Last Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016, I hosted another live broadcast of my Great Northern Radio Show from the Mesabi East Auditorium in Aurora, Minnesota. We were there to help celebrate the Laskiainen Finnish Sliding Festival in nearby Palo and “the beginning of the end of winter.”
You can hear the rebroadcast of this episode today from 2-4 p.m. CST and again from 10 p.m. to midnight CST on Northern Community Radio. The station broadcasts at 91.7 KAXE (Grand Rapids, Aitkin and the Iron Range), 90.5 KBXE (Bagley and Bemidji), 89.9 FM (Brainerd, Baxter and Fort Ripley) and 105.3 FM (Ely). They stream live all over the world at KAXE.org. I will post the link to the podcast on this page as soon as it’s available (typically we do one full on-air rebroadcast before posting the podcast).
I find something to love in all our shows, but this was the show I needed to spark the continued development of the Great Northern Radio Show. It a return to my native Iron Range, where material flows easily for me. This episode saw so many remarkable performances by our cast and musical guests. We really developed a collaborative, fun mix for this Aurora show.
“I Like You” provided a wonderful backbone to the show, a sort of bright, mystical sound that felt just right for this time of year. Steven Tedman showed up wearing a bright blue suit and Finnish flag sunglasses. When he took his accordion out of the case, we knew we had something special going on. Meanwhile, our old friends Pete and Jack Pellinen provided some beautiful traditional and pops music that glued the rest of the segments together. We had a new piano player in Katie Houg, who did a wonderful job as well.
The Great Northern Players were Jason Scorich, Rachel Brandt, C.J. Anderson and Lauren Nickisch, Matt Nelson, Pete and Jack Pellinen, and Kathryn Gritzmacher. Lots of memorable characters were portrayed on stage.
Guests included Laskiainen organizer Gerry Kangas, Laskiainen Queen 2016 Emily Baudek, Laskiainen Queen 1996 Rachel Williams (my cousin!), and Amy Dettmer, a Mesabi East state champion skier back in the day who talked about winter sports in the Aurora area.