Posts Tagged ‘Live Music’


This weekend, August 21-23 is the 1st Annual DigIN Festival in Decorah, IA. The Decorah Iowa Green Initiative (DigIN) is a chance for you to visit our awesome little corner of Northeast Iowa and see what’s happening with progressive green and sustainable technologies. Check out the full schedule at www.digindecorah.com – and come to Decorah this weekend. Registration & maps will be available throughout Saturday for the sustainable farm & home tours, and the KDEC Green Expo on Sunday, August 23 will provide a chance for everyone to check out the latest and greatest in green technology.

Check out these great events throughout the weekend:fresh_poster_small

Friday August 21 – 8pm – Street Dance with the Foot-Notes. Washington St. near Water Street (across from the Hotel Winneshiek). Rain location at the Elks Lodge in Decorah – corner of River & Main near Viking State Bank.

Saturday August 22 – all day! Sustainable Farm & Home Tours. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION. Special tours of homes and farms featuring sustainable technologies – also great efvents annd tours at the Seed Savers Exchange in rural Decorah both Saturday and Sunday!

Saturday Night August 22 – Screening of ‘FRESH’ the movie – 8pm, Decorah High School auditorium – free for registered DigIN members, $5 for non-registrants. ALSO Saturday evening – A Garden Party with Maritza at the home & gardens of David Cavagnaro- 7pm. Click Here for more details!

Sunday August 23 - The KDEC Green Expo at the Winneshiek Co. Fair Grounds 11am-4pm. Green businesses will show off their products and services and two informational seminar tents will have programs throughout the day! FREE for all – don’t miss this great chance to speak to professionals from across the spectrum and learn more about cutting edge green technology and sustainability.

SEE YOU at the first annual DigIN Festival this weekend in Decorah!

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The August / September issue of Inspire(d) is quickly coming together here at the Oak Street HQ. As you can see at left, our cover features a beautiful painting by Doug Eckheart of the Borlaug family farm – and you’ll find a feature story by Aryn all about Dr. Norman Borlaug, the upcoming Harvest festivities in Cresco, and more.

Speaking of Festivities – there is also a ton of great information in this issue about digIN, the new green festival in Decorah August 21-23. Check out profiles of Off-the-Grid Homes and sustainable farms that you can tour, musical events, great local food, details on the KDEC Green Expo, and a bounty of other things!

Of course we have all the regular reviews, a piece on old tractors, Froelich, and Mabel/Hesper Steam Engine days by Benji, State Fair tidbits – and the list goes on….

As you may have seen or heard us say, we are dangerously close to honing in our new website for it’s launch. We’re not ready to spill the beans yet, but we have to say we’re pretty darn excited about it and we think you will be too!

Better get back to finishing up the magazine – Until it meets you on stands…….

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Summer in NE Iowa just wouldn’t be summer without a beautiful evening in Highlandville with the Foot-Notes. Don’t miss your chance to waltz your heart out on the worn floorboards of the  school house this Saturday night – July 18,  8pm-11pm. Check the website for more info & directions to the Highlandville School House.

The Foot-Notes will also be performing at Nordic Fest both Friday & Saturday, July 24 & 25, for evening Street Dances. Visit Decorah for a GREAT weekend!

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Jeni Grouws and Friends Live
at the Winneshiek County Fair,
Tuesday, July 7th at 7 p.m.

(missing from picture: Benji Nichols, Nori Hadley & Jessica Breed
Photo courtesy of Silver Moon Photography online at www.silvermoonimages.com)

The Winneshiek County Fair will open Tuesday night with grandstand entertainment from “Jeni Grouws and Friends.” The eclectic show will include over 25 local performers, many being selected from Winneshiek County Schools to perform on the grandstand stage this Tuesday night, July 7th, at 7pm.

“I can tell you, from the auditions of those selected to perform, this is going to be one fantastic night of live, local music!” said show organizer Jeni Grouws.

