Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Edgy but Charming Sasha Mercedes

by Doug MacRostie

I would say that Sasha Mercedes was born to play music. Her style and intimate songwriting combined with her honest lyrics and passionate vocals, come across in a natural, powerful way. Sasha joins me in-studio this week on Centerstage MN to talk about her new record "Temporary Monsters", her first album backed by a full band.

Daughter of Dan "Bart" Bartik of Backroad, a legendary blues band from Grand Rapids, Sasha was born in a cabin in the middle of the Northern MN woods. Her passion for music has taken her all over the world; from going to Prague to become a rockstar, to teaching music in Macedonia, to dominating all 3 bars in Bayfield, WI.

Her songs sometimes cover serious, taboo topics and I asked Sasha about what inspires her, "I want to be able to write something that people can relate to. I’m just tired of listening to all this pop radio where they’re filling lyrical lines with ‘la la las’ or whatever, just taking all these short cuts. Songwriting is not about shortcuts. It’s about taking a story and putting it to music and people listening to it and being able to relate and enjoy it. I write 95% from personal experience."

Click here to see a video preview of her performing at the KAXE Studios.

In other news, a Bemidji hip-hop group was brought to my attention this week and we'll hear the latest track from Aurora Borialis the North Stars followed by Big Quarters, two brothers who spent some of their youth in Clearbrook, now operating out of the Twin Cities.

Plus, a preview of next week's hour long special! I went to see Two Many Banjos perform at Terrapin Station in Nevis and recorded an interview with Marc Gartman. We'll hear that conversation next week, along with highlights from their concert. And I'll start with the wonderful surprise of the evening: Colleen Myhre from Mahtowa. She is an excellent singer-songwriter with a beautiful voice. [Read more about that evening here].

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 Thursday afternoons at 4. Often featured on

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