The 2012 fall concert series begins in early September.  Concerts all start at 7:30pm unless noted otherwise and are held at the Cultural Center gallery. Doors open at 6:30pm without reserved seating. Admission is $15 the night of the concert, $12 advance sale (call and reserve tickets at 218-385-3339), and student admission (through high school) is $5. Members of the Cultural Center receive a $2.00 discount (i.e., $10 advance sale and $13 the night of the concert).  Click on images below to visit the artists’ web sites, learn more about their music, and listen to their songs.

Cliff Eberhardt opened the fall concert series September 6th

Red House recording artist Cliff Eberhardt knew by age seven that he was going to be a singer and songwriter. As a child Cliff taught himself to play guitar, piano, bass and drums. In his teens Eberhardt was fortunate enough to live close to the Main Point (one of the best folk clubs on the East Coast); he cut his teeth listening to the likes of James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Bruce Springsteen, Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Bonnie Raitt, and Mississippi John Hurt – receiving an early and impressive tutorial in acoustic music. At the same time, he was also listening to great pop songwriters like Cole Porter, the Gershwins, and Rodgers and Hart, which explains his penchant for great melodies and clever lyrical twists.

A driving force of the Greenwich Village New Folk movement and well known among his peers, Cliff’s songs have been covered by the likes of Richie Havens, Buffy St. Marie, Erasure, Lucy Kaplansky and the folk superstar band “Cry, Cry, Cry” (Dar Williams, Richard Shindell, Lucy Kaplansky). Click image of Cliff to visit his website to learn more about his music.

“Eberhardt is a superb singer, with a vast credible range of emotions, and a soulfulness that draws from rock and pop, but also from the best folk ballad styes.”
– The Boston Globe

September 21 – Alison Scott and her five-piece band

Alison Scott is the strongest voice to come out of Minneapolis in many years and her soulful, organic sound has quietly built a very large and loyal following. While staying indier than indie and completely ignoring the hipster rulebook, through word of mouth with very little radio or media hype, Alison is making the kind of soul music that music fans love.

True music lovers have always responded to an amazing voice singing great songs, and they always will- from Aretha to Adele, this is timeless music that transcends style and fashion, something for the silent majority of listeners who aren’t interested in fluffy pop OR the trendy flavor of the month.

Working with multiplatinum guitarist/ producer Kevin Bowe (Paul Westerberg, Etta James, Jonny Lang), drummer Peter Anderson (Polara, Honeydogs), bassist Steve Price (Rex Daisy) and keyboardist James Tyler O’Neill, Alison has become one of the most popular live acts in Minneapolis; she has sold out the Dakota Jazz Club over a dozen shows in a row, and is now filling 500 seat theaters. Last summer was spent sharing her band with Freedy Johnston at festivals all around the midwest which has further spread the word about this amazing artist. There is more touring with Freedy to come in the fall of 2012. Alison’s releases have sold over 10,000 units and counting, her new album “Hiding Under The Covers, Vol. 2” was released in June and features collaborations with Communist Daughter and Chris Koza.

This activity is made possible in part by a grant provided by the Minnesota State Arts Board through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature from the State’s arts and cultural heritage fund with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008. Sponsor: Jerry Mevissen, Nimrod

Margo McRearyOctober 12 – Margo McCreary Puppet Show – Diggity Dog Days

Special note: Margo will give a “hands on” puppet workshop at the Elder’s Home in New York Mills at 2:00pm and a complete show at our usual performance time at the Center (7:30 pm).

When I reflect on my creative life, being open to possibility, and having a great sense of play are ways of being that helped me find my path into a lively art form that has captured my imagination. The beauty of puppetry is that it is grassroots and very permissive: anything goes and it can be made out of anything. Imagine an art form where you get to wander in hardware stores, fabric stores, alleys, thrift stores, loading docks of appliance stores. It is a beautiful material world where things can be transformed! I draw, sew, sculpt, paint, hammer, give voice to objects, and move them.

I have created a few puppet characters who are the center of my work. Ollie McNutt is a 7 foot tall puppet I have animated since 1980. Jack the Dog has been sniffing out adventures since 1999. The stories I create are particularly for these characters. Movement grabs me. I am practiced in the world of bringing objects to life with movement, voice, and spark of spirit in the moment. I believe that my creations mirror the generosity of life, and, as an artist, it is this that I want to share with others.

Spring 2011, I fulfilled a dream of making a vibrant full-length puppet show, Diggity Dog Days starring Jack the Dog. I also teach children and adults many forms of puppetry in residencies and workshops, with a particular focus on puppet movement. I received an Artist Initiative grant in 2011 from the Minnesota State Arts Board. I have been a self-employed artist for over 25 years.

