2018-2019 Season:

Sam Ryden:
Thursday, August 15, 2019 at 7:30 pm

“Sam Ryden’s music is something new. It’s distinctively unbound by traditional stylistic category and gives glimpses of some of the possibilities for this young singer/songwriter. Some full-band tunes feature growling blues guitar & old-school hammond organ riffs while others spotlight super-clean acoustic guitar work underneath pristine vocals. There’s something for everyone to like in this promising new Minnesota talent.” – Southern Minnesota Scene, 2018 Best Solo Act

Mary Gauthier:
Saturday, May 4, 2019 at 7:30 pm

Opening the show was Katy Vernon

“The album’s honesty and insight into an often overlooked aspect of American democracy – the on-the-ground experiences of soldiers and, especially, the aftermath of their time in combat – is a gift in a contemporary moment full of chatter and political rhetoric.”
-NPR World Cafe

Davina and the Vagabonds:
Saturday, January 12, 2019

Opening the show was Laura Caviani Trio.

“She purrs and growls, whispers and wails. Sweet and seductive one moment, she’s in your face the next, and then she makes you laugh. Her voice is a complex, expressive, flexible instrument made of sugar and grit.” – Pamela Espeland, MinnPost

The Cactus Blossoms
Saturday, October 6, 2018 

Opening the show was Cannon River Currents

“It’s an honest, unvarnished, completely engaging style that is clearly retro but in no way musty. Take some rockabilly, add some melancholy bluesy swoon, waltz time C&W and peppy folk-pop  and mix with natural, innocent, fresh faced vocals that feel as if these guys have been singing together their whole lives…  music guaranteed to make your day better.”  – American Songwriter

2017-2018 Season:

Tom Brosseau:
Saturday, April 21, 2018 at 7:30 pm

Opening the show was Ray Coudret.

“Brosseau’s friendly, plaintive tenor is front and center while he shares songs that serve as a revelation…”  – Steven Wine, Associated Press

Lucy Kaplansky:
Saturday, March 3, 2018 at 7:30 pm

Opening the show was Katy Vernon

“Lucy Kaplansky is truly one of the best performing songwriters currently packing a guitar and taking her songs on the road. She has paid her dues as a backup singer for the likes of Suzanne Vega, Nancy Griffith and particularly, Shawn Colvin. She has eight studio albums to her credit, and two CD-length collaborations.”  – Acoustic Music.com

The Pines:
Saturday, January 13, 2018

Opening the show was Hearsedriver.

“simply and eloquently stated sonic poetry…the real deal.” -Acoustic Guitar.  “A hushed mix of acoustic and electric guitars and keyboards creates a kind of haunted landscape…an affecting portrait capturing an American journey” -All Music.  “Quietly gripping” -Rolling Stone

Six Mile Grove
Saturday, October 14, 2017 

Opening the show was Mark Allen

Six Mile Grove is rooted in the energy of Americana Rock and the simplicity of Classic Country music: all delivered with farm boy charm.

2016-2017 Season:

The Lowest Pair:
Saturday, November 5, 2016

Opening the show was Randy Broughten, Dan Gaarder and Andy Olsen.

An Americana banjo duo from Olympia/Minneapolis, The Lowest Pair features Kendl Winter and Palmer T. Lee. Their website states ,”Fans already know that the chemistry between Palmer’s Midwestern charm, those long winters spent listening to a steady diet of Townes Van Zandt and John Hartford, and Kendl’s poetic and playful way with words, her unique approach to the banjo, and her barefoot-in- the-cool-river-water mystique combine to make a powerful sound, but what’s new in 2016 is both the inclusion of those non-banjo sounds (harmonica, drum, bass, violin) and an incredible expansion of their songbook” in their two new records, Fern Girl and Ice Man and Uncertain As It Is Uneven.  Find out more about these two performers.

 
Dave Simonett
  (of Trampled by Turtles):
Saturday, January 14, 2017 at 7:30 pm

Opening the show were The Triplets (Parker Ousley and Helen Forsythe) and Sam Ryden. 

As the lead singer, guitarist, and songwriter for Trampled by Turtles, Dave Simonett has had a noteworthy 2016 full of sold out shows coast to coast –including noteworthy performances at Newport Folk Festival and Red Rocks Amphitheater. Don͛t miss this opportunity to share an intimate, acoustic show with Simonett, performing songs from his solo EP ͚Razor Pony͛ as well as his other major works from Trampled By Turtles and Dead Man Winter.

Peter Mayer
Friday, May 5, 2017 at 7:30 pm

Opening the show was Jon Manners.

“I’m a huge Peter Mayer fan, but only when I don’t feel like killing him for being so good. I love Peter’s work, though it irritates me that he plays so much better than I do. If I rocked half as hard as Peter does, I’d own the world by now.”  — Janis Ian, Singer/Songwriter

Peter Mayer writes songs for a small planet—songs about interconnectedness and the human journey; about the beauty and mystery of the world. Whimsical, humorous, and profound, his music breaks the boundaries of “folk”, and transcends to a realm beyond the everyday love song, to a place of wonder at the very fact of life itself.

2015-2016 Season:

Chris Koza: 

April 30, 2016

Chris Koza is a songwriter/musician living and working in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where the climate, the mighty Mississippi River and the balance of large city and rural communities offer continued inspiration.

