Erik Koskinen - RRDB Friday Night Showcase - The Hook and Ladder Theater3010 Minnehaha Ave Minneapolis,MN
07/13/2018 8:00 PM - 07/13/2018 10:00 PM
"The best country songwriter in Minnesota, Erik Koskinen doesn't sing about tailgating, partying with babes and driving down dirt roads. He's more old school, with a focus on working-class themes, whether it's about the effects of oil in "Boomtown," the calling of a musician in "Six Pack of Beer and a Pack of Cigarettes" or the challenges of being unemployed on Independence Day in "Slow Burn." Those tunes are on his splendid second album, "America Theatre," a collection that would make Merle Haggard proud."
-Minneapolis Star Tribune
Erik Koskinen's America Theatre is a translucent eulogy to the genuine. Musically sprouted from the blend of American folk, country, rock-n-roll, and blues, Koskinen and his top-shelf band realize a sound that is distinctive and fresh while familiar and classic. From the tender opener, "First Time in Years" to the defiant "Six Pack of Beer" to "Boomtown," a track that flays the history of the west's settlement from bedrock to fracking with a locomotive's force of barbwire guitars, marching bass and cracking drums, Koskinen moves the listener through a landscape of personal and social struggles, as well as small triumphs, of our nation and its people. Ending on the quiet heartbreaker and breath taker, "Slow Burn," Koskinen's album is a lyrical and musical metaphor of American's theaters of war, of history, of relationships, and of the reflections in the mirror. Knowing but not didactic, Koskinen channels the ways of Whitman and reverently enters the anthology of uniquely crafted wry songs with the likes of Woody Guthrie and Ry Cooder while speaking as plainly as your neighbor. Koskinen joins the ranks of chief musicians and sharp wordsmiths.
The consummate songwriter’s songwriter, Randy Weeks will pull you in, and hook you with each word & every note until you simply can’t let go. His cool, easy-going attitude paired with his sharp and witty undertones make Randy Weeks’ style undeniably his own. Soundtracking the ever-present undercurrent of our popular culture, Weeks’ music can be heard on international radio stations, Grammy award winning albums, and in feature films.
Dave Moore is one of the great songwriters to come out of the state of Iowa. Known for his elegant songwriting and instrumental prowess on blues guitar, button accordion and harmonica he has become somewhat of a legend. In 1980 Dave returned to Iowa City and teamed up with local songwriter Greg Brown who was just beginning to develop a national reputation. For the next few years Dave backed up Brown on recording projects, extensive tours and several appearances on Garrison Keillor's popular A Prairie Home Companion on NPR.
In 1984 at a little folk festival, Dave won a contest whose prize was free recording time in a studio. He took the oppurtunity to record Jukejoints and Cantinas, an album that brilliantly pulled together all of the American roots influences that had been stewing in him for years. He passed its 14 sizzling blues and Conjunto tracks on to Bob Feldman of Red House Records, who enthusiastically offered to put it out.
In 1986 Garrison Keillor invited Dave to perform on A Prairie Home Companion and after frequent appearances, he became the show's band leader on tours to Alaska and Hawaii. A year or two earlier he had quietly started writing his own song and in 1990 he released Over My Shoulder, an 11-song collection that has become a cult classic.
In mid 1998, he announced that he was ready to record again. Seeking a co-producer for the project, he looked to Iowa City roots-rocker Bo Ramsey, who had produced several discs for Greg Brown and had just finished touring in Lucinda Williams' band. Dave had long admired Bo's work and instinctively felt he was the best man to guide the recording session.
The result was Breaking Down to 3, an album that is considered his best ever. Recorded with an all-Iowa band, the songs are as breathtaking as they are stunning with vivid imagery drawn from the depth of his life experiences painting a picture of the quintessential American journey.