The Iron Range Original Music Associaton ROCKS Again...

Original Artwork by Shaun Chosa
Please enjoy (or don't...) the recent article that Virginia Minnesota's Hometown Focus newspaper was kind enough to publish on behalf of my musical friends and me.  It's my understanding that the author is a "middle aged man with a silly, hipster attitude":

Iron Range Original Music Association to Present 11 Band Multi Venue Fall Showcase

 On Friday September 23 the members of the Iron Range Original Music Association (IROMA) in their continued mission to promote and popularize the creation and performance of original live music will come  together to present a unique Multi Venue Fall Showcase featuring 11 local bands performing original compositions at 3 different locations in downtown Virginia.  Based loosely on the recent popular Duluth Homegrown Iron Range Invasions, this exciting evening of music will bring to the stage a variety of styles and sounds unique to the Iron Range.

Horse Fzce (Photo by Ron Kutsi)
The event kicks off at 7 p.m. at The 218 Taphouse with the much heralded debut performance of the acoustic duo “Selah and Josh” featuring Orr native Selah Reid and Aurora area favorite Josh Palmi.  Popular Virginia duo Horse Fzce, a collaboration between classically trained vocalist Heather Surla and guitarist Eric Krenz , goes on at 8.  Comprised of former members of 4 Horse Johnson and a few other special guests including guitarist Dan Boyer, Karl Sundquist’s new project Big Waves and Bonfire goes on at 9 to perform laid back acoustic music.  A three piece version of the Hibbing area’s most popular rock band Hobo Revival featuring Kim Grillo Nagler, Robert Klaysmat, and Joe Gibbon rounds off the Taphouse’s line up at 10.

Bands performing concurrently with minimal overlap at The Rainy Lake include loveable Virginia hooligans The Iron Range Outlaw Brigade made up of Kirk Kjenaas, John Peterson, Glen Mattson, and Fred Hanson.  They describe themselves as a northwoods dirty punk rock country band bitterer than a shot of Wild Turkey.  They’ll stomp the stage at 8:30 p.m. followed by Minnesota music icon and Eveleth legend Rich Mattson’s band The North Stars at 9:30.  This dreamy northern Minnesota folk-rock group features not only Rich of Ol' Yeller, Tisdales, Bitter Spills, and Sparta Sound fame but also talented singer / songwriter Germaine Gemberling.  The always entertaining and unexpected Lazer Bear driven by Glen Mattson, Fred Hanson and Jeff Alger follows at 10:30, and the very hard rocking indy / alternative band Average Mammals currently promoting the release of their 2nd CD “Petrichor” brings down the house at 11:30.

Strategically interspersed into the schedule, bands will also be playing at Paulie G’s on the other side of Chestnut St. with the duo of Christopher David Hanson from Babbitt and Brent Saari of Mt. Iron kicking things off at 9:15 p.m. and presenting the sounds of timeless rock and roll and original American roots music with hints of Motown, swing, and classic country.  Josh Palmi and The Strange Frequencies take the stage at 10:15.  A bluesy rock band featuring singer/songwriter Josh Palmi, Pike-Sandy harmonica ace Al "Trapper" Ranfranz, Craig Lasart on bass and Chris Hanson on drums, they released their debut CD earlier this year.  Ely area band Crazy Neighbors manned by Aaron Kaercher, Pat Hawkinson, Kyle Westrick, and Derek Rolando bring it on home at 11:15.

Formed in 2008 by a loose coalition of local musicians, the non-profit IROMA has worked for years to spotlight Iron Range bands and musicians writing original music, and this Multi Venue Fall Showcase represents a continued commitment to growing and celebrating our vibrant local music scene – it’s truly something of which we can all be very proud.  Performances at all three venues are free and open to the public, and merchandise from many of the artists will be available.  As always, amateur photographers are encouraged to attend, and information on IROMA and all the performers is readily available online.  IROMA would like to thank the members of our community for their continued support of original local live music on The Range.

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