’s “Run Jolee Run” on his lauded 2009 album, Everything You Love Will Be Taken Away.
Easy Gone, Ray’s fourth album for Red House Records, takes listeners to some of the dark spaces and exotic places Bonneville has gone on his own travels. An Austin resident since 2006, Bonneville still puts the rhythms and soul of New Orleans into much of his music. His songs carry a groove and momentum that’s uniquely his — and will always be a part of him, no matter where he roams.
High Strung plays classic songs from venerable artists that everyone recognizes but probably haven’t heard in quite a while and maybe have even forgotten about. These are everyone’s favorite popular artists but they’re B-side songs rather than the same old everyday classic rock radio hits. Some of the artists we cover (but in no particular order) include The Beatles, CS&N, Neil Young, James Taylor, Cat Stevens, Steely Dan and many others. There are also the more obscure from Incubus and the Honeydogs to Hoagy Charmichael and Irving Berlin. We are two acoustic guitars and bass and 3-part vocals. Our songs often cause people to say, “Hey, I remember that one.”
The Bockfest Boys perform a raucous show of upper mid-west style music which includes a number of original compositions as well as popular music from the past 50 years and beyond. Arrangements include overtones of country, rock and roll, ethnic polka, folk, blues and bluegrass all combined into a Minnesota hotdish that is piping hot out of the oven. Their unique style and contagious audience engagement makes for one truly fun filled experience every single time they perform. Vocals, Trombone, Trumpets, Baritone, Lead, Rhythm, and Bass Guitars, Concertinas, Button Accordion, Keyboards and Percussion are their tools of the trade. Band members include Anton “Tony” Berg, Scott Sparlin, Randy Domeier, Allan “Smiley” Wiltscheck, Bob Beusmann, Jeff Braegelmann and Steve Moran. Expect anything!
This group hails from Mankato and St. Peter and the members play in a number of other bands, including Pengra & Arsenault, City Mouse and the Blitz Boys. The Lost Walleye Orchestra plays a mix of good-time, classic rock, americana, blues and folk. Members include Billy Steiner, Ron Arsenault, Dale Haefner, and Dave Pengra.
Join us for a film screening of the documentary “Women Outward Bound” followed by a discussion with filmmaker Maxine Davis. This event is sponsored by The New Ulm Film Society. Doors open at 6:30pm; screening starts at 7:00pm.
Free admission and open to the public.
Hailing from the Mankato & New Ulm region, The Hootenanny Annies have been performing music together for nearly two decades. The duo is carried by their vocal harmonies, playing a wide variety of country, rock, bluegrass and folk music. Pam plays the Cajone and mandolin while Crista plays guitar and fiddle.
Ben Marti Jazz Trio is a Jazz Trio of Piano, Bass and Trumpet but will often add Tenor Saxophone and Drums as well as a vocalist to expand the possibilities of the group. The Ben Marti Jazz Trio plays Jazz standards, Pop and Show tunes, in every style from Dixieland to Modern Jazz. We can cultivate our performance to the desire of the host we are performing for.
Pushing Chain, a folky-tonk duo from Minnesota’s north shore, features Boyd Blomberg on guitar and vocals and Adam Moe on the fiddle and vocals.They play original songs, covers of classic artists like Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, and Nina Simone, and some fresh new takes on old folk songs. The duo features tight harmonies and a gonzo approach that keep their performances fresh and exciting.
Steve Vonderharr is a blues player with heart. He plays and sings with the kind of passion and character that is rarely displayed by musicians of any persuasion. Steve V.'s harmonica work is both assertive and sensitive, seamlessly moving through a range of emotion and skill. His playful demeanor and his compassion for people and music make him a class act. It's a show you don't want to miss!
Originally from Minneapolis, MN, John Raymond has performed with some of most well-respected names in jazz music including Billy Hart, Orrin Evans, & Kurt Rosenwinkeland among others. He has also performed at notable events such as the Austin City Limits Music Festival and on NPR's Toast of the Nation New Year's Eve celebration, as well as recorded with Grammy-nominated singer Sara Bareilles. With Raymond at the helm solely on flugelhorn, this bass-less group puts a fresh spin on familiar songs, many of them stemming from Raymond's roots as a Midwesterner. From American folk songs like Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land," to classic hymns such as "Amazing Grace," to Lennon & McCartney's "Blackbird," to Thom Yorke's indie-rocker "Atoms for Peace," the music undoubtedly evokes a nostalgia for the past that distinguishes it from anything else.
