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Bill Staines to kick-off Grassroots Concerts spring line-up

Quintessential folk troubadour Bill Staines will kick-off the Grassroots Concerts 2017 spring line-up with a show at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 24 at the Live Well Nightclub and Coffee Bar in Nisswa. Photo by Stephen A. Ide/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

NISSWA—Quintessential folk troubadour Bill Staines will kick-off the Grassroots Concerts 2017 spring line-up with a show at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 24 at the Live Well Nightclub and Coffee Bar in Nisswa.

There are five Friday night concerts scheduled for the spring season.

Staines' music is a slice of Americana filled with cowboys, Yukon adventures, fishermen and everyday working people, organizers stated in a news release. He has gained an international reputation as a gifted songwriter and performer.

"Folk music is rich in the human spirit and experience," Staines stated. "I've always wanted to bring something of value to people through my songs."

A New Hampshire resident, Staines has traveled back and forth across North America, singing his songs and delighting audiences at festivals, folk song societies, colleges, concerts, clubs and coffeehouses.

"I would like to think that bringing something of universal value to people has been one of the foundation blocks of my own writing," Staines stated. "That's what folk music is all about—songs that are bigger than any one person who sings them.

"And now it is over 48 years later. I have sung in all 50 states, although I admit that one was a karaoke performance at a bar in Honolulu. Music is really all I have ever known. It has brought me everything I have.

"When somebody would ask my friend, the late Tommy Makem, 'Tommy, when are you going to retire?' Tommy would always respond, 'Around 10 o'clock tonight.' I have always felt that I was blessed to live a life in music and to know that, surely, it must have been a lucky star that led me here."

Singing mostly his own songs, he weaves a blend of wit and humor into his performances.

Many of Staines' songs are published in grade school music books, church hymnals and scouting campfire songbooks; he is one of only a few songwriters to have eight songs published in the classic song collection, "Rise up Singing."

Over the decades, you have heard Staines on "A Prairie Home Companion" and "Mountain Stage." His music has been used in a number of films including "Off and Running" with Cyndi Lauper.

Admission for general seating 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., with doors opening at 6:30 p.m.

The Live Well Nightclub and Coffee Bar is located in the Journey Church next to the school.

Grassroots performances are made possible in part by a grant from the Five Wings Arts Council with funding through the Minnesota State Legislature. The series is a non-profit organization under the Internal Revenue Code.

The concert series welcomes nonperishable food or cash donations to a local food shelf.

For information go to www.grassrootsconcerts.org, visit Grassroots Concerts on Facebook or call 218-829-4092.

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