The Pines to play MN Discovery Center June 22

The Pines

As I wrote earlier this year, I was excited to see the Minnesota Discovery Center in Chisholm schedule a summer concert series featuring several excellent Minnesota bands.

The series opens Thursday, June 22 with The Pines. The fantastic Keith Secola will also play. The show starts at 6 p.m. Tickets are $9 for adults and $5 for youth.

The Pines yield lush, layered sounds with vivid, imagistic lyrics and a filmmaker’s keen eye for detail and framing. Their songs are inspired by the Midwest; they explore the vast expanses around and above them, finding beauty in the isolated towns and farms that dot the landscape and the array of stars that dot the night sky. The core band features songwriters David Huckfelt and Benson Ramsey with keyboardist (and Benson’s brother) Alex Ramsey. Surreal and sublime, they combine acoustic instruments against atmospheric keyboard backgrounds. Rolling Stone’s David Fricke has called the band “quietly gripping,” and though most of the 10 new, original songs on Above the Prairie were captured in just a couple of takes, the album resonates as their most beautiful, accomplished and emotional work to date.

Above the Pines is also a celebration of the community and history that gave birth to it. On “Here,” the band is joined by Iowa friends and family, including Greg Brown, Iris DeMent, Pieta Brown, and Ramsey patriarch Bo Ramsey, who co-produced the LP with The Pines. The album closes with ‘Time Dreams,’ a collaboration with the late American Indian activist and poet John Trudell. More about the Pines at

Thursday nights are free admission at the Minnesota Discovery Center Iron Range museum as well, exciting to what I imagine is a finite group of The Pines/Range history crossover fans.

Future acts in the MDC concert series include Reina del Cid on July 6, The Cactus Blossoms on Aug. 24, and Ben Kyle on Sept. 21.


  1. Thank you, Aaron, for featuring our concert series on your blog! We are excited along with you to host all of these great bands. We look forward to folks coming out to enjoy the shows and build community with us!

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