Monday, June 23, 2008

Minnesota Monday - A Night in the Box

Saturday was "Make Music Cambridge!", an outdoor music festival type event in which performers are interspersed on the streets around Harvard Square throughout the day - kind of like every day here in New York, except I think these artists got paid. Anyway, having heard good things about Cambridge in general, I wandered over there and discovered a little taste of Minnesota in Massachusetts. They were A Night in the Box and even just the little snippet that I heard as I entered the restaurant in front of which they were playing was enough to get me interested in hearing more. Luckily for me, they were still playing when I was done with lunch, so I sat outside for a bit on what was a gorgeous day to watch them.

I immediately loved their old school, gritty, bluegrassy rock sound and they had a great energy to them. Even though they were essentially busking on a street corner with a very simplified set up (the drummer had one drum and cymbal and was using a guitar case as a bass drum), they seemed like they were having the time of their life. And you gotta love any band with a banjo and a fiddle (though the violinist wasn't there when I took my photo above, but she's in the picture left).

It wasn't until I got up after watching them for a few songs to put some money in their guitar case that I saw that they were from Minneapolis, which of course made me really happy. How serendipitous that I stumble across this awesome band from my hometown in this totally random place that I was staying in for less than 48 hours. I bought both of their albums - which I love and have been listening to nonstop ever since - and that's when I noticed that, not only are they from Minneapolis, but they're on Afternoon Records, which seems to have a bit of a monopoly on awesome young bands in the Twin Cities. In fact, when I got home, I looked at my list of Minnesota artists that I wanted to look into for Minnesota Monday and A Night In The Box was on it! Their new album, "Write A Letter" only came out a few weeks ago and I guess the violinist, Kailyn Spencer, is a relatively new addition because she wasn't on their 2006 debut album "The Hustle, The Thief, The Prayer."

So check them out. They're wrapping up their tour right now promoting their new album, but they'll be back in the Twin Cities soon and they have a number of shows lined up for you Minneapolitans reading this.

Conductor Man [mp3] - "The Hustle, The Thief, The Prayer" (iTunes)
Rich Man's Table [mp3] - "Write A Letter" (iTunes unavailable)

Purchase albums from Afternoon Records

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