Those chosen to perform at the Grandstand during Jeni Grouws and Friends include: Joseph Sir, Cresco, Annalise Johnson, Decorah Schools, Buck Towne, Hesper, Lynnae Bigler, Decorah, Miriah Hageman, South Winneshiek Schools, the group of Paul Sullivan, Anders Wahlberg and Lucas Bleckenberg, all of Decorah Schools, the Eric Anderson Family Band, Lime Springs, Siri Hedestrom, Decorah, Kalissa Georgia, Turkey Valley Schools, Ethan Adams, South Winneshiek Schools, Juan Pagaza, Decorah and Aggie Schoening, Chester.

These area performers will be backed on songs that range from pop to country, blues to bluegrass by an All Star Band made up of Benji Nichols, Lloyd Bolz, Mark Stumme, Erik Berg, Jessica Breed, Nori Hadley, David Lester, and Jeni Grouws. Jeni Grouws and Friends Live at the Winneshiek County Fair will also feature selected songs from Grouws’ EP “Scenic Route”, crowd favorite cover songs and even a fun tribute to the great ladies of country music.

The show  is this  Tuesday night, July 7th from  7-9pm. It’s going to be an incredible showcase of this area’s talent and you won’t want to miss a moment of Jeni Grouws and Friends Live at the Winneshiek County Fair! Entry to the show requires a Winneshiek County Fair Button, which can be purchased at various locations in the area and at the fair. For more information on the Winneshiek County Fair visit www.winneshiekcountyfair.com.

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The DeWayn Brothers

Live @ Cafe Magpie – Tuesday, June 9, 2009  – 7pm to 10pm

FREE SHOW – donations requested for the band

BYOB or enjoy great summer coffee, tea drinks, sandwhiches, and treats during the show at Cafe Magpie.

DeWaynSkitoFrom the front porch of the Flinthills in East Central Kansas comes The DeWayn Brothers. “After more than two years of touring across the U.S. in a conspicuous 42-foot bus, we’ve sure had our run-ins with a good deal more than just the law! We’ve evaded cops in Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Texas, blazed through nine inches of snow in Illinois, and made it through 110° New Mexican heat. We’ve survived sunburns on the beaches of New Jersey, a shooting in Tulsa, lost brakes on a mountain road in Idaho, and all the hazards of big city driving. We’re not complainin’, though, because The DeWayn Brothers’ style bluegrass is spreadin’ like a ragin’ fire.”

The DeWayn Brothers are a fast-paced insurgent bluegrass band that draw influences from old-timey bluegrassers, modern punk, heavy metal, blues, and good ol’ rock and roll. Simply put, they’re not your grandpa’s bluegrass, but you can bet even he will be tappin’ his feet and singin’ along. DeWayn_Bros_Jaime

From bar-room brawls and drugs, to murder and mayhem, the DeWayn Brothers draw inspiration from their time on the road and from the people they meet. The DeWayn Brothers are all songwriters, and they’ve all got stories to tell. Rippin Mandolin, Smokin Banjo, Fierce Guitar, Poundin Bass, and the most powerful voice in the midwest.  DEWAYN!!


The Dewayn Brothers have 5 albums under their belts and hundreds of shows including appearences at Wakarusa and opening for artists like Ralph Stanley, Leftover Salmon, Hot Buttered Rum, and Tea Leaf Green.

“With possibly the best female vocalist in the midwest, Jamie Lee belts out songs of lost loves and bad guys, to The Boy singing about death and drinking or just picking a good ol’ banjo song about gettin rabies from your own dog DeWayn is pushing their Kansgrass sound all over the country. With Josh Finley possibly one of the fastest mando players in the country and an incredible artist added to the mix you would think he was an 80’s shredder not a bluegrass mandolin player.” (from – http://www.lawrence.com)

Don’t miss your chance to see this great grasss roots midwestern band at one of Decorah’s most unique establishments!

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Inspire(d) would like to thank everyone that came out to help shake down the Steyer Opera House with the Diplomats of Solid Sound! A huge thanks to KDEC-FM 100.5, The Hotel Winneshiek, The Diplomats of Solid Sound, and of course everyone who came out to the show. Here are a few pictures from the show:







Again, a huge thanks to all that came out for this show! Cheers!

photos: Benji & Aryn Nichols, Inspire(d) Media LLC

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wwo_adThis Weekend, April 17-18 is Women’s Weekend Out in Decorah! Come experience Decorah at it’s best – with great events, shopping, music, dining, style & jewelry shows, and more. Visit the Decorah Area Chamber of Commerce for information on this great weekend, accomodations, listings of specials, and details on how to register and receive a special bag with tons of coupons, specials, and more! See you in Decoraaaaah!


