The Back Issues - 1998 News



Ded Walleye -- Crankbait

Winner of two local Battle of the Bands this spring, Ded Walleye is the Fargo-Moorhead area's favorite college rock band. "High energy, fun and contagious - Ded Walleye plays with a passion very few bands have" says Doug Peterson, general manager of Old Broadway in Fargo. Their live shows combine well-crafted originals with their own inventive 90s take on an eclectic mix of cover tunes - from The Doors, Creedence and Jimi Hendrix to Ben Folds Five, Foo Fighters and Spacehog.

The high-octane fun of Ded Walleye's live performance is fueled by the impressive musicianship of its individual members. Vocalist Dave Morris' flamboyant energy and impressive vocal range commands the stage and energizes the crowd - guitarist Eric Letvin singlehandedly covers all the bases from rhythm guitar to four decades' worth of lead guitar styles - bassist Jason Klein contributes rock-solid grooves as well as melodic inventiveness - and drummer Russ "I know I overplay" Brown is, in the words of two admirers watching from the edge of the stage at their most recent club gig, "He's awesome, man."

Ded Walleye's debut CD, "Crankbait," recorded at Raptor Studios by producer/engineer Mike Coates, includes stage-honed audience favorites as well as impressive new originals. Check out the pictures from their CD release party at Fargo's Old Broadway on Halloween!

Their new web page includes band info and recent live performance pictures.

Performances are listed on the gig page.

Check out the band's own website too!


Mike Coates review in January Keyboard Magazine

Mike Coates (guitarist, producer and co-owner of Barking Dog Records and Raptor Studios) is the author of a review published in the January issue of Keyboard Magazine. Mitch Gallagher, a former guitar and audio production student of Mike's in a long-ago galaxy far, far away and now technical editor at Keyboard, contacted Mike to write a review article on KRK studio monitor speakers. Although the review is not posted on their website yet, you can read the entire 3-page in-depth review in the issue on your newsstands now!

No danger of Mike being lured into the glamorous world of technical writing, however -- he is currently recording Aflame's second CD and practicing for upcoming recitals with flutist Debora Harris: New York Mills Cultural Center on Saturday, February 13 and the Upper Midwest Flute Association convention in Minneapolis on Saturday, March 13. These days he is spending his spare time swearing at Republican congressmen on C-SPAN and shoveling snow.



Barking Dog Records artists named 1998 "Best Bets!"

Thanks to all of you wonderful folks out there on the high plains of North Dakota/Minnesota who took the time to fill out ballots and help recognize the following outstanding artists this year in the annual High Plains Reader Best Bets Poll:

Best Musician Brenda Weiler - #1 Deb Jenkins - #2 (Jonny Lang - #4)
Best Band Deb Jenkins Band - #1 3 Minute Hero - #2 (they were the #1 Band in last year's poll)  Ded Walleye - "sleeper" pick
Best Local Celebrity Deb Jenkins - #4 (behind Jonny Lang, Roger Maris and, ahem, Ed Schultz)  
Best Website yours truly at #2 -!  
Best Area Event Fargo Blues Festival - #1 (Deb Jenkins Band has been featured performer the past two years) Rush Hour Concert Series at the Plains Art Museum - #5 (wonderful venue for almost all Barking Dog Records artists - see story on the "Back Issues" page...)  

New reviews...woo hoo!

The e-zine Consumable Online, which rarely reviews smaller indie releases, published this review last week of Brenda Weiler's debut CD, trickle down, by reviewer Paul Hanson:

"In this pitiful era of dime a dozen female solo acts, Natalie Imbruglia being the latest with chart success for her single/video "Torn," it's refreshing to these ears to finally hear a soul-driven vocalist strumming an acoustic guitar that demands you listen. Brenda Weiler is the breath of fresh air pop music needs to inhale again and again.

