The Imbibe Sessions begin breathing, singing life into quiet GF city streets

Jess Gorman
Staff Writer
Joe Flip performs to a packed lawn at the Volstead House museum.

Bluenose Gopher Public House working in conjunction with the Granite Area Arts Council as a program partner and fiscal sponsor, has started the first in a six part series of public music performances.

The Imbibe Sessions are a series of tailored unique music offerings and education events that highlight not just musical talents but also the personal journey of each participating artist, and the history of their musical genre. In addition, the sessions hope to open an opportunity to explore how music and other parts of our social existence interact and influence each other.

The long term hope is this will become an ongoing yearly series that will focus on a different theme to explore each year. For 2020, in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the Volstead Act, the theme is prohibition and how the featured musical genres have influenced or been influenced by social prohibitions. There are five more sessions coming, including New Orleans Jazz with Miss Myra on July 14, Folk/Americana with Brian Laidlaw on August 4, Classic Country with the great Sherwin Linton on September 8, Alternative Country with David Allen on October 13, and Blues Rock with Corey Medina on November 17.

Covid-19 temporarily shut down the original host venue - Bluenose Gopher Public House, a local cooperative tap house who received the grant to make the project possible. The first Imbibe Session with musician Joe Flip was graciously hosted by the Granite Falls Historical Society on the picturesque Volstead House lawn. A hearty thank you was also extended during opening speeches to the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council for the grant funding that made this series possible.

Another exciting aspect of the series is local original art created in a concert poster fashion, offering limited edition, high quality posters that are available for sale. The posters are signed by both the participating musician and the poster artist. After covering printing costs, proceeds from these posters are returned to the poster artist to help support their efforts. The poster artist for the Joe Flip session is Cole Behrends, from Lakefield, MN.

Tuesday night performer Joe Flip was born and raised in Minnesota, and now performs at over 150 shows per year around the Midwest. Joe is now receiving international radio-play and recognition for his many talents. His new album, ‘Tin Can Tunes’, can be heard on radio stations around the world, reaching #2 on the Radio Charts and nominated for ‘Acoustic Blues Album of the Year’ by Blues Blast Magazine. His custom oil can guitars, called ‘Hayburners’, have been sold all over the world. Not only content with performing, Joe also serves as a music teacher and promoter of ‘Blues for Kids’, a music education program he created at the non-profit organization ‘Discover Music’. The program is known for organizing workshops at schools and festivals with the mission of teaching children of all ages about the Blues music genre with harmonica and guitar.

Musician Joe Flip plays from Volstead House porch.