A showcase of local and regional music, live performances, in-depth interviews and the weekend music calendar–with host Will Moore.
A showcase of local and regional music, live performances, in-depth interviews and the weekend music calendar–with host Will Moore.
Ditchbird is the moniker of Minneapolis-based guitarist Tony Petersen, who has just come out with the solo project’s second album entitled “Luck”. Petersen hails originally from the Duluth area and has played previously with The Social Animals, St. Anyway, Colleen Myhre, and now is part of a new duo called Prank Williams. He speaks with Will Moore about how the new album allows him to explore new levels of his own creativity, and why he chose to produce the record completely at home. He also performs 3 songs from the album.
Paul Metsa is a lifelong musician, writer, poet, and artist at heart from Virginia, MN known for his band Cats Under the Stars and playing with Minneapolis West Bank greats like Willie Murphy and Spider John Koerner. In his new book Alphabet Jazz, he details the memories of so many Twin Cities musical personalities who have passed on, as well as some of his own family members and dear pets, amidst poetry, song lyrics, and lost letters. With the book is a companion CD reflecting the songs in the book and his music over the years. He speaks with Will Moore on the Scenic Route and reads passages, even one written by a dog…
Dennis Warner hails from the small town of Clearwater, MN, just south of St. Cloud and has been singing for college students, elementary students, and audiences of all ages for over 30 years. He comes to Grand Marais for a North Shore Music Association show at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts. He speaks with Carl Solander and Will Moore about his music as well as his song “Beads on a String” that has inspired a children’s book and international anti-bullying campaign.
Early Eyes is an energetic and uniquely creative pop group from the Twin Cities featuring five young musicians with a complex but ultimately delicious sound. The whole bands join Will Moore by phone amidst their band rehearsal to talk about their origins as a group, and their 2022 album “Look Alive” ahead of their first show in Cook County at Papa Charlie’s in Lutsen as part of their annual Ski Party music weekend.
Early Eyes is:
John O’Brien = guitar
Jake Berglove – keys/vocals
Joe Villano – guitars/vocals
Sam Mathys – drums
Megan Mahoney- bass
Gregg McVicar is the longtime host of Undercurrents Radio, a national music program for public stations that focuses on highlighting Native American artists amidst a vastly eclectic mix of music. WTIP listeners may know the program well as a cornerstone of the station’s programming on weekday afternoons and late nights. Will Moore speaks with McVicar about the shows beginnings, goals, and plans for the future, as the program will be phasing out of production in 2023.
Carl Hansen is a videographer based in Bozeman, Montana who grew up here in Cook County. His family has long owned Sawbill Canoe Outfitters and he graduated from Cook County High School. A part-time musician accomplished on drums and bass, he calls in to the Scenic Route with Will Moore to talk about how his job, along with a wild set of circumstances, led to he and his friend Chester Floyd playing their first gig together opening for bluegrass band Trampled By Turtles at a large venue in Atlanta. Carl’s story is a must-listen for fans of the famed Duluth-based band and local music lovers alike.
Sarah Morris is a Twin Cities based songwriter with a brand new holiday-themed album entitled “merry, little, light”. Timmy Haus is longtime musician in Cook County who is part of the Rock n’ Roll Xmas Spectacular, a series of live shows based out of St. Cloud. Both of them call into the Scenic Route with Will Moore to talk about what they’ve been up to.
Cal Hand is lifelong dobro player known for his time playing with Twin Cities folk legends in the West Bank scene of the 60s and 70s, including bands like The Sorry Muthas, as well as performing as part of the Prairie Home Companion Show. Carl Solander and Will Moore interview Hand about his decades of playing ahead of a special performance for the Grand Marais Music Association on the Scenic Route.
Photo courtesy of Jerry Mathiason, Cal Hand second from left.
Olav Luksengård Mjelva is a Norwegian musician specializing the hardanger fiddle – a traditional instrument that serves as the national instrument of Norway. His music featuring the instrument has appeared in recent major media releases like Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power series, and the video game God of War: Ragnarok. He comes to Grand Marais as the field producer of the Norwegian boatbuilding documentary “Built With Love”, which debuted at North House Folk School. He speaks with Will Moore about his music and the uniqueness of his instrument on the Scenic Route.
