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Artist Archive

Many artist made up the West Bank music scene. We have included a selection of the artists featured in the book for you to check out below.


Bill Hinkley and Judy Larson

For nearly five decades, Bill Hinkley and Judy Larson have entertained audiences both near and far. Since their earliest days together in The Sorry Muthas – which also included Papa John Kolstad, Cal Hand, and Bob Stelnicki – they have been known for their musical talents, repertoire, humor, and audience interaction.

Garrison Keillor has frequently helped Hinkley and Larson find a wider audience through his A Prairie Home Companion radio show. Hinkley and Larson have also played regular weekly gigs at a number of West Bank venues over the years, and their jug band (under a variety of names) has competed for the coveted waffle iron at the Battle of the Jugbands all 23 years of the competition.

In 1999, Hinkley was inducted into the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame. The next year, Hinkley and Larson received a lifetime achievement award from the Minnesota Bluegrass and Old-time Music Association. They both continue to perform at various West Bank venues and beyond.

Dakota Dave Hull

“Hailed by everyone from Dave Van Ronk to Doc Watson, from the Washington Post to downbeat, Dakota Dave Hull’s guitar style spans a wide musical geography to create an infectious, uniquely personal blend of jazz, ragtime, folk, blues, Western swing, and vintage pop. Dakota Dave is a restlessly curious, adventurous traveler along the broad highway of America’s music. In his playing the masters speak, but in a vocabulary that is Dave’s alone: alternatively mirthful and moving, always melodic.”

From Hull’s website

Eddie Berger
Eddie Berger

Jazz saxophonist Eddie Berger recalls he had to “keep lying about playing jazz,” – calling it (depending on what people wanted to hear) polka, rock, or dance music – in order to play the love of his life, bebop.

His Philadelphia quartet, the Continentals, played throughout the 1950s in Philadelphia and across the Midwest. They also frequented Las Vegas during the days of the Rat Pack and Frank Sinatra. During the 1970s, Eddie Berger and the Jazz All-Stars played at Minneapolis venues ranging from the Riverview Cafe and the Rainbow Gallery on the West Bank to William’s Pub and the Artist’s Quarter; they also recorded three albums.

A long-time broadcaster, Berger hosted a jazz show on KFAI Radio for more than 20 years. In 2006, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Artist’s Quarter in downtown St. Paul.

Mary DuShane
Mary DuShane

Fiddler Mary DuShane got hooked on old-time string band music when she heard Jean Ritchie and Doc Watson at a Guthrie Theater concert in Minneapolis in 1962. After ealry work in Minneapolis with Steven Gammell and Rod Bellville, DuShane took up the fiddle until 1968, learning fiddle techniques from Bill Hinkley.

DuShane played at the New Riverside Cafe’s grand opening in October 1970, and frequently sat in with the old-timey Bellville Band and with the jug band Mama’s Home Cooking. She later went electric in Fool’s Gold, and played in Bandana with Trashmen drummer/singer Steve Wahrer, author of the 1960s hit “Surfin’ Bird.” In the 1970s, she toured the country with Mad Jack and the Black Label Boys (Pop Wagner, Bob Bovee, and Bob Douglas) and played in the Powdermilk Bisquit Band, the house band on MRP’s A Prairie Home Companion.

DuShane continues to play in jug bands such as the Geezers, has a duo with with fellow Bisquit Band member Adam Granger, and plays in the contra dance band Peter, Bob And Mary.

Papa John Kolstad
Papa John Kolstad and Cadillac Kolstad

Connecting the thread between the West Bank sounds of the past and the present, “Papa” John Kolstad and his son, Andrew “Cadillac” Kolstad, mine a wealth of old songs using different approaches. John is a blues and swing guitar player and singer currently fronting the The Hot Club of East Lake, while Cadillac wows local audiences with his boogie-woogie piano work.

John has been on the music scene for forty years. During the 1960s, John lived and played on the West Bank with various bands, most notably The Sorry Muthas, whose 1971 album, Greatest Hits Vol. 3, was recently reissued on CD.

