by Doug MacRostie
The difference between seeing a band live and hearing a band on CD can be night and day. The reason for this is simple: it's hard to recreate the energy that flows between an artist and audience when working in-studio. So, bands often release live albums - sometimes good, sometimes bad. In the case of The Brass Kings new release "Live Humdinger," it's very, very good - and singer/songwriter Steve Kaul will be my guest this week on Centerstage MN to talk about it. He writes music that looks at the world from a different direction, "I try to focus on the characters and the situations that aren't in the mainstream. Things that are behind the scenes, things that are maybe looked down on or just the invisible people on the street... Everyone's got a story, and I see stories everywhere with these kinds of people - I don't find them in the normal places."
Steve Kaul is the caliber of guitarist you compare with the likes of Doc Watson, Leo Kottke and Bruce Cockburn. From Bemidji and operating out of the Twin Cities, Steve has been playing music since he was in grade school and records/performs both solo and with The Brass Kings. The BK are a trio playing authentic Americana and folk music with Steve on Acoustic and Resonator Guitars & Vocal, Mikkel Beckmen on Washboard, Refrigerator Door, Butter Dish and Djembe and Brad Ptacek on Washtub Bass. On Live Humdinger they are joined by many guests performers including Molly Maher, Nate "Sonny" Sipe, "Baby" Grant Johnson and more. The sound of the CD is warm and inviting; you can feel as much as hear the crowd grooving to the music and it captures some stellar performances.
And be sure to come out and see The Brass Kings with MN's Pelican Railroad, Keri Noble and Willie Murphy along with Eilen Jewell from Cambridge Massachusetts for the 6th Annual 91.7 KAXE Mississippi River Festival starting at Noon on Saturday, July 17th. Click here for more details.
I've also got new music from Two Many Banjos forthcoming release "POW," new music from Peter Ostroushko's "When the Last Morning Glory Blooms," and new music from Janiva Magness's "The Devil Is An Angel Too."
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 and can be heard again Sunday mornings at 6. All interviews are archived at www.KAXE.org. Centerstage MN is also heard on Pioneer 90.1 in Thief River Falls, Saturday nights at 11pm.
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