Ace in the Whole plays American music and original tunes that range from bluegrass, blues, jazz, folk and western. Members include Tim Waters on guitar/banjo/pedal steel, Mike Pengra on percussion, Dave Pengra on bass, and Kit Kildahl on guitar/harmonica.
Lavender Town paints a small, lovely town with color. Expressing a variety of rock, country, covers, originals, and indie music. Local musicians with unique styles come together to share their stories, inspirations, and love for music. Come join us at the Grand Kabaret for a night of surprises, laughter, community, and fun. Kelsey Jae on vocals and guitar. Lauren Lewis on vocals. Terry Zinniel on cajon and Brady Hagen on lead guitar. Life is your canvas, paint it with color.
The duo consists of bass player and vocalist Josh Gravelin, a St. Peter native, who spent 15 years in Austin, Texas playing with heavyweights like the Vaughn Brothers and Ray Willie Hubbard, and Kit Kildahl, guitar/harmonica player and vocalist, who is a songwriter and musician also currently residing in St. Peter. The duo plays American roots music, including many of Kit's originals.
Eclectic but focused, rowdy but controlled; Mild Manner’s definition is as contradictory as their title. A four piece of twenty somethings that sprouted from the same five-mile patch of Twin Cities-adjacent suburb, Mild Manner offers a homeostatic performance that’s constantly in flux between a hip-shaking chaos and quiet energy. Thick, distorted influences of The Strokes and Cage the Elephant are chased by those of Billy Joel shuffle and Bernard Purdie groove; moxie of Vampire Weekend in one-two punch with the modernity of Polica. Since the late months of 2015, Mild Manner has been performing while fronted by Singer/Saxophonist Dante Leyva ahead of Guitarist Steven Maurer and Drummer Ryan LeMay, and in March 2017 they released their self-titled debut EP, produced internally by Bassist/Synthist Riley Jacobsen of Glaucus productions. Since that winter, the band has accrued headlining performances at Minneapolis’s 7th Street Entry, as well as all around the greater Twin Cities area, and received an extended feature in NPR’s retrospective video for the 2017 Tiny Desk competition; they are currently aiming to develop their performance opportunities.
Hard Right Frank is the solo project of Francis Emil Johnson. He is influenced by songwriters like Jackson C. Frank, Nick Drake, Robin Pecknold, Josh Tillman, Anthony Green, etc. In February of 2017, he released his debut folk EP "You're Still Gone," produced by Alex Simpson.
Comic, yet serious, the sound of Joe Kopel is that of a rock n' roll boy trying to keep up with the times.
The Skally Line duet plays hot oldtime country, fiddle tunes, blues, and ballads. Along with a raucous collection of standards and a bunch of rare old cuts rarely heard live, The Skally Line specializes in creating a Minnesota old time tradition that never quite developed on its own. Tom Cornish and Fred Keller–both long time vets of Minnesota’s roots community–both write songs celebrating the stories of Minnesota old and new. Fred plays mandolins, Tom guitar and fiddle. Together they work up tight harmonies and arrangements, some tasty picking, and a whole lot of fun from the Deep North.
Sleepy Eye residents Chris Ames and Chris Steffen have been playing music and recording for fun since May, 2012. Initially Chris A. asked Chris S. to do harmonies on a song he was recording. After sharing of musical interests the two started re-learning old favorites and some new songs off the radio. The two have played for and enjoyed listening to all the acts that have performed for The Grand's "Open Mic Night" and they look forward to sharing their music again.
The Armstrong Boulevard Brass Quintet was founded in 2015 to provide music for events held at the Viet Nam Traveling Wall Memorial during its southern Minnesota tour that year. The group is comprised of five professional brass players each with over 30 years of performance experience who love the versatility and the variety that performing as a brass quintet provides. Baroque, Classical, Movie and TV Themes, Romantic, Renaissance, Rock, Jazz, and Pop. We play it all!