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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 Dick Swanson & Dave TerSteeg 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:

Eric Frost & Bill Hansen stop by The Roadhouse during Fisherman's Picnic

Local musicians Eric Frost (guitar) and Bill Hansen (dobro) stopped by The Roadhouse July 31 for laughter, chat, and great tunes. 


courtesy U of MN Bee Lab

U of MN helping the honey bee get back on its own six feet

The U of MN just broke ground on its new Bee and Pollinator Research Lab, a facility to house bee research, led by world-renowned bee expert Marla Spivak. Buck chatted with Dr. Rebecca Masterman, associate program director of the Bee Squad, about why bees are so important to agriculture and to the health and beauty of our world. You can learn more about bees and the new lab here.


"Windbound" courtesy Stephen Brede

Michigan man on final leg of Great Lakes canoeing adventure

Stephen Brede of Petoskey, Mich. has a life goal to canoe around all five Great Lakes. Dick caught up with him July 30, when he was windbound on an island near Rossport, Ontario, and talked with him about the why and how of his adventure. You can learn more about Stephen and follow his progress here


photo courtesy North House Folk School

Vladimir Yarish, master birch bark basket maker, visits The Roadhouse

Vladimir Yarish, an award-winning basket maker from Russia, has worked with birch bark for more than 24 years. He teaches all over the U.S., including at North House Folk School here in Grand Marais. He joined Dick in studio July 24 to talk about his craft and tell a few stories about Russia, traveling, and teaching. 


courtesy Sustainable Agriculture Project

UMD farm provides 'lab' for research, learning and demonstration

The Sustainable Agriculture Project at UMD offers an experiential learning, research and demonstration farm that works with institutions and local farmers, and provides internships for students. Randel Hanson, assistant professor of geography at UMD, has been instrumental in the creation and expansion of the farm. He talked with Buck July 24 about the farm and how it brings together food, water, and energy research. You can learn more here.


Ben Weaver in Studio A

Musician Ben Weaver circumnavigating Lake Superior by bicycle...and song

Musician Ben Weaver is riding his bicycle around Lake Superior to engage people along the route in conversation about the state of our fresh water. He's performing his music at many stops along the way. He spoke with Dick, and played a few tunes, during a July 24 stopover in Grand Marais. As Ben says in this interview, "Why do we have to choose between jobs and fresh water?" You can learn more about Ben and his project here.


courtesy Wilderness Classroom

Adventurers Dave & Amy Freeman to spend full year in BWCAW

At the fall equinox, Dave & Amy Freeman will launch their canoe in the KawishiwiRiver and paddle into the Boundary Waters, where they will stay for an entire year. Dick spoke with them July 17 about why they're doing this, the logistics involved, and more. You can learn about their programs for students at, and about their goal of bringing attention to sulfide mining near the Boundary Waters at



Pluto mission explained by MN astronomer/educator Parke Kunkle

NASA's New Horizons--the first mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt--ended its 9 1/2-year journey last week as the spacecraft reached Pluto and started transmitting new information back to Earth. Parke Kunkle, U of MN Bell Museum of History advisory board member, joined Dick July 17 to explain the mission and why it's so important to science. You can learn more about New Horizons here.



Marlais Brand on her book of fables from the North Shore

Marlais Olmstead Brand, a Lakeville writer and wilderness educator, has written a new book, "The Hungry Coast: Fables from the North Shore of Minnesota." It's illustrated with woodcuts from Grand Marais native Noah Prinsen. Marlais spoke with Dave TerSteeg July 17 about the book and what inspired her writing. You can learn more about Marlais and her work here


The Wrong Omar

The Wrong Omar lands in the right studio--on The Roadhouse

Twin Cities band The Wrong Omar (from left, Becky Shaheen, Laura Lou, and Joey Shaheen) dropped by the station during membership drive to chat, laugh, and play some great original music.