Fargo Folk Festival 2000
The second annual Fargo Folk Festival was Thursday, August 17, 2000 from 4:00 - 10:00 pm in beautiful Island Park in downtown Fargo, ND.
On this page you'll find artist bios and pictures from the event.
PLEASE NOTE: The Fargo Folk Festival was held for two years - in 1999 and 2000. Unfortunately, it has been discontinued. There is another festival in the area - the North Central Regional Folk Festival - presented by Deb Jenkins and Cindy Belohlavik, and you can find information here.
|Ray & Glover|
Ray & Glover
Dave "Snaker" Ray and Tony "Little Sun" Glover are the blues two-thirds of the Koerner, Ray & Glover, a folk blues trio that recorded and toured widely during the Sixties folk music boom. They cut five influential Albums for Elektra (now sought-after collector items) with an intriguing mix of string-band, ragtime and down-home blues styles. The group performed at the Newport and Philadelphia Folk Festivals as well as on the club and college circuit. Their raucous enthusiasm and musical acumen breathed life into traditional material; people as diverse as John Lennon, Bonnie Raitt and The Doors list them as influences.
When the trio drifted apart in the lat Sixties, Ray built a recording studio in the Minnesota woods. His label Sweet Jane Ltd, made Bonnie Raitt's first Warner Bros. recordings and was the prototype for the "cottage industry" studios of today. Glover authored several best-selling harmonica instruction manuals, worked a year and a half as an all-night "underground" DJ on KDWB and spent time in New York as a music Journalist for mags like Rolling Stone, Crawdaddy and Circus.
During the 70s and 80s, the group reunited for special shows, including the Folk Festivals in Winnipeg and Vancouver and Sing Out! magazine's thirtieth anniversary concert. One of their last trio shows in 1984 was filmed and formed the foundation for BLUES RAGS & HOLLERS: THE KOERNER, RAY & GLOVER STORY, a two hour performance/documentary video produced by Glover. The Minnesota Music Awards named KR&G "Best Folk Group" and elected them to the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame, along with Bob Dylan and Prince.
Ray & Glover have maintained an active performing partnership over the years. A Minneapolis blues bar gig resulted in the release of a jukebox 45 on their own Ray-Ver label. A series of acoustic performances was captured on a 1987 release "Legends In Their Spare Time." It was named "Blues Album Of The Year" at the Minnesota Music Awards -- the same year Glover copped an award for "Best Electric Harp." In career totals, they have appeared on twenty-five albums, nineteen of which were mutual efforts.
Ray & Glover perform in clubs, concerts and festivals and as an opening act for select touring groups. In recent years they have appeared on bills with artists as diverse as John Lee Hooker, Dr. John, J.J.Cale, Bob Dylan, B.B. King and Beck. They are in their fifth year of Thursday nights at the Times Bar and Grill. Their repertoire spans decades -- from the 30s down-home numbers with twelve string guitar and unamplified harp, to the modern urban blues, based on electric instrumentation. They each contribute to the mix of original tunes that spices their set list.
ASHES IN MY WHISKY, a 1990 album for Rough Trade, was the first studio recording the duo had done since their contract with Elektra ended in 1965. Tim-Kerr Records has released their newest effort, PICTURE HAS FADED, winner of the 1994 Minnesota Music Awards "Best Independent Record" prize. Both have garnered critical praise, the later a four-star review in Rolling Stone. Although they are veteran musicians, they retain and convey their passion for the music, bluesmen as timeless as the form itself.
In 1999, Glover wrote the critically acclaimed booklet notes for the seminal Bob Dylan historic release, Live 1966 -- The "Royal Albert Hall" Concert. In December ASCAP will bestow its Deems Taylor award for the writing.
Ray & Glover's website
Only eighteen years old when she opened a Richie Havens concert, Fargo native Brenda Weiler (rhymes with "tyler") was already a distinctive songwriter and performer. In the three years since the release of trickle down, her first CD on Barking Dog Records, Brenda toured throughout the US, earning rave reviews in every new market she plays. From Santa Cruz to Salt Lake City, Denver to Chicago, audiences immediately connect with Brenda's forthright style, extraordinary voice, personal lyrics and superb songwriting. Audiences and music industry professionals alike are recognizing her singular talent -- Brenda received nominations for both Minnesota Folk Artist of the Year and Minnesota Folk Recording of the Year in 1999 for her newest release, crazy happy, and was named Minnesota Female Vocalist of the Year in 2000.
