Tom Collins, up close and personal at the Mad Ripple Hootenanny, 2014. Photo by David Biljan.
(L-r) Tom Collins and Jim Walsh, up close and personal at the Mad Ripple Hootenanny, 2014. Photo by David Biljan.

July 1, 2015

BECCA MARX: July 2nd Hoot Preview

July 4th, 1776, a date ingrained into our brains as Independence Day, but what does independence mean to you? The freedom to vote, to marry whom you want, to have access to contraceptives, to live in a desegregated society, to not be enslaved? That’s the rub isn’t it? No two individuals value independence as the same exact thing.

For me, it is about being a feminist, a woman who without her sisters before her couldn’t vote, work out of the home, or use contraception. The ERA (Equal Rights Amendment) was written by a woman after all, and aren’t women’s rights human rights?

Stepping off my platform, I give you the Hoot preview:

A gifted singer songwriter with a penchant for poignant mirth and wordplay, Joe Fahey has been a player in notable bands around Minneapolis for quite some time. In the past, a member of the Blue Danubes and Carp 18, Fahey currently plays in The Bottom 40 and cover band the Local Hermits at venues such as: The Tavern Northfield, The Driftwood and Lee’s Liquor Lounge. Carp 18 received national airplay on NPR’s Car Talk with their single “I Could Not Steal Her Heart (So I Stole Her Car). In 2011, Fahey released his second solo album “Bushnell’s Turtle” to critical acclaim. In reference to his time spent chatting with Slim Dunlap post band practice, he contributed the song “Picnic Table Blues” in 2014 to the Slim Town Singles compilation CD. A 2015 release date for his latest project “Somnambulist Chaser” is planned through his own independent record label “Rough Fish Records.” I hope Fahey brings his pup Lucy to sit with him onstage as has happened recently!

Shawn Stelton is a Minneapolis based singer/songwriter, who is new to The Mad Ripple Hootenanny. Stelton recently took part in Jeremy Messersmith’s Songwriting Sessions, and found himself inspired. He can be found performing at coffee shops like Gingkos and the Beat Coffeehouse, and was a participant in MPR’S Tiny Desk Concert Contest with his endearing song “Victoria.” He’s a member of the band Judy, Judi, Jude, and recently performed at St. Louis Park’s “Unplugged & Potlucked.” His soaring vocals are reminiscent of vocalist Grant-Lee Phillips of Grant Lee Buffalo fame. A talented songwriter, he’ll perform on the 4th of July at the city of Afton’s Independence Day celebration.

A Hoot veteran with a name not easily forgotten is singer/songwriter Tom Collins. Collins released his album “Rebel Without Applause” this year, and on it he covers “breakdown” by local musician James Loney (Lolos Ghost). Fellow songwriter Dan Israel in the StarTribune recently commented about the record: “The guffaw-inducing Westerbergian self-deprecating title should be a tipoff to the musical and lyrical surprises therein.” A past collaborator with the Big Wu and God Johnson, he also makes an appearance on the pod cast “Fladcast-Episode 12”. A recent player at the Driftwood, see if you hear any “Westerbergian” in his songs this Thursday! Preview him here.

Katy Thomasberg is a singer songwriter, and founding member of the country roots band Vernon Dixon. In 2014, Vernon Dixon released “Corn Whiskey,” and the duo hasn’t slowed down since, playing venues like Harriet Brewing, the Eagles Club 34, Palmers, and The Schooner Tavern. Twin guitars, fiddle and pedal steel, backed the duo of Thomasberg and Drew Dixon on the record, a record that has received praise from the Local Current Blog and Dave Hoenack of Hymie’s Vintage Records. Thomasberg has been a Hoot player a couple times, and is a writer/singer in The Collective. If you haven’t heard her honky-tonk rocking sound, check her out on Reverbnation and hear her live Thursday night.

Whatever independence means to you, I hope that you celebrate those who paved your way, and honor them by continuing their work! The Hoot on the 2nd of July will no doubt contain some Independence Day oriented material, and I hope that it gives you some perspective that through action, positive change can happen.

Becca Marx is a St. Paul-based freelance writer and critic and staff reporter for Rift Magazine.


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