Tuesday, August 23, 2011

From Miley, to Mellencamp, to Merle.. last weekend’s live music in Minneapolis

A recap of last weekend’s live music… 

Eden’s Edge played at Toby Keith’s on Friday night to a full, but relatively young crowd who were gunning to kick off their weekend. The highlight of their set was an acoustic portion, when they played a few original songs that I wish I knew the name of. I think they definitely showed that they are a talented group, but I don’t yet see how they can stand apart and bring something new or unique to mainstream country music. To be honest, their tepid performance was about what I expected — other than a cover of Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the USA.” In no way whatsoever could I ever have predicted that… 

Hitchville (a Ramble Jam act) closed out the night with a selection of Friday night crowd-friendly covers from Rascal Flatts to Sugarland.

Rocket Club headlined the Rockin’ for Music Education West End Block Party on Saturday night, and put on a great show for a huge crowd gathered to support the cause. The most adorable pint-sized Rocket Club members were perched on a short riser in front of the stage and danced throughout the show, perfectly demonstrating the reason for the event; advocating for the importance of musical arts funding for students in local middle and senior high schools. After an inspired encore performance of John Mellencamp’s “Little Pink Houses,” we were off to the headlining show at Toby Keith’s around the corner (literally).

The cold-stone country band hailing from Flint, Michigan, Whitey Morgan and the 78s, delivered country music like Toby Keith’s has never seen before on Saturday night. Aly and I previously saw Whitey and the 78s earlier this summer with Jason Boland and the Stragglers [post], so it was equally appreciated and amusing to have them back, but this time at TOBY KEITH’S bar (!!). I’m not sure what the glam Bachelorette parties that were swarming the place that night thought, but then again - I don’t really care! The band’s drinkin’ song “I Ain’t Drunk” (which I previously blogged about [post]) definitely became the theme of the night… and it was great to hear live and loud along with other staples from Merle Haggard to Johnny Paycheck.
Recently the band spent time in Europe, which included the Down on the Farm Festival in Halden, Norway that took place at the same time as the tragic bombings and violence in Oslo. I had a chance to talk to Jeremy Mackinder (bassist, Whitey Morgan and the 78s) about that experience. Here is an excerpt from a blog he wrote about the concert they performed for the community…

What started as a small event at a church was quickly moved to the concert hall at the community center and really became something special. Whitey played a few of his grandfather’s favorite gospel numbers accompanied by Brett Robinson and we backed up Chip [Taylor] once again and every band played a few songs throughout the night to a packed house of grateful Norwegians.

Read more about the band’s experiences in Norway from Jeremy’s blog [Bloodshot Records: Notes From The Road]

Check out the rest of our photos from Rocket Club and Whitey Morgan and the 78s [facebook] — and like our page while you’re there, will ya?! In all - it was an awesome weekend!