A staunch and savvy preservationist of both music and culture, Cadillac performs at various venues around town, including Palmer’s Bar on the West Bank, where he helps to keep the neighborhood’s music tradition alive.

John Kolstad’s Mill City Music website

Cadillac’s myspace page

Pop Wagner
Pop Wagner

Pop has quite the reputation as a singer, picker, lasso twirler and downright funny guy.

He appeared quite frequently on Minnesota Public Radio’s A Prairie Home Companion during the show’s formative years, and for the last quarter century he has worked his cowboy magic throughout 44 states and ten countries.

His cowboy anthems crackle with the warmth of a prairie campfire and his old time fiddle tunes set toes a-tappin’ while he serves up spellbinding rope tricks and tall stories—all with a good dose of friendly humor.

From Pop’s website

John Koener
Spider John Koerner

“Spider” John Koerner, traditional American folk and country blues musician, rhythmic guitarist, song-crafter, singer, and humorist, shapes his musical style from a solid foundation of study of the old blues masters, respect for the traditional song, and a firm command of his source material.

For Koerner’s calendar, booking information and more, go to his website.

photo of glover with cat
Tony Glover

Tony Glover has been a performing musician and writer since 1962. In the mid-1960s, he recorded and toured as part of the seminal folk-blues trio, Koerner, Ray & Glover. In the late 1980s, he and Dave Ray began regular duo gigs, appearing with artists like John Lee Hooker, J J Cale and B B King.

Glover is also a prolific music writer. He has authored three books of harmonica instruction, as well as album liner notes and countless feature articles and book and record reviews for publications as diverse as Junior Scholastic, Music Journal, CREEM and Rolling Stone. In 2000, his booklet notes for the CD release Bob Dylan Live 1966 won the ASCAP-Deems Taylor award. A biography of the harmonica great Little Walter, Blues With A Feeling, researched and co-written by Glover, was published in 2002 by Routledge Press.

Glover now plays frequently with his acoustic trio, V3, in the Twin Cities area, and does occasional gigs with Spider John Koerner as well.

Glover’s website

Tony Paul

Tony Paul is well-known on the West Bank and throughout the Twin Cities as a former percussionist for Shangoya. Founded in 1973, Shangoya was instrumental in bringing reggae and Trinidad calypso music to the Twin Cities, helping establish the World music scene here and spreading its sound throughout the Midwest.

Over its 31-year history, the band featured numerous musicians from Trinidad, Tobago, Antigua, Jamaica, Panama, Venezuela, Uganda and the United States. Shangoya released several independent recordings, including the 7-inch Mocojumbie, which featured the B-side \”Get A Grip,\” written and sung by Peter Himmelman (who was recruited by Shangoya shortly after he performed a \”dance spectacle\” at his first Shangoya show).

In addition to his musical career, Tony Paul is a co-founder and programmer of KFAI Radio\’s Shake & Bake show, a weekly world music program currently in its ninteenth year. Paul also performs at the Minneapolis Eagles Club and around the Twin Cities with the Lawless Walleyes.

Willie Murphy
Willie Murphy

For more than 30 years, Willie Murphy has been fashioning a blues and R&B legacy in the Twin Cities and beyond. He produced Bonnie Raitt’s first album, Women Be Wise, (which featured contributions from him and his band, the Bees, as well as from Spider John Koerner). His 1969 collaboration with Koerner, Running Jumping Standing Still, is widely acclaimed as an psychedelic/folk/blues classic. Throughout the 1970s and the 1980s, Willie and the Bees defined live R&B music in the Twin Cities with their category-defying mix of blues, R&B, jazz, funk, reggae, and rock. He has toured widely, including performances throughout North America and in Italy, France, New Zealand, and Turkey.

In 1990, the Minnesota Music Academy enshrined Murphy as one of the three charter members (with Bob Dylan and Prince) of the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame.

Willie’s website