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 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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Third

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 April Fools

Blackberry Way Records

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The April Fools began as a studio project for singer/songwriter Brian Drake, who intended to record a batch of his songs with help from a wide network of players to flesh out the tunes. Guitar, bass, and drums would be augmented by horn players, strings, woodwinds, keyboards, vocalists, and more depending on the specific song. The songs themselves spanned a broad spectrum—rock to straight-up country to alt-country/Americana to blue-eyed soul to Brit-pop to folk to 70's AM radio and more.

The four original band members got together for their first jam on September 15, 2013 with the agreement that this was simply a project—a project with a beginning and an end. Then, a funny thing happened; they became a band. The ease of collaboration—the charmed chemistry that presented itself—was apparent almost immediately and they all knew, without saying anything about it, this was something they wanted to continue to do as an ensemble.

Finding a cohesive thread with which to bring together those diverse genres, they began recording sessions for what would become their debut album. Released in April 2015, The April Fools garnered airplay on more than 100 radio stations across the U.S.

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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 @ www.blackberrywayrecords.com

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Michael owens "The Right Kind Of Crazy"

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 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

Semantics

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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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