The April Fools

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Guitar and vocal driven American Rock & Roll.

The April Fools return for a celebration of "Third", their highly-anticipated new release, engineered and produced by Mike Owens at Blackberry Way Studios, and mastered by Andy Walters at Abbey Road Studios, London, UK.
Members of this all-star lineup have rich histories that include work with Lowell George of Little Feat, Link Wray, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Chuck Berry, Roy Buchanan, The Hard Left, The Flamin’ Oh’s, Tetes Noires, and Robert Palmer, AND have appearances on Austin City Limits and The Tonight Show on their credits.

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The Right Kind of Crazy

Michael Owens

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An eclectic blend of blues based rock,pop & country from the man who founded Blackberry Way Recording Studios That Recorded Mpls bands including The Replacements,The Trash Men,Soul Asylum, Curtiss A, The Flamin' Oh's, The Castaways and many more!

Produced & Engineered by Michael Owens @ Blackberry Way Mastered by Andy Walter@ Abbey Road Cover Photo Paul Lundgren Cover Design Dan Prozinski A&R Peter Jesperson

MICHAEL OWENS first solo release The Devils Doorway garnered airplay and rave reviews around the world. The Right Kind Of Crazy is the second solo effort by Michael Owens. The album features an eclectic blend of Rock, Blues, Americana & Country based songs. The bonus track 14 South 5th Street Blues was placed in the documentary Jay's Longhorn and features members of Fingerprints and special guests including Mpls legend Curtiss A and The Suicide Commandos Chris Osgood. MICHAEL OWENS is a Singer/songwriter, Guitar player and Record Producer. He founded BLACKBERRY WAY RECORDING STUDIOS, the infamous Minneapolis Recording Studio , Record Label and Publisher. Blackberry Way Records has placed several songs in TV shows including "Red Oaks" on Amazon, "Wicked City"on ABC TV , "Stranger Things" & "The OA" on Net Flix and "Young Sheldon" on CBS as well as the Jay's Longhorn Documentary. Michael Owens was a founding member of Twin/Tone recording artists FINGERPRINTS. In addition to dates with Pere Ubu, Blondie and Peter Hammill, the band headlined at the legendary Longhorn Bar, First Ave and other venues in the five state area including dates at Duffy’s with Mitch Ryder and Dwight Twilley. The late Tim Carr A&R at Warner Brothers called Mike’s song Wasted On You, the best single song on the first three Twin/Tone EP’s. (The little Red Records-Fingerprints, The Suburbs and Curtiss A’s Spooks) The band also headlined at The Walker Art Center Presents “The Cream Of The Crop” supported by Spooks(Curtiss A) and NNB. Fingerprints was also chosen as the first band paired with a movie in The Walker Art Centers Band and a movie in Loring Park as well as the M-80 Music Festival. The band reformed for The Mill City Music Festival in 1999 that featured Prince as the headliner. The band also reformed in 2019 to perform two sold out shows at The Parkway Theater in MPLS in support of the documentary "Jay's Longhorn" about the infamous bar that in the late 1970's was the Minneapolis counter point to CBGB's. In addition to the track 14 South 5th Street Blues from The Right Kind Of Crazy Fingerprints has placed 5 songs in the documentary.
Mike along with Blackberry Way partner and Fingerprints drummer Kevin Glynn, formed THE IDLE STRAND. With Gary Menne on bass the band released two LP’s on Blackberry Way Records. The LP’s received rave reviews in Boston Rock, Rockpool and Cash Box magazines. The LP’s were released in Europe on LINE/WARNER BROTHERS RECORDS, and garnered tons of college radio- play in the USA. The Idle Strand has several songs placed in TV shows on ABC TV as well as Amazon Streaming TV. As a record producer/recording engineer and session musician Mike appears on countless projects over the years.Find more info @

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Michael owens "The Right Kind Of Crazy"


Swing Set

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Swing Set’s 1993 release DIG found the opening track THE HERO in regular rotation @ Cities 97 in Minneapolis & garnered radio & press around the world. The bands previous release THE SOUL REMAINS was named “Best Local Pop Record” by Mpls St Paul Magazine. Several songs from the bands catalog have been placed in TV shows including “Stranger Things & The OA” on NetFlix, “Red Oaks”on Amazon & “Young Sheldon” on CBS.

