Romantica's Ben Kyle on his solo album, and Saturday's Northeast Riverfeast
Just as fall is closing in on us, the good people of Northeast Minneapolis have devised a way to let the summer live just a little longer. Introducing the first-ever Northeast Riverfeast, taking place this Saturday, September 22. It's a late-summer music fest that smacks of block party meets farmer's market attitude.
Don't get it twisted: this is an event for more than just foodies. There will also be live music from some of the Twin Cities' leading bands: Romantica, Joey Ryan and the Inks, and the San Souci Quartet. Gimme Noise spoke with Romantica's Ben Kyle ahead of the event to get a little more insight on what the Riverfeast is all about.
Gimme Noise: Tell me how you got involved with the NE Riverfeast.
Ben Kyle: They invited us to do it, and probably because we have a lot of Northeast connections. Tony, our bass player, is a bartender at Grumpy's NE, and has been for many years, and my younger brother owns a restaurant called the Anchor Fish & Chips [in Northeast]. I live in Northside, and Jancy, who also sings in the band, lives over there as well. I think we're just involved in the neighborhood.
GN: Why do you think this is an important event?
BK: Well, I think it's a great event because there's a sort of family element--lots of face painting and bouncy castles and an outdoor sort of music festival, that is. It's very family friendly. I'll be bringing my kids, and a lot of the guys in the band will be bringing their family. A lot of the times, you know, on these gigs, we have to sort of leave the family behind, so it's nice to have a chance to be there together. Also, any time you can get together outside in Minneapolis before the winter hits is great.
GN: Anything in particular you're looking forward to drinking or tasting or hearing?
BK: I'm really looking forward to hearing Joey Ryan and the Inks live for the first time. Tony is in the band as well, and I've been a huge fan for a long time and I've never seem them play live.... And, I suppose, I'm just really excited to have a Kramarczuk's sausage and a Grain Belt Nordeast in my hand.
GN: Excellent. And while I have you on the phone... how's everything been going since your solo release?
BK: It's going really well. The release I did in Minneapolis was sort of Twin Cities specific, just to kind of get things going, and so we're sort of building up to a national digital release in November. It just sort of got the train rolling a little bit, and it seems to be going really well. I'm actually on a small sort of regional three-day tour at the moment. I'm down in Rochester tonight, and Owatonna tomorrow. People are really responding to the songs. I've been selling a lot of records already. The response has been really positive so far.
GN: Awesome! Anything else you want to add?
BK: Just to encourage folks to come out and enjoy the last day of the summer in Northeast Minneapolis, and bring their kids along. It should be a great day.
The NE Riverfeast will take place at the warehouse lot of the Grain Belt Brewery Complex this Saturday, September 22, from 1-6 p.m. Adults 21+ $10, adults under 21 $5, children 12 and under are free.
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