Staines, Curtis & Loretta next up at Oak Center
There’s something to be said for longevity, and Bill Staines has earned the right to say it.
Staines, the New England-based singer/songwriter, continues his stretch for the most consecutive years performing at the Oak Center Folk Forum when he appears at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Oak Center General Store. Staines started performing at Oak Center in 1981 and has been back every year since, nearly always on a Sunday afternoon in late winter.
“He filled the room in 1981, and he still draws a good crowd today with his songs of people and places across the face of America,” said Steve Schwen, owner and manager at Oak Center. “He is a true troubadour in every sense of the word.”
— Also coming up at Oak Center, the venerable folk duo of Curtis & Loretta will perform songs from their new album, “When There’s Good to be Done,” in a concert at 8 p.m. March 5. The albums consists of songs Loretta Simonet wrote about real-life unsung heroes, most of them from Minnesota. The songs tell stories of hope, courage, determination and resilience.
Curtis & Loretta deliver their songs with close harmonies and a variety of stringed instruments, including mandocello, banjo and steel ukulele.
Tickets for either show are $15, with discounts available for low-income folks. If time allows, send a check in the proper amount to: Oak Center General Store, 67011 U.S. 63, Lake City, MN 55041. To check on ticket availability, call 507-753-2080.
BeauSoleil bring Cajun flavor to Zumbrota
BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet, the first Cajun band to win a Grammy Award, will perform at 7:30 p.m. March 5 at the State Theatre.
That first Grammy came in 1998. To show it wasn’t a fluke, BeauSoleil won another Grammy in 2010. In all, the band has released 25 albums and received 12 Grammy nominees. BeauSoleil draws upon the Cajun traditions of Louisiana, mixed with zydeco, jazz, country and blues.
BeauSoleil has appeared frequently on “A Prairie Home Companion.” “The best Cajun band in the world,” said host Garrison Keillor.
Tickets are $28 in advance, $32 the day of the show, available through Crossings at Carnegie, 507-732-7616.
New concert series debuts at Crossings
“Stripped Down,” a concert featuring George Maurer on piano and Pamela McNeill on vocals, will be presented at 7 p.m. March 6 at Crossings at Carnegie.
Maurer is producing this first in a series of “Stripped Down” concerts that will feature an up-close look at an artist, with music, interviews and memories. Maurer has his own jazz group and plays keyboards with Collective Unconscious for their “Abbey Road” and “Pet Sounds” concerts. McNeill sings with the Fabulous Armadillos and has been part of their Fleetwood Mac and Linda Ronstadt tribute shows.
Tickets are $19 in advance, $22 the day of the show; 507-732-7616.
Duluth singer featured in Arts on Fifth concert
Singer/songwriter Sara Thomsen will perform at 4 p.m. Sunday as part of the Arts on Fifth series at Christ United Methodist Church.
A folksinger in the tradition of Joan Baez and Peter, Paul & Mary, Thomsen supports struggles for human dignity and ecological sustainability. Her most recent CD is “Somewhere to Begin.”
Thomsen lives in the Duluth area, where she is also artistic director of the Three Altos trio and founder of the Echoes of Peace community choir.
Admission is a free-will offering. Refreshments will be served after the concert.
Sheldon to host big band and bluegrass
A busy weekend of music is planned for March 4-5 at the Sheldon Theatre in Red Wing.
— The John Paulson Big Band Project will perform at 7 p.m. March 4. The 17-piece band performs original big band jazz, composed and arranged by Paulson, a former music professor at Saint Mary’s University in Winona. The Red Wing High School Jazz Lab Band will open the show. Tickets are $25 and $16 in advance, $28 and $19 day of the show.
— Mipso, a band playing traditional Appalachian music with a modern twist, will perform at 7 p.m. March 5. The band’s latest album, “Old Time Reverie,” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard magazine bluegrass chart. Tickets are $25 and $16 in advance, $28 and $19 day of show.
For reservations, call 651-388-8700.
Classical piano meets honky tonk in Wabasha concert
Nuguid is a classical pianist and artistic director of the Rochester Chamber Music Society. He performs as a soloist and with larger ensembles, and teaches in Rochester. Poppa Bear Norton is a two-man country duo playing original honky-tonk and trucker tunes.
The Fine-to-Folk series, sponsored by the River Junction Arts Council, combines classical music with Americana and folk music in one show. Admission is free. The concert is at the Broadway Theatre, 611 Broadway Ave., in Wabasha.