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Great music can happen without whistling pigs?

Fred Keller, at St. Paul's Union Depot

Fred Keller, at St. Paul's Union Depot

We have a very interesting show that will start airing this week and - okay, I couldn't resist having a little fun with the headline for this post.

One of our stories is about songwriter/mandolin player Fred Keller.   Those of you who regularly attend the Phelps Mill Festival or are into bluegrass music might recognize Fred as the mandolin player from the Whistlepigs String Band.  The band dissolved a few years ago, and Fred has been pursuing a solo career.

The answer to my ridiculous question is a resounding yes, of course.  As you will see when you watch our interview, Fred is a passionate historical musicologist as well as a Minnesota history buff.  He's been researching obscure stories from Minnesota's past, and setting them to his own unique musical style, developed from the southern roots of bluegrass tradition. Intelligent and very articulate about his field, and without argument an incredibly talented instrumentalist, too.

Please let us hear from you after you've seen the story.   And please share this with your friends.

 

 

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"Can Art Save Small Towns?"

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"Can Art Save Small Towns?"

Even in small town rural America we value our culture.   But it’s much more than just the dollars and “sense” of it all.   Perhaps what the arts contribute most is that important intangible – “quality of life” – that helps us enjoy the experience of living, wherever we are planted.

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A Crossroads Riddle

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A Crossroads Riddle

Here's a question for you to consider: what do a lay minister, a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution, a failed political run for Governor of Minnesota, draft horses, and one of the largest renovations of a timber-framed barn in America all have in common?  You'll find out when you watch the next episode of Lakes Country Living!

 Okay, I'll give you a hint: who is the pioneer family in this photograph?   If you think you know, post your guess.  I will answer this riddle in just a few days.   Until then, stay warm.   The next polar vortex is about to descend!

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Cross Rocks and Minnesota Nice

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Cross Rocks and Minnesota Nice

In editing a video story about Jordie's Trailside Cafe this week, we discovered we didn't have a good image of a cross rock.  Staurolite is a relatively uncommon mineral formation that occurs only in a few places, one of them right here in Minnesota, at Blanchard Dam.   It forms uniquely shaped "cross rocks" that are highly collectible.  The rocks can be "panned" in the Mississippi River, and Jordie's provides panning gear for guests, as they are a short bike ride away on the Soo Line Trail.  So it became important to have a picture to go with our story.

If cross rocks (and good pictures of them) are uncommon, one thing that Minnesota has plenty of is helpful people. We are very appreciative of the willing assistance we received from the staff at Royalton Museum, and the Little Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau further upstream, who helped us find an image we could use!  

Be sure and watch the story about Jordie's in the next episode of Lakes Country Living, or watch for the video on our YouTube Channel at LakesCountryTV.

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A New Year, A Fresh Start

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The lovely winter weather we've had has made it very easy to stay on the computer and chip away at this new website.  It was long overdue, but the three of us (Me, Myself and I) have been working hard over the holidays to get this to a point it could go "live".  I must say we're feeling pretty good about it, although there will be more content added as time permits.  My goal is to provide much more detail as well as contact info for each of the stories.   So that's one thing to look forward to in the coming months.

There will also be some very exciting news in the near future for those of you who haven't previously been able to view the show.  That's all I'm saying; just be sure to follow this blog so you'll catch the announcement when it comes.   Right now the wind chill is -43, so stay warm!   And come back soon.

 

 

 

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