Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Centerstage MN Gets High on Drama

by Doug MacRostie

When I was told, "I'll be bringing a digital piano," to the session for Centerstage MN, I thought it was a fancy way to say "keyboard." Nope. I'll be joined in-studio by High Drama Blues for some live music and conversation this Thursday night at 6 - and it's a REAL digital piano!

From Chisholm, HDB is an original and intricate blues & rock band. In-studio I'll have Gina Nordquist in vocals, Rob Wheeler on guitar and harmonica and Marty Halverson on digital piano and accordion. Their self-titled debut release was recorded at on the Iron Range at Sparta Sound by Rich Mattson - it's a great CD, but there is an energy to them when they play live that you'll want to hear.

Having met at Open Mic nights, HDB started working on original material right away, with Gina writing the lyrics and songs coming from impromptu jam sessions. The music is great and the vocals powerful. They are part of I.R.O.M.A., The Iron Range Original Music Association. Rob Wheeler has been heard on the show before with both The Wheeler Dealers and the Gypsy Prophets. They have a good thing going and it'll be a lot of fun to have them on Centerstage MN.

To set up the High Drama Blues, we'll hear from the new Janiva Magness album, "The Devil is an Angel Too." Janiva is a Blues and R&B singer with a rich and soulful voice that can lead an audience from deep sorrow to overwhelming joy. And we'll hear from some folkers with new music from Pat Surface and the Boundary Water Boys, the Blue Drifters and Bill Isles.

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

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