I attended the Minnesota Rock and Country Hall of Fame for the first time on Friday at the Medina (see previous post), and it was a surprisingly good time. Gypsy (above) rocked and harmonized like they hadn't aged a minute, and openers Art Essery and Mary Jane Alm (below) were equally impressive. The crowd was as diverse in age range as any I've seen since Willie and the Bees reunited at First Avenue a few years ago, though I was told an entire generation had cleared out after the Castaways (whom I missed).
Thankfully, the event's overly restrictive name, one of its few but major turn-offs, might change in the future. In fact, the weekend's festivities included Lipps, Inc. and other artists not strictly "rock" or "country." I missed Lipps on Saturday due to family commitments, but the Monks' Eddie Shaw sent me the pictures below, including one of Lipps' one-man-studio-band Steve Greenberg. Greenberg (composer and musician behind the hit "Funkytown") and Cynthia Johnson (the singer of same) were inducted together onstage as Lipps, Inc., but didn't perform as advertised. Still, it was said to be their first amicable meeting in more than a decade. Can a live reunion next year be too much to hope for?
(Eddie Shaw, Jimmy Ginsberg, Steve Greenberg, and companion)
(Dave Gustofson of Copperhead, a.k.a. Minnesoda; Eddie Shaw of Monks and Copperhead; and Randy Cates of Gypsy)