All posts by Rich Larson

Neil Young Tribute show at the Contented Cow, Sat. May 11

Rich-LarsonDown By The River PosterThe management of the Contented Cow in Northfield, MN announced today that they will host Down By the River: A Tribute to Neil Young on Saturday, May 11th, beginning at 4:00 in the afternoon. More than two dozen artists from Southern Minnesota and the Twin Cities will gather to perform the music of one of the most beloved and eclectic musicians of the past 50 years. Performers will play short 3-5 song sets that will span Young’s entire career.

Continuing a string of tribute events hosted by the Cow in recent years, the bill is stocked with talent.

“We have so many great musicians around here that we need to do something every now and then to showcase them,” said show producer Rich Larson of Left-Handed Entertainment. “When you pair that talent with a catalogue of songs that are as diverse as Neil Young’s, you’re bound to get an incredible evening.”

Larson says even Young’s non-fans should enjoy the event.

“Every now and then someone says they don’t like Neil Young because of his nasally voice. Well then, this is an opportunity for people to hear these incredible songs, performed by different voices. In fact, in some cases, you’ll hear them from some people who are incredible singers. Last year the Knightengales, the all-women a cappella group from Carleton College, stole the show when they performed at our Bob Dylan event. They’ll be back again this year, and I cannot wait to hear what they’ve come up with.”

And indeed, the bill does offer a diverse group of performers. Northfield folk/country singer “The Norwegian Cowboy” Jon Larson will be joined by venerable folk stalwart Bill McGrath, garage rockers Martin Anderson & The Goods, upstart punk rock group Some Kid’s Dad, and a host of others.

“It’s one of the things I love most about these shows,” said Larson. “We’ll have performers who are in their 60’s playing alongside college kids. And all of them are stunningly good.”

The show will also serve as the unofficial kickoff of the outdoor performance season.

“It’s been a long, long winter,” said Larson. “Nobody around here needs me to tell them that. But I’ve always said May is the month to be in this state. Everything is in bloom, the humidity is low, the bugs aren’t really out yet. The outdoor stage at the Cow sits just in front of the Cannon river. It’s a really beautiful setting, and their patio is so accommodating.  We expect that we’ll have one of those spectacular May days where the weather is perfect, the music will be fantastic, and everybody will have an unforgettable time.”

Neil Young is a two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee who is known for his eclectic, diverse songwriting. He’s best known for alternately playing soft, folk based songs like After the Gold Rush and Harvest Moon, and ear rattling hard rock like Cinnamon Girl and Rockin’ in the Free World. He has influenced countless artists, including Elvis Costello, Dave Matthews, Sonic Youth, and Pearl Jam. His work with his backing band Crazy Horse earned him the nickname “The Godfather of Grunge.”

Down By the River: A Tribute to Neil Young will be Saturday, May 11th, beginning at 4 p.m., and running deep into the evening. The Contented Cow is located at 302B Division Street in downtown Northfield. For further information, contact the Contented Cow at (507) 663-1351 or Rich Larson at (612) 756-0490.

An invitation to bands: ‘Paradise Live at Grandpa Al’s – A Tribute To Johnny Cash’

549870_345495298901799_1695749899_nThis fall will mark ten years since the passing of Johnny Cash, one of the most beloved performers of all time. On Saturday, October 12th, the Paradise Center for the Arts (PCA) in Faribault will present Johnny Cash: A Tribute to the Man in Black. Eight selected bands and artists will perform songs written by and associated with Cash in a tribute to his enduring legacy.

To that end, the Paradise is sponsoring Paradise Live at Grandpa Al’s every Thursday night this summer, from June through August. Two to three bands will be invited to perform a 45 minute set at Grandpa Al’s in Faribault each week. They must play at least three Johnny Cash songs during their set, and are free to fill the rest of their time out however they choose. The best eight bands, selected by members of PCA’s music committee, will perform at the big show in October.

This is a call, then, to every musician in the state (and Wisconsin too, if need be). We need bands, we need solo performers, we need groups and combos. Come one, come all.  Whatever type of music you play, if you think you’d want to get involved, get in touch with us. Send us a YouTube link, or a link to your website, or Facebook page, or MySpace. Or send us a CD. We’ll take a look and then see about putting you on one of the Thursday night bills. Send us your information to

Grandpa Al’s is one of the premier music venues in Southern Minnesota. Getting a gig there isn’t always the easiest thing to do. This is a rare opportunity to get some exposure on a great stage while paying tribute to an American legend at the same time. The scheduling begins in April, so we hope to hear from you soon.

For more, see Left-Handed Entertainment’s Facebook event page for Paradise Live at Grandpa Al’s – A Tribute To Johnny Cash.

