Thursday, September 17, 2015

Kelley will be inside on Friday.

 It's definitely worth holding on to the reservation and make it to the concert.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Friday, April 10, 2015

Fall line up set!

We're going to be a little rural country this fall...We'll welcome Kelley McRae who has a sound like Gillian Welch and has written my most favorite tribute song to Johnny Cash; and then we'll be welcoming back my three favorite belles, the WHISKEYBELLES; the best Wisconsin trio from Milwaukee who rocked out a night to remember back in 2013, about time they come back!

More to follow... enjoy the summer and don't forget to stop out at the Great River Folk Fest and say hi to me, I'll be walking around as the Fest Master again... ha.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Back to Back Sell outs

I feel great for the artists, we're now in airplane mode and overbooking to a waiting list.  Don't be shy to get your name on the list, stuff comes up and people shift their plans.  At least with Natalie, you can drive over the Elmaro Vineyard on Saturday afternoon and listen to her.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Newsletter update

Hey peeps! Happy Day Light Savings Day! Fresh off of a PACKED house concert for Bill Staines and a good 14 new emails to the list I thought I should send out a little newsletter.

First up Bill Staines wrap up:

Oh my to host a legend in real.  Bill is not a spring chicken anymore at 68 but his voice and his stories are not waning at all.  His fingers are what he finds that slow him down a bit, but truly at 68 I wish I could still play that well.  The road warrior brought songs that touched all corners of his travels and his life as a dad and a lover of his dog.... but really that's Bill.  Lori and I have known is music as long as we've known each other, and his song, "All of me" was sung at our wedding.  I would gladly share an LP import of that song and one cut from the concert, just ask.  I'm not one to fill up people's in boxes.  (Heck I email this list maybe 6 times a year)

Next up Natalie Gelman:

I am notorious for booking pretty women, but I rationalize my choice this time with the fact that Lori and I both agree that Natalie is such fun and a good soul to be around.  We've seen her twice, and last time we hosted her overnight after she played the Elmaro.  While Bill was working coffee shops in the 60's in Boston, Natalie was born to classical musicians in Greenwich Village in mid-80's.  Classically trained in Opera at Univ of Miami, this girl has some set of vocal chords, but it's her writing that got my attention.  Really many a pretty artist I run into I would book in a flash, but their music sometimes is boring.  Natalie will mix in some pop hits and covers that range from Gnarls Barkley to Joni Mitchell.  What she's really good at though is making conversation with the audience, you will leave this concert knowing you have just met a new friend.  Natalie will give you Seven Free songs if you sign up for her email list:  With a few reserved regulars and some newbies already on the list, we're at 24 of 45 spots filled.  Here's a Facebook event that you could join,

Fall is taking shape:
Yes BOTH spots for fall are filled.  Kelley McRae and Matt Castelein have kept in touch with me over the last two years, and I really like their sound.  Paste Magazine is a magazine that was first to promote the Civil Wars gives Kelley FOUR Stars our of four, and if you like Gillian Welch with David Rollins, you'll think this is one of the better house concerts I've booked.  Matt's guitar leads are smooth and tasteful, harmonies are top notch, and if Kelley's piercing eyes don't touch you her lyrics and singing will.  Kelley will give you a great free song if you sign up for her email list.

The Whiskeybelles have pretty much agreed to come back too, October or November... still working out the details.  Sara's has cabin in Ferryville so maybe we'll see the husband's this time and maybe not.  Rockin good time was had last time in the fall of 2013, we just had to do this again.  Funny a regular of mine said, "I wasn't too sure about the Whiskeybelles when you booked them, but they are now my favorite of all your house concerts."

I normally do take the summer off... there are plenty of great place to hear good music.  I love the fact that I have a bigger audience network, and I might take a flyer mid-week if the artist is really special.  I've already tossed out to SHEL and Kristin Andreassen that they are welcome any day they pass thru; heck for SHEL I'd pay them $100 just to be in the audience of our little house concert.
Finally ... two personal gigs... Lynn and I are backing up Melissa McCarthy at the Acoustic Cafe in Winona Friday March 27th, and on Wednesday May 27th I'd like to invite you down to the Wine Guyz and have a glass of wine... tips and a percentage of the wine sales go to the Great River Folk Fest.  Anyone want to book Lucky Dog just give me a howl.

