Wednesday, July 8, 2009

More Authentic Than a Leather Football Helmet

by Doug MacRostie

There is something to be said for authentic that hasn't been uber-produced beyond recognition, leaving you feeling like a computer just tried singing you to sleep. Authentic is a word I use to describe the music of Duluth and the Iron Range with musicians like Charlie Parr, The Tisdales, Trampled by Turtles...real music by real musicians. A perfect example of this authentic sound on the Iron Range is Matt Ray, and he'll be my guest this Thursday night at 6 on Centerstage MN.

Matt Ray is a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Embarrass. His new album 'Old Crow' mixes elements of blues, folk, jug band and rock into his own unique sound. The music ranges from rockin' roots music on songs like 'Old Time Band' which sings about dancing all night, to sincerely serious tunes like 'Ranger's Lament,' a song about the trials and challenges of miners on the Range. I'll be talking with Matt about the CD, and he's bringing his guitar along to play a song live for us as well :D

Another very authentic Northern, MN band is The Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank from Holyoke (who will be at the upcoming 5th Annual 91.7 KAXE Mississippi River Festival on Sat. July 18th). With a solid foundation of roots and blues music, Ian and Teague Alexy take their music to new places, even mixing traditional styles with looped electronic beats on their limited edition EP 'One for the Time Capsule.' Beyond The Hobo Nephews, we'll hear from Broken Billy, a project of Ian's that branches into alt-country and alternative pop mixing rock n roll w bluegrass stomps and country licks. And we'll hear Teague Alexy and the Feelin' Band, they're CD is called 'The New Folklore' and is a mix of folk, rock, blues and jazz into an original blend of Americana. Good stuff, and be sure to come out and enjoy Ian and Teague w The Hobo Nephews at the Mississippi River Festival!!!

We'll also here some music out of Minneapolis with the internationally recognized indie pop-rock of Tapes 'N Tapes, and an emerging band on the scene called The Idle Hands, also with an edgy pop-rock sound. They have done a limited release of their new album 'The Hearts We Broke on the Way to the Show' in the Minneapolis area and will be doing a national release later this summer.

Centerstage MN is Thursday evening's at 6, streaming live online at; or 91.7 Grand Rapids, 89.9 Brainerd and 105.3 Bemidji. All interviews are archived at and the show is rebroadcast Sunday mornings at 6.

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