An adult puppet show about an irrepressible dog and his aging owner, created and performed solo by Margo McCreary, with live music and original songs composed by Marya Hart and drums and percussion by Bruce Wintervold. Directed by Zaraawar Mistry.

When changes in his aging owner’s life begin to affect his everyday routine, Jack the dog responds doggedly, causing confusion and distress for all. An unexpected adventure to the dog park threatens to only make matters worse, but a brood of neighborly urban chickens intervenes to save the day! Set to a jazzy score with lively original songs, Diggity Dog Days is a paw-lickin’ good frolic on heartache and hope.

This activity is made possible in part by a grant provided by the Minnesota State Arts Board through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature from the State’s arts and cultural heritage fund with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008. Sponsor: Thursday Night Ladies, New York Mills and Elders’ Home and Heritage Manor of New York Mills

October 26 – All girl Swedish punk band “Kraa”Kraa Album

The Nordic Arts Alliance made the connections that bring this special band of six young women to New York Mills from their homes in Sweden. This concert promises to be an amazing introduction to contemporary Scandanavian culture, a musical treat not to be missed. Sponsor: Trisha McCarthy, Pine Lake Township.


Paddy KeenanNovember 17th – Paddy Keenan, Irish Pipes

Winner of the Irish Music Awards Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011 and the Uilleann Pipe award of the same organization in 2010, Paddy Keenan is the embodiment of the Irish tradition in music. He played with the legendary Bothy band in the late 1970’s. Come and enjoy authentic Irish traditional culture played through the oldest of Irish musical instruments, the Uilleann pipes. Note: These pipes are elbow blown through a bellows, and they are very, very different from the Scottish bagpipes. Transport yourself to Ireland on this early November night with Paddy and Celtic guitarist Eugene Durkee,

Gene Durkee has been playing Irish music in sessions, concerts and recordings for six years. His knowledge of Irish traditional style is evident and always a welcome addition, whether playing melody or accompaniment, solo or with others. He also sings ballads and beautiful harmonies.

Prior to joining the Irish music scene, Gene performed as a singles act, in rhythm and blues bands, and as guitarist, lead singer and writer for an original rock and roll band. He has recorded original music with members of the 70s band Renaissance, and with noted jazz session players.

Gene is currently a member of the New Hampshire-based Irish band Reaganta, with harper Regina Delaney and whistle player Claudia Altemus. Their most recent album is Cup of Tea. Sponsored by Don Garey of Staples and Central Minnesota Credit Union of New York Mills

Michael JohnsonNovember 30 – Michael Johnson Christmas Concert

Someone asked, “Is he the real Michael Johnson?” The answer is an unequivocal “yes!”

His name is Michael Johnson. He has no plans to put on a cowboy hat, affect an accent, wear one glove or be anyone but himself. Moreover, he is “The” Michael Johnson, and he has performed and lived more music and recorded more hits than you would imagine.

His voice immediately identifies him as the man who sings “Bluer Than Blue”, “Give Me Wings”, “That’s That”, “This Night Won’t Last Forever” and other landmark songs. His music shows a diversity, depth and heart that only come from years of dedication to a labor of love.

When asked what he would have you know about himself, Michael says: “Tell them that I love it.” He started playing at age thirteen and just never quit. Singing, playing, writing and recording are the only things he’s ever done and he loves it.

“Tell them I play guitar.” He really plays guitar. He studied in Barcelona and he plays on all his records with a unique and distinctive style. His playing is an important part of his show.

“I am a soloist at heart.” Michael often performs alone, and he has elevated the art. He prefers the intimacy and spontaneity of a show that can change with the moment.

“Tell them I’m a showman. I like to talk to people and I love to make them laugh. And, of course, I have to move them with the music. That’s the whole thing. Without that, there is no reason to be on stage.”

What one remembers of Michael is the texture of his voice, the meaning of the lyric and the music of the guitar – singer, song and sound. And the feeling of being at home with a friend.

Sponsor: Dr. Rachel Grieger, DDS, New York Mills and Peloquin-Beck Law Office Perham & New York Mills

Longest Night AuroraDecember 21 – Longest Night Music Festival

Every year musicians come together at the Cultural Center for a night of music of the winter season. Join us for this annual free concert that begins at 7:00pm. We’ll have good food and lots of conversation on this longest evening of the year. More information on who will be coming will be posted in late September.  Sponsor:  Dr. Rose and the Lakeland Veterinary Clinic of Perham, Dennis and Joan Happel and the Happel Law Office of Perham, and Dean and Kathy Simpson and Dean’s Country Market of Perham and New York Mills.