The fall colors are just at the hint of turning, which means it’s time to start planning day trips to take in the natural beauty. A great option is a series of art happenings taking place in the St. Croix Valley, just east of the Twin Cities including Stillwater, Shafer and Marine on St. Croix, Hudson, as well as Osceola in Wisconsin. Meanwhile, lots of great music gigs coming up, including Cape Verdean singer Lucibela at the Cedar, Ray Bonneville at Landmark Live’s return and the Killers. Plus, pay tribute to the late composer and musician Peter Ostroushko, or treat your taste buds and your funny bone with Sod House Theater’s latest dinner theater experiment.
Art and Artisans in the St. Croix Valley
The St. Croix Valley is going to be hopping with art this weekend, with studio sales, gallery events, and the Marine Fall Festival 2022. This is a great time of year for a fall drive to the river. Visit the Mary Jo Van Dell Studio, where the oil painter will be showing work with textile, glass, metal and wood artists. At Terra Incognita in Stillwater, an outdoor showcase of pottery, paintings, fiber arts and printmaking will be on view in the garden, with coffee and treats to boot. Meanwhile, the River Valley Potters’ fall studio sales will take place at three locations — in Marine and in Shafer, just west of Franconia. Also this weekend, visit Art on Rustic Road 13, in Hudson, where 10 different artists will be showing work. On Saturday only, you can also head to Osceola, Wisconsin, to see plein air paintings, photographs and land art inside and outside of the Horst Rechelbacher Foundation. That event also features food trucks, apiary tours, honey sampling and a mobile art gallery by ArtReach St. Croix.
The events are all a part of Take Me to the River 2022, a program of ArtReach St. Croix. Additionally, the Marine Mill Folk School celebrates its 4th year with the Marine Fall Festival 2022. There’s going to be an artists’ marketplace, live music, sheep herding, and more. Various times Thursday to Sunday (free). More information here and here.
Table, by Sod House Theater
Writer and performer Sarah Agnew has whipped together another food-themed theatrical, after the success of last year’s touring production of “Arla Mae’s Booya Wagon,” produced by Sod House Theater. In “Table” an all-female cast delivers an immersive evening of antics and wordsmithing coupled with an evening of farm-to-table goodness—featuring various chefs for different performances and accompanied with music. Sept. 15 to 25 at multiple locations. ($25-120 depending on the show.) More information here.
Lucibela with Douala Soul Collective
If you are already mourning the easy days of summer, you might want to call them back with an evening of Cape Verdean music courtesy of vocalist Lucibela, at the Cedar Cultural Center. Lucibela’s latest album, Amdjer, is filled with rhythms and melodies that will have you dreaming of palm trees. Her voice sounds like a comforting ocean breeze as she sings the music of composers from her island, plus her debut as a composer. DJ collective Douala Soul Collective will start out the night. Friday, Sept. 16 at the Cedar. Doors at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m. ($22, $27 day of show). More information here.
Ray Bonneville at 11th Annual Landmark Live
Landmark Live makes its return throughout the fall season, with shows every month featuring guests that include Annie Mack, Turn Turn Turn, and bluegrass band Barley Jacks. First up is Texas blues Americana artist Ray Bonneville, making his return to Saint Paul for the first time in nine years. Bonneville just released a single, “The Way It Was Before,” a melancholy tune supported with his raspy, nuanced voice. That and “On the Blind Side” will be part of a new album to be released in 2023. Friday, Sept. 16 at 7 p.m. at the Landmark Center ($20). More information here.
Peter Ostroushko Tribute
This week, the classical music community is mourning the death of the Minnesota Orchestra’s former concertmaster Jorja Fleezanis, who died unexpectedly last Friday. Fleezanis was the first woman to serve as concertmaster of a major orchestra when she was appointed to that position with the Minnesota Orchestra in 1989. The violinist was known as much for her artistry as she was for her inspirational personality and kindness.
Meanwhile, the community is coming together to celebrate the life of Ukrainian American composer and multi-instrumentalist Peter Ostroushko. Otroushko, a violin and mandolin player, played on Bob Dylan’s “Blood on the Tracks” album. He was a regular on “A Prairie Home Companion,” and won a regional Emmy for the soundtrack of the documentary series “Minnesota: A History of the Land.” He performed with the Minnesota Orchestra and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and composed music for the latter. Greg Brown, Kevin Kling, and Prudence Johnson will be among the many musical and theatrical guests, and there will be a chance to donate to emergency relief and humanitarian aid to Ukrainian refugees during a social hour before the concert. It takes place Monday, Sept.19 at the Woman’s Club at 7 p.m. (social hour starts at 5:30 p.m.) ($30). More information here.
The best band to come out of Las Vegas is hitting St. Paul early next week. The Killers boast theatricality with lyrics that paint stories. Each of their albums have a wide range of sounds, grooving a bit differently with each release. Their latest, “Pressure Machine,” takes lead singer Brandon Flower’s childhood memories from Nephi, Utah as its starting point, with additional influences from novelists John Steinbeck and Sherwood Anderson. Catch them Tuesday, Sept. 20 at Xcel Energy Center at 7:30 p.m. (6:30 doors) ($25-250). More information here.