The Back Issues - 1999 News




Date set for 2000 Fargo Folk Festival

Barking Dog Records office staff model snappy 1999 FFF t-shirts

Ana Rusness (l), Barking Dog Records Administrative Assistant, and Tasha Haug (r), Barking Dog Records Business Manager, were hard at work at the 1999 Fargo Folk Festival and are pictured in the ivory t-shirt which was for sale at the festival and the bright purple Event Staff t-shirts which were seen on scores of volunteers during the all-day event at Fargo's Island Park on Thursday, August 19. Names of the performers were listed on the back: Brenda Weiler Band, Mason Jennings Band, John Hermanson Band, Chris Bucheit, Bec Smith, and Flatlands.

A limited number of ivory t-shirts from this first-time event are available at Zandbroz Variety in Fargo and online.

Plan now to attend next year's festival on Thursday, August 17, 2000 from 4:00 - 10:00pm at downtown Island Park in Fargo, ND. Pictures and artist info from this year's event are on the Fargo Folk Festival page.


Happy Birthday, High Plains Reader!

It's a sign of getting older, I know, but it hardly seems possible that the little paper that could is now five years old and the Red River region's only alternative weekly, In fact, High Plains Reader is now the fifth largest newspaper in the state, with the third largest circulation radius.

Over the years we have been honored as the subject of a cover story ("Look What the Dog Brought Home - Barking Dog Records," January 1998), had the pleasure of seeing several Barking Dog Records artists on the cover (Brenda Weiler, 3 Minute Hero, Deb Jenkins) and benefited by HPR's media sponsorship of significant regional musical events including the 1998 High Plains Music Biz Conference and the 1999 Fargo Folk Festival.

Now it's time to help them celebrate! Head up to Grand Forks/East Grand Forks Friday, September 10 and enjoy, among other festivities, Brenda Weiler performing at the Blue Moose in East Grand Forks (from 7:00 - 9:00 pm) and 3 Minute Hero blazing away at Sensations in Grand Forks starting at 9:00 pm. Mazel tov John Strand, Raul Gomez, John Lamb, Janet Miller and the rest of the gang! (you, too, Jim Johnson - you may have snuck out early but you're definitely one of the "usual suspects" in my book!)



On newsstands now...

Barking Dog Records artists Brenda Weiler and 3 Minute Hero are featured, along with fellow Fargo-to-Minneapolis musical success stories Jonny Lang, the Blenders and Shannon Curfman, in the September issue of Minnesota Monthly magazine. The full-length feature story by Associate Editor Russell Scott Smith presents a broad history of musicians who have emerged from the Fargo area as well as profiles of the current young crop of musical phenoms.

A couple excerpts: "...Meanwhile, the 21-year-old Fargo folk singer Brenda Weiler is quickly becoming one of the region's hottest coffeehouse acts...Any discussion of the Fargo music scene has to include the fact that every fall, thousands of college students descend on the area for classes at North Dakota State University, Moorhead State University, and Concordia College. Where there are college students, inevitably you'll find coffeehouses and folk music. One of Fargo's best folk singers is Brenda Weiler, who has been playing the Midwest's coffeehouse circuit since graduating from high school in 1996. Weiler moved to the Twin Cities about a year ago, where she's won even more recognition, especially after a pair of performances on KTCA-TV's Almanac. She's built a cult of followers with a confessional style that draws comparisons to Ani DiFranco and Tracy Chapman. Her songs are politically aware and often witty..."

"...But for many of Fargo's college students, bars are the places to go to let loose and hear some good tunes...A particularly successful product of the Fargo bar scene is 3 Minute Hero, a ska band known for whipping its fans into a frenzy. Although most of the guys in Hero hail from the Twin Cities, the band formed at Moorhead State and quickly became the toast of the Fargo music scene. Frontman Jeff Nelson attributes some of this success to Hero's status as probably the only ska band from North Dakota. 'We've always been a novelty,' he says. 'When we started, we were absolutely hilarious to everybody in Fargo, because they'd never heard of ska. Now we're a novelty because we're from Fargo.'

