Article by Colton Davis; Photos by David Rubene & Markus Akre
What started out three years ago as a backyard get-together has grown into an all-day music festival at The Cabooze. The music was provided by some of Minneapolis’ most entertaining country-rock bands. From up-and-comers to established acts, The Cabooze ran the gamut of the country-rock genre. Even when the country cover standards like “Folsom Prison Blues” were heard repeatedly throughout the night, we weren’t sick of them because everyone put their unique spin on the classics. Each artist was able to bring their flavor to the table and shine. The bustling venue had an acoustic stage outside that let bands get intimate with the crowd. Acting as the festival’s voice, emcee Paul Thomas (who is widely know as ‘PT’ on Minnesota’s country station BOB FM 106.1) proudly introduced the crowd to the bands taking the stage.
The acoustic stage kicked off with a down home set from Dirt Road Dixie. While most bands on the acoustic stage played with a pared-down band, July Fighter had a full crew and really got the patio going with their guitar heavy tunes. They showcased their talents and added depth to the diverse forms of rock being played that night. The same goes for the Farmer’s Daughters as they added a djembe to the mix. That drum mixed with the light strums of the guitar created a relaxing Jack Johnson sound that paired perfectly with the sun setting on the outdoor patio.
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Inside on the main stage the crowd was awoken early in the night by a lighthearted and fun set from That’s My Uncle. The crowd could see how much fun they were having and responded with animated cheers. That energy on both stages held true to form all night with performances from Shine Jar, Dirtball Deluxe, Clever Trev and Dirty Louis. The night ended with stellar performances from The Plott Hounds and The White Iron Band. Both bands played tight sets that perfectly exemplified country-rock, a style that seems to have lain dormant for many years. It was a joy to be at an event that celebrated such a classic genre, combined great original local music, and all benefiting support for our military troops.
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Aside from music there was a silent auction where people could bid for dozens of prizes. Among the prizes were gift baskets, art, clothing and one of the most coveted items was a camouflage guitar signed by each of the bands after their set. The money raised was donated to support the Minnesota Military Family Foundation. This event could not have been possible without the numerous volunteers, generous sponsors like MinnesotaCountry.com, and people like Noah Alexander and Alicia Bodner who orchestrated this wonderful event for a third year. There was no better way to spend a hot summer day than by listening to great music in an awesome venue to benefit such a worthy cause.
Noah and Alicia … Many Thanks!