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Grassroots concerts fall season starts Sept. 21

NISSWA — Five Friday night concerts are scheduled for the Fall 2012 Grassroots Concerts season, which is the 24th year for the all-volunteer acoustic series.

The first concert is scheduled at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 21 at the Live Well Nightclub and Coffee Bar in Nisswa, featuring Doug and Telisha Williams of Martinsville, Va.

They point out that Martinsville is where boarded-up factories stand as monuments to how quickly things can change. Like the very best singer-songwriters, this duo gives a voice to the struggles of everyday people, as well as ghosts from the past. Doug and Telisha call their music “fuel-injected folk.”

The line-up for the rest of the season:

Oct. 5: Teague Alexy, who is also half of the popular roots band Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank. He explores his individual musical muse with a new solo release, “This Dance.” Modern-day bard Teague, who won four nominations for his songwriting at the 2009 Just Plain Folks Awards in Nashville, hails his latest release as his “red wine album.”

Oct. 19: Michael Johnson, best known for his hit songs like “Bluer Than Blue,” “This Night Won’t Last Forever” and “That’s That.” Johnson is a soloist at heart, and his first love is the intimacy and spontaneity of a solo concert. “Johnson has endured because he’s such a superb performer with a warm, expressive voice, wonderful guitar skills, and an endearing stage presence,” said Dirty Linen.

Nov. 9: Jonathan Byrd, a North Carolina flatpicker, a Texas songwriter, a Gulf War Veteran and a preacher’s son. He won the Kerrville Folk Festival’s New Folk songwriting competition and was recently named one of Chicago radio station WFMT’s 50 Most Significant Songwriters of the Past 50 Years. “Jonathan is able to say more in two words than most other people can say in a novel,” said Chris Spector, Midwest Record.

Nov. 30: The Bitter Spills — Rich Mattson and Baby Grant Johnson. In 2006 they took their extensive Minnesota rock-scene experience to far folkier pastures, forming an acoustic duo with a mission to keep the folk tradition alive. Five albums later, expect to enjoy their mix of folk favorites and original tunes on Grassroots’ stage.

Admission into the concerts is $10 at the door for adults and $5 for children under 12 with listening attention, when accompanied by an adult. At all shows, seating is first-come, first-served. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. and doors open at 6:30 p.m.   

Grassroots Concerts are made possible in part by a grant from the Five Wings Arts Council through the Minnesota State Legislature. The series is a 501c(3) non-profit under the Internal Revenue Code.

The concert series encourages donations of non-perishable items from those attending. Volunteers will deliver them to the food shelf.

For more information go to or call 839-4092 or email

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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