Dirty Linen, the leading contemporary folk and acoustic magazine, describes Brenda's singing, "With hints of Dar Williams and Tracy Chapman, Weiler's bright voice is the attraction here...Brenda Weiler is someone to watch." And one of several recent album reviews from Brenda's new home town of Minneapolis:
"Once in a blue moon, an album arrives with so much passion and vulnerability it demands undivided attention. The record industry has yet to come up with a parental-warning for such releases, but a spin through the CD player seems to scream, "How dare you leave me in the background!" Such is the case with Brenda Weiler's sophomore effort; a listen to crazy happy holds both the unnerving rush of thumbing through a stranger's journal and the warm comfort of finding your own thoughts and feelings in someone else's words.
"Though her songs explore a fairly well worn subject -- the deceptively simple struggle to find happiness -- their beauty comes from Weiler's fearless intimacy. From 'Willing's awkward surrender to romance ('You taste just like I thought you would/You feel alright by me/It's been awhile for me you know/but I'm willing to let things just be') to 'Changes' harsh look at body image ('Why do you feel you should change?/What did your mother teach you?/Your thighs are as small as your arms/ but they're not supoosed to be'), her unflinching candor remains the heart of this album.
"Shifting gracefully from an Ani DiFranco-like bounce to somber a cappella tones, Weiler displays not only a strong vocal range but a gift for melody that entices listeners into her songs. The album's tight production ties everything together, keeping the strength of her guitar and vocals intact amongst the bass, organ, and drums that surround them. Equal parts sorrow and outright joy, crazy happy stands out as one of the most moving works to arise from the local music scene all year." (Bill Snyder, Twin Cities Revue, Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN, May 27, 1999)
Brenda Weiler performed on the 1999 Fargo Folk Festival with her crazy happy rhythm section: Peter Niblock (Sinéad O'Connor, Van Morrison) on drums, and Al Bergstrom on bass and is the only repeat performer on this year's festival.
Brenda Weiler's website
After eight albums and a decade of touring, self-described "post apocalyptic punk folk" songwriter Stuart Davis is on the "verge of obscurity," he declares. The bony 28-year-old of Danish stock has been carefully tailoring a "strike it small" approach to match his unique pop sensibilities, and he's getting quite cozy in that crawlspace between the underground and the overboard.
"I'm really happy selling two or three thousand records when I release an album. I'm lucky to make a living recording and performing original songs." Having sold over fourteen thousand CDs, most of them from the stage, Davis has grown into a sizable independent artist while remaining fairly unknown in the mainstream music industry. But making esoteric recordings is fitting for an artist whose main inspiration comes from esoteric authors. His music has long been influenced by books such as the Tao Te Ching, Tibetan Book of the Dead, Cloud of Unknowing, and a host of authors including Pierre Teilhard De Chardin, Ken Wilber, and Jellaludin. For while upbeat songs about sex, death, and God may have Nashville keeping him at arm's length, it has also brought him a passionate fan base-one that is willing to put its money where its heart is.
When the pop pariah announced to his fan email list that he would be selling $20,000 in shares of his album Bright Apocalypse, the stock sold out in just a few days. It was the birth of a new label: Post Apocalyptic Records, a label funded entirely by fans.
"I'm surprised to say the idea worked and I'm now on the label of my dreams. I'm backed by the people who believe in the music and let me record and release CDs the way I want to." said the shoddily dressed author from his home in Mountain View California.
Author, too? Yep. The year 2000 will see the publication of two books which feature chapter by Lakeville, Minnesota's strangest son. Kindred Visions, A Complete Guide to Ken Wilber, and The Spirit of Gen X will both be in stores nationwide (unlike Stuart's albums). Yet two more milestones in Stu's inexorable rise to nothing.
Stuart's self-penned bio notwithstanding, his highly literate, complex, in turn biting or humorous, always passionate songwriting and performance have earned him an equally passionate audience throughout the United States and Europe. If you're curious for more, you'll find an engaging, in-depth interview in the St. Paul Pioneer Press here.
Stuart Davis' website
"...Honky-tonk music from the old traditions of country, swing, and a little boogie-woogie... show-stopping numbers one might expect from a quirky-looking six-piece band." - No Depression
"This disc is a classic by almost any standard." - Dirty Linen
"Remarkably talented and musically inspired. Accident Clearinghouse is a hidden treasure." - CMJ A&R Pick of the week
Accident Clearinghouse is a six-piece band from the Twin Cities that plays souped-up, juiced-up, original honky-tonk music with a campy retro flair. The band line-up includes Quillan Roe on lead vocals and rhythm guitar; Mike Brady on electric guitar, banjo, mandolin, and vocals; Jeff Tranberry on upright bass and back-up vocals; Rufus Moon on washboard and vocals; Rev. Matt Marohl on pedal-steel guitar; and Prof. Kevin Riach on drums. Most recently seen in Fargo performing at the Plains Art Museum's Rush Hour Concert Series (pictured above in condensed 4-man format) and 21st Amendment, they have shared the stage with the likes of the Brian Setzer Orchestra, the Derailers and BR5-49. Accident Clearinghouse was nominated for Minnesota's Best Americana Group and Best Americana Album and has received national radio airplay and critical raves from mainstream music publications.