Her release Trickle Down is brilliant. Many of the songs here are just Weiler strumming her acoustic guitar and providing soulful and soul-searching vocals. In "Drag," for example, Weiler sings, "You can play the fool/ You can try to keep score/ But if you wrestle with the devil, you can fight your own war." Her lyrics also search the plains of the human psyche, questioning religion. In "Tight," she sings, 'Jesus, can you come?' or will you make me do/ all those things that I shouldn't do." Later, she sings, "Who ever got the idea that beauty is right?/ That my butt and belly are meant to be tight/ cause I think what we have here is fucking insane/ and I don't care what my hair looks like after the rain."

Confrontational with powerful lyrics and an even stronger acoustic guitar strum, Weiler deserves, like few other female solo artists, wide-spread success and national prominence. Madonna is 40; Weiler looks and sounds like she has 40 more years of wisdom and maturity to flow through her compelling voice. "

Splendid E-Zine reviewed everyday ninjas by 3 Minute Hero in its September 7 issue:

"A hop, skip and a stumble through ska-world produces these touring MONSTERS from Moorhead, MN. Their sophomore CD shows that catchy horn arrangements are 3MH's specialty, along with some of the more smarmy and clever lyrics that've been heard in some time. 3MH slices through the music scene with their own distinctive goofiness and groove. At bare minimum you'll have an aluminum disc that's chock full of energy -- and from the sounds of it, the band's live performance obliterates any signs of dullness and is more energetic than, uh...uhm...the Energizer Bunny?"


and a rave in Dirty Linen magazine!

Here's what the August/September issue of Dirty Linen (the leading folk/acoustic/contemporary folk/roots music consumer magazine) had to say about Brenda Weiler and her debut CD, trickle down:

"...Brenda Weiler has created a solid album of thoughtful tunes on her debut CD. Weiler explores the topics of identity, independence and relationships wihout sounding too wordy. The upbeat 'Dancer' portrays Weiler's whimsical side, while '5,000 Miles' stands out as a sweet ballad. With hints of Dar Williams and Tracy Chapman, Weiler's bright voice is the attraction here. Performing with only a guitar--except for a few songs that include percussion and bass--Brenda Weiler is someone to watch."

DIRTY LINEN--August/September, 1998


And from THE DAVIS ENTERPRISE--Davis, Californa, June 25, 1998

"Grapevine has it that the next Ani DiFranco is emerging from North Dakota. The least I could do, I figure, was take a listen. So I'm expecting a few piercings here and there, and a steady stream of angst-laden musings about the sad state of the state and the case for anarchy. Well, along comes Ms. Weiler. In a voice sweet enough to charm the most savage protester, she sings about the usual trials and tribulations associated with life and love...With just that wonderful voice and her guitar, Trickle Down is proof that folk is alive and well...with or without the angst.

"Allow me to play Karnak for a moment (and I predict the 20-year-old Weiler will have to ask someone who that character is), and I'll give the following ANSWER: gold, silk and jewel. The QUESTION: 'If Brenda Weiler finds the right band to front, how will her music sell, what will the critics compare her voice to, and who will she out-shine in every way?'"

Head over to Brenda's Reviews page for the unabridged version of this review. Brenda is also a featured artist on Indisonic, a leading online site for independent music where you can also purchase most Barking Dog Records releases by credit card.



Barking Dog Records presents Freedom by Deb Jenkins

Freedom, the long-awaited debut release by Fargo's most popular R & B singer, includes audience favorites by the Deb Jenkins Band as well as several songs from Deb's Tribute to Billie Holiday stage show performed with pianist Merry Helm.

Two songs on the CD, "Leaves" and the title cut "Freedom", are original songs written by Deb several years ago. "Leaves," a reggae-groove crowd favorite featuring the Deb Jenkins Band, tells of a journey from self-doubt to the discovery of personal strength and belief. "Freedom" brings a touch of improvisatory cool-style jazz to the album with guest drummer Roger Gress and guest bassist Al Bergstrom.

From the uptempo stomp of Etta James' "Jump Into My Fire" which opens the album to the chilling scenes of Southern lynchings in Billie Holiday's signature song "Strange Fruit" to the a cappella gospel tune "Farther Along" which closes the album, Freedom is a rich musical feast from an extraordinary vocal artist.

