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The Idle Strand
I'll Love You Today
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.
“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.”
"FROM THE ASHES OF IDIOT SAVANT,THE FONTANAS"-Billboard Magazine
"IT WAS THE TAIL END OF 1980’s, the golden era of MTV. And the urban icebox of Minneapolis was red hot. Prince, The Replacements, Husker Du, The Time, Soul Asylum, The Wallets, The Jayhawks and The Suburbs were all in their prime. Into this crowded field, looking to join the party, came The Fontanas." The Fontanas coulda/shoulda been contenders. They had two things that made them stand out. Prolific songwriter Brian Drake knew how to meld pop hooks and impassioned refrains to big beats. He wrote catchy songs, a selling point in any era. Still does, these days for The April Fools. Then there was chromatic harmonica wizard, Clint Hoover. To the standard time-hallowed line-up of two guitars, bass and drums, The Fontanas added a harmonica virtuoso who could hold his own with any six-string hero. Hoover was amazing. Still is, lately in his adopted home of Pittsburgh. Which is not to ignore the fine rhythm section. Todd Miller could deliver a slew of cool guitar riffs, at times recalling “the quiet Beatle,” George Harrison. Check out “Push Comes to Shove” for ready evidence. Brian Valenchenko added solid bass and back-up vocals. And Jon Schrader’s drumming was aerobic and punchy, a huge sound befitting the era.-TomSurowicz
Dan O'Kane with The Model Citizens
An Ordinary Urge & It's The Renaissance
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
The Robert Wilkinson Band
Lost and Found
The Robert Wilkinson band was formed in the early 1990's 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.
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“
Where The Beat Goes On
24 Tracks from 1977-1979 Newly Restored and mixed by Michael Owens @ Blackberry Way and Mastered by Andy Walter @ Abbey Road 2022
"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
"The Fingerprints record sounds amazing--so tight, punchy, and spirited. I'll definitely play on my show tomorrow!"
Kevin Cole-KEPX Seattle Wa
"For a band that remained little known outside its hometown, Fingerprints made forceful, fast, diverse and forward-sounding music. With respectable songwriting and solid musicianship (including occasional sax and keyboards), augmented here by a dynamic 2022 remix, they offer high-energy rock and roll of the sort Eddie and the Hot Rods (“Kind Affection”) and the Damned (“Don’t Wanna Talk”) were making around the same time."
Ira Robbins-Trouser Press
The April Fools
Released in 2021
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.
"Listened to The April Fools new album and I think it's outstanding. I love how it kicked into gear right from the top"- Peter Jesperson
Minnesota quintet, The April Fools, dive deep into the musical rabbit hole on their fourth album, Wonderland. Combining 90’s indie Rock, 60’s psychedelic rock, outlaw country and a sprinkling of jazz, The April Fools create a mind-bending soundscape that defies easy classification.
Brian Rock-Turnstyled, Junkpiled-Roots Music Magazine