Sonja Midtune is a Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter who grew up in Chanhassen, MN, following her dreams of being a performer to make them a reality out West. Her freshly released new EP is entitled “Golden Girl” and is a smooth and silky style of Americana-tinged indie pop. She chats with Will Moore about her time at St. Olaf University, finding her way in LA, and the ins and outs of producing music in the age of Spotify.
“Glensheen” is an award-winning 2015 musical based on the infamous Congdon murders at the Glensheen estate in Duluth, MN, with music and lyrics penned by Chan Poling, a Minneapolis musician famous for being the frontman of 1980s alternative band The Suburbs as well as, part of the jazz trio The New Standards.
Coming up this weekend, the musical takes a new form in a cabaret-style show featuring the songs from the show and much of the original cast. Poling chats with Will Moore about what to expect from the show, what will be new or different, and some background behind Glensheen’s rise to the stage.
On October 16th, three talented songwriters took to a makeshift stage inside the old school of Finland, MN for a memorable performance on a chilly autumn evening. Laurel Premo of Traverse City, MI, along with Creekbed Carter Hogan of Austin, TX, and McKain Lakey of Minneapolis, all performed original songs spanning folks, blues, and a new era of American old-time music. Scenic Route host Will Moore sat down with all three of them to learn about their latest musical projects and inspirations, including some exclusive live-recorded performances.
You can find the whole show as well as the individual conversations and songs below.
(L to R in photo, Laurel Premo, McKain Lakey, Creekbed Carter Hogan)
The Evening Stars are a funk and soul band playing rousing renditions of favorite songs spanning several decades, and have become one of the most exciting and high-energy bands on the North Shore. Will Moore joined them in their practice space ahead of a Halloween show in Grand Portage to hear the band rehearse and learn more about how they build their act. This piece features live recordings of them practicing, complete with noodling and bantering in between songs.
The Evening Stars are Todd Miller (guitar, vocals), Tina Hegg-Raway (vocals), Drew Heinonen (guitar), Jonathan Steckleberg (bass), Erik Hahn (brass), and Ted Czaplicki (drums).
More information about the band’s Halloween performance can be found at grandportage.com
One Week Live has been a two-decade long tradition at Wussow’s Concert Cafe in West Duluth. The event is weeklong concert series showcasing the best acts from the Duluth area and beyond, featuring a songwriting contest and culminating with the release of a live album of recordings from the various performers. Owner Jason Wussow talks with Will Moore about this year’s 20th anniversary event, changes to how the tunes will be distributed, and who’s playing this year.
More information about the week of shows can be found on the Wussow’s Cafe website.
Derek Smith is a musician who grew up in Grand Portage and now resides in Queenstown, New Zealand on the country’s southern island. During one of his few trips back to Cook County since moving eight years ago, he sits down with Will Moore to talk about getting his musical start in this community, beginning on guitar and drums, and how it lead to his career as a musician on the other side of the world. He also talks about the New Zealand music scene and recommends some of his favorite Kiwi artists.
Last weekend Cook County was treated to some Texas-style honky-tonk music by way of the Twin Cities, as well as some “lightspeed bluegrass” with special guests. Hear the conversations from the most recent Scenic Route with Will Moore featuring musicians Trevor McSpadden and Johnny Kovarik of Buffalo Galaxy.
The New Riverside Ramblers are a Cajun band from the Twin Cities that have been playing the Louisiana-based musical style at the opposite end of the Mississippi for more than 30 years. Fiddler and founding member Eric Mohring (pictured top center above) speaks with Will Moore about the band, as well as the history of Cajun music and its instruments ahead of a North Shore Music Association show here in Grand Marais.
Guitarist Jeremy Ylvisaker and drummer JT Bates are two of the most high-caliber musicians in the Twin Cities music scene, both with over two decades of experience and countless credits on records over the years from both local and national artists. Ylvisaker has previously played with The Suburbs and collaborated with Andrew Bird, while Bates is currently performing with Bonny Light Horseman. The two came to Grand Marais as part of the Unplugged 2022 event at North House Folk School, and chat with Will Moore about their musical beginnings, interests, and inspirations.
Phil Cook is a Wisconsin-born multi-instrumentalist residing in Durham, North Carolina who’s been a frequent contributor to bands like Megafaun, Bon Iver, and Hiss Golden Messenger. Following a deep love of gospel and the roots of American musical styles, Cook plays bluesy and soulful tunes on both guitar and piano, including his most recent album of solo piano entitled All These Years from 2021. He joins Will Moore on The Scenic Route to talk about his musical upbringing in Chippewa Falls, WI, and how it sparked a deep love of Southern gospel that’s led to a record label, a successful career, and amazing musical relationships.
