McInnis’ Kitchen featured at Aitkin’s World-Famous Fish House Parade
AITKIN — A performance by internationally-acclaimed McInnis’ Kitchen will be part of Aitkin’s World-Famous Fish House Parade takes place Nov. 25.
The concert is free admission to the public and will take place immediately following the end of the parade at the Butler Building, which is also the location for the craft sale this year.
McInnis’ Kitchen has earned a respected international reputation in the traditional music industry, achieving top billing at noted venues and festivals in the U.S. and Canada. They recently have headlined at venues such as Irish Fair of Minnesota in St. Paul, Lucius Woods Performing Arts Center in Solon Springs, Wis., Celtic Fair at Fort William Historic Park in Thunder Bay, Ontario and at Clyde Iron Performance Center in Duluth.
Their sound revolves around the dual fiddles of Chuck Butler and Mark Monroe, whose versatility and spirited phrasing bring home the true sense of Celtic music from places like County Donegal in Ireland and Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and includes the percussive rhythms and vocals of Sue Spencer and Jim Ofsthun, both established veterans of Newfoundland and Irish traditional music. The group’s material draws heavily from the ancient traditions where everything was handed down aurally and shared in ‘kitchen parties’ common to Irish/Scottish culture in places like Newfoundland and the Canadian Maritimes. The fiery dual-fiddling, lively song and inventive energetic arrangements give the band a trademark sound that is unique in the genre.
McInnis’ Kitchen recently released a new recording entitled “Music From the Kitchen” which features handed-down music, as well as new music within the tradition that successfully captures the organic feel of a how the group sounds in live performance.
For more information on Aitkin’s World-Famous Fish House Parade, visit www.aitkin.com or contact the Aitkin Area Chamber at (218) 927-2316.
Author Anne Dunn to visit Eagle View Elementary
PEQUOT LAKES — Ojibwe storyteller and author Anne Dunn will make an appearance Monday at Eagle View Elementary School in Pequot Lakes. The author/storyteller will visit the fifth grade classrooms in the afternoon and then at 6 p.m. will be part of a Celebrate Reading Night for all students and parents in the school cafeteria. There also will be breakout activities for students and parent that will help support the love of reading at home.
Dunn is an Anishinabeg grandmother and elder storyteller. She is the author of “When Beaver Was Great, Grandmother’s Gift” and “Winter Thunder: Retold Tales.” Dunn grew up in northern Minnesota. As a young girl, she received many gifts from the wonderful storehouse of oral legends and animal fables of the Ojibwe, especially from her mother, Maefred Vanos Arey and her grandmother, Frances Vanoss. Like many Native American children, Dunn experienced life on reservation land and also lived for a time in Minneapolis. Dunn of Deer River is a licensed practical nurse.
For more information call (218) 562-6100.
Book-signing event scheduled Nov. 27
BAXTER — Author Patricia A. Overson will have a book-signing from 12-3 p.m. Nov. 27 at Book World in Baxter.
Overson is the author of “Staycation in Minnesota: Up North.” The book provides information on an abundance of activities in northern Minnesota, indoors and outdoor.
Madhatters Community Theatre joins 2011 Wadena Christmas Festival
WADENA — When the Wadena Christmas Festival first began 36 years ago, it was an event put on by Madhatters Community Theatre with storytellers, mimes, a theme and one or two arts and crafters. Over the years the event has grown as a craft show and has become its own entity. This year, Madhatters is joining the festivities of the 36th annual festival with two plays at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 26-27 of “It’s A Wonderful Life,” a Live Radio Play.
The Christmas Festival takes place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 26 and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 27 at the Wadena Memorial Auditorium and Elementary School. Activities include arts and crafts booths, strolling musicians and Santa Claus and activities for children.
There also will be stage performances on Nov. 26 that include the DL Cloggers at 10 a.m., “Celtic Sunshine” Fran Gack, 11 a.m., Hanna Larson on the piano at noon, Studio “Z” Wadena at 1 p.m. and Paul Imhotle, “The Stringman” at 2 p.m. Piano students of Lea Snyder and Marilyn Twete also will perform Nov. 26.
On Nov. 27, piano students of Mary Beth Brockpahler will perform at noon; Just for Kix and the piano students of Wendy Lindliefm will perform at 1 p.m.; and the Wadena Area Community Band and Julia WhyNott at 2 p.m.
The FIRST Robotics Team from W-DC High School will demonstrate its robot at 1 p.m. Nov. 26. Paul Imholte will be strolling the halls throughout the weekend with his dulcimer and other stringed instruments.
Admission is $1 and profits from the festival are donated to community organizations, and this year will go towards tornado relief support for the school.
Americana singer/songwriter Doug Spartz announces tour
PINE RIVER — Singer/songwriter Doug Spartz hit the road Wednesday with his 2011-12 tour with his musical shows, “American Stories, Lies & Tales” and “Almost Home, an Americana Christmas,” based on his 2006 and 2007 Americana CD releases.
Spartz will bring his Americana music show to various venues throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota. Working with Great North Show Providers, Spartz’ musical tour, appropriately called the “Unfinished Business Tour” will feature two musical shows, “American Stories, Lies & Tales” and “Almost Home, an Americana Christmas.”
Spartz and his seven piece band include vocalist Dawnl McArthur, a well-seasoned young singer, who began her career at age 4 and was featured at 11 years of age at Branson’s Country Tonight Theater; Lonnie Knight, premier guitarist and vocalist; Lauren McArthur, long-time member of the Whitesidewalls and other prominent groups; James Plattes, who is accomplished on the fiddle, mandolin and harp; Reid Papke on bass; Gary Haberman on drums and percussion, and Kenny Thompson on vocals and guitar.
“The opportunity to work with the caliber of these musicians, is a dream come true for any performer,” Spartz said in an email release. “The experience that they all bring to the show is something that you won’t often find; I have such respect for the tremendous amount of talent that they have.”
Spartz, a longtime musician from Pine River, released “American Stories, Lies & Tales” in 2006 which was originally targeted to the Americana radio format. One of the cuts, “Name on the Wall” was penned by Spartz and his producer Doug Deforest and the song was picked up by XM Satellite radio and garnered a rare invitation for Spartz to come out to Washington, DC to perform a live show. The nationally syndicated show, After MidNite with Blair Garner, featured “Name on the Wall” during their “Pick It or Flick It” segment.
Several industry people heard “Name on the Wall” and came onboard to promote and manage Spartz’ career, including the former senior vice-president of Pop Promotion at Jive records who was instrumental in launching the careers of Brittney Spears and the Backstreet Boys; Timothy D. Kehr, who worked for Columbia Records and Epic Records as a promoter and was named Billboard’s Magazine’s Promotion Man of the Year for six years straight; and Americana Radio Promoter, Fred Boenig, who promoted the song to radio stations all over the country.
Spartz suffered a heart attack and the focus shifted from record charts to medical charts. He put all music plans on hold and he focused his energy on recovering. Spartz was diagnosed with stage-4 colon cancer and he underwent major surgery to remove the cancerous portion of his colon. But Spartz got back on track with his musical careers and recorded “The One Who’s Leavin.’”
For a complete tour schedule go to www.greatnorthshowproviders.com or call (218) 587-2377. Tickets for any of the shows can be purchased by calling (218) 536-0589 or emailing Amy at greatnorthshowproviders.com.