"As they play around the region, these guys wave Fargo's freak flag high, even though they've all moved to Minneapolis. Reporters always want to ask about Fargo, and they usually ask the same two questions. One is about Jonny Lang and the other is about the movie [Fargo]. 'People bring up the movie all the time,' Nelson says, rolling his eyes. 'But I just threaten to stick them in a wood chipper, and that shuts them up.'"



Deb Jenkins at Fargo Blues Festival

For the third year in a row Deb Jenkins, Fargo's favorite R & B diva, performed at the Fargo Blues Festival, sharing the stage with headliners including R.L. Burnside, Tinsley Ellis, Eric Burdon & The New Animals, Jimmy Thackery, Tab Benoit and Big Walter Smith.

Deb and her band open for Jeff Healey at Fargo's Playmaker's Pavilion on Thursday, September 9, at 9:00 pm. Check out more dates at Deb's calendar - for more Blues Festival pictures, click over to Deb's home page (terrific pictures courtesy of Eric Garber).




1999 Fargo Folk Festival

It was kismet - the most perfect day of the summer, great music by six wonderful artists, enthusiastic press coverage, no technical disasters - the first-ever Fargo Folk Festival made its debut Thursday, August 19 to an appreciative audience of more than 450 acoustic music fans. People from a four-state area showed up to hear inspired sets by the Brenda Weiler Band, Mason Jennings Band, John Hermanson Band, Chris Bucheit, Bec Smith and Flatlands.

The historic gazebo in the center of the downtown park served as the stage throughout the afternoon and evening (above - John Hermanson Band). The streetlamps came to life at the beginning of the last set, lighting up the gazebo like a wedding cake for the festival's finale by Brenda Weiler Band (below).


This first-time event was a collaborative effort of businesses in Fargo who love and support acoustic music throughout the year: Barking Dog Records, Luigis, Zandbroz Variety, Full Circle Cafe/TSW Catering, Plains Art Museum, Fargo Park District, High Plains Reader, with online box office assistance provided by the great guys at Peppermint.

Check the Fargo Folk Festival page for more event pictures and artist bios.



and speaking of press...

There was a very cool feature article about your humble pals at Barking Dog Records in the August 18 issue of Pulse Magazine (Minneapolis-St. Paul) - woo hoo! Last seen on Pulse Magazine's Music News website page, it now lives forever here via a faithfully reproduced reprint. Thanks to Pulse and writer Peggy VanDuyne for a lovely job.



Fresh from the studio...

Fargo songstress Sarah Morrau is the most recent Raptor Studios repeat client - she just finished her second CD titled "...To Hold You." Look for a pre-Christmas retail release in the Fargo-Moorhead area and performances in early spring. (Local fans should also keep an eye on the birth announcements in the Forum during the next few weeks! :)

This intimate collection of ballads and jazz standards includes two original songs ("Hold You" and "Voices" featuring Sarah accompanying herself on keyboards), jazz standards ("Summertime," "Autumn Leaves," "They Can't Take That Away From Me"), and pop ballads (Leonard Cohen's "Song of Bernadette" and "Suzanne," Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now"). An outstanding roster of musicians are contributing to the tracks including some of the region's best players on jazz guitar, acoustic guitar, piano, saxophone, upright bass, cello, percussion, and other tasty surprises. Check out recordings of other studio clients on the Recorded at Raptor Page...


Mike Coates publishes third edition of "Chase the Dragon" lead guitar instruction book, adds companion CDs

Hundreds of guitar students of Mike Coates learned not only extraordinary playing technique in all lead electric styles but also comprehensive knowledge of modal theory. Originally written as a full-length college applied text with companion cassette tapes containing hundreds of musical examples, "Chase the Dragon" was used exclusively as the rock/lead guitar textbook during Mike's years of teaching in the Music Industry Department of Moorhead State University and later by countless alumni who are now teaching guitar across the USA.