Phil Cook will be part of the annual Unplugged concert at North House Folk School this Thursday and Friday, Sept. 22-23.
The Federales are a rockin’ band with a country twist hailing from the Twin Cities with a new live EP recorded at Grand Marais’ own Gunflint Tavern. Will Moore talks to the band about the new EP, future recordings at the Tavern, playing gigs in 2022, and their favorite North Shore sights and sounds.
Ben Miller – guitar, vocals
Chris Holm – harmonica, vocals, guitar
Andy Schuster – bass
Mark Larson- drums
Also from this show: An interview with Matt Thompson of bluegrass band Monroe Crossing, also found below.
Scottie Baldwin is a longtime front of house sound engineer who’s worked with worldwide talents and some of the biggest names in the business. He’s also an avid WTIP listener and regular Boundary Waters visitor. He joins Will Moore on the Scenic Route once more to talk about his time working for Prince, from touring with the legendary artist to the ups and downs of their relationship, and how it paved the way for the rest of his career.
Space Monkey Mafia is an energetic ska band out of the Twin Cities who have been making annual pilgrimages to Grand Marais for a weekend of shows at the Gunflint Tavern for the better part of a decade. They join Will Moore on WTIP’s airwaves with a stripped down acoustic set on the station’s back porch for a pleasantly rocking outdoor live session ahead of their Saturday show at the Tavern.
Pictured L to R: Eric Stuber, Blake Foster, Joe Barron, Tim Kingstrom, Dante Levya, Sam Charlton
On the latest Scenic Route, Will Moore chats with brothers Owen and Jacob Mahon of New Salty Dog about their summer gigs with Boss Mama and the Jebberhooch, plans for WTIP’s Radio Waves festival, and the upcoming Squash Fest in Wisconsin. Also, hear an interview with Feed the Dog’s guitarist Jon Miller about the new Twin Ports music fest in Duluth and its strong bluegrass focused lineup.
Where can you find a musical act that combines accordion and ukelele with opera-trained vocal skills and yodeling? Look no further than Cherry Dirt, the duo of Staci and Ryan Cihlar who returned to the North Shore for a show at Cascade Lodge. They join Will Moore and Carl Solander on Scenic Route (along with their dog Mary) to talk about travels to Europe, current musical projects, and of course laugh and play music.
Now based in Anaheim, CA, One Less Guest returns to their home state of Minnesota for a string of shows this summer. Will Moore talks with guitarist Nick Muska and vocalist/fiddler Ren Cooper about the bands’ latest ventures and upcoming shows, as well as their new live album One Hot Night recoded the last time they came back north.
Ruby Blu (Liz Collin) is the lead singer and songwriter for the group Red Eye Ruby, a Twin Cities band known for an old-school jazzy vibe. Ruby joins Will Moore on the Scenic Route to talk about the new release Ruby EP, going over a shift in the band’s sound, themes and stories behind some of the songs, and some live solo performances amidst a menagerie of animals in her home.
Jerry Vandiver is a lifelong paddling enthusiast and songwriter based in Nashville, and frequently comes up to the Boundary Waters and also WTIP to share songs of canoeing and camping. This latest performance from Jerry has him playing tunes on a beautiful summer evening outside the studio, chatting with Will Moore about his time as a science teacher, writing songs for Sam Bush, and more.
Eleanor Dubinsky and Dario Acosta Teich are both talented musicians from Brooklyn who combine unique instruments with jazz music. In addition to singing in four languages, Eleanor adds the instrument of cello to varied jazz ensembles, while Dario does the same thing with the classical guitar styling from his native Argentina. They join Will Moore on Scenic Route ahead of a show at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts in Grand Marais.
More about the show and the Grand Marais Music Association can be found here.
The North Shore Community Swing Band has been bringing the best danceable jazz tunes from the 1930s and 40s since 1999. Director Kathy Bolstad joined Will Moore on Sidetracks to talk about the band’s new regular monthly gigs at North House folks school, more shows happening in the area into the fall, and the return of a familiar face to the band.
WTIP’s North Shore Vibes membership drive lasted July 8-14th 2022 and featured some fantastic live performances on the air. You can listen to those performances below.
