While many may think of the deep south as the focal point for good bluegrass music, residents of Minnesota know that some of the best bluegrass bands are from Minnesota. Traditional folk and roots music has become increasingly popular throughout the state, becoming enjoyed by younger crowds as well as traditional fans. Folk singers from Minnesota such as Bob Dylan have inspired the new wave of bluegrass talent. Check out these local bluegrass bands in you want to see an amazing show or become an instant fan.
Trampled By Turtles
Trampled by Turtles is a bluegrass band that hails from Duluth, Minnesota. Founded in 2003, Trampled sought to bring the sound of progressive folk music to northern Minnesota and beyond. The band’s music has been on the top of the bluegrass charts thanks to local support and pure enjoyment of the talent. The five members of Trampled have played together after leaving other bands to play more acoustic and genuine sounding music. They have played large festivals including Coachella and Lollapalooza as well as appearing on David Letterman in 2012. The band is usually busy touring the country, so be on the lookout for the next Minnesota stop.
White Iron Band
Formed on the Iron Range in Ely, Minnesota, White Iron seeks to channel what makes America great into its music. A seven-man band, White Iron Band plays local venues and bluegrass festivals. It has opened for other popular Minnesotan bands such as The Gear Daddies. The group released its latest album in 2012 and continues to turn out energetic and exciting music.
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Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank
The Hobo Nephews are actually two brothers who have embraced the revival of roots music in Minnesota and dedicated themselves to creating a worthwhile sound. Their latest album, released this year, has been hailed as one of the best Minnesota albums of 2013 by the Star Tribune. While both brothers have solo music careers of their own, the Hobo Nephews frequently combine talents and tour together. The combined sound has been labeled by the pair as “dirty folk n’ roll.” Catch the Nephews in shows throughout Minnesota for a memorable time.
From the rural town of Austin, Minnesota, Charlie Parr has emerged as one of the most influential and iconic bluegrass artists in the country. Parr considers himself a master of “roots” music and is self-taught on the guitar and banjo. He has been playing three to four shows a week throughout the state for many years and enjoys his traveling lifestyle of touring and entertaining. Parr embodies what is most loved about bluegrass and will turn anyone into a fan.
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Pert Near Sandstone
A bluegrass band that formed out of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Pert Near Sandstone plays at venues from bluegrass and folk festivals to hard rock clubs. Comprised of five band members, Pert features a fiddle, banjo, guitar, bass, washboard and other country percussion implements. Traditionalists that cover some of the great names in folk and roots music, Pert has also released chronicles of its original tunes. Appearing at local bars and theaters, Pert will partner with some of the best names in bluegrass this fall at the bluegrass festival in Winona.
Andrea Wodele is a freelance writer who has lived in the Twin Cities for eight years. She loves covering all things Minnesota and her work can be found on Examiner.com.