Demand for copies of the book has continued, prompting Mike to re-master the recorded examples and issue the latest edition with three companion compact discs. Check out the "Chase the Dragon" page for a full description of the book contents, prologue, and two MP3 clips of musical examples. This extraordinary 230-page lead guitar instruction book and its three companion CDs may be ordered online.



Harris Coates Duo selected to perform at College Music Society convention

Flutist Debora Harris and classical guitarist Mike Coates have been invited, through national audition, to perform at the upcoming College Music Society national convention in Denver CO on Thursday, October 14, 1999. Deb and Mike are making a name for themselves in the rarefied world of classical flute-guitar duos -- they performed last year by invitation at the mammoth National Flute Association convention in Phoenix (an annual event which draws more than 3000 professional flutists from all over the world) and the Upper Midwest Flute Association conference in Minneapolis.

Their debut CD, Reverie, is featured by online/catalog retailer, Fluteworld, and has been chosen for prominent display at Fluteworld's booth at all regional and national flute and woodwind events and conferences.

Deb and Mike go back into the studio in September to record a second album which will feature pieces by Piazzolla, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Liesner, Bizet and Berlioz.




Raptor Studios Samplers...

Hot off the press, these CD compilations show off the best that Raptor Studios, our 24-track three-room facility, has recorded during its first four years of operation. From Barking Dog Records artists including Brenda Weiler, 3 Minute Hero, Deb Jenkins, Ded Walleye, Debora Harris, and Mike & Linda Coates to other artists from around the Midwest including Aflame, Sarah Morrau, Aldo, Escaping Jacob, the University of Seven Rays, a wide variety of artists have come to Fargo for a "get-away-from-it-all" recording experience, major label quality and small town prices. Check out the studio pages for an illustrated tour of the facility, illustrated equipment list, our basic studio aesthetic philosophy and goals, and a list of artists who have recorded here.

These complimentary samplers are for prospective recording studio clients -- if you are shopping for a top quality studio for an upcoming project, go here for more information and to receive your copy of the samplers.

If you are interested in music by the artists listed above, you'll find more information on the Artists page and can purchase their CDs here.


3 Minute Hero and Brenda Weiler perform at Minnesota Music Awards

3 Minute Hero wins Minnesota Best Ska Band of the Year!

Check out 3 Minute Hero's gig page for their latest touring dates - don't miss the big all-day outdoor concert at the University of Minnesota May 22 when Hero headlines the regional line-up of bands followed by national headliners Mighty Mighty Bosstones!

Brenda Weiler and 3 Minute Hero started the Minnesota Music Academy's 19th Annual Music Awards Show on Wednesday, April 21st, at First Avenue & 7th Street Entry in Minneapolis with a bang - literally. After Brenda's guitar bridge blew out in the middle of her first song, 3 Minute Hero took the stage for a blistering set, followed by Brenda coming back on stage to perform her full set on John Hermanson's guitar (thanks, John!)

Take a moment sometime to check out the Minnesota Music Academy's website - the group does good work for regional musicians and the music scene.


Brenda's touring news...

Brenda is now winding up her appearances in the Midwest and preparing for her western tour which starts June 4 in San Francisco, CA and goes through the end of July. She will be performing throughout the western states including California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Montana and Wyoming. Check her gig page often as new dates are added daily. Late summer touring plans include several performances in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and throughout the Midwest. The fall months will see Brenda performing at several colleges in the Midwest and western states, followed by a late fall push toward Boston. Contact us if you would like to book Brenda in your area or have some booking contacts to pass along!


Minnesota Music Awards Show revelers (from left to right): Barking Dog Records Promotion Director Jessica Hoffman, Peppermint Music owners Andy Carlson and David Weeks, and Barking Dog Records owner Linda Coates take in the great music (beer bottles carefully cropped out - hence the absence of arms and hands). Click here to see more pictures from the Minnesota Music Awards show...




Debora Harris and Mike Coates present duo concerts

Flutist Debora Harris and classical guitarist Mike Coates are presenting two informal performances in the coming weeks:

Full Circle Café in Fargo, ND
Saturday, May 22 at 4:00 pm
$3 admission

Rourke Art Gallery in Moorhead, MN
Sunday, June 13 at 4:00 pm
$2 admission for non-members (free for members)

Debora Harris is Associate Professor at Moorhead State University in Moorhead, MN, and also serves on the faculty each summer at the acclaimed International Music Camp located on the border of the United States and Canada. Principal flutist of the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony for the past ten years, Ms. Harris has performed as a soloist with orchestras and ensembles throughout the southern and the midwestern United States. Debora and Mike recently performed a full multi-movement piece at the National Flute Convention in Phoenix in August. This convention draws 3,000 to 4,000 flutists from around the world, and being selected to perform is a singular accomplishment.

Mike Coates, record producer and co-owner of Raptor Recording Studios and Barking Dog Records in Fargo, is an accomplished performer on both classical and electric guitar. Mike spent more than a decade as a touring and recording artist with the successful midwestern art-rock band, ASIA, before earning both Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in Music Performance. Mike taught for ten years at Moorhead State University as Assistant Professor of Guitar and Audio Production.

Debora and Mike released a CD of classical flute and guitar duets, titled "Reverie," which is available for sale at retail stores throughout the region and online via handy dandy mail order.




Deb Jenkins to be featured performer at 1999 KVLY Women's Showcase

Deb Jenkins, Fargo's own favorite R&B diva (and restauranteur extraordinaire), will be appearing as a featured performer with the Deb Jenkins Trio on Saturday, April 24, as part of the all-day KVLY Women's Showcase at the Fargodome. The event is from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm - Deb performs at 5:00 pm. Other featured guests will include Miss America Nicole Johnson and "Mr. Food" - the events also include a Dayton's Fashion show, workshops throughout the day, and more than 300 interactive exhibits. Check Deb's gig page for more dates in the area!




Meet Jessica, our Promotion Maven

It's about time we got this picture up on the news page and introduced Jessica Hoffman, Promotion Director for Barking Dog Records and its roster of artists. She does everything from tracking radio airplay and coordinating press coverage & reviews to dreaming up and executing inventive promotion campaigns (who else would have thought of convincing every Volkswagon dealer in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area to put a 3 Minute Hero cassette single, info flyer and comp ticket in each new Beetle that went out for a test drive?) She has been working for Barking Dog Records for nearly a year and is an invaluable part of our plan for world musical domination. When you hear BDR's releases on the radio, read a feature story in regional press from Chicago to the West Coast, or see a review in a national publication...well, you know who's responsible.



Brenda Weiler newest addition to Peppermint roster

We are extremely proud and pleased to announce that Brenda Weiler is now included on Peppermint Online, a very cool sales, promotion and distribution company started by David Weeks and Andy Carlson, two guys long involved with acoustic music in the Upper Midwest. Initiated as a source for CDs by the renowned duo, Storyhill, Peppermint now boasts a very select roster of artists including Billy McLaughlin, Johnny Hermanson, Stuart Davis, Peter Mayer, Ellis, Storyhill, Sixth Sense and Chris Bucheit.

Brenda's CDs are now for sale through this site (online credit card or mail order). Brenda's pages on the Peppermint site will soon include RealAudio sound clips and a link to add yourself to her mailing list. Cruise on over and check out their other fine artists while you're there!


"Brenda & Ellis" acoustic show Saturday, March 20 in Fargo


Don't miss a wonderful evening of fine acoustic music at Luigi's on Saturday, March 20, in Fargo ND, with two of the Midwest's finest singer-songwriters. Ellis (left), the only other female artist on Peppermint's roster, opens with a set including songs from her two CDs. Ellis brings charismatic and compelling flair to her solo performances as well as those with her band, Bobby Llama. The band, a Twin Cities mainstay, gained an enthusiastic Fargo following during their performances last summer at Old Broadway. Don't miss Ellis' solo turn!



Brenda Weiler will finish the show with songs from both her CDs plus a few surprises...Those of you in the Fargo area, take note: with the exception of a couple songs on the upcoming Celebration of Women's Music Concert at the Fargo Theatre on March 27 and a set with Greg Brown on May 16, this will be your last chance to hear Brenda for a long time - she will be touring the Midwest, Colorado, California and the Pacific Northwest in the months to come before she returns to our region for some late summer festivals. Keep checking Brenda's gig page for weekly updates!


Tickets are $4 in advance and $5 at the door (available in Fargo at Zandbroz Variety and Luigi's, and by mail order before March 18 to: Barking Dog Records, PO Box 1455, Fargo ND, 58107).

The show begins at 9:00 pm on Saturday, March 20 at Luigi's (pictured at right), the lovely restored conservatory on the second floor of the building located at 613 1st Avenue North, Fargo (upstairs from the now sadly-defunct First Avenue Cabaret).


Debora Harris & Mike Coates to perform at regional flute conference

Classical flute-guitar duo Debora Harris and Mike Coates are featured performers during the Upper Midwest Flute Association "Flute Fest 1999" conference Saturday, March 13 held at the Colonial Church of Edina, MN. Their performance is at 10:30 a.m.

Deb and Mike will be performing as one of two flute/guitar duos in a chamber music performance/informal seminar. Each duo will perform several pieces and then discuss aspects of their professional experiences -- Mike and Deb will discuss recording as it relates to independent releases by classical musicians (the other duo will discuss commissioning and performing new works).

Deb and Mike's most recent major performance was as featured artists at the National Flute Association Convention 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.

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" September 1997 and perform together regularly.

They will perform together again, along with fellow Barking Dog Records artists Brenda Weiler, Deb Jenkins and Linda Coates, in the upcoming 2nd Annual Celebration of Women and their Music on Saturday, March 27 at the Fargo Theatre in Fargo, ND.



Barking Dog Records to be featured twice on regional TV

Those of you who live in North Dakota, southern Manitoba and western Minnesota, watch for television appearances on Prairie Public Television's Plains Talk, a half hour interview show featuring people from the Upper Midwest region hosted by Matt Olien and broadcast throughout the PPTV network.

Thursday, February 25, 7:30 pm -- Linda Coates, co-owner of Barking Dog Records and Raptor Studios, is interviewed by Matt and discusses a broad range of topics including the independent music industry, the music scene in the region, and artists on the Barking Dog Records label. (Rebroadcast Sunday, February 28, 6:00 pm)

Thursday, March 4, 1999, 7:30 pm -- Brenda Weiler will be the guest for the full half hour of interview with host Matt Olien and live performance. (Rebroadcast Sunday, March 7, 6:00 pm)


Barking Dog Records new releases...


Brenda Weiler -- crazy happy

crazy happy, the eagerly awaited followup to Brenda Weiler's critically acclaimed debut CD "trickle down," has been out in regional release for only a month and has already moved more than a thousand units.

This album was recorded "live in the studio" -- that is, Brenda was recorded singing and playing guitar along with her rhythm section all together at the same time, with no overdubs or editing, in order to capture the essence of her compelling performance style. Several of the tracks include various rhythm sections -- from hand percussion (Connor Hopkins) to bass and drums. Al Bergstrom returned from Brenda's first album to lay all the bass tracks; drum duties were split between J. Matt Keil of the Minneapolis band Bobby Llama and session drummer extraordinaire Peter Niblock, an Irish ex-patriate who has recorded with Sinead O'Connor and toured with Van Morrison (among other countless professional stints in his home country). In addition to all vocals and guitar, Brenda also tracked a variety of other instruments including piano, cello and miscellaneous percussion.

The songs (all originals except for a stunning version of the traditional spiritual, "Poor Me") are simply incredible. From the confident sass of "Tease" and exuberance of "Sweet Lullaby" to the haunting narrative in "Jordan" (with Brenda on piano and cello) and raw pleading anguish of "Pretty Face," this is a collection that reveals an extraordinarily gifted songwriter and performer in full artistic stride.

But don't take our word for it...check out the early reviews

Don't miss a gig...bookmark Brenda's touring calendar


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