Dessa is a Minneapolis based rapper, writer, and public speaker known for her solo career, work with the Twin Cities hip hop collective Doomtree, and a myriad of other projects including being part of the Hamilton Mixtape album. She returns to Papa Charlie’s for her annual gig in Lutsen with a new album released last winter, an interesting new podcast and lots more to tell in this interview on Sidetracks with Will Moore.
James Eugene Russell of the Twin Cities didn’t always play heart-wrenching alt-country songs. Rather, he started out playing and touring in punk bands and listening to hardcore music. After a decade of leaving the music scene and getting sober, he returns with an EP called As/Is featuring four moving songs in what he calls a “country midwestern” sound. He chats with Will Moore about getting back into music and the stories behind the songs, and even plays a few of them live. The extended interview includes a chat about vinyl records including the upcoming one for As/Is.
Scottie Baldwin is a front-of-house sound engineer from the Twin Cities whose career spans 30 years of working live concerts with massively popular artists like Lady Gaga, Stevie Wonder, and most notably, Prince. Mandric Tan is a Singaporean graduate of Berklee College of Music who worked with Scottie as a playback engineer on tours with artists like Wang Leehom and A-Mei. They talk with host Will Moore about their experiences working massive stadium shows in Asia, how technology is changing music, differences found in audiences and music between hemispheres, and coming north to the Boundary Waters.
You can find both the broadcast and extended versions of their conversation below.
John Mianowski was an accomplished bass guitar player who grew up in Grand Marais and was known throughout the community for his impressive musical skill, dedication, and excellent sound engineering abilities. He played in a great number of bands over the years, including most recently with Bughouse, The Wunderdogs, and 4-Shore. Sadly, John passed away from cancer in May at the age of 66. You can find out more about John on his Epilogg page found here.
Will Moore speaks with Al Oikari, Amy Jo Flack, Dan Wilson, Todd Miller, and Pete Kavanaugh all about their experiences performing with and knowing John from the early days to his return to the North Shore.
Jeff Ray is a blues guitarist from St. Paul playing steel guitar in the traditional slide style but also incorporating other flavors of world music to his own tunes. His new album with his band The Stakes is called “In the Fire” and features themes dealing with experiences during the tumultuous last two years in the Twin Cities and around the world. He talks with Will Moore about getting his musical start in Memphis, the albums interesting recording location, incorporating Indian raga styles to American music, and more.
Brittany Haas is a master fiddler known for her work with Crooked Still, Hawktail and other bands, while Joe K. Walsh is a mandolin expert who’s played with Joy Kills Sorrow and currently with Mr. Sun. They accompany bassist Brittany Karlson for a unique trio performance at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts in Grand Marais on Saturday, May 28th. Will Moore speaks with them on the Scenic Route about their music and what to expect from the concert.
Bob Dylan’s 81st Birthday is Tuesday, May 24th, and concluding the “Year of Dylan” is this year’s annual Duluth Dylan Fest in the Twin Ports area, celebrating the legendary songwriter in the city he was born in. Event volunteer organizers Zane Bail and Patrick Eliason join Will Moore on the Scenic Route to go over the week of events and concerts focused on Dylan going through May 29th. The full list of happenings and more information can be found at duluthdylanfest.com
John SonofMel is a songwriter, poet, writer, and radio personality from Hayward, WI who spends his winters diving into frozen lakes and spends as much time as he can performing his songs about Northern life and his fascinating if tumultuous life journey through life. He rejoins Will Moore on the Scenic Route for an extended conversation about finding solace in freezing waters, performing at Homegrown and through the pandemic, and future projects. He performs at Cascade Lodge Pub at 6pm on Thursday, May 19th.
Teague Alexy is a Duluth-based musician whose sound is often folky and country in style, but has roots in hip hop back from his youth in New Jersey. Spilled Milk is group consisting of Teague and his childhood best friends who’ve stayed connected over the years and now return with a single called “Friends”, hearkening back to their origins in the late 90s. Teague talks about the band and the Homegrown festival in Duluth on the Scenic Route.
You can hear “Friends” here on Bandcamp.
This interview initially aired May 6th, 2022.
