Wednesday, December 1, 2010

He Comes from MN with a Banjo on His Knee

by Doug MacRostie

It's not too often that the debut release from a band is a double CD, but Matt Ray and Those Damn Horses aren't typical. Complete with washtub bass, harmonica, washboard, spoons, guitar, fiddle and banjo, these guys are a high energy string band from the Iron Range playing roots, Americana, and old time music with a modern twist. Matt Ray will be joining me this week on Centerstage MN to talk about the new album "Then and Now". The first CD, "Then", is a collection of traditional tunes they reworked for modern times. Songs that defined their time and built the foundation of the music we hear today. The second CD, "Now", is all original tunes with that same throw-back style under contemporary currents.

On Fri., Dec. 3rd Matt Ray and Those Damn Horses are hosting a CD release party for "Then and Now" at Mac's Bar in Mountain Iron starting at 9pm with The Iron Range Outlaw Brigade.

And the new Sara Softich CD "Highway to the Sun" arrived this week - it's haunting and beautiful, so we'll check out a song from that - Sara and I have been working out details to have her on Centerstage MN sometime soon. Sara is originally from Virginia and operates out of Duluth. She and Jason Wussow have a duo called Yeltzi, and we'll hear from them as well.

And we'll hear a demo-fragment of Dylan playing Man in the Street in the early 60's from the new Bootleg Series Vol. 9: the Witmark Years 1962-1964. And have you Dylan lovers heard of Little Diamonds? At the age of 13, this kid was writing (and sounding) just like folkie-Dylan of old. But this isn't just a cheap imitation, the music and lyrics are way more mature and intelligent than what I was expecting, and I hope to have him on sometime soon to talk about what he's doing with music.

Centerstage MN is Thursday evenings at 6, streaming live online at; 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 Centerstage MN is also heard on KSRQ in Thief River Falls Saturday nights at 11 & Wednesdays at Noon, and on WTIP in Grand Marais Thursdays afternoons at 4. Often featured on

No comments: