Sounds of Spirit Lake – Menahga MN
June 29, 2018

Park Rapids Area Community Band

Founded in 1991, this 50 member community band is under the direction of Dr Russell Pesola, former director of the Concordia College Concert Band. The highlight of this year’s concert will be trumpet soloist, Dr Tom Strait. Dr Strait is chair of the Music Department at Minnesota State University Moorhead. He has performed with Bob Hope, Robert Goulet and Doc Severinsen.

To find out more about the Park Rapids Area Community Band, visit their website.

Pat Surface & the Boundary Waters Boys

Born in St. Paul, MN, Pat was abandoned to the foster care system. At 2 he was adopted into a family with a formidable musical legacy – the LaPlants, and brought to Grand Rapids, MN.

Pat grew to nearly 6’8″ tall and became an all-star basketball player and college coach.

Then music called…….

Pat became a full-time touring artist in 1987, showcasing nationally for NACA (National Association For Campus Activities) and performing at colleges around the country. He pioneered Family Programming on college and university campuses, and has worked with several Community Education organizations on early childhood/family programming. Pat and his wife, Donna, were also key-note presenters and performers at the National Marriage Encounter Conference at St. John’s University.

Now the owner of the international, award-winning record label based in Ely, MN – Spiritwood Music of The Boundary Waters, Pat sings and plays his hand-built LaPlant guitars – reaching millions with his solo performances, and with his award-winning band – the Boundary Water Boys. Pat has produced and recorded with Grammy Award-winning artists, and has won a Telly Award for his DVD of The Boundary Waters, Spirit Of The Wilderness.

In concert Pat is often joined by Donna – a ‘Performance Artist in Sign Language,’ and continues to perform at theaters, festivals, and churches. Together, Pat and Donna have written a hit show, Remember When, based on the songs of the 60’s and 70’s, and benefitting their non-profit organization – The Spiritwood ‘Forget Me Not’ Foundation which battles Alzheimer’s Disease.

To find out more about Pat Surface & the Boundary Waters Boys, visit their Facebook page.

Monroe Crossing

Monroe Crossing now begins 2017 with a brand new album! Our fifteenth CD has been completed! The collection is entitled Monroe Crossing Plays Classic Country and it’s a bluegrass treatment of songs from the golden era of country music such as George Jones, Hank Williams, Ray Price, Patsy Cline and Johnny Cash. We had a lot of fun creating this project and we are excited for you to hear the results.

Named in honor of Bill Monroe, “The Father of Bluegrass Music,” Monroe Crossing dazzles audiences with an electrifying blend of classic bluegrass, bluegrass gospel, and heartfelt originals. Their superb musicianship and on-stage rapport have entertained audiences across the United States, Canada and Europe.

Based in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, Monroe Crossing plays an average of 150 shows a year in intimate rooms, at major venues, and outdoor festivals. They are favorites among bluegrass connoisseurs and non-bluegrass audiences alike. They love introducing newcomers to bluegrass music!

Monroe Crossing is made up of five very distinct personalities with differing musical backgrounds. When combined, their individual histories make for a very unique ensemble sound. Band members are:  Derek Johnson – guitar & lead vocals; Lisa Fuglie – fiddle, mandolin, guitar & lead vocals; Matt Thompson – mandolin, fiddle & harmony vocals; Mark Anderson – bass & bass vocals; and David Robinson – banjo, dobro, harmonica & harmony vocals. Because they met through the music of Bill Monroe, they like to say they had a “Monroe Crossing.”

Among their many honors, Monroe Crossing was awarded “Bluegrass Album of the Year” by the Minnesota Music Academy in 2003. In 2007, they were inducted into the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame. They have twice been selected to showcase at the annual “World of Bluegrass” convention hosted by the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) and they have appeared twice at Carnegie Hall in New York City. In 2016, Monroe Crossing had the honor of being the first Minnesota bluegrass band to ever perform in South Korea.

Monroe Crossing has recorded 15 CDs to date. Their latest release, Monroe Crossing Plays Classic Country, is a bluegrass treatment of songs from the golden era of country music. The second half of every Monroe Crossing show always features audience requests and their latest CD documents this tradition.

Whether playing traditional bluegrass, bluegrass gospel, original bluegrass, or even songs outside the bluegrass genre, Monroe Crossing is one of the most active and most entertaining acts on the bluegrass scene today!

“This band understands and respects the musical principles laid down by Bill Monroe…. ‘Heartache & Stone’ represents their best effort to date. Arrangements are fresh and creative… An enjoyable project loaded with satisfaction.” — Louisville Music News

“Great tune, great album, fine group! The expressiveness of the vocals and the arrangement are terrific, not to mention the flawless instrumental work!” — Joe Steiner, Bluegrass DJ, WLFC, Findlay, Ohio

To find out more about Monroe Crossing, visit their website.

Saddle Sores

The Minneapolis based Saddle Sores play classic country music from the 50s, 60s, and 70s.  This Twin Cities classic country cover band is a dance community favorite and a multi-generational crowd pleaser.

