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Cannon Falls Auditorium prepares for Haley Bonar

Minnesota singer/songwriter Haley Bonar will perform live in Cannon Falls Saturday Oct. 20.

Minnesota music songstress Haley Bonar will perform in Cannon Falls Saturday Oct. 20, returning to town after recently recording a new album.

"It just seems like it made sense," said Jeff McCusker, co-owner of the small recording space LittleBig Studio. "Why not put two and two together? She recorded here in town and we wanted her to play in town.

Bonar began her career at age 20 while in Duluth, Minn., when she was plucked from an open stage performance during Experimental Thursdays, a musicians outlet to showcase their ability. Guitar and Farfisa organ in hand she played a few original pieces and a cover of "California Dreamin."

"Little did I know that one of my musical idols, Alan Sparhawk of Low, was in the small audience," Bonar said. "When I finished, he promptly approached me and asked me if I would open for Low on their upcoming tour."

That was nine years ago. Since then, Bonar has released three full length albums, several EP's, has had songs tapped for major motion pictures, toured coast-to-coast and started a punk/new-wave side project Gramma's Boyfriend.

Bonar will perform at the Cannon Falls High School Auditorium - a gradually growing space being enhanced with equipment, concert by concert.

"The Cannon Falls Education Foundation made a donation of $5,200 to buy a sound system that can support these types of shows," explained McCusker. Earlier this year, country crooners the Cactus Blossoms hit the stage, pleasing a couple hundred people and generating approximately $3,200.

McCusker hopes Bonar's gig will prove to be just as successful. Her folk-inspired music alone could sell out the space. Her latest album, "Golder," made City Pages' Top Ten Albums of 2011 and her EP "Bad Reputation 7" will be released Thursday Nov. 1 at the Varsity Theater in Minneapolis. Bonar's next album is set to be released next spring.

At a glance...

Who: Haley Bonar.

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday Oct. 20

Where: Cannon Falls Auditorium, 820 Minnesota St. East

Cost: $15

More info: or

Stacy Bengs-Silverberg

Stacy Bengs has been a photojournalist at the Red Wing Republican Eagle since 2010. She holds a bachelors degree in journalism and art from the University of Minnesota.

(651) 301-7880