I leave you with a video from the next three concert artists:

Bill Staines was wonderful..

I have to thank Bill for a great night of music and conversation afterward... such a memory that guy has; even better than my wife's.  I'm going to remember the stories and the gentleman almost more than the concert.  Did get a good taping of Bill, who knows some day I might slice it into songs.

Oh and thanks for helping draw a full house, now more people know how to find the place and know that we're not big scary strangers.

One couple left me a bottle of wine and another knitted a hot pad for us during the concert.... all unnecessary but appreciated.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Natalie Gelman April 10th

Twice Natalie came through the area and looked me up because she and artist within Concerts in Your Home network, and I'm a host in it; and twice it was short notice and I was booked.  BOTH times I ended up seeing her, once at The Root Note and the next time at the Elmaro Vineyard.  At the Elmaro I setup up her sound and she did stay over.  Lori, Natalie and I stayed up way past bedtime talking about stuff.  What a talented and loving soul.  This spring determined not to miss her we held a slot open until we could get a date booked.  Friday April 10th it is, and guess what, she's back at the Elmaro on Saturday... a double shot of Natalie... should be a great weekend for me, you should try NOT to miss one or the either opportunities.  The house concert will be much better because of no background noise and the room is much warmer for sound.

Obviously I could write on and on about my favorite songs of hers... why don't you check out her website at

or watch at least my most favorite video:

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

sold out, but call for waiting list

People have stuff come up, so don't hesitate calling me and get on the waiting list.


Saturday, January 17, 2015

Bill Staines March 6th

Yes THE Bill Staines... I rarely use hero much, but this guy is one I so admire... I started listening to him after my tastes were honed on John Denver, Harry Chapin, and Jim Croce... and wow he was better, and accessible. Nanci Griffith called him today's Woody Guthrie, and he'll be at our house concert... yep expect it to be sold out, please get your name on the list early many have already.

I really love the use of Facebook Event planners, here's the link if you FB..

If you don't know Bill, well here a little press release:

After touring and playing concerts for over 41 years, you would think that musician and songwriter Bill Staines might think about slowing down, but that’s just not the case. Bill continues to perform more than 175 shows a year and drives close to 70,000 miles getting to them.  He is one of the most durable and beloved singers on the folk music scene today.

Staines has twenty-six recordings to his credit and has written over three hundred songs, many of which have been recorded by the likes of Peter, Paul, and Mary, Makem and Clancy, Nanci Griffith, Glen Yarborough, and Jerry Jeff Walker. His music is sung at campfires and folk music gatherings, in homes and churches, all around the country. Songs like “All God’s Critters,”  “The Roseville Fair,”  “Child of Mine,” and “River,” have become folk music classics. Composer David Amram once described Bill as “a modern day Stephen Foster. His music will be around a hundred years from now.”

On stage, Staines is an intimate, compelling performer, out of the folk scene of the 60’s, encouraging his audience to sing with him on his chorus songs. He will mix in traditional tunes with his own contemporary folk ballads. His humorous tales of life on the road and observations of everyday people provide an entertaining blend of story and song.

 “I have always wanted to bring something of value to people with my songs. I think that is important, to try to write beyond myself, to write to the great things that we all experience in our lives.”  For Bill, that is what folk music is all about--a music rich in the human experience and spirit.

Bill has recorded two children’s albums, The Happy Wanderer and One More River, both of which have won the coveted Parents’ Choice Award. His music has appeared in a number of films, including the HBO series, Deadwood, Return of the Secaucus Seven, John Sayles’ first endeavor as a director, and Off and Running with Cyndi Lauper.

Bill has done numerous radio and television appearances and, during its early years, was a frequent performer on Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion Show.”

Staines has released two songbooks: If I Were a Word, Then I’d be a Song published by Folk Legacy and Music to Me published by Hal Leonard Corp. An illustrated book of his song All God’s Critters was published in 2009 by Simon and Schuster with illustrations by talented artist, Kadir Nelson. Bill’s memoir, The Tour, was released in 2003.

Nanci Griffith once wrote, “Bill Staines has been my hero since 1977. He carries on where Woody left off- carrying on the tradition of stories and characters you wish you knew.”

