Barring some big news, the blog will go dark the rest of this week. I’ll be finishing the script for my next Great Northern Radio Show, live from the Chief Theater in Bemidji, Minnesota, on Saturday, March 4.
This will be a good one. We’ll be celebrating the vibrant music scene in Bemidji with a reunion of the iconic Known Only Locally. Originally headed by the late, great Jim Miller, Known Only Locally is a Americana folk group now featuring Eric Carlson on vocals and all the other original members, including Jim’s wife, Kristi.
Known Only Locally started back in the 1970s with the goal to make world class music in the back woods of Northern Minnesota. They deliberately kept a low profile. Yet, folks in Bemidji know that they are no local yokels, but a top notch act that probably could have toured and recorded with success.
Our house band headed by Katie Houg and featuring the fantastic Corey Medina will round out the show with some of their own music. Carlson will also play some of his songs with our band. Really, I can’t describe what we’re doing except to say that it’s a mass of really talented Bemidji musicians playing in a really cool collaborative jam session. It’s like nothing we’ve tried before.
It will be good to give props to the late Miller, who made one of his final live performances on our second-ever show in 2012.
I’m working on an original script of new sketches and monologues. A new co-writer, Amy Rutten, wrote some Bemidji-specific material for us. Red Lake comedian Jon Roberts brings a new set of stand-up comedy. Our talented cast of Great Northern Radio Players will be there as well.
At this point, I’m beyond trying to tell you that the show has made strides. I think anyone who listens can hear the results. I am never going to tire of telling you why I do this show.
I started the Great Northern Radio Show at a personal crossroads. Burned out on politics and blogging, strung out as I made a personal recovery from alcoholism, I needed a way to make joy where there was none.
For years I wanted to start a show that would be a big hit, so my ship could come in. Yet, I never took the leap. But when I felt that starting a show would be a way to spread a little joy, I found the path. When I made the show about the state I love, Minnesota, and its many talented musicians and performers, people joined together to help. It was, in the truest sense, a calling.
I love this show. I love the people who make it happen. I love our audiences, especially the people who find us by accident on the radio dial. The budget is tight, but we can get through anything. We make good in a world that needs it.
Please join us in Bemidji on Saturday, March 4 or make plans to listen. You can get tickets or catch up on our recent shows at the Great Northern Radio Show website. Enjoy!
See you on the other side.