“One of those beautiful & wondrous pop bands who make some of the world’s most magical and riveting music” CMJ Magazine

“Their most accomplished offering yet- a lush, intelligent exploration of spiritual restlessness that should appeal to fans of new Sting or old Waterboys” Jim Meyer City Pages

“The best pure pop artifact on an indie label, two solid songwriters that are distinctively allusive but not excessively mysterious” Twin Cities Reader

Mike Nilles- Guitar, Vocals Dan Prozinski – Guitars, Vocals & Harmonica David Nussbaum- Keyboards Mic Wirtz- Drums, Vocals & Percussion Phil Tippin- Bass Walter Chancellor Saxophone “Live And Learn” Tim Faricy Cello “Dead And Gone” Mike Russel Violin “You’ve Got A Heart”

Produced by Michael Owens, Kevin Glynn & Swing Set

Engineered by Michael Owens & Kevin Glynn @ Blackberry Way

Remastered by Michael Owens @ Blackberry Way 2021

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Swing Set "Dig"

Bwana Junction


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Semantics “Bwana Junction” released in 1985 to rave reviews & radio airplay. The band charted on the US Rock Alternative Radio Beat along with The Hoodoo Gurus & Husker Du.

Semantics like their fellow Minneapolitans the Suburbs, take undeniable up beats and match them with bent lyrics for some prime pop mutations on their LP “Bwana Junction” (Blackberry Way Records) Harry Brady, Scott Rexer and C Lynn Seacord (who doubles as producer) are responsible for the lively doings-with acoustic guitar tidbits, sax squawks, strange keyboards and treated vocals, it’s a free for all to see what will spice up the mix. Inventive and infectious….CMJ Music Report Futures

“Hint of funk and Rock like Pop” Martin Keller Twin Cities Reader

Another intelligentsia beckons from the Twin Cities pop arpeggio. The Semantics “Bwana Junction” (Blackberry Way) bristles with ideas, energy and calculated smarts. “People I Don’t Know” inserts another page in the book of modernist isolation, illuminated with meandering oriental marching music. “Julie Android” belies the obvious with poignancy and respect of things gone past. “65 Cents” charts a smokeless gripe to the urban dance floor and the title cut begs a gridlock segue to “Cross Town Traffic” with a contemporary accessibility and convincing ambient fusion…Bill Asp/ Duckberg Times New West Indies

Imagine that the animated objects in Herbie Hancock’s “rocket” video teamed up with Devo to make fun of The Talking Heads. As scary as it may sound, the Semantics Bwana Junction could be the soundtrack to just such an event. The Semantics combine bustling horns and rhythms, vocals that are alternatively boozy/mechanical/psychotic, and sardonic lyrics- and it’s a surprisingly successful mixture. On the manic first side, “Julie Android” and “Big Swamp” in particular, have a fascinating B-movie mixture of silliness and gravity. The final cut, “Normal Cologne” might easily be David Byrnes’s Yuppie anthem. I’d love to see Twyla Tharp choreograph this album. Tina/ The Service

“Julie Android, Here’s Johnny and At Odds bring things home with warmth and sincerity” Bruce/ The Service

Semantics are: Harry Brady, Scott Rexer & C Lynn Seacord

Produced by C Lynn Seacord

Recorded @ See Double You & Blackberry Way

Mixed @ Blackberry Way

Engineered by Michael Owens, Kevin Glynn & C Lynn Seacord

Remastered by Michael Owens & C Lynn Seacord @ Blackberry Way 2021

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Semantics "Bwana Junction"

