For the second year in a row, a Crosby native has advanced to the state finals of the True Value Competition, a nationwide talent search by the country music industry.
Bill Hanson Jr., a 1995 graduate of Crosby-Ironton High School, won the local competition as a male vocalist, with his performances at Garrison's Blue Goose of Charlie Daniels' "Drinkin' My Baby Goodbye" and Garth Brooks' "It's Your Song."
Backed by the Wayne Renn Band, Hanson competed against 16 other soloists and groups selected for the competition by 103.5 Froggy Radio of Brainerd, this year's designated host of the local event.
Hanson moves onto the state competition Aug. 4 in Chisholm where he will vie with winners of four other local contests in Minnesota. Hanson, a Twin Cities resident, won the local contest in Buffalo last year, according to a family member.
The state winner will compete at the regional contest this fall in Kansas City, with a chance to sing at the national contest early next year in Florida. The winner is awarded $50,000 and chance for a recording contract.
Hanson, a sound engineer at a Twin Cities record label, performs regularly with the Hanson Family Band, fronted by father Bill Hanson Sr. The band also includes sister Anna and brother Curt, all of Crosby.
Schimpp sisters to perform on MPR
If you missed the breakout performance by the Schimpp sisters July 13 in Staples, you'll get another chance to hear their music Friday morning in a live performance on Minnesota Public Radio, starting at 6 a.m.
Performing as Ruby Boots, the Staples natives will be one of several featured performers on MPR's "Morning Show," hosted by Dale Connelly and Jim Poole at the Como Lake Pavilion.
Staples natives, Dawn, Andrea and Heather Schimpp are familiar to local audiences as members of the Schimpp Family Singers, a southern gospel group that includes their parents Gary and Carmen Schimpp of Staples.
The sisters recently formed Ruby Boots to perform their own folk and country tunes, which can be heard on their inaugural CD, "Somebody Take Me Away." The group performed publicly for the first time in early July, at a self-promoted concert on Hamline University in St. Paul, before bringing their act to a local audience July 13.
GRAA announces park concerts
The Great River Arts Association, with support from the Little Falls Exchange Club and Bookin' It Bookstore, is proud to present the exciting jazz sounds of The George Maurer Group at Maple Island Park near downtown Little Falls. The group will perform 4 p.m. July 29 as part of the ongoing Concerts in the Park series.
Maurer started his musical career as a solo pianist and from 1989 to 1998 he released several reflective piano recordings and toured colleges all across the nation. He has received nominations for "Campus Entertainer of the Year" at both the regional and national level, and his albums have been nominated for a Minnesota Music Award and named to the "Top 25 Albums" list by Wind and Wire magazine.
The Concert in the Park this Sunday will feature Don Nelson performing his own arrangements of covers as well as his original songs with mix of folk, rock and country influences. The public is invited to attend the 4 p.m. Concerts in the Park free of charge. Bring a chair or blanket to sit on and enjoy the performances. In case of rain, concerts will be held at the Black & White Hamburger Shop located at 114 S.E. First St. in Little Falls. For more information, please call the GRAA at (320)632-0960.
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