Traditionally communities along the Meander Upper Minnesota River Art Crawl have hosted opening night events, along with the annual cultural offering on Saturday night by the Dawson-Boyd Arts Association, and on the upcoming Meander, there is more of the same. At the Dawson Memorial Auditorium the Wild Goose Chase Cloggers, and their band, Chicken Sedan, will perform starting at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 30. On Friday night of the Meander, September 29, both Granite Falls and Watson will host events open to the public.
In Watson, the Brothers2 will perform at a free-will concert beginning at 7 p.m. at the iconic Watson Town Hall. Lee and Don Kanten, members of the Mid America Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as members of Clutch and the Shifters, will offer a vast mix of classic hits from the 60s and 70s along with some special surprises. Said Lee Kanten, “I have contacted my cousin, Mike Jorgenson about doing a tribute to the Big Bend Barn Dance in the middle of our act. Juanita Kanten is one of the last remaining singers who we hope will join us to sing along on a couple of numbers from their old song list. I think this will be a fun night for people.”
The Kantens typically offer a blend of their vast guitar licks with practiced harmony in a non-stop play list that is varied and unpredictable. This will be the second year the Granite Falls Arts Council will offer their “Musical Chairs” event that combines an old fashioned movable feast with music. A big change this year, said Mary Gillespie, executive director of the Granite Falls Chamber of Commerce, is that one ticket will cover all six food courses, live music at each of the stops, the bus shuttle and a chance to win one of four pieces of original art by a Meander artist.
While not all of the music for the stops have been secured, here is a look at the various stops and what can be expected:
• 5:30-8 p.m. Plaza near the footbridge, or inside 807 Prentice St., at the K.K. Berge Building, one free glass of wine or soft drink;
• 5:30-8 p.m. Granite Bowl, 130 7th Ave., appetizers;
• 6– 8 p.m. American Legion, 60 6th Ave., salad course;
• 6:30-8:30 p.m. Dallas II, Hwy 212 E., soup course;
• 7-9 PM Granite Run Golf Course, 5522 Hwy 67, the entree;
• and from 8-10 p.m. at The Rock, 1940 11th Ave., Granite’s newest restaurant, dessert.
Said Gillespie, “Tickets are on sale here at the Chamber office in the Berge Building. The tickets will allow you to go to as many of the stops as you want, or as few.” Phone 320-564-4039 for ticket information. Performing arts director Luanne Fondell says the performance of the Wild Goose Chance Cloggers at the Memorial Auditorium in Dawson was a coup for the Arts Association, especially since the original act cancelled due to an Asian tour. “These dancers are amazing — and fun!” she said. The cloggers group is a non-profit educational organization based in Minnesota with a mission to promote and sustain interest in traditional Appalachian clogging.
The Wild Goose Chase Cloggers was established in 1979 and consist of 13 energetic dancers accompanied by the lively music of Chicken Sedan. According to the group’s website, clogging is an American style of dance that, like so many American folk styles, has its roots in the Appalachian region of the south. Clogging itself comes from three separate traditions. The type of foot movements derive from early African-American buck dancing, or flat-footing, which featured percussion created by foot movements and hand and body slapping.
Plantations in North America eventually outlawed slaves from playing drums, but permitted the percussive sound of the banjo. Buck dancing usually accompanied the fiddle and banjo pairing and created even more percussion to the combination. The other components of clogging are English step dancing, and Native American dance, particularly from the Cherokee. Tickets are available at the door or online at www.dawsonboydarts.org.
For more information, contact the box office at 320-312-2311. “While the Meander is about the artists,” said Kristi Link Fernholz, Meander coordinator with the Upper Minnesota Valley RDC in Appleton, “we welcome these add-on, after-hour events because they’re fun for those who come here for the three-day Meander, and this certainly holds true for all of living locally. We see it as all a part of the celebration of the arts in the Minnesota River Valley.”