CHECK OUT DEB'S NEW WEB PAGE for more information on this fascinating and multi-talented woman -- bookmark her GIG CALENDAR and catch her live!

SOON TO COME -- links to streaming audio clips.



"The Summer Air" completes four-CD seasonal series by Mike and Linda Coates

Mike and Linda Coates just released the fourth album in their classical crossover "seasonal series" -- this one titled "The Summer Air." Like previous releases in the series, this collection features classical guitar/vocal/acoustic arrangements of songs ranging from classical to pop. The summer theme of this album led us to more pop tunes than previous albums as well as a generous scoop of jazz. Of special note is a nine-song pop medley with solo appearances by Brenda Weiler, Debora Harris, Lisa Briggs, Sarah Morrau, and Deb Jenkins. Songs include "The Sun King" and "Blackbird" by the Beatles, "It's a Beautiful Morning" by the Rascals, "Summer's Almost Gone" and Indian Summer" by the Doors, "Summer in the City" by the Lovin' Spoonful, "Summer Breeze" by Seals & Crofts, "Aja" by Steely Dan, and a 'girl-group' take on Sly and the Family Stone's "Hot Fun in the Summertime." Classical guitar, flute, and lots of great female voices. Mmmmm -- yummy.

Debora Harris is featured in a wonderful guitar/flute/orchestration fantasy we call "Suite: A Fawn on the Lawn." It's an imaginative arrangement of "Prelude to the Afternoon of a Fawn" by Claude Debussy and "On the Lawn: Dance" from "Carmina Burana" by Carl Orff.

Linda Coates' vocals are showcased in Michel Legrand's "The Summer Knows -- Theme from Summer of '42," the haunting Irish traditional song "The Last Rose of Summer," and an original by Mike and Linda titled "The Summer Air" which pairs Linda with baritone Rick Lindquist in a lush duet.

Here's what Tom Pantera, Arts & Entertainment writer for the Fargo Forum had to say about "The Summer Air:"

"The latest CD [by Mike and Linda Coates] is...mostly good, if you like classical guitar-based music--for which Mike Coates has a singular gift...Linda Coates does a fine job with Steely Dan's 'Aja' and Brenda Weiler's lovely voice makes the Doors' 'Indian Summer' sound prettier than anything Jim Morrison could've ever done. The title track features an evocative 'summer storm' guitar solo by Mike Coates and the CD closes with a traditional Irish lament, 'The Last Rose of Summer,' in which Jane Linde Capistran's haunting violin perfectly complements Linda Coates' smoky voice."

CHECK OUT MIKE AND LINDA'S PAGE for more info on this and previous releases.




Lisa Briggs featured at Gibson's, Italian Street Fair

Singer-songwriter Lisa Briggs, one of Barking Dog Records' first signed artists who now lives and performs in Nashville, was chosen to perform at Nashville's gigantic Italian Street Fair. This four-day event, named one of the Top 20 Events by the Southeastern Tourism Society, provides entertainment throughout the Labor Day Weekend and is a fundraiser for the Nashville Symphony. More than 200,000 people will visit the fair this year--let's hope they all check out the Gig Page and catch Lisa's performance!

Lisa has also been a regular performer at Gibson's Guitar Cafe and Gallery, a popular Nashville spot founded by the creator of the famous Gibson Guitar. Lisa will be performing every Tuesday throughout the month of September (5:00 pm) -- it's the perfect way to end your workday (if you're a Nashville local) or enhance your visit to Music City.


Debora Harris and Mike Coates to perform at international flute event

Official press release:

Fargo, ND--Debora Harris and Mike Coates have been chosen, through a rigorous selection process, to perform as featured artists at the National Flute Association Convention on Thursday (4:00 pm) August 13 in Phoenix, Arizona. This annual convention draws between 3,000 and 4,000 professional flutists from around the world and to be selected to perform before this audience is a singular honor and accomplishment. They will perform a four-movement contemporary piece, "Dances in the Madhouse" by David Leisner.