The Saddle Sores are:

  • Jenny Russ – Vocals
  • Jimmy Kennedy – Guitar, Vocals
  • Randy Venaas – Bass
  • Mo Engel – Drums
  • Clay Williams – Pedal Steel, Guitar

To find more about the Saddle Sores, visit their website.

Dennis Warner & the D’s

Performing in over 100 cities each year, Folk/Americana musician and entertainer Dennis Warner has established a well- deserved reputation for captivating audiences with his smooth vocals, distinguished songs, enthusiastic personality and stellar playing on both six and twelve string guitars. He has also found a niche as a popular guest speaker at various community gatherings throughout the United States and Canada. Warner’s ninth CD, Seeds, generated a lot of attention, being named one of the top CDs of 2012 in folk music based on radio play around the world.  FOLK DJ also named him one of the top artists of 2012.Legendary Midnight Special radio host Rich Warrentipped his hat to Dennis by designating Seeds as his “CD Pick of the Week” on his nationally syndicated show.

The D’s are performing with Dennis – all musicians whose names also start with D.

To find out more about Dennis Warner & the D’s, visit their website.

Harper & Midwest Kind

New CD “Show Your Love” # 3 on Billboard
Six Months in the Top Ten of Billboard 
#1 in The Netherlands # 1 Italy
#3 Australian Blues Charts

MUSIC AWARDS: 

  • Detroit Music Award “Outstanding Vocalist” (2014)
  • Best Instrumentalist “Big City Blues Magazine” USA (2013)
  • Best Live CD “Blues 411”, New York. USA (2012)
  • Inducted into the Blues Museum Hall of Fame, Canada South Blues Society, Windsor Canada. (2011)
  • The Bronte Blues Awards, United Kingdom “Best Instrumentalist” (2009)
  • Acoustic Artist of the Year TREV, Australia (2005)
  • Male Vocalist of the Year – “Australian Blues Awards” (2004)
  • Song of the Year “Australian Blues Awards”, (2004)
  • Album of the Year, Nasty Harp, Sweet Harp Awards- “Guide to Best of the Blues Harmonicas and Beyond” USA . “Way Down
  • Deep Inside” CD. (2003)
  • Raw Talent Awards Number 1 Song “Never Change the Way She Feels”, Australia (2001)
  • Duke Award Yamaha Rock, Australia (2001)
  • Gold Record “Sailing Australia” America’s Cup Theme (2000)

An amalgamation of blues, soul and world music, multi award winning Australian singer/ songwriter “Peter D. Harper” creates a heady mix of roots music through his creative use of the harmonica, and the haunting drone of the didgeridoo. Harper has received an amazing 14 x Music Awards in four different countries. Harper is backed by his very talented Detroit based band, “Midwest Kind”

Harper was born in the United Kingdom but at the age of ten, his family moved half way round the world to Perth, Western Australia.  In Perth, one of the most isolated cities in the world, there was a thriving blues and folk scene. Fascinated with the spirituality and culture of the American Natives, he found the same qualities present in the Australian Aborigines of his homeland. On adding the native didgeridoo to his music, Harper says “It is a sound I grew up with, so it seemed natural to add it to my songwriting particularly when the lyrics related to the plight of the Aborigines in Australia. When I added the didgeridoo to the more traditional blues instruments, it worked . I also owe my life to a tribe of nomadic  Australian Natives who saved my father and I from starvation when we were trapped at The Fitzroy Crossing (Western Australia), in between two fast flowing river torrents. They gave us enough food and water to last us until the flood had subsided. I feel my music is my way of giving back to these wonderful people”.

Prior to his introduction to American audiences, Harper released six CDs to great acclaim in his homeland of Australia. Harper received a Gold Record for “Sailing Australia” (America’s Cup Theme). Harper had the honor of backing Blues Legend “Muddy Waters” on harmonica for his West Australian tour. Harper was also invited to perform at a Royal Gala Performance for the Queen of England in Perth, Western Australia. He’s played in the USA, Canada, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Italy, Belgium and France. It was on one of these tours that he caught the attention of Blind Pig Records, which made him their first international signing. With a home at a U.S. label and growing appreciation for his music from American audiences, Harper made the permanent move to the U.S. His animated shows have been well received at blues festivals, world music festivals, and by fans of jam band music.Harper has become a huge favorite on the world wide festival scene with an average of 20 to 30 festivals and 200 club dates per year. He was also invited to perform harmonica on stage several times with US super group- “Journey”.

On March 31st, 2016, Harper released his new CD “Show Your Love’ (Blu Harp Records) The new CD hit # 3 on the Billboard Blues Charts – (July 27, 2016); plus an amazing 6 Months in the Top Ten on Billboard, (September, 2016) only being beaten out by Eric Claption and Joe Bonamassa. “Show Your Love” also hit # 1 in The Netherlands, # 1 in Italy and #3 on the Australian Blues Charts (Top 5 for 5 months). Harper’s latest CD features 11 original road-tested tracks recorded with his well-traveled Detroit-based touring band “Midwest Kind.”

To find out more about Harper, visit his website.