Their self-released output is prodigious: three studio CD releases ("Saginaw Sweetheart," "Absolute Collision," and "By Blood and Marriage"), a live CD ("Live at the Bryant Lake Bowl") and a limited release benefit CD recorded by a trio of AC members ("AC3 does Elvis - a Benefit for ALS"), all proceeds of which benefit the ALS Society of Minnesota. Oh yes, and a groovy "Do You Like the Hula?" bumper sticker. See it all at the...
Accident Clearinghouse website
Mark Reeves' style has been shaped by years spent honing his craft busking on street corners, playing blues clubs, and touring throughout the US and Canada. Hailing from the Canadian prairies, Mark spent18 months on full scholarship at Berklee College of Music in Boston, before leaving to focus his energies on songwriting and performing. Four years and more than 1,000 shows later, he has shared the stage with Robert Cray, Blue Rodeo and Colin James. Pierre Guerin, director of the Winnipeg Folk Festival, praises Reeves' performing style: "Mark is not only at ease performing, he owns the stage. Even more impressive is the attention and care he pays to his craft as a songwriter."
Mark Reeves' debut album, "Come Undone" (1995), was produced by Keith Keller (Los Lobos, The Subdudes). Reeves recorded the CD in Winnipeg and at Keller's studio mansion in New Orleans. The CD is a collection of powerful pop songs that feature some very fine musicians. CBC television invited him to be featured on their documentary Style show HOT OFF THE DOCK. That show went on to garner two Genie award nominations, including "best musical tv show."
The title for Mark Reeves' latest album, "Takes a While to Get Like This," came to him when an old, decrepit barn caught his eye on a drive home. The barn had seen better days, was leaning to one side, and he thought "the vision reminded me of a lot of people I know and how life take its toll and they still keep standing. When I looked at that old red barn and thought of those people I just kept thinking that it takes awhile to get like this." The album, Reeves says, "has all the elements of pop and blues that I've been growing towards since the last album."
Mark Reeves' website
"My Indian heritage is part of who I am, so some of it comes out in my music, but I sing about a variety of human conditions. I just want to tell the truth about the world as I see it," says musician Annie Humphrey.
Humphrey was born and raised on an Ojibwe Indian reservation in Northern Minnesota where she learned first-hand the struggles of growing up as a minority. Eager to explore a wider world, she left the reservation and joined the United States Marines, traveled the country coast to coast, and was stationed in Japan. She now lives on her Ojibwe homeland, close to nature, with no electricity, no running water, in an A-frame cabin she helped build.
A strong, determined, complex woman, whose life experiences can be heard in her vocals, Humphrey says she doesn't want to serve as a spokesperson for any particular group, yet she doesn't hesitate to use her music to call attention to causes in which she believes. Humphrey does more than just sing, however. She works at local prisons writing newsletters and singing for inmates. She is dedicated to preserving the land and protecting wildlife and natural medicines. Humphrey supports efforts to control logging in the Chippewa National Forest. She also teaches traditional skills (beadwork, wild rice harvesting, maple sugaring) to reservation youth.
Humphrey wrote the music for all of the tunes on the album except "Falling Down and Falling Apart," a song written by Sherman Alexie ("Smoke Signals") and Jim Boyd. Her mother, the noted author Anne Dunn, was the inspiration behind "500 Years." Adrian Liberty, Anne Dunn and Humphrey wrote "See Her," while "I Can See You" is Humphrey's solo composition. Annie's primary writing partner, Carson Gardner, wrote many of the album's lyrics. Gardner, a unique story himself, gave up a lucrative medical practice in order to better serve those in need on the reservation. The CD's title track details Carson's personal conversion, a remarkable story of a great blue heron that visited Gardner and literally changed his life.
Her CD, The Heron Smiled, is on Makoché (ma-ko-chay), an award winning independent label well known for presenting the best in American Indian-influenced music.
Annie Humphrey website
festival sponsors... This second annual event was dreamed up and is presented by these fine folks who love and support acoustic music all year long:
Barking Dog Records Zandbroz Variety Luigis Restaurant Full Circle Cafe/TSW Catering Plains Art Museum High Plains Reader - our media sponsor 1999 Folk Festival page--text & pictures | printable map | contact
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