 “When do you think it will be time to retire?” someone once asked Bill. He answered, “In the words of my old friend, Tommy Makem…about ten o’clock tonight.”

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Pigtown Fling String Band.

Yes... it just seems like yesterday Barbara Jean and Erik Koskinen graced the Bluff View in September... in between I had gigs, hosted Natalie Gelman for a night's stay, and went to my niece's wedding...
So this Saturday will be a great time with good talented people... and new friends.  By no means is it a full house yet, but Lori got the traditional call, "You mean it's your house?" "You mean I can bring a bottle of wine and enjoy myself?".. Yes, Yes, and more..

Truly the Pigtown Fling String Band is a wonderful acoustic eclectic group of artists that will jump from blues to bluegrass as easily as they jump from pop to country...Lori and I so have liked to watch this group and are looking forward to hosting them.  Saturday Nov 8th at the Bluff View House concerts, Holmen WI

Friday, June 27, 2014

Barbara Jean Sept 13th

I am so excited about hosting the wonderful Barbara Jean at our house concert series Saturday September 13th.

I've been following her music for a few years now, and I've had a chance to see her maybe 4-5 times including when she has backed up Chastity Brown at the Root Note in LaCrosse; plus when she performed at the Great River Folk Fest in 2013.

Today I had a chance to work on some posters and social media pictures... boy did I get lucky; Barbara had just recently had a great photo set done with Stephan Hoglund Photography and it made it so easy.

Of course I can't decide on which poster to use; which is your favorite?

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Stop out and WIN

Wednesday night at the Wine Guyz, you will have a chance to bid on Barbara Jean tickets, a $30 Value.  Great way to support the Great River Folk Fest!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

SHEL in LaCrosse August 29th

Sure I would have preferred to host this wonderful group of sisters, but I recognized that they deserve a huge audience, and a nice pay check for traveling to La Crosse area.  So I did the next best thing, sponsored them to play at the Pump House, then I get front row seats!  Really looking forward to seeing them for the THIRD time!  Get your tickets early, I'm working to get this to be a full house.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Drew Nelson April 25th!

Drew Nelson is coming to the Bluff View Friday April 25th at 7:30...

Here's a recent video of Drew:

And here is his bio from his website:

Michigan-born Navy veteran Drew Nelson is a storytelling songwriter and multiinstrumentalist. A fly fisherman and world traveler, he writes as a witness to the lives and journeys of those he has met along the way, mixing Americana and roots-rock with traditional folk styles.
Drew has toured across North America and Europe, performing solo and opening for popular rock artists like Melissa Etheridge and Edwin McCain as well as esteemed folk singers like Josh White Jr. and John Gorka.
He first met John Gorka in 2006, when Drew performed as part of Falcon Ridge Folk Festival’s prestigious songwriting contest. John found him backstage after his performance and told him how much his songs moved him. Since then, Drew has shared the stage with John several times, including at such big events as the Kerrville Folk Festival. “Drew Nelson is one of my favorite new artists,” John Gorka says. “His songs sound like the rest of us feel….dazed, angry, amazed and climbing.”
Drew garnered further attention in 2009, when he released Dusty Road to Beulah Land (Waterbug Records), and it topped the folk radio charts. It also caught the attention of the Grammy-winning indie label Red House
Records, which just signed him. “I love that Drew can rock out as well as write sensitive ballads,” Red House president Eric Peltoniemi says. “I admire his down-to-earth songwriting which portrays our world and ordinary people with such deep feeling and unflinching clarity. He has worked hard in life and hasn’t been afraid to get his hands dirty. He has 100% credibility in the subject matter he writes about, and I’m excited to get the chance to work with him.”
Drew’s Red House debut Tilt-A-Whirl comes out in early 2012. He can also be heard on the new album Dark River: Songs of the Civil War Era, along with Jon Dee Graham, Slaid Cleaves, James McMurtry and new label-mate Eliza Gilkyson.
In support of his new album, Drew Nelson will be showcasing at the 2012 International Folk Alliance Conference in Memphis and will be touring across North America and Europe.
When Drew is not on the road, he enjoys reading, rooting for the Detroit Tigers, doing hot yoga and working as an amateur luthier, building guitars and octave mandolins. He is also working on putting together a photography show.