Music Scene Spotter: Corey Carlson, Promoter & Talent Booker

Photo Credit: Bridgette Thomas of Midge Photo

While this column focuses on a lot of great musicians here in the Twin Cities, it’s also important to take notice of those people behind the scenes that get the great bands seen and heard. Essentially, without the promoters and booking agents, bands wouldn’t be where they are today.

For promoters and talent bookers like Corey Carlson, it’s all about finding those ambitious, talented people who want to make music their career. With his music project GASOLINE aimed at helping those who are passionate about their craft, Carlson is hoping to get the Twin Cities’ music scene back in the top contenders.


CBS Minnesota: Explain to me who you are and what you do.

Corey Carlson: I am Corey Carlson and I’m from Apple Valley. I develop, promote, and book bands in the Twin Cities area. I started GASOLINE music group with hopes to help out the Twin Cities rebuild its rock scene, which disappeared after the days of Prince, Soul Asylum, Husker Du, the Replacements, etc. I put on shows at places like Station 4, 7th Street Entry, The Fine Line and others to help out these up and coming local bands gain a following of fans. I also spend time with the bands to help develop a plan of how to build a true following like so many others who have built their successful music career here in the Twin Cities.

CBS Minnesota: How did you get your start here in Minneapolis?

Corey: I got my start here by going out to shows at a very young age. My first show I experienced was on Halloween when I was 13. I went with a friend and his mom to the Quest, now called Epic, to watch some bands play and I was hooked. I’ve always had an interest in music and wanted to be a part of it. From that point on I started going to all kinds of local shows with friends. This all started as just a hobby. I was interested in something so I wanted to be involved in it, but it developed into much more quickly. I loved being around the music but I also wanted to help out the bands. The more shows I went out to the more people I was meeting. I started helping bands first by being a roadie and selling merchandise. While doing this, I developed many ideas on how to build a band. I got to experience first hand what people enjoyed about shows as well as what didn’t interest people. After years of observation, brainstorming, and helping local bands, I started GASOLINE music group with bands that I had found over five years of searching for ambitious, talented people who want to make a career out of music.

CBS Minnesota: Why is what you are doing in the Twin Cities important?

 Music Scene Spotter: Corey Carlson, Promoter & Talent Booker

Photo Credit: Bridgette Thomas of Midge Photo

Corey: Because I’m bringing back something that has been lost throughout the years with rock music. The Twin Cities was once on the map for good rock music, but it died. After knowing that it was once there and experiencing the talent level of those I work with in these up and coming bands, I have a strong belief that there will once again be a spot light on the Twin Cites for rock music. The work I do with the bands and the shows I put on are important because it brings all these musicians together who have the their mind set on the same goal. They have the same mindset and the same ideas and having them network with each other to build true followings of fans is key. These shows help spread the word on what is happening right in our hometown. The shows are fun. People are excited about what they experience when they tap into the local bands that are a part of this. It’s good music. It’s clear that the talent level and potential is there to create this energizing successful rock scene again.

CBS Minnesota: What is your favorite thing about working in the Twin Cities music scene?

Corey: There are many things I enjoy about what I do here in the Twin Cities. But, one thing I find exciting is all the history here with music and the cool, old venues. As I stated earlier, bands like Husker Du, Soul Asylum, Prince, The Replacements and many more have had their start here. It was an exciting place to be in music and having that come back with these up and coming bands is something I enjoy being a part of.

CBS Minnesota: 5-second shameless plug. GO!

Corey: Make sure to check out GASOLINE produced shows all over the Twin Cities featuring some of the bands I work with like, The Devil Blues Band, Machine 22, Cliffton Wales and Mister Fister to name a few.

Emily Buss is a music journalist from Minneapolis and author of On the Rechord blog. On the Rechord is a music site dedicated to the local music scene in the Twin Cities. Emily writes concert and album reviews, band and artist profiles, and provides information about local shows. A college graduate with a degree in Mass Communications with an emphasis on Journalism, Emily has been professionally writing for newspapers and online outlets for six years. You can find Emily at, on Facebook at On the Rechord and on Twitter @TheEmilyB.


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