The Steele County Historical Society is pleased to welcome the American Showcase on Friday, Jan. 30 in the Wenger Room of the History Center at 1700 Austin Road, Owatonna.

There are three performers scheduled to play that evening: Bethany Larson, Ben Kyle and Brandon Sampson.

Contact Laura Resler at the STEELE COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY to learn more.

Bethany Larson is one of Twin Cities' best-kept secrets as declared by Twin Cities Metro, bringing a preacher’s daughter from Austin, Minn., to the forefront of the local music scene. Bethany grew up with three older brothers singing in the church choir. She picked up the guitar at 15 and, during her college years, trained in classical voice. She began writing songs and soon after hit the stage. In the process of recording her sophomore album, she joined forces with the “Bee’s Knees” – composed of her brother, Chris Larson, on guitar, keyboards and backing vocals; Sara Horishnyk on drums; and Sam Johnson on bass.

 

 

Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, but embracing the musical roots of North America upon his family's move to Minneapolis in his teens, Ben Kyle is well known as the songwriter-frontman behind the beloved alt-country band Romantica, as well as a distinctive solo and collaborative musical voice.He has won numerous songwriting awards and his recordings have been critically heralded: PASTE Magazine named Romantica’s album, America, "One of the Best Albums of the Year." And American Songwriter has called his latest release "Perfect." Ryan Adams, Alejandro Escovedo, Sara Watkins (of Nickel Creek) and Dan Wilson are just some of the artists who have collaborated with Kyle and his album of duets with Austin, Texas, roots sweetheart Carrie Rodriguez, We Still Love Our Country, was a big hit with Americana Radio in 2011.

 

Brandon Sampson’s musical career started in the small town of Lyle, Minn., (pop. 500) with a skid loader and a fence post, when he was 7 years old. He injured his hand when helping his dad on the family farm. The physician recommended guitar playing for rehabilitation, and a few weeks later, Sampson came home from the music store with a new guitar. His younger brother, Brian, threw a fit, and was appeased with a shiny drum set. And so the seeds of Six Mile Grove were planted.

The brothers spent years pounding away on their instruments in the kitchen of their great-grandmother’s old house, as well as singing in church with their mom, an organist and devoted music lover. Soon Brian’s friend Barry, from across the woods, wanted to join the noise, and so his years of piano lessons began paying off. The boys realized they would need a bass player, put an ad in the paper, and dug up Dezi Wallace from the “big city” of Austin, Minn., who arrived courtesy of his mom, as he did not yet have a driver’s license. As part of Six Mile Grove, Sampson has performed with Johnny Cash’s guitarist, Bob Wootton. He will be solo for this performance, but he carries his Six Mile Grove roots and musicianship with him.

We’re very excited to bring the Americana Showcase to the History Center. This is a wonderful opportunity for our guests to hear some amazing music in an intimate setting. It is again proof of our community’s engagement in the arts and culture of our area and we’re honored to be a part of that.

-Laura Resler, director of the Steele County Historical Society

A social hour will start at 6:30 p.m. with a cash beer and wine bar available. The music will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the History Center Wenger Room. Tickets are required and may be purchased either in advance at the History Center office or at the door the evening of the performance. The cost is $20 for nonmembers and $15 for SCHS members. This concert is sponsored by Legacy Signs, Mohs Contracting, Northwestern Mutual and Kato Roofing. All proceeds benefit the Steele County Historical Society.