We always have a wonderful group of volunteers that show up early to help put these rallies together, a dedicated group of individuals that get to experience all that goes into building our little city within the Minnesota State Fairgrounds in about 48 hours! For all that hard work we like to treat them to a little preview of the entertainment they can expect to see for the rest of the rally.
So we start out on Wednesday night for “Volunteer Appreciation” night with a very interesting duo, The Sudden Lovelys (http://www.thesuddenlovelys.com). The Sudden Lovelys, from Nordeast Minneapolis, describe their unique and earnest sound as "Aggressive Folk." Daniel writes and plays guitar, sings and kicks a vintage red suitcase like a bass drum. Paige also sings, slaps a cymbal with a tambourine and plays a slew of funky hand percussion instruments. There is a humble passion and honesty in their live show that cannot be denied. Danny and Paige play a variety of instruments, sing with beautiful harmonies and have songs with insightful lyrics. A rhythmic / organic sound that draws the listener into the song washes over the crowd like wind through the wheat fields. They should be a great way to kick us off!
Thursday features The Lamont Cranston Blues Band (http://www.lamontcranston.com). This legendary Midwest act has played with everyone from Muddy Waters to Bonnie Raitt to The Rolling Stones. Their ‘80s hit "Upper Mississippi Shakedown" still gets regular radio airplay all over the country. 2009 was their 40th anniversary, a rockin' party band that can't be beat. Dan Aykroyd says "No one infects venues with the party virus quite like Lamont Cranston."
Friday starts out with Jonah and The Whales (http://www.jonahandthewhales.com/). Jonah and the Whales, a Twin Cities music staple, manage to both maintain a loyal following and continually gain new friends. They promise to bring the party with non-stop rock, techno, pop, top-40 and classic hits. This band takes audience participation to a new level. A great way to start the evening!
Then hang on to your helmets! We are being invaded by Alex Larson’s band, Crankshaft and the Geargrinders (http://www.crankshaftmusic.com). Crankshaft has been pounding the pavement since 2008, developing his own "pork neck" style along the way. It’s a sound heavily rooted in rock 'n' roll, blues, country and swing. Born into this world from gas station cassette tape collecting semi-truck drivers, Alex “Crankshaft” Larson was introduced to a wide variety of music as a pup. In 1996 he traded a combination oil/wood stove to his uncle for his first electric guitar and amp. Since then he's been involved in many projects, including a band he started with his brother in 2001 called The Mojo Spleens. In April 2008, while self-employed as a contractor, he started practicing as a one-man band and was playing shows two months later. Larson self-produced and released three albums during the next two years. In 2010, backed with the business skills he developed running a construction company and the strong do-it-yourself ethics he learned from his connection to the underground punk scene, Crankshaft decided to hang up his hammer for good so he could focus on writing and performing music. Since then he's been earning a living playing, as both a traditional one-man band and as the leader of his full band, Crankshaft and the Gear Grinders
What happens when you throw the band Alabama and Lynyrd Skynyrd in a blender, add a dash of Comedy Central, and a hint of Lady Gaga? You get: “One of the most amazing acts to play our event in recent years. Out of Music City, Nashville, Tennessee, The Mustang Sally Band (http://www.mustangsallyband.com). When you attend a Mustang Sally show, you are transported away from everyday life and into the world that Mustang Sally inhabits: a world where dancing on the bar is encouraged and spontaneity is king. People are transformed from spectators into participants through interactive songs, both edgy and poignant. Mustang Sally has performed alongside high profile names such as Montgomery Gentry, Gretchen Wilson, Big & Rich, and Blake Shelton, in addition to being demanded worldwide as fair and festival headliners. What great gals—to go along with amazing vocals, outstanding lyrics and one of the tightest bands on the planet! You don’t want to miss this party!