Debora Harris is Assistant Professor at Moorhead State University and also serves on the faculty each summer at the acclaimed International Music Camp located on the border of the United States and Canada. She holds a Master of Music degree and is completing a Doctor of Music from Florida State University. Debora is an active performer in the region and was featured as a concerto soloist with the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony in January.

Mike Coates, formerly a member of the music faculty of Moorhead State University, is now co-owner and operator of Raptor Recording Studios and Barking Dog Records in Fargo. Debora Harris and Mike Coates released a compact disc collection of flute-guitar duos entitled "Reverie" last September and perform together regularly. Debora will be a featured guest on the upcoming CD, "The Summer Air" by Mike and Linda Coates.

CATCH DEB AND MIKE IN PERFORMANCE Wednesday, August 5, NDSU Memorial Union East Patio, Fargo, ND, from noon to 1:00 pm -- free and informal outdoor lunchtime concert.




The Minneapolis CD Release Party for "Everyday Ninjas" --

The eagerly awaited second release by 3 Minute Hero was debuted in style at the Fine Line in Minneapolis on Friday, May 22. By the time the intricate funk of opening band Unisense hit its final chorus, the club opened the upper level to accomodate the crowd. More than 500 people cheered as 3 Minute Hero took the stage for two rip-snorting sets complete with the full complement of cuts off the new release -- see their news page for lots of great party pix!

3 Minute Hero has been getting great press and reviews lately from the Minneapolis media including the Minneapolis Star Tribune, City Pages, Push Magazine, 92 KQRS and KFAI Local Sound Department -- check it out!

"Everyday Ninjas" should be at a record store near you, but you can also order it off this site via our homely little order form, check out the band's gig calendar and buy it directly from the band, or cruise on over to for RealAudio samples and credit card ordering!


New Studio Acquisition

New microphones are always an exciting addition to any studio -- and especially this baby, the new AKG Solidtube. Raptor Studios has just added this revolutionary mic to its present collection of Neumann, AKG, Audio Technica, Sennheiser, et al. A brand new design celebrating AKG's 50th anniversary, the Solidtube combines the benefits of solid state and tube technology into one extraordinarily warm and accurate mic. The unmistakable "tube sound" can be heard on several tracks on "The Summer Air" (see above). Plus, when you turn off all the lights, it glows. Groovy.


Conference Report...

The High Plains Music Biz Conference on April 2 was a great success -- so great that we forgot to take pictures! You'll just have to take our word for it...actually, you can take other people's words for it:

"I was lucky enough to survive my first ever trip to the plains of North Dakota this week, for the First Annual High Plains Music Biz Conference. It was organized by Barking Dog Records, who through their studio up there, Raptor, have recently produced Jay Walters, 3 Minute Hero and Brenda Weiler. With plenty of support from local businesses, especially the weekly newspaper High Plains Reader, it was a very well attended day long event with artists, members of the media, label reps, club bookers and agents, from Bismarck, Grand Forks Fargo and the Twin Cities, filling 3 lively seminars, and a 'schmoozer' before attending a showcase at their First Ave. is encouraging that the event was such a success for us all to be contemplating how to make it better next year, and I realised that for some, being in a room full of people who love music as much as you do is a first, and worth the price of admission alone!!

"A friend of mine, who has worked on the 'biz' side of the music industry for a long time, reminded me upon my return, that he wishes more musicians spent more time perfecting the art of being a musician instead of worrying about the biz side. Perhaps this also speaks to the apparent need for more people in town to be able to help bands with the biz stuff so that they can concentrate on their art. But I also think giving those artists (who neccesarily might have to spend a lot of time alone in their bedrooms!) a chance to commune with others that share their passion is a valuable service that should continue and perhaps be expanded here in the Twin Cities."

That was from conference panelist Mark Wheat, host of Minneapolis' KFAI "Local Sound Department," Zone 105 "Across the Pond," and columnist for PULSE weekly. Thanks for the great mention in your weekly email newsletter, Mark!

