Local Current Blog

Minnesota music community remembers Tucker Jensen of Dirt Train

Tucker Jensen performs with Dirt Train at the Varsity Theater reopening celebration, February 2018. (Photos by Maddy Fox for MPR)

“The band Dirt Train has been a mainstay on our stage this past year,” wrote Minneapolis’s Aster Cafe in a Facebook post this morning. “Yesterday, their leader, Tucker Jensen, threw the final punch in his valiant fight against cancer.”

Jensen is also being mourned by his father, local rocker Mick Sterling. “Tucker,” Sterling wrote on Facebook, “you gave this world a criminally too short 29 years of your brilliance, encouragement, intellect, humor, wit, musical impeccability and songwriting excellence, integrity and work ethic that inspired me and countless others who were blessed to be within your scope of wonder and curiosity.”

Describing themselves as “a five-piece Americana Rock & Roll band greasy enough to spread on toast,” Dirt Train came together in 2016 and quickly won a loyal following for their rambunctious live shows and resonant songs contained on releases including last year’s Dead Beat Shake.

Lydia Liza, one of Jensen’s collaborators, shared an image from the “Delusions” video. “Rest easy,” she wrote, “my sweet sweet friend.”

“I’m broken,” wrote Laura Hugo, another musician featured on the track. Actor Brook Toland shared a pithy quote.

Tomorrow — Wednesday, March 13 — a scheduled Dirt Train show at the Aster will become a memorial gathering with the band.

“We will play their EP and open up the Heileman’s Old Style tap,” promises the venue. “Stop in and have one on us, and lets hoist it to a life well-lived, to lives that end too soon, and to the coming of Spring and to the lives yet to be lived.”