Where The Beat Goes On

Fingerprints

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I really loved Fingerprints. They were such an under-appreciated band. They had a rockin’ feel. Their live shows were incredible with the lead singer doing backflips during the show. David Pirner/Soul Asylum

In the fertile late 70s Minneapolis scene, the highly skilled and intense five-piece band Fingerprints both fit in and stood out. Bridging

I really loved Fingerprints. They were such an under-appreciated band. They had a rockin’ feel. Their live shows were incredible with the lead singer doing backflips during the show. David Pirner/Soul Asylum

In the fertile late 70s Minneapolis scene, the highly skilled and intense five-piece band Fingerprints both fit in and stood out. Bridging elements of basic Rock ‘n’ Roll, Blues, Glam and Prog brought a certain familiarity and yet they didn’t sound like anyone else. Lead singer Mark Throne was an athletic powder keg of a front man; the rhythm section of bassist Steve Fjelstad and drummer Kevin Glynn drove the band like a freight train; and the virtuosic guitar playing of Mike Owens, Robb Henry and Jeff Waryan made for audio spectacles galore in every live show. The band released a total of 11 tracks on Twin/Tone Records that were spread out over an EP, two singles, and two cuts on the 1979 comp, Big Hits Of Mid-America Volume III. All of this was done as they worked hard on nailing down a set of songs for the definitive Fingerprints LP, as Robb departed and Jeff took up the reins. Sadly, the group disbanded before the album’s completion. Now, the twenty-four songs they were working on have been restored, completed and mixed – the ‘lost’ Fingerprints album, a vintage feast for the ears that we think is well worth the wait … but we’ll let you be the judge of that! Peter Jesperson Twin/Tone Records co-founder/A&R

Fingerprints formed in the mid 1970’s. The original lineup included Mark Throne on Vocals and Saxophone, Robb Henry and Michael Owens on Guitars and Vocals, Steve Fjelstad on Bass and Kevin Glynn on Drums and Percussion. Lead guitarist Robb Henry, in his late teenage years, had previously been a member of The Mojo Buford Blues Band, Mojo, the infamous Blues Harpist, who played with Muddy Waters on and off from 1953 until Muddy’s death in 1983. Michael Owens, Kevin Glynn & Steve Fjelstad founded Blackberry Way Recording Studios in the mid 1970’s, eventually merging with Paul Starks P. David Studio and went on to record The Replacements, The Trashmen and Soul Asylum to name a few. The Twin/Tone release “Big Hits Of Mid America Vol 3” that includes two tracks from Fingerprints and recorded at Blackberry Way is currently on display in The Rock N Roll Hall of Fame. The record label Blackberry Way Records was formed in 1984. Jeff Waryan replaced Robb in 1979. His first gig with the band was two shows opening for Blondie at Jay’s Longhorn in Minneapolis. Afterwards Blondie hung out at Blackberry Way while Mike & Steve helped Jimmy Destri with a band he was producing in NY called Student Teachers. The band was among the first three bands signed by Twin/Tone Records in 1978. The late Tim Carr, A&R at Warner Brothers, called Mike’s song Wasted On You, the best single song on the first three simultaneously released Twin/Tone EP’s. (The little Red Records-Fingerprints, The Suburbs and Curtiss A’s Spooks) Rave reviews followed internationally in Trouser Press, New York Rocker, New Musical Express UK, Minneapolis Tribune and many more.
In addition to dates with Pere Ubu, Blondie and Peter Hammill, Fingerprints headlined at the legendary Longhorn Bar, First Ave, Mothers in Chicago and other venues in the five state area including dates at Duffy’s with Mitch Ryder and Dwight Twilley. 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, an event that lives on today. In 1979 Fingerprints performed at the M-80 Music Festival and shared the stage with The Fleshtones, Richard Lloyd, Devo and The Records. Devo rehearsed at Blackberry Way before the show. Fingerprints reformed for The Mill City Music Festival in 1999 performing on the KQRS stage following a wonderful set by Willie and The Bees. The festival featured 130 bands including Prince, Gypsy, Willie Murphy, Koerner, Ray and Glover, The Jayhawks, Semisonic and many others.
Fingerprints also reformed in 2019 to perform three 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 New York’s CBGB's. In addition to several vintage tracks by Fingerprints that were included in the documentary, the band got together and recorded “14 South 5th Street Blues” a song Owens composed about The Longhorn that closes out the documentary as the credits roll. Special guests on the track included Minneapolis stalwarts Curtiss A and The Suicide Commandos Chris Osgood. The track was included as a bonus track on Owens record “The Right Kind Of Crazy” The documentary is currently competing in film festivals internationally. The Queen City Film Festival in Cumberland, Maryland awarded the film “Best Music in a Feature Film”. In October 2015 Steve Earle spun Fingerprints track “Down” on his Hardcore Troubadour Radio Show on Sirius Radio.

