Great Northern Radio Show, live from Fosston

Polk County, Minnesota

The Great Northern Radio Show airs Saturday, Dec. 14 from Fosston, Minnesota.

Great Northern Radio Show

The Great Northern Radio Show is music, stories and comedy telling the story of modern life off the beaten path.

For the last two years I’ve been producing, writing and hosting a live radio variety program called the Great Northern Radio Show. We’re a production of Northern Community Radio, where I’ve written and produced programming for many years, but this is the show I’ve been waiting my whole life to do.

Yes, it’s a take on the old format popular through several generations of radio listeners, most recently by A Prairie Home Companion. But I like to think we’ve developed a unique sound, an authentic voice for the people of the Great North Woods and the many ways we intersect with a big world of music, culture and stories. Because of the way we produce the show once a calendar season, and how we have yet to perform a show in the same town more than once, each program takes on the vibe of an album, rather than a time-tested exercise in a particular radio format.

Our next Great Northern Radio Show drops this Saturday, from 5-7 p.m., live on Northern Community Radio, broadcasting from the Fosston Library Arts Center in Fosston, Minnesota. You can attend the live show by requesting free tickets at 218-326-1234. It’s a small venue, and we ask the audience to be seated by 4:30 p.m. before we go on the air.

I’ve talked this week about our musical talent: including Reina del Cid and the Cidizens, along with Katie Wig. Now I’ll tell you about some of the other surprises we have in store.

This cast of the Great Northern Players includes several of our veterans from past shows and some new faces. Sara Breeze is a gifted character actor with a powerful stage presence and always gets big laughs, often with what’s in the script though just as often through other means. Britt Aamodt is an indy theater person and radio producer from the Twin Cities. She was in our last show in Crosby, and will have a bigger workload in this show. Mark Christensen and his almost unbelievably deep voice will be back, along with a new (to us) actor with a distinct sound — Fosston’s own Marc Lindgren. Our associate producer Erika Kooda will also be a part of the Players, along with cameos by del Cid and Wig. Iron Range broadcaster Scott Hanson will be on sound effects and Nickolai Koivunen will be manning the piano, per usual.

I weave in and out of these things as well, though most of my contributions come from the monologue and interviewing our guests, including quirky locals and people with a story to tell. I write the show with some help from Matt Nelson, and some additional contributions from the cast once we get going.

Students from Fosston High School will be performing some musical numbers, along with some surprise guests from the community. Naturally, the winter show means we treat this one a little like a Christmas special, though as our show in Bigfork last year showed, we like to break the rules of what people expect in a Christmas special.

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