4th of July, Musically Speaking

4th of July, musically speaking…

Andrew Olson

Reader Weekly

This past weekend is known as the time to celebrate summer in the Northland. The weather finally warms, people emerge from their dens, and folks stream out to all of the local happenings.

On Friday (July 1st) The Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank jammed away at the Nor Shor. The sign at the entrance said “$3 Donation”, which I had assumed meant to give without being asked. Well, there was no way we were getting in without paying that “donation”. Earlier in the evening we stopped by Pizza Luce’, which had a $4 cover (Donation). The place was dead, making me wonder why bars charge such a high cover when so few people are around? What happened to liquor sales?

Back at the Nor Shor while making my way up the stairs I heard two guys yell to the bartender, “Give us two stringers.” What kind of a drink is a stringer I thought to myself? The bartender then answered my question by handing the gentlemen two six-packs of Pabst Blue Ribbon. Whatever price they were paying for a “stringer” was not low enough. Later, when the “stringers” were gone, the crowd thinned out. This left the dancers to have a free roaming, twirling, dance-party.

The dancers for the Hobos had patchwork skirts on, making one wonder if Jerry Garcia himself would emerge from a backroom? Eric Berry and his electric mandolin are not far from Jerry, and with the deadhead-like clan that follows it wouldn’t be surprising to see a tie-dye stand pop up. Hobos are another bluegrass derivative that carries on the torch for TBT. (By the way, thanks Ripsaw for ripping off my TBT Moshpit reference in your current issue) Interesting that New Jersey natives Teague and Ian Alexy would play such Oh Brother Where Art Thou inspired tunes. There is this segment of Duluth that LOVES that music though. And I meanLOVES that music! Their whole FOLKING life revolves around it. We all have our own tastes, and this is just another example of the skills that the boys Alexy have. They can play any kind of music in any form and are always a treat to watch.

On Sunday the 4th Fest had local rockers Boku Frequency playing at Bayfront. Boku’s manager Val gave myself and a guest 2 VIP passes for show. Originally we had planned to get some time with Chuck Berry and maybe do an interview? After his cancellation the crowd took a big hit. With free concerts like Taste Of MN going on throughout the state it is a wonder why 4th Fest was $40 a day in Duluth? The country night (July 2nd) had a large crowd though, with one of the biggest acts in the country in attendance, Julie Roberts.

Once Boku took the stage at 3pm (July 3rd) there was no question as to who the best rock band in town is. Terry (Red-Eyed-Dread) rocks on the guitar and moves from Hendrix or Funk, to any other style with ease. Less known than some of the other bands around town, Boku like to play the Red Lion because that is where their crowd goes. They like the diversity of the downtown scene, and feel that is the only area that recognizes the band’s potential. Kinda like headin’ across the tracks to hear real blues way back when. Speaking of blues, Thomas (Bass/Vocals) actually pulled up for the show backstage in a taxi at the last minute… Very Bluesy..

Another highlight was when a young boy climbed into the VIP section and began dancing alone. He is pictured here and was a reminder of the innocence of music.That kid danced when no one even thought of it, and he was so tiny compared to the giant stage. To him Boku Frequency was the biggest band to ever see and he just couldn’t help but to move to the music.