Monthly Archives: December 2013

Episode #10 – Dec. 18, 2013

kendlAll Lights Off Radio’s last episode of 2013 kicks off with brand new music from Winona’s favorite traveling banjo-pluckin’ songstress Kendl Winter, before moving onto cuts from jazzy folk-rock teen phenoms Bomba de Luz, Winona punk rockers Rogue the Wolf, MPLS ska & early reggae champions The Prizefighters, Winona pianist & songwriter Amanda Grace, bluegrass-without-boundaries collective The May North, and veteran Twin Cities songsmiths The Twilight Hours.

All Lights Off will not be produced over the holidays. The show will debut in 2014 on January 8th.

While Ms. Winter is not based within a 300 mile radius of Winona, her frequent & regular tour stops in Winona & the region make her alternative Americana music a welcome addition to the program. Her new album, It Can Be Done! (K Records), shows much growth from a songwriting and arrangement standpoint. “Rocking Chair” is a sparse, yet infectious song that exemplifies this evolution perfectly. Other standouts on the record for me we’re: “Black Hole”, with its full-band and Nashville-like studio sound, and a remix of “Rocking Chair” (a hidden track), that almost eclipses the original’s infectiousness — simultaneously sounding both modern and rootsy.

K describes the album’s title on its website as:

“…convey[ing] the spirit Kendl has been working from this past year, the very idea that she can choose to live her life outside of cultural expectations and guidelines, even when it’s difficult, even when it’s terrifying. That it is, in fact, possible to manifest the life of your dreams.  It can be done!

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Episode #9 – Dec. 11, 2013

4fc66972c7876.preview-620A pair of anti-frac sand tunes — one earnest and one clever — from Winona acts Coconut & The Duke and Corey Koehler start off the ninth episode with a delightful conservationist kick. Music is also featured from cajun country crooner Kevin Anthony & The Twin City Playboys, earnest two-step indie folkers Very Small Animal, MPLS quirk-pop duo Bella Ruse, Mankato’s atmospheric folk rockers Good Night, Gold Dust, Winona’s roots music institution Beet Root Stew, and the rhyme spitting conscience of La Crosse Hyphon.

The frac sand songs were written and recorded as part of a “sand song contest” for the documentary film “The Price of Sand” by Jim Tittle. The filmmaker’s stated goal is to “find the real price of frac sand.  Not just in dollars, but in friendships, communities and the future of our region.” More on film and frac sand mining in SE MN and SW WI here:

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Episode #8 – Dec. 4, 2013

Episode 8 showcases music from the brand new John Paulson Big Band Project recording, in addition to cuts from 70’s Chicago Old Town folk scene luminary (& current Decorah resident) Bonnie Koloc, prolific odd-ball Winonan Mista Clue, Rochester’s mad-cap genius Hound (Eric VanKirk), Red House Records artists The Pines, Winona’s own crooner extraordinaire Jacob Grippen, and Twin Cities songsmith Jeremy Messersmith.

The John Paulson Big Band Project
Liner Notes by John C. Paulson  December 2013

The goal of this project was to perform and record a set of big band jazz charts I began writing nearly 30 years ago. In 2011, I was successful in acquiring a McKnight Individual Artist grant thru the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council to help make this happen. First of all I had to do extensive rewriting and finishing work on each existing chart since many of the necessary details had not been completed.  In the process I came up with some new charts along the way.

While I was completing all of the writing tasks, I started work on lining up the best area musicians I could find for each spot in the band as well as investigating some of the top soloists in the Midwest.  This led me to utilizing the talents of Twin Cities artists Adam Meckler, (trumpet and flugelhorn); Scott Agster, (trombone) and guitarist Scott Gerry (a former student of mine).  The grant provided for an extensive afternoon rehearsal followed by a public concert at the Winona Art Center November 17, 2012.  Plans were also to include recording the event. Although the venue was rather small for the project, it ended up working very well and the artwork in place made a great setting.  Unfortunately, we had to turn people away but those who got a seat were very enthusiastic about the music and the soloists that evening.

What was to be only a single concert ended up to be three concerts in the next few months and what wasn’t recorded “live” was completed in a single session at Saint Mary’s U. in May of 2013. I hope you’ll enjoy the energy and spirit we’ve captured on these recordings.  For more information on this and other projects, please visit my website at Thanks for listening!

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