And this from conference attendee Mara Jacobson with Minneapolis' Heart and Soul Festival who made the road trip with R&B artist and Heart and Soul founder, Mick Sterling:

"The conference was valuable because it brought a nice range of professionals. It was nice to hear different opinions and points of view. It was great to see everyone from the record people, to the promotions, then the press and of course the musicians. I would like to see the variety stay!!! was nicely set up...I liked where it was held, easy to find, and everything was centrally located! Plus everything was kept pretty close to schedule --- amazing for a first time event!!!!

The showcase at the end of the night rocked, thanks to outstanding performances by Jay Walters, Brenda Weiler and 3 Minute Hero (featuring the debut of the very freshly-pressed "everyday ninjas.") Thanks to everyone who attended and to all the wonderful panelists. We are definitely planning to do it again next year -- anyone who has any ideas or would like to be involved in any way, drop me an email!



From previous What's New updates, here's the conference we're talking about, in case you missed it:

Barking Dog Records and High Plains Reader present regional music conference

Ever wish you could go to one of those high-powered national conventions and sit in on panels, listen to music industry types share their hot tips, and rub shoulders with rock stars? Well, we can't promise you $450 plane tickets, $180 hotel rooms or Billy Idol, but we can provide an afternoon of regional music industry and media luminaries from Minneapolis, Fargo and the High Plains region sharing real live hot dope on how to break through in the music business.

The First Annual High Plains Music Biz Conference will take place Thursday, April 2 in Fargo, North Dakota and will include three Panels, an informal cocktail Schmoozer, a Dinner, and an evening Showcase. Follow the link for complete information.


...a nice press mention shamelessly passed along to you, the reader

Mark Wheat, Minneapolis/St. Paul plugged-into-the-groove guy, radio host and writer of KFAI's Local Sound Department (Minneapolis independent radio), and weekly columnist in Twin Cities' Pulse magazine, had this to say in his weekly newsletter last Friday:

Barking Dog Records barking up right tree - Barking Dog records based in Fargo continues to produce a steady stream of quality product, from the sound and talent of their artists through to the promotional layouts that they send. They just released a fine debut from Brenda Weiler, a young Fargo native singer songwriter with a great voice called "Trickle Down" and they seem to be on the verge of helping break the young ska-rock band 3 Minute Hero, who are planning to move here soon... They play the Fine Line tomorrow (Friday 6th.)

Why thanks, Mark! Your opportunity to meet Mark in person, dear reader, is Thursday, April 2, when he will be one of several cool panelists at our High Plains Music Biz Conference (barring unforeseen schedule gremlins).


"Through and Through - A Celebration of Women and Their Music"

Fargo blues singer Deb Jenkins (left) put together a memorable event Saturday, February 28 at the Fargo Theatre. More than a dozen area women performers (and a few male accompanying band/ensemble members) of diverse musical backgrounds took the stage to perform a 3-hour variety performance to an enthusiastic, cheering audience of more than 750.

Barking Dog Records artists included on the performing roster were flutist Debora Harris and vocalist Linda Coates performing duo pieces with classical guitarist Mike Coates, and folk/rock singer/songwriter Brenda Weiler (right) who had the headline spot on the program and nearly brought down the house with two album cuts and a saucy/passionate new song, "Tease." Sarah Morrau, a jazz/pop vocalist who recorded her CD at Raptor Studios, appeared with her guitarist Josh Harty and pianist Rob Hanneman. Other performers included the Deb Jenkins Band (blues), Prairie Reel (female bluegrass quartet), Nita Velo (rural Minnesota folk/country/blues singer), Merry Helm (musician/composer), Margie Bailly (classical piano), Prudy Erickson (85-year-old jazz pianist), Connie Hill (Christian country/rock), and Mary Marshall (jazz piano/vocal).

Proceeds from the event will go to support the Fargo Theatre and a newly created arts scholarship for an area high school girl planning to continue her education in the arts.


