Great Northern Radio Show this Saturday in Bemidji

Bemidji’s Known Only Locally and the Great Northern Radio Show house band rehearsed together last Sunday for the upcoming Saturday, March 4 program at the Chief Theater. (PHOTO: William McKenzie)

I’m excited to report that my Great Northern Radio Show returns to the airwaves and the stage of the Historic Chief Theater in downtown Bemidji this Saturday at 5 p.m.

They tell me tickets are selling fast so get yours now (audience should be seated by 4:30). For everyone else, the live event airs from 5-7 p.m. on Northern Community Radio stations 91.7 KAXE Grand Rapids and 90.5 KBXE Bagley and Bemidji, along with translators 89.9 Brainerd and 103.9 Ely. You can catch the live stream anywhere in the world at

As this show matures after six years, we’re looking to do more “home shows.” That is, we plan to do a show every year from our twin home towns of Grand Rapids and Bemidji. It will mean fewer traveling shows, but provides great venues and better logistics for our staff.

What is the Great Northern Radio Show? Well, it’s the same whimsically strange combination of humor and earnest resolve that I write here. Only, for sheer jollies, I’ve translated it into a live radio variety show and roped in dozens of talented people to make it happen. You can hear past shows at our website.

Below is the press release for Saturday’s show:

Great Northern Radio Show returns March 4

North Woods live radio program to showcase Bemidji music scene

BEMIDJI, Minnesota— The Great Northern Radio Show will return to Bemidji, Minnesota for a March 4, 2017 live broadcast at the historic downtown Chief Theater. Highlighting the show will be a reunion of Bemidji music scene pioneers Known Only Locally and an exciting lineup of local music and comedy.

This traveling variety program is produced by Northern Community Radio, an independent National Public Radio affiliate covering a large part of Northern Minnesota. Through comedy, stories and music, the Great Northern Radio Show explores life in small towns and rural places.

Producer and host Aaron Brown leads a talented cast of performers, musicians, and storytellers through local legend and real life, highlighting the talent and culture of northern Minnesota. Each show celebrates a unique location and the people who make it special, sharing the experience with a much wider audience on the radio and online.

“We’re now producing a Bemidji show once a year,” said Brown. “We love this town. It’s cool and welcoming. There is so much talent and material here.”

The show’s Bemidji-based all star house band, Babe and the Pauls, features Katie Houg on keyboard and vocals, Corey Medina on guitar and vocals, DC McKenzie on bass and Eric Sundeen on drums.

The March 4 program will celebrate the Bemidji local music scene with a reunion of Known Only Locally, featuring Kristi Miller, vocalist Eric Carlson, Miriam Tell and Gary Broste. Known Only Locally will collaborate with Babe and the Pauls on several songs.

The Great Northern Radio Players include Jason Scorich and Louisa Scorich, both of Duluth; Brett Carter of Bemidji, C.J. Anderson of Pequot Lakes, Lauren Nickisch of Pequot Lakes on foley sound effects. Special guests include Bemidji sustainability advocate Anna Carlson and Jennifer Speir-Hearn of the Concordia Language Villages.

“Our show continues to grow,” said Brown, an author and longtime blogger from the Hibbing area. “We’re developing new ideas, new characters, and a sharper sound every time we take the stage. My mission is to show that great art and interesting people can be found right here in Northern Minnesota.”

The programs will air live from 5-7 p.m. on Saturday, March 4, 2017. Tickets cost $10 for adults, free for children and college students with IDs. Audience must be in their seats by 4:30. Seating is limited. Call Northern Community Radio to reserve tickets at 800/662-5799 or visit

The March 4 program will air live on 103.3 KUMD in Duluth, 91.7 FM KAXE in Grand Rapids, Aitkin and the Iron Range, 90.5 KBXE Bagley and Bemidji, 89.9 FM Brainerd and 103.9 FM in Ely. The show is also rebroadcast on independent public radio stations throughout Minnesota and distributed as a live stream and podcast at

The Great Northern Radio Show is made possible in part by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund with support from the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Culture and Tourism grant program and the Blandin Foundation.

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