Cows, Colleges, and Satisfaction! A Tribute to the Rolling Stones on Saturday at the Cow

stones poster updated 2012This Saturday, September 29th, The Contented Cow will host Cows, Colleges, and Satisfaction – A Tribute to the Rolling Stones. Music starts at 5:00.

Just like Dylanfest the last couple years, and the Northfield Beatles Tribute last fall, this is another big, fun tribute show on the Cow’s outdoor stage. This time, more than 15 local artists will perform songs by “The World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band” to honor their 50th anniversary.

Among the groups scheduled to perform are: Mr. Sticky, The Rice County Roosters, Marty Anderson & The Goods, Terry Vandewalker and Mark Grundhoefer, Jacob Hendrickson of Midnight Collision, Barb Piper, Tom Nelson and the 99%ers, and a Rolling Stones tribute band from St. Paul called Stoned Acoustic.

The rumors are swirling that the Rolling Stones might play concerts in New York and London later this year to commemorate their 50 years together, but this is the only time you’ll be guaranteed to see this great music played live, the way it should be.

The weather looks very promising this weekend. This is the last big shindig on the Cow’s outdoor stage for the year. Don’t miss one last chance to soak up some sun, drink some great beer, and hear some terrific music.

Preliminary Schedule:

5:00 The ClayTones

5:20 Ed Treinen

5:30 Terry Vandewalker and Mark Grundhoefer

5:45 Jacob Hendrickson

6:05 The 47%ers

6:20 Cannon Valley Kids

6:40 Barb Piper & Randy Ferguson

7:00 4th Myers Band

7:15 Tom Nelson & The 99%ers

7:35 Prairie Dog Fight Club

7:55 The Steve Delwiche Band

8:15 The Rice County Roosters

8:35 Bill McGrath

8:55 Stoned Acoustic

9:15 Marty Anderson & The Goods

9:35 Mr. Sticky

Cows, Colleges and Statisfaction! is a Left-Handed Entertainment Production.

Calling all performers: Rolling Stones 50th at the Contented Cow, September 29th

Rich LarsonRolling Stones 50th at the Contented Cow 2012Some of you have heard me talking for a couple months now about the Rolling Stones show we’re doing at the Contented Cow in September. Consider this the official announcement/call for performers. The show is going to be Saturday, September 29th. I don’t have the times set just yet, but, because the weather can get a little chilly that time of year once the sun goes down, I can tell you that it will end at 10:00 pm. Because of that, we will actually have some limited space in this show.

Everybody loves the Rolling Stones, it’s their 50th anniversary, and those songs are a ton of fun to play. It’ll be the last big shindig on the outdoor stage at the Cow for the year, so we figure to have another big crowd. Those of you who have played in these shows before know how much fun this can be. Those of you who haven’t – honest to God, what are you waiting for?

Leff-Handed EntertainmentThe rules remain the same. We’ll have house equipment, including a drum kit, on the stage. There may be a call very soon to people who would be willing to loan us amps, mics, stands, etc. The whole idea is to keep the show moving, and have everything set so you can just climb up onstage, plug in and play. Everybody is allowed as many as three songs. There are several people who have already staked a claim. If you want to play, please email me your choices, and I’ll let you know what’s available.

So, that’s it, ladies and gentlemen. Start your engines. Or Start me up. Or Let it Bleed, or something. You know what I mean. Just figure out what you want to play, and get back to me soon.

Rich Larson, Left-Handed Entertainment

Live at the Upstairs Rueb, Friday June 8: Twin Cities’ bands Po Boy Local 151 and Bitter Roots

Left-Handed-Entertainment-June-8-2012-posterThis Friday night, June 8th, Left-Handed Entertainment and the Upstairs Rueb will host two outstanding bands from the Twin Cities, Po Boy Local 151 and Bitter Roots. Imagine attending a double bill show featuring Buck Owens and the Allman Brothers Band and you’ll get a sense of what’s coming to town.

Po Boy Local 151Po Boy Local 151 is one of the best honky tonk/country/rock & roll bands in the upper Midwest. The members of the band are longtime stalwarts of the Twin Cities country and folk scene, and have recently been joined by State Fair Fiddle Champion Catie Jo Pidel. Just 18 years old and a recent high school graduate, Catie Jo has been performing with country and bluegrass bands around the area for years, including a stop with the Po Boys at the Contented Cow last September for Jesse James Days. If you haven’t had the chance to see Catie Jo play this is a golden opportunity. It won’t be long before this young lady is playing at the Grand Ol’ Opry. You can check out Po Boy Local 151 out at

Bitter Roots Bitter Roots is a throwback to the days when a great rock band was made up of truly great musicians. From the twin lead guitars of Jamey Whatton and Brian Dent, to Kristy Miller’s voice, you’ll be amazed at the quality of musicianship (and the sheer number of people) displayed onstage. They’ll mix some original songs in with their collection of classic psychedelic soul, R&B and blues numbers. Call them a jam band or a hippie band, they put on a show that you will talk about for months. Learn more about Bitter Roots at

So, for $5 on Friday night, you can laugh, sing, air jam and boogie with two fantastic bands all night long. And if you haven’t been to some of the recent shows at the Upstairs Rueb, you owe it to yourself to come find out why so many musicians around here are clamoring to get on that stage. It’s going to be a fun Friday night. Music starts at 8. Hope to see you all there!