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April/May Inspire(d) Magazine on stands by March 28!

Featuring: David Cavagnaro & The Pepperfield Project, a chat with the New Zealand String Quartet, The Decorah Community Free Clinic, David Faldet’s ‘Oneota Flow‘, Roger Brooks (Destination Development) amazing tourism statistics come to Winn Co., Brownsville artist Sara Lubinski, reviews, calendars, live music round up, festival news, the Probituary, and more!!!

A huge thank you to all of our advertisers, supporters, readers, and fans from across the Driftless Region and the country! We hope you enjoy this new issue of Inspire(d) Magazine. If you’d like to subscribe – email benji@theinspiredmedia.com.

March 26, 2009 – 3:15AM – 24 degrees F

Greetings Inspire(d)ville!

As March makes one more chilly pass at us, Aryn and I are dangerously close to putting our April/May issue “to bed.” Itnever fails to be

Spring Frost Breaker - March 2009 - 412 Oak - (B. Nichols)

Spring Frost Breaker - March 2009 - 412 Oak - (B. Nichols)

an exciting process, this magazine making that we love so much. It was just Tuesday evening that I snapped this picture off of our porch – the air was incredibly balmy and fresh – like all of the frost decided to float out of the ground and create the most luscious amber air. We often joke about making a new logo for ourselves with bunnies & unicorns & rainbows on it – and we would truly be making mad fun of ourselves, except that there was the most amazing rainbow Tuesday evening, just as I was about to put the camera away. I didn’t see any unicorns, and we haven’t found a pot of gold yet, but we hope that this issue of Inspire(d) will help bring in a beautiful new season of Spring, growth, community, and beautiful weather. Thanks for tuning in – please stop back again soon as I’ll be posting more stories here throughout the next week – and – we truly are in the process of relaunching www.theinspiredmedia.com into something spectacular. Keep an eye out for us this Spring – and for bunnies & rainbows. Over and out for now, we’ve got a magazine to finish…       -benji

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Harlem Gospel Choir

Harlem Gospel Choir

The Thing That Is Absolutely True

Benji Nichols – Inspire(d) Magazine February/March 2009

Gospel, by definition, is “the thing that is absolutely true.” It also, of course, refers to the first four books of the New Testament in the bible telling the story of Jesus’ life and teachings. But gospel music is something that brings a much more tangible presence to the joy in life that can be found each day – and it is that joy that the Harlem Gospel Choir brings to their concerts. Perhaps Pope Benedict XVI said it best: “It’s not just a show – it’s a feeling!”
It was shortly after a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday celebration in January of 1986 that Allen Bailey brought the Harlem Gospel Choir to life. Their purpose was  “bringing people and nations together and giving something back.” In fact, it is upon the words and teaching of MLK, “We can all be great, we can all serve,” that the Choir found its roots and inspiration. After 23 years of ministering and honoring the words of Dr. King, the Harlem Gospel Choir has become one of the premier gospel choirs in the world with friends and performances with or for such notable people as Pope John Paul, Pope Benedict XVI, U2, Elton John, Jimmy Cliff, Diana Ross, Lyle Lovett, Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah, and more. Yes, this group of Harlem singers has found much success in their high energy music, but sing their praises more so because, in the word’s of Allen Bailey, “Everyone needs to be inspired in these troubling times.”

