With the warm weather many people are thinking about heading to Stillwater for our antique shops, river views and excellent dining. I want to add another component that is often forgotten but is seeing a resurgance, local music. Back in the 1980’s Stillwater was known for having great local shows like the Suburbs, also we are known for our Lumberjack Days shows (none this year). Now a local promoter has stepped up to bring great local music back to the area.
Local realtor Paul Barber has launched Stillwater Live Music and his artist management group is busy booking both local and national acts to venues here in the St. Croix Valley. I was able to catch up with Paul on Tuesday night at Pub Monique for the Machine22 show. Paul is dedicated to working with local artists and venues to improve the music for all of us; taking inspiration after his brother was stricken with a terminal disease Paul decided to pursue one of his passions: music.
Paul has tremendous energy and has a vision of bringing Stillwater back to the distinction of having great music every night of the week. I look forward to seeing what Paul continues to bring to the area, Keep up the great work Paul.
I did want to include a brief review of Machine22’s show: I happened to run into them at Palmers on Friday and was impressed. Tuesday night I was able to spend time with the band and hear them not only play their own music; I would call it a power pop/post punk sound with some excellent musicianship not typically seen by a younger band. Lead singer Jack Swagger has the perfect rock and roll name and the Pelowski Brothers take care of all the guitar (lead and bass) and backing vocal duties. Karl Schmidt does an excellent job laying down the rhythm on the drums. Since they played all night they also did a lot of covers. The covers showed me their dedication to musical history with excellent renditions of Bob Dylan, The White Stripes, The Strokes, CCR and also a great version of Jumping Jack Flash by the Rolling Stones. Look for Machine22 to be moving to bigger venues as they refine their sound. If I had to put on a local outdoor show this summer they would definitely be on my list.
So first show I want to highlight this weekend is the Cystic Fibrosis Benefit at Pub Monique on Sunday from 4-9pm. Looks like Tim Mahoney will be the headliner, after the show the weekly open mic will be taking place. Shout out to Monique of Pub Monique who is delivering live music every night in Stillwater and is a delight to hang out with.
Friday night March 31st I am attending Aby Wolf and Her Claws and Rogue Valley at The Amsterdam in St. Paul. The Amsterdam has an excellent sound system so I am looking forward to how they both sound with their excellent harmonies. One of the best things about The Amsterdam is that they serve food all night, check out their pot brownies!
Monday night April I am going to The Ting Tings at First Avenue. The duo is probably best known for their song; “That’s Not My Name”, but their catalog is much more expansive with great pop sensibilities.
See you out in the clubs, and I am always open to suggestions to shows you want me to cover. By the way if someone knows a good place to stay in Winona for the Midwest Music Festival please let me know.