Summer is the season of music festivals around the Twin Cities.  There are big ones and there are small DIY type deals.  Obviously, when attending one of the big ones, you have a chance to catch one of your favorite national acts.  The downside is the sheer hassle.  Go too small and who knows what you’re going to get?  You avoid some hassle and expense but you often end up with acts that aren’t quite ready for prime time.  Our friends at The Hook and Ladder Theater get it just right.  Year after year, Roots, Rock and Deep Blues is my favorite festival of the summer.

The formula is damn near perfect.  It takes place in and outside of The Hook’s compound in the Longfellow neighborhood of Minneapolis.  Right off the bat, that’s going to cap the size of the crowd at reasonable.  Park within a couple blocks and walk in.  Or ride a bike and they’ll valet park it for you.

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Ninth annual Roots, Rock & Deep Blues Fest blazed on Saturday with standout sets by the Peterson Brothers, Shackletons, Humbird and Mary Cutrufello.
By Chris Riemenschneider

The music between its three stages ran nonstop for nine straight hours, but the vibe was as laid-back and unfussy as ever. The lineup was loaded with niche acts who often aren’t easily categorized. The organizers, sponsors and concessionaires were almost all local and independent. And the cost for a ticket was on par with a parking fee at other big summer concerts.

But don’t just take this reviewer’s word for it that the Roots, Rock & Deep Blues Festival is consistently the coolest and most enjoyable music-led block party in Minneapolis.

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The Hook and Ladder Theater will deliver it’s 9th Annual Roots, Rock, & Deep Blues Festival on July 12th and 13th. The two-day weekend event is the most eclectic in the history of the festival and features a diverse roster of artists and genres. The festival also boasts multiple stages, including the brand new Mission Room stage, featured in Music in Minnesota.

Full Lineup for the 9th Annual Roots, Rock, and Deep Blues Festival

James “Cornbread” Harris, Sr. is a living legend. At 90 years old, the rock ‘n’ roll pioneer (also known as Jimmy “Jam” Harris, Jr.’s dad) visited The Current’s studios to record an in-studio session with Local Show host Andrea Swensson and MPR News host Tom Weber to kick off their Summer Music Series.

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Photo: Cornbread Harris performs in The Current’s studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)

lightnin-malcolm-e1460139123421When Lightnin’ Malcolm’s in the house, you better believe you’ll know it. The born and bred Mississippian cut his teeth in the ride or die juke joint scene of the American south, and grew a reputation for making so much noise, people didn’t believe it was coming from just one guy. With his One Man Band format– playing guitar and drums simultaneously, while singing– he puts lesser bluesmen to the shame. Even his genre can’t be contained, his self titled “World Roots Music” a swirling mix of rock, funk, soul, gospel, reggae and more, tethered by his blistering brand of Hill Country Blues.

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TUESDAY, MARCH 29, 2016 AT 10:02 A.M.

Patrick’s Cabaret may have just announced it’s going nomadic, but the annual Longfellow Roots, Rock & Deep-Blues Festival — the annual fundraiser for Patrick’s — will return July 16 to the intersection of Lake Street and Minnehaha Avenue in Minneapolis. The sixth annual festival will feature a variety of acts, including Spider John Koerner, Kent Burnside, Charlie Parr, Erik Koskinen Band, Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank, and more. ~

Longfellow Roots, Rock & Deep Blues Festival – 2015 Video

Longfellow Roots, Rock & Deep Blues Festival from Ubuntu Media Productions on Vimeo.

In 2015 the festival featured neighborhood restaurants, including; Gandhi Mahal, Midori’s, Le Town Talk, African Paradise, Merlin’s Rest and many more, representing an astonishing mix of offerings in the festival’s new International Food Court on Minnehaha Avenue.

The 2015 festival showcased new neighborhood businesses like Du Nord as well as long-standing neighborhood anchors like Harriet Brewing Company.

The 2015 festival featured 6 musical stages with top-notch live entertainment throughout the day/evening, including perennial festival favorites like; Kent Burnside & The New Generation, Minneapolis’ own ‘Spider’ John Koerner and Duluth’s Charlie Parr, as well as intermittently returning acts like Indiana’s gut-bucket trio Left Lane Cruiser, local Afro-funksters Black Market Brass and award winning Iowa blues artists Joe & Vicky Price.

New sounds this year included the last living Bentonian-style blues player, Mr Jimmy ‘Duck’ Holmes, from Bentonia, MS, the Toronto based punk-blues duo Catl, acclaimed composer, producer (and former Squirrel Nut Zipper band leader) Jimbo Mathus and The Tri-State Coalition from Oxford, MS, Minneapolis West-Bank musical legend Willie Murphy & His Angel Headed Hipsters and local folk-grass trio Last Revel.

Cinematography: Preston Rogosheske, Adam Thies, Adja Gildersleve, Cej BeachamFrasier
Sound: Adja Gildersleve & Cej BeachamFrasier
Editing: Preston Rogosheske & Ryan Stopera

 

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