President Barack Obama with Allen Bailey

President Barack Obama with Allen Bailey

The Harlem Gospel Choir will make a stop in their tour in Decorah, Iowa, on February 21 to perform at the Center for Faith and Life, continuing Luther College’s Center Stage Series. (“Oh you know, you’re out there in God’s Country!” Bailey says of Decorah and the Midwest.)
Throughout the years, the gospel choir has toured all over the US and world. From incredibly diverse urban areas like New York, to rather distant rural communities like Decorah, the Harlem Gospel Choir shares their vision and words. Some places and audiences may never have heard gospel music before, but that doesn’t mean they won’t like it.
“People are very receptive, and love to learn about our music, and our culture, as we do theirs. Gospel music – it transcends – regions, cultures, language; it crosses borders – that’s the amazing thing about gospel music,” Bailey says.
Crossing borders is something the Choir knows quite a bit about – they have visited no less than 15 countries, including a tour just last year of Eastern Europe and Asia to countries where English is not the first language.
“We were in Lebanon, Slovakia, Bulgaria, and Korea this past year, and you know, the crowd doesn’t all understand our words, but they understand what we are saying. I looked out and saw tears coming down the cheeks and you know they get it,” says Bailey.
The Choir stays true to their mission of  “bringing people and nations together and giving something back” by contributing profits from their concerts to Children’s charities in a variety of places and countries.
“We believe young people are the future,” stresses Bailey. “That is also why the Harlem Gospel Choir primarily raises funds for children’s charities – children are the future. But we also have to teach them to give back.”
Born and raised in Harlem, Bailey’s parents worked hard and had little money, but brought their children up in the church and taught them to contribute to their community and the world.
“We would go to church on Sunday and after my Mother would help cook dinner at the church – everyone would eat,” Bailey says. “We really received a lot from the church, as everyone did, but we also learned that you had to give back – that’s how it works.”
Even after going on to have a very successful career in the entertainment world as a promotional director and advance man for major recording artists and film stars, as well as organizing several large-scale entertainment events, Allen Bailey came back to this idea. He found that his upbringing and history held strong, and he returned to his roots in the church, that of gospel music, and the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“Last year we sang at an event for President Obama in Harlem, and a lot of people were like ‘who is this guy from Chicago’ because Bill Clinton has an office in Harlem – they’re very well known here – but sitting back stage speaking with Mr. Obama you could just feel it – I saw Dr. King in him, and I knew he was going to be the next president,” says Bailey.
Like the great excitement that has built around the election of President Obama, the Harlem Gospel Choir also builds excitement through their shows. Consider yourself warned by the MC himself to wear comfortable shoes to the concert: “We’ll have our fifteen member choir with us on this tour plus a drummer and keyboard player. Our crowds are on their feet and moving! It is high-energy music, and our music is for everyone. Everyone can find inspiration in gospel music, and everyone can use a little inspiration.”

The Harlem Gospel Choir

The Harlem Gospel Choir

The Harlem Gospel Choir can be seen live in Decorah at the Center for Faith and Life, February 21, at 7:30 pm. For tickets and information call (563) 387-1357, email boxoffice@luther.edu, or visit http://www.luther.edu/programming.

Benji Nichols was introduced to gospel music by one of his best college friends and an amazing singer, Maureen Murphy, who was a member of the Berklee Gospel Choir and Ensemble. He plans to ‘give it up’ at the Harlem Gospel Choir show while wearing very comfortable shoes.

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inaugurationcelebration_emaillTuesday, January 20th, 2009 – Join your friends, family, and community at this incredible local event sponsored by the Sustainable Future Network! 4:30-6:30  \  7pm-11pm, Hotel Winneshiek, Downtown Decorah

Get the ball rolling with your vision for a better future and have fun doing it!
4:30pm – Town Hall Meeting– A fun community conversation to build on the new president’s vision and create sustainable communities in northeast Iowa and southeast Minnesota. Held in the ballroom, 2nd floor, of the Hotel Winneshiek in Decorah. All are welcome to bring their thoughts to this discussion. Young people are encouraged to participate! No cost. Please RSVP to be part of this event to corbinconsulting@gmail.com, or join the Sustainable Future Network for free here and RSVP on line . http://sustainablefuturenetwork.ning.com/
7:00pm – Inaugural Ball to celebrate the swearing in of President Barack Obama at the Hotel Winneshiek Opera House. Local musicians The Benefits with openers Done Doing Laundry. Information tables, cash bar, great music, and a historic night! Entry fee is a suggested $10 per person. For more info contact corbinconsulting@gmail.com.

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