Music has always been a big part of my life, and I suppose it’s no big surprise that I fell in love with a musician. For the past few years, Wednesday nights at Nye’s have been a regular part of our social life. My husband met Molly Maher and Paul Bergen through work - Willie’s Guitars in St. Paul. Molly, Erik, and Paul have all played various fundraisers and events at Altered Esthetics, incredibly supportive of not just Nick, but me as well. In addition to common creative interests we’ve all become good friends; when Nick’s mom passed away a few years ago we found solace and support in this music community. A considerable amount of whiskey and tunes have been shared at various gigs over the past few years. Molly was the officiant at our wedding when Nick and I got hitched last September... and last month we gathered together to mourn the untimely loss of a friend and colleague. Though I don’t make it to every show I want to, I’ve been continually and incredibly grateful for this group of friends. And with the talent and warmth that radiates from this group, it’s really no surprise to me that there would be big things to come.
Last November, I had the opportunity to experience an incredible new project, coordinated by none other than our friends from the Nye’s crowd.
Intended to be a radio music showcase (think “Prairie Home Companion” but with good music and without the cheesiness. No offense, Mr. Keillor) the first Radio Phonic was scheduled for November 10th - and with a stellar location and lineup. Erik Koskinen and the Real-Phonic band, Ashleigh Still, and Bo Ramsey would all be taking stage at the historic James J. Hill Library in St. Paul. An event most certainly not to be missed.
I arrived to the Hill library mere moments before the event was about to start, and quickly secured a Summit from the bar before heading over to take a seat. The aura of the room was amazing. Whatever chaos and planning happened behind the scenes preceding the event dissipated into the air as the crowd settled and the show began.
Thom greeted the audience from the second floor, walked downstairs, and the next hour passed by tremendously quickly. Erik led the show in and out with a few songs, including a catchy jingle he wrote for the program. The guest artists were amazing. Apparently every song Ashleigh Still sings makes me weepy, and Bo Ramsey seemed even more of a legend, solidly delivering in front of a wall of history.
Almost continually surrounded by creatives, it’s easy sometimes to take music and artistic experiences for granted. I’ve grown to really appreciate the times when I’m completely swept away by creative moments. Real-Phonic was one of those times.
The third session of Real-Phonic is scheduled for Thursday February 23rd - this time in Minneapolis. The program will be gracing the stage of the Cedar Cultural Center on the West Bank - something that makes me double giddy. And the lineup ain't so bad - Randy Weeks, Julia Klatt Singer, and Dead Man Winter!
You can find out more by visiting: realphonic.com.
This post was originally written for the 365 Music Project, and has been updated and reposted here for the upcoming show.
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