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The Roadhouse


  • Friday 5-7pm
Arts & Culture Interviews & Live Music
This program officially starts the weekend along the North Shore and across the North Woods. Hosts Buck Benson & Dick Swanson and producer Ann Possis provide two hours packed with insightful interviews,  weekend happenings, local features and toe-tapping music. You never know quite what to expect on the Roadhouse! 
Arts, cultural and history features on WTIP are made possible in part by funding from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Check out other programs and features funded in part with support from the Heritage Fund.


What's On:

Think you know what the First Amendment says? Former ACLU legal director believes we've been getting it wrong

Burt Neuborne, a civil liberties specialist who has argued many cases before the Supreme Court, believes the Court has misinterpreted the original intent of the First Amendment by not considering it within the text of the Bill of Rights as a whole. He spoke with Dick May 15 about this idea, which is explained in his new book, "Madison's Music: On Reading the First Amendment." 


Sam Cook, Duluth News Tribune outdoors editor, checks in on eve of fishing opener

DNT outdoors editor Sam Cook joined us from the road, on his way to the Governor's Fishing Opener on Lake Vermilion. He and Buck chatted about the opener and Sam shared some great stories from seasons past. You can find Sam's outdoors reporting here.

Canoeing in the BWCA Wilderness in November

Can being out in nature make you smarter? Psychologist weighs in

What do these three words, inch, deal and peg, have in common? You might be able to answer more quickly if you've been spending time outdoors--it turns out that time in nature can actually enhance your brain function. Dr. Frank Ferraro, a psychology professor at Nebraska Wesleyan University, has been studying this phenomenon right here in the BWCAW. He talked with Dick May 8 about his research and what he found. Oh, the answer to that question? Square.


MPR host Cathy Wurzer on embracing illness and death to live more fully

Journalist and MPR host Cathy Wurzer and educator Bruce Kramer embarked on a series of broadcast conversations as Bruce dealt with ALS, about how facing death can transform one's outlook on life. "We Know How This Ends: Living While Dying," is the remarkable book that came out of these conversations and their resulting friendship. Cathy spoke with Buck recently about getting to know Bruce at the same time she struggled with her own losses, including her father's decline into dementia. Click here for the archived conversations between Cathy and Bruce. You can learn more about the book here.

Moose capture - photo courtesy the Minnesota DNR.

Ely Timberjay Editor Marshall Helmberger explains events leading to MN governor's ban on moose collaring

Last week Gov. Dayton ordered the MN DNR to stop the practice of radio-collaring moose, citing reports that collaring has caused the abandonment of some calves as well as the deaths of some adults. Marshall Helmberger, editor of the Ely Timberjay, has done a great deal of investigation and reporting on the issue. He joined Ann Possis May 1 to explain. You can read the Timberjay here.

Lake Superior / NASA photo

Dr. Robert Sterner, director of the Large Lakes Observatory at UMD, on why large lakes are so important

Just five lakes contain more than half of the Earth's liquid surface fresh water. Dr. Robert Sterner, director of the Large Lakes Observatory (LLO) at UMD, has been giving public talks about the 'outsized' role large lakes play in our lives. He spoke with Ann Possis May 1. You can learn  more about the work of the LLO here


Meteorologist Mark Seeley on his updated best-seller, "Minnesota Weather Almanac"

Mark Seeley, climatologist, meteorologist, and MPR commentator, is just out with the revised edition of his best-selling book, "Minnesota Weather Almanac," full of both facts and fun information about weather history. He chatted with Buck May 1 about the book and all things weather. 


U of MN sustainability minor encourages big-picture thinking

The sustainability studies minor available at the U of MN allows students to make sustainability part of any academic program, helping students recognize the conflicts and trade-offs between economic growth, social equity, and environmental health. Beth Mercer-Taylor, coordinator of sustainability education at the U, spoke with Will Moore Mar. 27 about the program and why it's important. Learn more about sustainability studies at the U.


The Great Northern Radio Show is coming to Grand Marais

Aaron Brown is producer and host of the Great Northern Radio Show, a live variety show from KAXE in Grand Rapids. He chatted with Will Moore Mar. 27 about the show and how he puts it together. During April, WTIP will air archived editions of the Great Northern Radio Show during the regular Roadhouse slot, 5 to 7 p.m. Fridays. Aaron and his crew bring the show to the Arrowhead Center for the Arts in Grand Marais Sat., June 13. Learn more about Aaron here and the Great Northern Radio show here.

Lake Superior Surf by David Grinstead

EPA ends funding for Lake Superior Binational Forum

Lissa Radke, the Lake Superior Binational Forum's U.S. coordinator, spoke with Ann Possis Mar. 27 about their loss of funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The future of the forum, which has been working since 1991 to protect the world's largest lake, is in question. Lissa explained what the forum has accomplished and how its work might proceed without the help of the EPA. To learn more, go to