Music blossoms again in Cannon FallsCannon Falls is known as scenic river town – and for the musically inclined is a known hotspot for audio production and studio recording.
By: Stacy Bengs, The Republican Eagle
Cannon Falls is known as scenic river town – and for the musically inclined is a known hotspot for audio production and studio recording.
Although the renowned Pachyderm Studio, where Nirvana recorded its last album, “In Utero,” has sat solo for the last year – go-getters from the area did not let the soundless decibels stop the music.
Brent Sigmeth and Jeff McCusker co-own a small recording studio, LittleBig Studio, in rural Cannon Falls. The two have known each other for years and when Pachyderm sat in silence, they took it upon themselves to ensure the music doesn’t die.
“Brent has a long history with virtually every successful band from the Minnesota music scene,” McCusker said.
After arriving to Pachyderm in 1993, Sigmeth’s was schooled on the wooded six-acre lot by mentors on a local to national level including Tom Herbers, Brian Paulson, Steve McKinstry, Steve Albini and Tony Platt. Engineering influences continued with Terry Manning, Geoff Emerick, Glynn Johns, Nigel Godrich and also Tchad Blake.
Preparations for the Pachyderm site’s reopening, with a yet-to-be determined new name, are under way for this year, after being purchased by John Kuker who owns a Minneapolis-born studio named Seedy Underbelly operating in Los Angeles and New York.
Last year, LittleBig Studio had two records that made the City Pages Top 10 Albums of 2011 including Haley Bonar’s “Golder” and the Cactus Blossoms self-titled albuml, which also ended up as on honorable mention on Country Music Television’s list of overlooked albums of 2011.
Currently McCusker and Sigmeth have been planning a concert featuring the Cactus Blossoms set in the Cannon Falls High School Auditorium. The concert also will feature the Dovetailers, a duo made up of Brandon Sampson of Six Mile Grove and his wife, Heather. The show is set for 7 p.m. Saturday March 31.
“The idea is that it will help generate funds for the Cannon Falls school district and allow the auditorium to pay its own bills,” McCusker explained.
“Thanks to Brent, there is a connection to many great local and national acts,” McCusker adds, “If the first show is a success, there are already more shows in the works.”
McCusker has been volunteering at the school’s auditorium since it was built in 2009.
The Cannon Falls Education Foundation made a donation of $5,200 to buy a sound system that can support these types of shows, but for now McCusker has been funding the production himself.
“The fact that our school, who operates the building, has a very limited budget led me to start looking into a means of generating revenue,” he said.
The proceeds from the concert will all be returned to the school for lighting improvements as well as general maintenance.
“The show is hopefully a start to a series of great concerts,” McCusker said.
Tickets are $20 and available at the door and also online with a $5 discount with the promo code “cactus” at www.cfaud.eventbrite.com.
If you go...
Who: The Cactus Blossoms plus the Dovetailers
When: 7 p.m. Saturday March 31
Where: Cannon Falls High School
Cost: $20 at the door. Get a $5 discount with the promo code “cactus” at www.cfaud.eventbrite.com