Great Northern Radio Show returns to Reif Center in Grand Rapids June 22

You might have noticed it’s been quiet at the blog these days. Regular readers can probably guess why. I’m busy with the book (more on that to come) and the radio show. Today I announce the next Great Northern Radio Show. I produce this live variety program for Northern Community Radio. The show will happen… Read More →

What if Bob was one of us? Dylan Fest features music, culture and Joan Osborne

What if Bob was one of us? Just a slob like one of us? Well, he pretty much is. Duluth’s Dylan Fest will hold its annual celebration of its native son Bob Dylan May 18-26, 2019. Meanwhile Dylan’s Iron Range hometown of Hibbing continues efforts to commemorate its complex influence on one of the world’s… Read More →

The think piece on Dorothy’s ruby slippers you didn’t know you needed

The iconic film “The Wizard of Oz” is 80 years old. It’s such a cultural touchstone that at least five generations have now seen it so many times that they know the lines. And like “The Wizard of Oz,” we’ve well repeated the story of how a pair of costume ruby slippers worn by the… Read More →

Grandpa and the way home

At one time my grandpa kept a bar in his house in Keewatin, a small wood-paneled room full of 1950s and ‘60s sports memorabilia, Norwegian flags and light-up beer signs. In 1990 or so, I think I was around 10, he showed me the things on the shelves and said “I’m dying. One day all… Read More →

‘Think spring’ with latest Great Northern Radio Show

You can now hear the latest podcast for the Great Northern Radio Show from our April 13 broadcast at the Chief Theater in Bemidji, Minnesota. It was the 30th variety show I’ve written, produced and hosted for Northern Community Radio, our fifth from the “First City on the Mississippi River.” It was the first time… Read More →

Iron Range’s most active live music venue to close soon

In a blow to the Iron Range music scene, the 218 Taphouse and Shop Coffeehouse in downtown Virginia, Minnesota, will close April 15. Owners issued the news via an April 3 Facebook post, which reads as follows: Due to unforeseen circumstances The 218 Taphouse and Shop Coffeehouse will be closing April 15th. We would like… Read More →

Great Northern Radio Show returns to Bemidji April 13

Spring slowly seeps into Northern Minnesota. Celebrate with the April 13 broadcast of my Great Northern Radio Show at the Chief Theater in Bemidji, Minnesota. Get your tickets here. I always tell you these things are good and that you should come. I suppose by now you either believe me or you don’t. The Latelys… Read More →

Arts provide economic, aesthetic boost to NE Minnesota

Last year I wrote about the economic impact of the arts in Northern Minnesota’s Iron Range region. An organization called Creative Minnesota explored the total reach of the arts, including the revenue generated within the economy and the number of jobs created. Today, the same organization released a new 2019 report as part of Arts… Read More →

After 10 years, final Minnesota ‘all hockey hair team’ video drops

Iron Range hopes for a state high school hockey championship fell just short with Greenway’s Saturday afternoon loss to St. Cloud Cathedral. It was an amazing run for the Raiders, though, with some great games, hearty effort and exciting play. And they placed respectably in the 2019 Minnesota State High School All Hockey Hair Team… Read More →

Dylan monument at Hibbing HS to be revealed fall 2019

Like an eddy in a fast-moving stream, Robert Zimmerman matriculated from Hibbing High School in 1959. Just three years later, under a new name of his own design, Bob Dylan began transforming the musical world from the stage of Carnegie Hall in New York. Decades before I was born, Dylan lived in the same neighborhood… Read More →