Dylanfest ’12 is a week from today

Dylanfest 2011 at Contented Cow in NorthfieldHere’s the Dylanfest ’12 press release that I sent out earlier this week.

See Griff’s photo album from Dylanfest ’11 and let me know if you have questions.

The Contented Cow announced today that they will once again host Dylanfest on Thursday, May 24th at 6 pm on their outdoor Riverside Stage. More than two dozen different performers will play songs written by and associated with Bob Dylan in a celebration of his 71st birthday, which is also the 24th.

Dylanfest '12“We’re really looking forward to Dylanfest again this year,” said Contented Cow owner Norman Butler. “It’s going to kick off both Memorial Day Weekend and our annual Mayfly Music Festival. Dylanfest is a special event because it brings so many different people from the community together to celebrate some fantastic music. When we did this last year the response was overwhelmingly positive. So many people have asked if we planned to make it an annual event, that we really had no choice. And, of course, we’re thrilled to be doing it.”

The show will feature performers from all around Southern Minnesota, as well as the Twin Cities. “The thing that really gets me excited about the bill this year is the diversity,” says show producer Rich Larson of Left-Handed Entertainment. “We have more women playing this year, and we have more participation from the student population. There’s an all women a cappella group from Carleton called the Knightengales who will be singing. The styles that will be presented – from bluegrass to rock to electronic – are going to make this a fascinating show.”

This year, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Northfield youth center The Key. “There is no cover charge for the show. It’s free to attend, but there are some avenues that give us a good opportunity to help out the community,” said Larson. “We’re all big fans of The Key and what it represents. (Local artist) Nick Sinclair has designed a commemorative poster for the night. We’ll be selling limited edition prints at the show and donating the proceeds. Folks will be able to make a direct donation to The Key as well. “

Bob Dylan was born Robert Zimmerman on My 24th, 1941 in Duluth, MN and grew up in Hibbing. His music earned him such popularity in the 1960’s that he earned the name “The Voice of a Generation.” He has won numerous awards, including multiple Grammies, a Kennedy Center honor, and a Pulitzer Prize. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, and just last month was named one of thirteen honorees to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. For more information on Dylanfest, please contact Rich Larson at

Two weeks to go for Northfield’s very own Trashy Little Christmas

Trailer Trash at Rochester Civic CenterA Trashy Little Christmas - Northfield 2011 - Trailer TrashIt’s less than two weeks before one of the best and most popular honky tonk bands in Minnesota, Trailer Trash, returns to town. They’re bringing their celebrated holiday show, A Trashy Little Christmas, to the Grand Event Center here in Northfield on Thursday, December 15th.

For more than a decade, Trailer Trash has taken the holiday spirit and put a spin on it that is decidedly their own, performing a series of holiday shows in the Twin Cities and Rochester.

The band played a couple of very well received shows in Northfield this year, and they are really excited to share their own special brand of Christmas cheer with us. Combining original songs for the season with some reworked holiday favorites, these “honky tonk heroes” will have you laughing, singing and dancing your little humbug off.

Left-Handed Entertainment is proud to present this one-of-a-kind holiday classic, and we hope to make it another traditional holiday event in Northfield.

2011 Northfield Sponsors - A Trashy Little Christmas

We could not be doing this without the generous help of some local sponsors: Rob Schanilec at the Northfield Entertainment Guide, Jeff Johnson at KYMN Radio, John Thomas at Mr. JST Technology Consulting, Cate Vermeland Photography, Ross Currier at the Northfield Downtown Development Corporation, and of course, Griff Wigley here at Locally Grown Northfield.  We thank them for their support.

Tickets are $8.00 in advance or $10.00 at the door (A true bargain! Tickets for the sold-out show in Rochester were $17.50 and $22.50). You can order your tickets online at or by contacting either me, Rich Larson, at or Jessica Paxton at

Matt Arthur & The Bratlanders
Doors open at 6pm, and guests will be treated to a special holiday set by Matt Arthur & The Bratlanders at 7pm.

See you there!