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.
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We may be in the midst of the winter blues, but Joe and Vicki Price bring an easing type of blues as they make their way back to the Oak Center General Store. The Iowa natives have been performing at the Lake City-based venue for almost 10 years. They return Saturday Jan. 26. "Oak Center is such a great sounding room, it is a pleasure to perform there," said Vicki. "The people who come to the shows are there to hear music and they really appreciate what you do." The music is finger-style guitar new blues in the Muddy Waters/ Elmore James tradition, although a bit rough.
With the last day of 2012 falling on a Monday, the celebration to ring in the New Year starts this weekend. Look for local entertainment ranging from live music to hitting the slopes. Highlights from the music lineup include a weekend of vocals at the Cannon River Winery. Annie Lawler and her band kick off a harmonious afternoon at 1 p.m. today with a laid-back mix of blues, jazz and alternative country. Jagged Ease follows Lawler's set. The five-piece acoustic group plays original compilations. Singer, pianist and songwriter Andrew Walesch takes over Sunday afternoon.
The average age of a member in the Potter Ridge Singers is 86. In fact, for some choir members, the opportunity to get out and sing in public marks another milestone in their ripened lives. The 22-member group consists of primarily residents from Potter Ridge Assisted Living in Red Wing.
Family, country and Christmas come together for an upcoming show at Treasure Island Resort & Casino. Country Music Hall of Famer Mel Tillis performs alongside daughter Pam Tillis on Sunday Dec. 16. Performing for over 50 years, he has not only made his mark as an entertainer but also a successful songwriter. His hits include "Detroit City," "Ruby, Don't Take your Love to Town" and "Coca-Cola Cowboy." He has written well over 1,000 songs with 600 of them being recorded by major stars including Bobby Bare, Kenny Rogers and Brenda Lee.
Looking through his grandparents' old family hymnal, pianist Neal Topliff started to pick songs for his next album. That was just more than a year ago. The Red Wing resident recently released "A Midnight Clear," his 10th CD and second Christmas compilation. "I have always loved Christmas and the music was always a big part of the holiday season," Topliff said.
As the Sheldon Theatre prepares for its holiday season, a sprinkle of Minnesota folk music at its finest glimmers in the lineup. The young soulful folk singer/songwriter Mason Jennings takes the stage Saturday Nov. 17. Opening for Jennings is Minneapolis-based duo Fort Wilson Riot. The concert presented by 89.3 The Current, Minnesota Music Coalition and Caravan Du Nord is a melting pot for all ages. Jennings' music has become increasingly popular over the years gaining exposure through radio waves, concerts and continuous album releases.
On a dreary Wednesday afternoon, the controlled yet chaotic atmosphere of a middle school auditorium explodes with creative youthful energy as co-directors Julie Martin and Helene Olson-Reed prepare for rehearsal. The two are managing the prepping, primping and fine-tuning of the Twin Bluff Middle School's fall musical and the world premiere of a Red Wing resident's work "Under the Bed," set for Friday Nov. 2 and Saturday Nov. 3. The play was presented to Martin just over a year ago by poet and children's writer Jacqueline West.
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.
Based on a simple goal, "to provide access to the arts for everyone," Red Wing's ArtReach is soaring higher than ever. "The kids are just so proud of themselves," said Benjie Achen, as she smiles and her eyes dart around the collage of framed artworks that smother the walls in the organization's colorful space tucked off Bush Street.
Red Wing Art Association's most popular event, the Fall Festival of the Arts, is held each October during the peak fall color season. The 2012 festival is set for Saturday Oct. 13 to Sunday Oct. 14. It attracts thousands of visitors. This juried art festival brings more than 90 artists to historic downtown to sell their creations. "There are obvious reasons for this influx of visitors," said Fall Festival coordinator Deb Wasmund.