Theyâ€™re on their â€œSpring Thaw Tour,â€ so hopefully theyâ€™ve packed a few Kentucky sunbeams along with their fiddle, mandolin, standup bass, banjos and guitars. One thingâ€™s for sure, it may be less than balmy outside, but when Flickertail Holler strikes up the music, the audience will be warmed within.
I caught up with the musicians Sunday evening via cell phone. They were having a burger at a McDonaldâ€™s Restaurant somewhere in Indiana and then getting back on the road to continue their trek northwestward.
The schedule includes a stop in Fargo to help with sandbagging efforts before their Grand Forks concert which is at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Immanuel Lutheran Church, 1710 Cherry Street. They drew a tremendous crowd when they performed at Immanuel in December during Christmas break. If you missed them then you might not want to let that happen again as now theyâ€™re spending their spring break touring and performing in churches in North Dakota and Minnesota.
Flickertail Holler is a bluegrass gospel band made up of Jasper Lorentzen (standup bass); his sister Starlit Lorentzen (fiddle); Seth Mulder (mandolin/banjo), and new member Uriah Nibbe (guitar/banjo). All are students at the Kentucky School of Bluegrass in Hyden.
All four grew up in Christian homes and faith continues to be a very important part of their lives. Seth, Starlit and Jasper are all originally from North Dakota (Cummings and Washburn) and Uriah is from Howard Lake, Minn. Seth and Uriah will graduate from bluegrass school this spring and Jasper and Starlit have one year left.
While brainstorming a name for their band, â€œWe added our North Dakota heritage to our Kentucky schooling,â€ Jasper said, â€œand came up with Flickertail Holler.â€
Three of the four are composers. â€œWeâ€™ll do quite a few original songs,â€ Starlit said. â€œWith three song writers there are three different styles so you can expect a variety of music.â€
â€œThere also will be familiar songs,â€ Seth added, â€œsongs you can sing along with and feel right at home. And there will be some new takes on old songs.â€
Teachers at the Kentucky School of Bluegrass are all professional musicians and they are elated that these four students have formed a band. â€œThey are very excited,â€ Seth said. â€œThis is what the school is for. They want people to go out and form their own groups. This is what they hope their students will do. They can only teach you so much and you can learn so much more by being on the road and just doing it.â€
I can tell you that these four, who started young and were nurtured by musical families, have learned their lessons well. Not only are they tremendous musicians, but each has a persona and stage presence that totally captures the heart.
Grand Forks is the first stop on their tour. Theyâ€™ll also be at United Church of Christ, Valley City, N.D., at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 9; Lakota (N.D.) Lutheran Church, 7 p.m. Thursday, March 10; Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran, Bismarck, 7 p.m. Friday, March 11; Immanuel Lutheran, Fargo, 7 p.m. Saturday, March 12, and Good Shepherd Lutheran in Glencoe, Minn., for the 8 a.m. worship service on Sunday March 13.
There is no admission charge at the concerts, but a free-will offering is taken to help the band with travel costs. For more information call Seth at: (701) 430-9642. Also check out their website at: www.flickertailholler.com
Iâ€™ll be at Immanuel Grand Forks Tuesday night at 7 p.m. Hope you will be, too.