Torture Land

Tom Bright

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Released in 1986 on the heels of his first release HANDS OF TIME, Tom Bright’s TORTURE LAND impressed industry professionals and the general public alike with a blend of 1980’s pop rock combined with country rock unique to Mr. Bright. The record received radio play on FM stations in Minneapolis as well as reginal airplay in greater Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and the Dakotas as well as college airplay across the country. Radio promoter Tom Kay called me one day and said “You’re going to think this is funny but the program director in ST Cloud started getting requests for Tom Petty’s new song HARD CORE”. A couple of days later he called and said “This time it’s not so funny…The program director in Fargo called with listeners asking about the new Tom Petty song Hard Core”. HARD CORE is of course the opening track on TORTURE LAND.“

Mr. Bright has a knack for catchy yet substantive melodies. At his best on Freedom, he is wonderful” Boston Sweet Potato

“A top ten record…a record that matters” Musician Magazine

THE HARD REPORT Thanks to Blackberry Way Records… we’ve played several of their artists in the past and we’ll play more, especially from Tom Bright and Swing Set. Ron Sorenson KBLE Des Moines

Program Director Scott Klohn. Hot Rockin’ 104 KJJO Mpls, adds new songs from Blackberry Way to their playlist including Tom Bright and Flamin’ Oh’s. Hot Rockin’ 104 FM KJJO Minneapolis

I enjoyed listening to Tom Bright and would like to hear more material as well as information on this artist. Aaron Jacoves West Coast director of A&R A&M Records

Thank You for sending me the new release by Tom Bright. I’m delighted to be in touch with you regarding this new talent. I believe the record shows potential. You have a real good thing going on there in Minneapolis. Lets work towards finding something great together. Michael Barackmam Vice President A&R EMI Records

Tom Bright-Keyboards, Steel Guitar &Vocals

Robb Henry- Acoustic & Electric Guitars on Torture Land, Ice Queen, Hard Core, Excitable Repairman & Beautiful Lies

Michael Owens- Acoustic & Electric Guitars on Freedom, Younger Days & Shut Down

Curby Rule-Bass

Kevin Glynn-Drums & Percussion on Freedom, Excitable Repairman, Rodeo, Younger Days, Hard Core & Shut Down

Ben Kaplan-Drums & Percussion on Freedom, Torture Land & Ice Queen

Engineered by Michael Owens & Kevin Glynn @ Blackberry Way

Produced by Michael Owens, Kevin Glynn & Tom Bright

Remastered by Michael Owens @ Blackberry Way 2021

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Tom Bright "Torture Land"

Sweet Release

Small Wonder

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First released in 1988 to rave reviews and international acclaim, Small Wonder’s Sweet Release still stands the test of time. Unabashed pop with a touch of soul at times conjuring up both Prince and Mott The Hoople all on the same track. The opening track “Little Worlds” was placed in the hit series “Kidding” on Showtime staring Jim Carey in 2020. Rockpool Magazine says all you need to know:

“This band should be famous” Rockpool Magazine

“One of the top two bands on Mini Hits of Mpls ” Berlin City Magazine

“Whole lotta cool tunes and fun listening by anyone owning a copy of Mini Hits Vol 2 including three tracks from Small Wonder” The Album Ntework

“One of the outstanding groups found on Mini Hits of Mpls Vol 2 is Small Wonder” Cash Box Magazine

Lowell Nelson: Guitars & Vocals

Holle Brian: Bass, Vocals & Keyboards

Michael Provence: Guitar

Ben Kaplan: Drums, Percussion & Vocals

Special Thanks to Joseph Behrend: Piano

Produced by Lowell Nelson, Michael Owens & Kevin Glynn

Engineered by Michael Owens & Kevin Glynn @ Blackberry Way

Remastered 2021 by Michael Owens @ Blackberry Way

Cover art: Holle Brian

All songs composed by Lowell Nelson Except “The Answer” Composed by Lowell Nelson & Holle Brian

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