Back for its third year, the Stillwater Live Music Days celebrates live music venues in downtown Stillwater with a weekend of local and regional bands June 26-29.
“When this started three years ago, it was to help fill the void of Lumberjack Days,” event organizer Paul Barber said.
BAM Productions, Barber’s music booking company, works with bars and venues across the St. Croix Valley, and Barber heard concerns from downtown businesses that they would lose summer business without the yearly festival.
“It can be tough for the businesses downtown, and thin during the winter,” Barber said. “This was a way to help boost the businesses by drawing people in.
”Nine venues will feature 30 bands throughout the weekend, with no cover at any of the venues.
“You might want to go see one show at one place, then mosey on down to another,” Barber said. Barber got the idea to organize the music event from the South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas.
“It’s like a mini South by Southwest (in) that all the acts are in a bar or on the patio instead of a public park,” Barber said. “Drinks and things to eat are right there at the bar anyway, and these local businesses get the residuals from the customers.”
Water Street Inn, The Freighthouse, Brines, Green Room, Pub 112, Madcapper, Shanghai Bistro and Luna Rossa will all feature live music acts during the weekend. P.D. Pappy’s was scheduled to host a band, but it is closed due to flooding. In previous years, Stillwater Live Music Days was held during the last weekend in July, but this year Barber moved it to the end of June to make way for the Stillwater Log Jam.
“When the Log Jam started, I had businesses ask to keep doing Stillwater Live Music Days,” Barber said. “It’s just a good shot in the arm to the downtown.”
The acts span many genres of music, from Blues to Classic Rock to Indie Rock to Americana.
“There is something for everyone to enjoy,” Barber said. “Tumblin’ Dice is probably the greatest Rolling Stones cover band in the Twin Cities, and they are playing at Shanghai Bistro.”
The 30 musicians and bands playing throughout the weekend are The Tommy Bentz Band, Paisley Road, Thistle & Rose, Sons of Soul, Eric Olson, Two Right Brains, The J.B. Stone Band, Josh Lassi, Jen Wanovich, Critical Mass, Bad Girlfriend, Steve Daly, Dave Bettie, High & Mighty, The Kurt Jorgensen Band, Andrea Jeitz, Michael Zimmerman, The Modern Era, Missing Letters, The SoupBones, Waves Collide, Ali Washington, Soul Mates, Trandy Blue, Tumblin’ Dice, Kurt Jorgensen, and Marcus Lere.
“Stillwater has a history of great live music,” Barber said. “We are just now seeing it come back.”
When Barber first started following live music in Stillwater, he said, there were only six or seven venues. Now there are closer to 13 through out the area. “It’s going to be a really fun time,” Barber said.
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