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Dig

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

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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I'll Love you Today

The Idle Strand

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After the breakup of Fingerprints in 1979, founding members Michael Owens and Kevin Glynn along with bassist Gary Menne formed The Idle Strand. The first two albums “Cut and Run” & “Blackberry Way” placed several tracks in the national college radio charts in the 1980's along with rave reviews internationally including Nineteen Flights Rock

After the breakup of Fingerprints in 1979, founding members Michael Owens and Kevin Glynn along with bassist Gary Menne formed The Idle Strand. The first two albums “Cut and Run” & “Blackberry Way” placed several tracks in the national college radio charts in the 1980's along with rave reviews internationally including Nineteen Flights Rock Paris, Berlin City Magazine, Album Network, CMJ and The Mpls Star Tribune to name a few.

Right outta the gate, The Idle Strand comes in rockin, "Not Today" goes like the proverbial bat outta hell, one hell of an opener! What a bag of tricks, one great song after another. Peter Jesperson

“Good combination of X’s harmonies and the Smith’s guitar work…not to be missed.”- Rockpool Magazine

“Pop guitar band in the true sense of the word, merging the 60’s and the 80’s into one modern sound!” -Boston Rock Magazine

“Flirtations with Everly Brothers tributes and a range of styles from Fingerprints like takes to blues, surf licks and rockabilly-touched originals all from the endless corners of pop musicdom show they’ve got the chops to make the rock work on their own terms”-Martin Keller

The third album “I’ll Love You Today” sadly never saw the light of day, although three tracks were included on the compilation “Mini hits of MPLS Vol 2. Two of those three tracks have garnered placements in two TV shows. “She’s Got Everything” finds itself in ABC TV’s “Wicked City” starring Jeremy Sisto. The track “Follow That Girl” was placed in Steven Soderbergh’s “Red Oaks” starring Paul Reiser on Amazon TV along with “Tonight” from the album “Blackberry Way.”

“Wicked City” has a killer '80s soundtrack” -Rotten Tomato’s

“A reason to watch Wicked City, is the cool '80s soundtrack”- Gail Pennington St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"The music really gives it a thing," Reiser says. "I thought it informed it so much."-Rolling Stone

Michael Owens: Vocals, Guitar & Mandolin Gary Menne: Vocals, Bass Kevin Glynn: Drums & Percussion

Special Guests: Glenn Manske: Keyboards Terri Owens: Backing Vocals, Mandolin Walter Chancellor: Saxaphone

All songs composed by Owens, Menne & Glynn BMI 2023 all Rights Reserved

Photos: Shari Menne Drake Cover Design: Dan Prozinski @ Durable Images

Engineered by Michael Owens & Kevin Glynn @ Blackberry Way 1986-1987 Mixed by Michael Owens @ Blackberry Way 2023 Mastered by Andy Walter @ Abbey Road 2023

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An Ordinary Urge (1984) and It's The Renaissance (1983)

Dan O'Kane With The Model Citizens

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Dan O'Kane started playing in bands in the late '80s while attending the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. O'Kane's first band, the Ripchords (1978) was popular on campus and on the local dance scene, belting out original songs and classics in an infectious punk-a-billy style. The Lincoln's Historic DrumStick Bar and Restaurant was the biggest rock

Dan O'Kane started playing in bands in the late '80s while attending the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. O'Kane's first band, the Ripchords (1978) was popular on campus and on the local dance scene, belting out original songs and classics in an infectious punk-a-billy style. The Lincoln's Historic DrumStick Bar and Restaurant was the biggest rock club west of the Mississippi, hosting all the national club acts on their way through the Midwest. Dan O'Kane with the Model Citizens were mainstays at the Drumstick. They opened up for the likes of REM, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Modern English. The Documentary "Remember The Drumstick” about the infamous rock club is an "Official Selection" of the Chicago Indie Films Awards 2022.

The track "A Brand New Landscape" from their 1985 release on Blackberry Way appears in season one episode #9 of the hit series Acapulco on Apple TV.

Dan O'Kane with the Model Citizens toured throughout the Midwest during the 1980's.

An Ordinary Urge (1984) and It's The Renaissance (1983) Remastered by Michael Owens @ Blackberry Way 2023

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Lost and Found

The Robert Wilkinson Band

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In the early 1990’s Robert Wilkinson took a brief hiatus from his legendary band The Flamin’ Oh’s. The Oh’s (formerly Flamingo) were a big part of the late 1970’s Minneapolis music scene and toured internationally. The band is one of the featured bands in the JAY'S LONGHORN Documentary about the infamous bar that in the late 1970's that was the

In the early 1990’s Robert Wilkinson took a brief hiatus from his legendary band The Flamin’ Oh’s. The Oh’s (formerly Flamingo) were a big part of the late 1970’s Minneapolis music scene and toured internationally. The band is one of the featured bands in the JAY'S LONGHORN Documentary about the infamous bar that in the late 1970's that was the Minneapolis counter point to New York’s CBGB's. The documentary competed in film festivals around the country and the Queen City Film Festival in Cumberland, Maryland awarded the film “Best Music in a Feature Film”.

