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Great River Shakespeare Announces Ian Hilmer’s Stagefright and Cactus Blossoms to Play Free Concerts at Winona State


Tue, Jul 2nd, 2013
Posted in All Arts & Culture

The Great River Shakespeare Festival will host both Ian Hilmer’s Stagefright and Cactus Blossoms to perform this weekend outside the Winona State University’s Performing Arts Center. Each “Concert on the Green” will begin at 6:00 PM. Ian Hilmer’s Stagefright will play on Friday, July 5th and Cactus Blossoms will play on Saturday, July 6th. Admission to both events is free, and food will be available for purchase.

Built solidly around Hilmer’s no-frills songwriting and seasoned vocals, Ian Hilmer’s StageFright (IHSF) infuses appealing hooks with pathos laden lyrics. Fans of jam bands and indie rock will not be disappointed. Bands in a similar stylistic vein include: Wilco, the Tragically Hip, My Morning Jacket, Tom Waits, and Greg Brown.



In his 10+ years of playing hallway bars, festivals and theatres across the Midwest, Hilmer has garnered a reputation as one of Minnesota’s finest entertainers and songsmiths. “He gives the thinkers something to think about, the dancers something to dance about and the drinkers something to drink about.” says one fan. Highlights of his career include performances at the South by Southwest Festival (SXSW) in Austin TX, and past performances at the 10,000 Lakes Festival (10KLF) and Harvest Fest in Minnesota.



The members of Ian Hilmer’s StageFright (IHSF) have been involved in dozens of blues, rock and jam bands in the Midwest. Their tireless pursuit has earned Hilmer and company the ability to entertain rowdy bars, or captivate quiet audiences.

In contrast, country music has a long-held appreciation for sibling bands, and it seems there’s no sweeter sound than two brothers harmonizing over a sad country tune. Brothers Page Burkum and Jack Torrey have capitalized on this tried-and-true formula with their band The Cactus Blossoms, most recently pulling together a backup band of music veterans: Mike “Razz” Russell on fiddle, Liz Draper on upright bass, and Randy Broughten on pedal steel guitar and dobro.

Last year, the five-piece joined together for a day of live in-studio recording with Brent Sigmeth at Cannon Falls’ LittleBig Studio, and released their first self-titled album. Made up of eight original tunes and a couple of covers, it has since caught the attention of scores of Minnesota listeners as well as Country Music Television’s music blog, which named it among the top overlooked albums of last year.



Visit www.grsf.org/FREE-CONCERTS for a complete season line-up with additional information provided for each band to perform every Friday and Saturday night.



The Great River Shakespeare Festival (GRSF) is a nonprofit, professional theatre company in Winona, MN that creates dynamic, clearly-spoken productions of Shakespeare’s plays that enrich people’s lives. More information about the company can be found at www.grsf.org or by calling the GRSF office at (507) 474-7900.

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