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Feb 15, 2010

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Americana Bands Have Minnesota Roots

Americana Bands Have Minnesota Roots

The upcoming Americana Showcase concert Feb. 20 at Rochester Civic Theatre might be called the “Minnesota-cana Showcase.”

All three bands for the show — Sawtooth Bluegrass Band, Urban Hillbilly Quartet and Six Mile Grove — have deep Minnesota roots.

The Sawtooth Bluegrass Band is made up of two sets of teenage brothers: the Moravecs from Rochester and the Birtzers from Rosemount. Among the awards won by the individual members, Clint Birtzer was the 2009 Minnesota state flatpicking champion.

The Urban Hillbilly Quartet is led by St. Paul schoolteacher Erik Brandt. The band started at a jam session in 1995 in St. Paul, and has gone on to record eight albums influenced by bands such as the Jayhawks and Uncle Tupelo. The band’s latest album is “Bring in the Sails.”

Six Mile Grove hails from Lyle, where the band started in 1997. Through constant playing, including dates in Nashville, Six Mile Grove has built up a reputation as a band that does music the right way. The latest album is “Steel Mule.” Brandon Sampson of Six Mile Grove is the host for the Americana Showcase series.

Tickets are $17.50 in advance, $22 the day of the show; 282-8481. Music starts at 7:30 p.m.

Tom Weber, Post Bulletin Reporter

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