In the early 1980s, with new technology propelling the music industry, the Flamin' Oh's became one of the earliest bands to make music videos. Chuck Statler (music video pioneer who directed videos for DEVO, Elvis Costello, and Nick Lowe) directed two videos for the Flamin’ Oh’s that ran on a new television network dedicated to music, MTV.

The band released two albums on Fat City Records (The Green Album & Oh) and two albums on Blackberry Way Records (Desire & Paint The Sky). “Paint The Sky” released in 1986 was a Billboard Magazine Recommended Album & garnered radio play nationwide. The track "Skinny Legs" appears in season 3 of Steven Soderbergh’s “RED OAKS” and several track appear in the Jay’s Longhorn documentary as well as the 2022 movie “Velvet Elvis”. The band carries on today and is one of Minnesota’s true music treasures.

That brings us to the early 1990’s. The Robert Wilkinson band was formed with Ben Kaplan, Bob Burns & Gary Snow joining Robert in his new endeavor. The band performed locally in Twin Cities clubs as well as music festivals like St. Paul’s RiverFest. The band was picked to serve as Chuck Berry’s back-up band at the final incarnation of RiverFest in 1990. Blackberry Way 2022

Crawling From The Wreckage By Jim Walsh City Pages 8/8/90

“We’ve all played a lot of that stuff through the years” said Kaplan. “That’s the kind of music that was real influential on us. Even if, for me, I got into it second-hand. I heard the Stones and the Beatles do it, and then I went back. But I’ve been in so many bands… I mean who hasn’t played “Johnny B. Goode” or “Roll Over Beethoven”?

Plenty, that’s for sure. But only a handful have done them with the guy who wrote ‘em. “Yeah,” Kaplan said with a sated sigh. “I just remember him duck-walking past me. I mean, while I was on the same stage with Chuck Berry. Yeah – that’ll keep me for a while.” Jim Walsh-City Pages

In 1991 the band recorded “Lost and Found” at Blackberry Way and sadly the record was not released as the band broke up. Now Remastered by Michael Owens @ Blackberry Way and Andy Walter @ Abbey Road “Lost and Found” finally sees the light of day.

"I had a chance to listen to the Robert Wilkinson Band recordings and after just a couple of plays so far, I love every track. These recordings coulda been recorded years ago, coulda been yesterday. This is timeless stuff”. Peter Jesperson-Twin/Tone Records co-founder/A&R

Robert Wilkinson Guitars, Vocals; Ben Kaplan, Drums, Vocals; Bob Burns, Keyboards, Vocals; Gary Snow, Bass

Produced & Engineered by Ben Kaplan, Michael Owens & Kevin Glynn @ Blackberry Way 1991

Mastered by Michael Owens @ Blackberry Way and Andy Walter @ Abbey Road 2022

All tracks composed by Robert Wilkinson BMI

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Wonderland

The April Fools

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Wonderland, the fourth effort by The April Fools reflects the ongoing evolution of composition from the band in their established eclectic fashion - featuring lush harmonies and exquisite guitar interplay sure to captivate diehard fans as well as first time listeners. From the opening notes of Loretta Lane to the closing refrain of Another Go

Wonderland, the fourth effort by The April Fools reflects the ongoing evolution of composition from the band in their established eclectic fashion - featuring lush harmonies and exquisite guitar interplay sure to captivate diehard fans as well as first time listeners. From the opening notes of Loretta Lane to the closing refrain of Another Go Around, The April Fools take you on a journey of imagination, heartbreak and loss, pandemic voodoo, and even a robbery gone wrong in a blend of Classic Rock meets Americana in a style unique unto themselves.

As recording commenced The April Fools welcomed bassist extraordinaire Nick Salisbury into the fold, while Murry Hammond of Old 97’s contributed bass to one track as well. Glenn Manske, piano/B3 and accordion master Dan “Daddy Squeeze” Newton also added their touch of magic to the recordings. Riley Helgeson/trumpet, and Connor Carrol/tenor & baritone saxophone, add a taste of The Big Easy to the recording.

Members of this all-star line-up have rich histories that include work with Lowell George of Little Feat, Link Wray, Ryan Bingham, Brian Fallon (Gaslight Anthem), Jessie Mae Hemphill, Chuck Berry, Roy Buchanan, The Hard Left, The Flamin’ Oh’s, Tetes Noires, Sara Hickman, Soul Food Café, Robert Palmer, AND have appearances on Austin City Limits and The Tonight Show on their credits.

"Listened to The April Fools new album and I think it's outstanding. I love how it kicked into gear right from the top with Loretta Lane...and that 2nd track especially caught my ear...the production is typical top notch Mike Owens stuff, and the Abbey Road mastering adds the proverbial icing on the cake. Congrats on another fantastic Blackberry Way project!" - Peter Jesperson

Produced and engineered by Michael Owens @ Blackberry Way. Mastered @ Abbey Road by Andy Walter. Brian Drake/vocals & guitar Brad McLemore/vocals, guitar & harmonica Terri Owens/vocals, guitar & mandolin Ben Kaplan/drums, percussion & vocals Nick Salisbury/bass

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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,

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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