Local Current Blog

Jessica Paxton sheds some light on the bustling Northfield scene

A few weeks ago, Jim Walsh penned an article for MinnPost that asked a bold question: “Is Northfield truly becoming Music City, Minnesota?”

In his piece, he profiled several people who are instrumental in Northfield’s bustling scene–most of whom have their hands in at least two or three different aspects of the community–and found that the small, tight-knit town in the Cannon River Valley appears to be fostering a strong and well-supported network of independent musicians.

One of the subjects interviewed in Walsh’s piece was Jessica Paxton, host of the free-form “All Wheel Drive” radio show on Northfield’s KYMN-AM, and we were so intrigued by what she had to say about the community that we invited her to be a guest on this past weekend’s edition Local Show. Paxton had lots to say about the Northfield scene, and you can hear many of her thoughts and a few of her favorite new acts in the audio segment here:

I also wanted to take a moment to round up some of the bands she brought in to play on the show and provide some additional info about their upcoming shows and albums. Here are a few of Jessica’s picks for Northfield acts worth seeking out:

The Counterfactuals
About: This group of college professors from Carleton and St. Olaf have been turning heads with their jaunty, Americana-influenced indie pop. The single we played on last night’s show, “Look up at the Light,” was just recorded last week, and is expected to appear on their debut full-length (tentatively titled Minimally Decent People) that is due out in the spring. 
Hear more on: Bandcamp; Facebook 
Next gigs: Sunday, Nov. 11 at The Amsterdam Bar & Hall (along with Wesley Church & The Fabulous Vanguards and Tramps Like Us); Friday, Nov. 16 at The Chapel (along with The Rice County Roosters).

About: A new project featuring established songwriter Meredith Fierke and bandmates Stephen McKinstry and Dylan McKinstry. Furia also sent over a brand-new track, “Here Lies The Heart,” to play on the show, and it will appear on their forthcoming album, Heirlooms, in early 2013.
Hear more on: Her website
Next Gigs: Friday, Nov. 23 at The Chapel; Saturday, Nov. 24 at the Cedar Cultural Center (Meredith only; opening for Rogue Valley).

Alison Rae
About: Singer-songwriter Alison Rae has made a name for herself on the strength of her intimate, sometimes gut-wrenching acoustic performances. On last night’s show, we debuted “Hide and Seek” from her forthcoming EP, I wrote you a letter
Hear more on: Bandcamp
Next Gig: Saturday, Dec. 1 at The Tavern Lounge.

Dirty Petrov & The Gentillionaires
About: I’ll let their bio speak for itself: “Nine white college kids living in the heart of Minnesota became infatuated with sounds from Eastern Europe and South America and formed a gypsy band like no other.” Their latest album is titled, appropriately, Klez is More! 
Hear more on: Bandcamp; Facebook