There won’t be another Weathered Heads show as bittersweet, sentimental and emotional as the one that’ll take place on Saturday night — in fact, there won’t be another Weathered Heads show, period.
The Winona jam-pop rockers announced on Monday, Jan. 23 that after four and a half years of traveling across the Midwest they have decided to call it quits, but not before they take the stage one last time this weekend as part of the second annual Weathered Ed’s Weekend — a four-day music extravaganza hosted by the group, Ed’s No Name Bar, and Minneapolis’s Insight Brewing.
“We love everything we’ve been able to accomplish,” said founder and frontman Craig Weatherhead. “However, due to the craziness of everyone’s daily lives, we’ve decided that ending it during the weekend would be the best decision moving forward.”
Though the occasion will mark the group’s final performance, Weatherhead said that every member wants to keep doing music in some capacity and that there’s a “definite possibility” of some of the members making music together in the future. But as for now, they’ll celebrate one last time with some of their closest friends — Karate Chop, Silence; Sleeping Jesus; the Coax; Church Dads; PHO; Apollo Cobra; Driftwood Bones; Koo Koo Kanga Roo; General B and the Wiz; and the Winona State Faculty Jazz Combo.
“It started out as scratching lyrics in a notebook in my bedroom,” laughed Weatherhead. “Since then, we’ve created a family — a family the community has taken a part of. Without the support of the hometown crowd, we wouldn’t have been able to do the things we do.”
Also returning to the festivities will be Ilan Klages-Mundt, the co-founder of Insight Brewing. “With Winona as my hometown, I really enjoy supporting events like this,” he said. “With music as my formal background, this one is a no brainier.”
Klages-Mundt will bring down some of his best-selling brews, as well as some new, seasonal releases — including Phantom Taxi Double IPA, Banshee Cutter Coffee Golden Ale, Doe Eyes, a Door County Cherry Saison, and several others.
In addition to the music and brew, Ed’s No Name Bar will be decorated with local artwork and the the Frozen River Film Festival — a non profit organization that “offers documentary films and programming that engage, educate and activate viewers to become involved in the world” — will present The Seeker, a film by Cloud Cult.
Thursday and Sunday’s shows are free — yes, free. Friday and Saturday’s are $5 each night. Here’s the rundown.
Thursday, Feb. 16
Karate Chop, Silence: Since their inception in 2016, this “funky alt-rock quartet” have steadfastly gained a reputation for putting on solid shows at Ed’s, where earlier this fall I caught a live performance consisting of a healthy mix of originals and covers.
Sleeping Jesus: True love exists, and Nick Elstad and his girlfriend, Leah, are proof. The founder and frontman of the sunny indie band is coming off a breakout year, having shared the top spot in last year’s Local Music Exchange contest with Afrofuturists ZULUZULUU. Elstad’s chill, dreamy-sounding “California At Dawn” has drawn lots of attention to Perennial, his debut EP.
The Coax: Last fall, this Minneapolis psych-rock group played at First Avenue. After the weekend show, they’ll head out west for a couple of months, but fear not: they’ll return to Winona on April 28. Their new album, Total Drag, will be released on March 3.
Friday, Feb. 17
Frozen River Film Festival: The Seeker — a film by Could Cult
Church Dads: Star Tribune writer Chris Riemenschneider referred to this Minneapolis-based, bluesy rock group — or its name, at least — as one of the best new bands of 2015. Most recently, the group released its debut EP Dick Scully, named in honor of bassist Lincoln Scully’s father.
PHO: In 2016, Prince invited these Twin Cities natives to open for funk legend Larry Graham and his band, Graham Central Station, at Paisley Park.
Apollo Cobra: This Minneapolis-based, three-piece electro-rock band are perhaps best known for their synth-sounding songs “Feel Like It” and “Motherland,” off their 2012 album Motherland.
Saturday, Feb. 18
Driftwood Bones: No strangers to Ed’s, this Winona indie folk group will bring their laid-back, unique sound and style to the party. Dante DeGrazia’s keyboard and trumpet play sprinkled in with Elly Williams’s subtle, yet elegant harmonies complement vocalist Will Krageschmidt nicely.
Koo Koo Kanga Roo: Bryan and Neil released their new single “Bubble Wrap Rap” in time for National Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day, Jan. 30. This all-ages duo not only fills their set with songs about minivans, rainbows, and fanny packs, but also with an impressive amount of interactive dancing; at 3 p.m. they’ll play a family show at Winona’s East Rec Center; however, their show at Ed’s is an adults-only show.
The Weathered Heads: The hometown heroes, with Weatherhead at the helm, are known for their commanding stage presence and high-energy sets. Collectively, the six make fast-moving licks and key changes appear effortless. A tightly-locked rhythm section smooth sax help define the group’s sound, as heard in “When It’s Over,” off of last year’s self-titled EP.
General B and the Wiz: When it comes time for the blues, psych-rockers General B and the Wiz know exactly what to do: last year during the Weathered Ed’s Weekend, vocalist Quincy Voris and his silky-smooth falsetto put on a memorable, upbeat show.
Sunday, Feb. 19
Winona State University Jazz Faculty Combo: Every member of the Weathered Heads was taught by at least one member of this ensemble. These professors/musicians laid the groundwork for the music scene in the community and continue to inspire the next generation of musicians.
Writer Michael Flicek, a Wabasha native, is a student at St. Mary’s University of Minnesota.