THE REVEREND RUSSELL RATHBUN
Russell Rathbun is a writer, speaker, and blogger who brings his irreverent sense of humor and curiosity to often-overlooked subjects. A founding pastor of House of Mercy in Saint Paul, Minnesota (once named “the Best Church for Non-Churchgoers”), he has been regularly featured on Minnesota Public Radio and is also the author of Post-Rapture Radio.
THE URBAN HILLBILLY QUARTET
It started as a jam session in 1995 in a now burnt-out St. Paul hole-in-the-wall bar. Over 18 years later, the Urban Hillbilly Quartet has grown into an award-winning Twin Cities-based ensemble that delivers an eclectic mix of musical styles, blending electric guitar, piano, accordion, bass and drums. On stage, the Hillbillies perform mainly original material–most of which can be found on their eight albums—especially their latest: 2008’s Bring in the Sails.
John Hermanson is an award winning songwriter and composer who has created and sold music in many genres, most notably orchestral, world, pop, and rock. John is a member of the acclaimed duo Storyhill, a regular guest performer on NPR’s A Prairie Home Companion. The duo has a loyal following, produces a thriving annual music festival, and has independently sold over 250,000 records during the course of a 25-year career. John is also the founder of the art rock band Alva Star, and was a member of the indie-rock group, The Hopefuls.
MISS BECKY KAPELL AND THE FAT 6
In 2007, after a long hiatus from music, Becky began teaching herself to play the guitar that sat in the corner of her living room. She knew only a few chords which she played repeatedly in different combinations and rhythms until much to her surprise, melodies began to emerge and then somewhat magically, lyrics attached themselves to the melodies. She recorded 12 of those songs with old friends in Portland Oregon for her first record titled For Now. Sometimes plaintive and spare, sometimes humorous and lively, the songs capture the essence of a particular time of life and the frustration and heartache of unrealized dreams.