Hear the Great Northern Radio Show now!

The latest edition of the Great Northern Radio Show aired live April 7 from the Chief Theatre in downtown Bemidji, Minnesota. We rebroadcast the show on Northern Community Radio last Saturday morning.

The show is now available via PRX for independent public radio stations in Minnesota, thanks to the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. This show is truly an effort to create a special program in the spirit of modern life off the beaten paths of Minnesota.

You can listen to the show right here with this embedded player:

There have been delays in the podcast at KAXE.org. If you check there Friday it should be up. I’ll post an update when it’s ready. UPDATE: Download the file here. Right click and save to your computer to add to your iTunes and/or digital player.

The Brainerd Bemidji show was a blast. Local actors Sara Breeze, Greg Gasman and Mark Christiansen were versatile pros, turning in great work with only 36 hours of rehearsal time. We also had the Pinetones, an a capella quartet, helping out on some custom sketch music.

We like to feature young talent from the area. Singer-songwriters like Sonny Johnson and Analisa Huschle, along with vocalist/actresses Iris Kolodji and Kaija Roy, really stole the show at times. Anishinaabe hand drummer Nate King opened our show and helped set the scene, a stage set amid the headwaters of the Mississippi and the ancestral lands of the Ojibwe people.

Veteran local songwriter Jim Miller, accompanied by wife Kristi on mandolin, had the biggest ovation of the night after his performance, marking the long road back from his stroke a couple years ago. For the Bemidji music scene his comeback has been a true inspiration.

Authors Anton Treuer, Neil Johnson and Marsh Muirhead each provided valuable perspectives; Neil even chipped in on a sketch.

Marc Gartman and Two Many Banjos were terrific. Gartman is a fine songwriter and vocalist. In all the hubbub over Trampled by Turtles being on Letterman this week I neglected to mention that the band’s banjo player Dave Carroll was on our stage just a couple weeks prior with Two Many Banjos. Anyway, Two Many Banjos provides some “umph” at key moments in the show.

Naturally, we kept the steady presence of our foley man Scott Hanson and keyboardist Nickolai Koivunen, with able work from stage director Shelly Nowak and set/lighting/manager Kelly Gustavsson.

This show represents a lot of creative progress, with more yet to come. Our next show is Saturday, June 16 at the Chalberg Theater on the campus of Central Lakes College in Brainerd. If you are a musician, performer or have a Brainerd-area story or point of interest, please let me know through the contact page here at the blog.

UPDATE: I had a Freudian slip, mixing up Brainerd for Bemidji in the show description. Obviously the last couple weeks I’ve been more focused on preparations for the Brainerd show on June 16. The person who first pointed this out to me was Matt Nelson, my writing collaborator, who I neglected to mention entirely. Thanks, Matt — for both!

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