Find out more about Chris Koza
Opener Anna Marie Mitchell

Communist Daughter:

February 27, 2016

A few years ago John Solomon walked away from music. After a long struggle with addiction and a brief stint in jail he broke up his critically acclaimed band Friends Like These and moved to a small town. Supposedly that was that…

Even though Solomon left music, music never left him. After a long hiatus, he called some friends to come out to that small town and begin again.
Find out more about  Communist Daughter

Opener Chad Johnson

The Pines:

January 9, 2016

The Midwest is to The Pines what Monument Valley was to filmmaker John Ford. The flat, endless expanses of the band’s native Iowa are at once the settings of, characters in, and muse behind the songs on their new album, Above The Prairie. Songwriters David Huckfelt and Benson Ramsey-who along with Benson’s brother Alex form the band’s touring trio format-craft their music with a filmmaker’s keen eye for detail and framing, blending celestial, ethereal atmospherics with rich, warm vocals and earthy acoustic instruments. It’s a gripping brew that demands your total presence, transporting you into vividly painted musical and lyrical snapshots.

Find out more about The Pines

Opener Michael Morris

Michael Johnson:

October 30, 2015

Michael Johnson has performed and lived more music and recorded more hits than you would imagine. His voice immediately identifies him as the man who sings “Bluer Than Blue,” “Give Me Wings,” “That’s That,” and other landmark songs. His music shows a diversity, depth and heart that only come from years of dedication to a labor of love.

Find out more about Michael Johnson

Opener Matt Arthur

2014-2015 Season:

Tom Brosseau:

May 9, 2015

Brosseau is a North Dakota-born, LA-based songwriter and singer who learned acoustic guitar from his grandmother. He has recorded ten albums since 2002 and tours and performs in the US, UK, Europe, Japan and Taiwan.

Find out more about Tom Brosseau

Opener Danial Groll of The Counterfactuals

Gary Louris

January 24, 2015

The Jayhawks emerged from the Twin Cities music scene in the early 90’s to become a staple in the alt.country movement. The combination of Louris’ and co-founder Mark Olson’s voices and songwriting skills presented an irresistible, unique sound that thrilled music fans and critics alike. Louris’ distinctive voice and guitar have been the constants in the band’s history.

Find out more about the Jayhawks

Opener Terry VanDeWalker of The Big Wu

The Ruth Moody Band

October 11, 2014

Although best known for her work with The Wailin’ Jennys, Ruth is an artist of exceptional depth and grace in her own right. Critics have lauded her ethereal vocals, impressive multi-instrumentalism, and her talent as a songwriter. Written with a maturity and wisdom that belies her age, her songs are timeless, universal, and carefully crafted, all sung with an intimacy and honesty that is unmistakably her own.

Find out more about Ruth Moody

Opener Katy Vernon

2013-2014 Season:

The Pines

January 25, 2014

The Midwest is to The Pines what Monument Valley was to filmmaker John Ford. The flat, endless expanses of the band’s native Iowa are at once the settings of, characters in, and muse behind the songs on their new album, Above The Prairie. Songwriters David Huckfelt and Benson Ramsey-who along with Benson’s brother Alex form the band’s touring trio format-craft their music with a filmmaker’s keen eye for detail and framing, blending celestial, ethereal atmospherics with rich, warm vocals and earthy acoustic instruments. It’s a gripping brew that demands your total presence, transporting you into vividly painted musical and lyrical snapshots.

Find out more about The Pines

Opener Michael Morris

Martha Scanlan

November 16, 2013

Martha Scanlan first gained national recognition for her songwriting at the prestigious Chris Austin songwriting contest at Merlefest in 2004, where she won awards in two categories.The gift of a great storyteller is the bringing of the listener into the story, and the story into the listener. It’s not just the words of the songs that provide that rare lasting transformative alchemy that has become so characteristic of Martha Scanlan’s work, and earned her the small loyal cult following that seems to be steadily growing. It’s the space between the words, the current of things, the sound of the place itself.

Find out more about Martha Scanlan

Opener Helen Forsythe

2012-2013 Season:

Caroline Herring

April 6, 2013

The Herring Sound is one that is both achingly ancient and decidedly modern, one wherein the internet can be mentioned within seconds of a lyric like “I want to stay with you/my place of belonging”.   Herring’s specialty is studying the South and the way race still haunts its people and places but her music transcends that—the race-haunted South becomes a microcosm for the nation, and even the world entire.  Like the best writers, Herring manages to make the specific something very universal. Injustice is the main theme that holds all of Herring’s work together, but she never fails to inject light so that hope is the victor in all of her music.

Fine out more about Caroline Herring

Pieta Brown

January 19, 2013

Although the Alabama-bred, Iowa-based Brown’s quietly riveting tunes and gritty, charismatic performing style resist easy categorization, they’ve helped her to win a fiercely loyal international fan base that extends to many of her fellow artists.

“Pieta Brown is a major talent…Her artistry combines folk, country, and dusky swamp in a graceful, supple, and elegant genre of their own.”   ~ American Songwriter

Find out more about Pieta Brown

Opener Seth Hanson

John Gorka with Jon Manners

November 16, 2012

John Gorka is a contemporary American folk musician. In 1991, Rolling Stone magazine called him “the preeminent male singer-songwriter of what has been dubbed the New Folk Movement.” He has performed on Austin City Limits and appeared on CNN and CMT. Gorka has also toured with Nanci Griffith and Mary Chapin Carpenter, among others.

Find out more about John Gorka

Jon Manners will perform the opening act at the concert. He describes himself as “an artist who has fallen through the cracks.” He has been involved in music since his childhood and has played with bands for most of his life until going solo about 12 years ago. He says his music has been described as “acoustic or electric blues-edged Roots-Rock in a modernist vein, both elegant and funky.”

Find out more about Jon Manners