Breanne Tepler is best known around the Duluth music scene as the frontwoman of Brianne Marie and the Front Porch Sinners, a band that plays what she has dubbed “Great Lakes country music”. She is also a part of the steering committee of the Homegrown festival, a weeklong in-city music fest that takes over a host of Duluth music venues. She talks about this year’s festival and plays songs alongside her husband Evan Tepler on the Scenic Route.
Little Disasters is a group of young musicians from the Twin Cities who are bringing the pop-punk fever that dominated the decade of the ’00s into the 2020s. Though only halfway through high school, the trio of Mick Lynch, AJ Hermann and Finn Perry have a high-energy and super polished sound with the help of Isaac Levy. Host Will Moore talks to Mick about their sound, their latest singles, balancing teen life with making music, and future aspirations.
Spinning Voices is the moniker of St. Louis Park based electronic music producer David Boeser, who for his latest album Ductworks decided to try something radically different than his past projects. The album is an exploration of both nostalgic memories and the harsh and constant noises from metal ducts, vents, furnaces, and other machines found within everyday homes. He joins Will Moore on the Scenic Route to talk about how the album came to be and process for creating the complex songs.
Longtime Boundary Waters adventurer and Nashville songwriter Jerry Vandiver has a new EP with fiddler Caitlin Evanson called Special Limited Edition – a set of five songs about paddling, camping, and the outdoors made specifically for the Canoecopia exhibition in Wisconsin. Jerry tells us about the new songs, the expo, and life in the Music City.
Steve Noonan is a Twin Cities based songwriter and musician who released his second full-length release Dreamland in January. A guitarist with a penchant for playing 12-strings, he began his time in the Minnesota music scene as an engineer at Paisley Park, working on two albums for Prince and New Power Generation. He talks about his time in the fabled studio and stories behind this latest batch of songs in a unique outdoor interview with Will Moore.
Lake County musicians Gene Lafond and Amy Grillo catch up with Will Moore on The Scenic Route with a performance from their vacation spot of St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands, featuring original songs and great travel stories.
Note: This performance originally aired on 2/25/22 on Scenic Route
James Moors and Kort McCumber have been a longtime musical duo hailing from the Twin Ports as well as the mountains of Colorado, making musical dreams work across the country and around the world as they travel with their fans. They return this week to Papa Charlie’s for the return of the Wednesday Night Songwriter Series and catch up with Will Moore on what they’ve been up to since their 2021 release Survival.
The Lynx class of 5th and 6th graders at Great Expectations School in Grand Marais recently helped create a music video for a rap song about the importance of recycling. Will Moore chats with the class’s paraprofessional Andre Robinson, who makes hip hop under the name Dre AKA Jamaican, teacher Chuck Viren and a number of Lynx students about how the video came to be. The video can be seen below.
After several years away due to the pandemic, Cloud Cult makes their triumphant return to Papa Charlie’s for their annual February show, playing two sold-out concerts at the venue that was the location of their last show before the world shut down in March of 2020. Lead singer Craig Minowa joins Will Moore from his woodland studio in Viroqua, WI to talk about the band’s upcoming album Metamorphosis, their upcoming tour, and delves into some some fact-checking of the band’s Wikipedia page.
Morningbird, the acoustic duo of Jill Burkes and Rob Wheeler from the Hibbing area, return to the Scenic Route with a fresh virtual performance. They talk with host Will Moore about what’s been keeping them busy this winter, collaborating with St. Cloud songwriter Charlie Roth, and more.
Eric Athey hails from Lancaster, PA, and has been producing music since the early 2000s. He says he comes out with a record “about once every 5 years” and when he does, he often collaborates with Twin Cites based artist Dave Boquist. Recently, the two of them recorded a song called “Grand Marais” ahead of Athey’s trip to the Boundary Waters. They chat with Will Moore on what made this song so unique, and why it’s a long time dream finally coming to fruition.
Liz Mathias is a guitarist hailing from the Ironwood, MI area who’s known for playing throughout Northern Wisconsin. She is currently working on her debut album of original music. She makes her WTIP debut on the Scenic Route talking with Will Moore about her inspirations and favorite tunes.https://soundcloud.com/wtip-community-radio/liz-mathias
Jaspar Lepak’s musical journey began in Minneapolis and has now returned there after stops in South Africa and Seattle. The singer-songwriter speaks with Will Moore about her return to Minnesota, her 2021 album Desert Ghosts, and two new singles called “One Brave Life” and “My Right to Choose” on the Scenic Route.