3 Minute Hero nominated for 1998 "Best New Band" -- Minnesota Music Awards!

It was a great night at Minneapolis classic joint, the Cabooze, on Thursday, Februay 19. After a rousing opening set by the Jay Walters band, fellow Barking Dog Records artists 3 Minute Hero took the stage for a blistering two sets, inspired by the news that they had just been nominated for "Best New Band" award by the Minnesota Music Academy. Voting will take place sometime next month...check out new pictures and more on their news page.




Brenda Weiler featured in Forum cover story/ interview and HPR review

Brenda Weiler was the subject of a great article/ interview by Arts & Entertainment writer Ross Raihala in the Sunday, February 21 edition of the Forum newspaper (Fargo, ND - Moorhead, MN). The story /interview is still up on their terrific online site, In-Forum -- check it out! Also, Brenda's album, "trickle down," received a rave review by Thad Holen in the latest High Plains Reader.

If you missed the fun at Brenda's video shoot a couple weeks ago, be sure to check out the pictures -- a full page of them! We shot footage for an 8-10 minute promotional video for promoters, festivals, and college bookers as we begin planning Brenda's touring schedule. Thanks a million to Kit Grove (KITCO Productions), Mike Vangsnes and Luigi's Restaurant, Chris and 1st. Avenue Cabaret, Deb Jenkins Band, KVRR Television, Modern Man, Jenny Wilde and Bob Schieffer.

Keep your eye on the gig page for Brenda's coffeehouse and touring dates.


New Acoustic Series at the Plains Art Museum

Barking Dog Records and the Plains Art Museum in Fargo have collaborated on a new venue and performance series for regional acoustic artists. The spectacularly renovated Plains Art Museum has made its 3-story open atrium space available for the performances, and Barking Dog Records provided the roster of artists and assisted in promotion and advertising for the series.

Unplugged at the Plains: A Rush Hour Concert Series began Thursday, January 22 with folk/rock singer/songwriter Brenda Weiler (above) and will continue every other Thursday from 5:30 - 7:00 pm. The museum's Café Muse serves wine, beer, non-alcoholic beverages along with specialty hors d'oeuvres and light menu items -- a perfect place to stop on your way home from work. Admission to the performance is free with the price of museum admission and the Museum Store will be selling the artists' CDs.

Brenda Weiler folk rock singer/songwriter Thursday, January 22
Roger Gress multi-percussionist Thursday, February 5
Sarah Morrau & Josh Harty jazz-pop vocal/guitar duo Thursday, February 22
Jay Walters eclectic pop Thursday, March 5
Deb Jenkins & Merry Helm Billie Holiday Revue Thursday, March 22
The Flatlands male vocal/guitar duo Thursday, April 2
Mike & Linda Coates with Debora Harris classical guitar/vocal duo and classical guitar/flute duo Thursday, April 23


Debora Harris Shines as Symphony Soloist

Mozart sparkled the weekend of January 17 & 18 as Debora Harris was a featured soloist with the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony under conductor Joel Revzen. Here's an excerpt from the concert review by Jack Zaleski in The Forum (Fargo, ND): "Highlight of the night was the virtuoso work of flutist Debora Harris, who treated an appreciative audience to a nearly flawless performance of Mozart's Flute Concerto No. 1. It is said Mozart did not like the flute. He surely would have changed his mind had he heard his concerto Saturday night." Congratulations, Deb, on a spectacular performance! Debora has performances throughout the country coming up this spring -- be sure to check the gig page often for updates.



Barking Dog Records featured as the cover story of the January 8 High Plains Reader

We're more than pleased with the wonderful coverage as the cover story of the latest issue of the regional weekly, High Plains Reader. This fine paper is produced in Fargo and covers the Red River Valley from the Canadian border to the South Dakota border, including Grand Forks, Fargo, Wahpeton, East Grand Forks MN, Moorhead MN, and all points in between. Our thanks to writer Steve Listopad, designer Raul Gomez, editor John Strand and publishers Jim Johnson and John Strand. They put out a valued source for arts, entertainment, commentary, sports and more in the valley. Pick up a copy -- it's a good thing.



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