By Way of the North Pole, Music Education Major Finds Home at Black Hills State University

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Bottom row, second from right, Katherine Carstensen-Zerbst sings with the Northern Hills Chamber Chorale at Black Hills State University. The music education major from North Pole, Alaska says her favorite Christmas song is “Up on The Housetop.” Photo:BHSU

By Kimberly Talcott
December 19, 2016

SPEARFISH –  Here’s three hints to guess the hometown of Black Hills State University student Katherine Carstensen-Zerbst: The weather is frightful, the town has candy cane light poles up 365 days a year, and its most famous resident is especially jolly. That’s right, Katherine is from North Pole, Alaska.

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Hailing from the North Pole, Katherine Carstensen-Zerbst, music education major, says the music department at Black Hills State University is like a family to her, even though she’s nearly 3,000 miles from home. Photo:BHSU

A vocalist and music education major at BHSU in Spearfish, Katherine recently performed as part of “A Christmas Carol Concert” at BHSU and “Holiday Revels at Roma’s,” a music department fundraiser.

Katherine was born in Rapid City before her father’s military career settled the family in North Pole.

“People always ask if we rode polar bears to school in North Pole, but we had roads and infrastructure,” said Katherine. “Santa is there most of the year and you can pet and feed reindeer at the Santa Claus House.”

North Pole is a small town of only a couple thousand people located near Fairbanks, Alaska – the largest city in the state. The city’s webpage has a countdown to Christmas.

Children all over the world are putting the final touches on their letters to Santa via the North Pole this week. Katherine says she helped to ensure the children received responses on behalf of the big boss.

“When I was in middle school I helped reply to kids’ letters to Santa. We would read the letters and then we had a template we’d use to write them back,” said Katherine.

Finishing up her junior year at BHSU, Katherine says she is glad she followed in her parents footsteps to BHSU and that she will compete her degree at their alma mater. Both Katherine’s parents are BHSU graduates. Her mother was born in Sisseton and her father in Newcastle, Wyo. Her grandparents still live in nearby Sturgis.

Katherine hopes to be a high school choir director or a private voice instructor after finishing her degree at BHSU next year. She is active as a vocalist in the music department at BHSU.

She says her faculty and friends in the music department make her feel at home, even though the BHSU campus is nearly 3,000 miles from North Pole, Alaska.

“It’s the best decision I’ve ever made, choosing to be a music major at Black Hills State. The music faculty are awesome, they’re like a family,” said Katherine.

Katherine says she mostly enjoys singing renaissance and French music. But everyone from the North Pole must have at least one favorite Christmas song, right?

“I always push us to sing ‘Up On The Housetop’ in choir,” said Katherine.

Custer Senior Center Holiday Open House and Music Fest

The Custer Senior Center held its Holiday Open House and Music Fest Saturday afternoon December 3, 2016 with several performers from the Custer area including: Chuck Biegler and Roy Hendrickson, Ann Van Dis, Mel and Cindy Christman, Jill and Allen Kirkham, Colleen Mahrt and the Choristers from Saint John’s Catholic Church, Sandstone Singers  and Pastor Matt and Wilma Furse and Family. Refreshments were served.

Custer Senior Center

 

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Allen and Jill Kirkham perform at the Custer Senior Center Holiday Open House and Music Fest Saturday afternoon, December 3, 2016. Photo: Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

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The Sandstone Singers from Hot Springs entertained at the Custer Senior Center Holiday Open House and Music Fest Saturday afternoon, December 3, 2016. Pictured is Alto singer Ebun Adelona. Photo: Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

Aces and Eights Classic Country Music LIVE at The Journey Museum and Learning Center

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RAPID CITY, SD – If you are looking for artists that will bring the nostalgia of real country music to the stage, you won’t need to look any further than Aces & Eights Classic Country Music! The Journey Museum & Learning Center is proud to announce that the classic country duo will be LIVE in concert at The Journey on Saturday, December 3,2016.

Doors for Aces & Eights Classic Country Music will open at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3 with a social hour and cash bar and the performance will begin at 6 p.m. Aces & Eights is a duo formed by Harland Allen & Kim Bachman and are committed to bringing back the roots of country music. Listeners find themselves on a journey back to a simpler time when country music was authentic; no fluff added. This very tradition reveals itself in the masterful guitar licks, old time banjo, and sweet mandolin melodies in correlation with the strong leads and beautiful harmonies of Aces & Eights.

Aces & Eights Classic Country Music received 2016 CD of the Year from two organizations; National Traditional Country Music Association and the South Dakota Country Music Hall of Fame.

Harland Allen was born in Missoula, Montana and raised in Lakewood, Colorado. He grew up listening to Hank Williams, Burl Ives, Marty Robbins and several other Folk and Country music artists from the 1950’s and 1960’s. He started his first garage band in Junior High School and spent his teenage years playing Rock and Roll. Returning to his Country and Folk roots he played as a soloist at local night clubs and lounges. His first gig for money was in 1977 at The Ground Round Restaurant and Lounge in Lakewood, CO. He continued to perform at local clubs and lounges playing acoustic guitar and singing songs by people like Cat Stevens, James Taylor, The Eagles and a variety of Country and Folk music. Over the years Harland has performed as a soloist and in a number of duos, trios, four and five piece bands. He now lives in Sturgis, SD with his wife and family.

Kimberly Bachman grew up in Iowa on a farm. She bought her first guitar with her money from working in the fields all summer. Kim was surrounded by country music. Family tradition entailed Saturday night gatherings around the kitchen table when relatives would come over to visit and play music. She is firmly rooted in the country music of the 60’s and 70’s with a strong alto voice that carries one back to the day of the women who were the true legends of country music. Kim also plays the banjo and the mandolin, sings lead and harmony. Over the past ten years, she has filled in with a number of small bands until she found her true country niche with Aces & Eights. She lives in Belle Fourche, SD with her husband and family.

Admission for Aces & Eights Classic Country Music is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, 1/2 off for members and FREE for students 5-17 with paid adult/senior admission.

The Journey Museum & Learning Center was established in 1997 and is conveniently located in downtown Rapid City at 222 New York St, 2 blocks east of the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center right across from the Club for Boys. Make sure to visit http://www.journeymuseum.org to find additional schedule information and be sure to ‘like’ us on Facebook!

Pop Music Iconoclast A.J. Croce to Perform at Matthews Opera House in Spearfish, SD

Los Angeles, CA – Fresh off of his new release of his most ambitious project yet, Twelve Tales, Croce now celebrates the 20th anniversary of his acclaimed album That’s Me in the BarCroce will be performing songs off of Twelve Tales and That’s Me in the Baras well as songs from his complete repertoire. Friday September 23rd in Spearfish, SD at Matthews Opera House at 7:30PM on 612 Main St., Spearfish, SD 57783. Tickets available here: Matthews Opera House

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(Photo by: Michael Llewellyn)

Compass Records put out the rerelease of A.J. Croce’s highly successful album, That’s Me in the Bar, in celebration of its 20th anniversary. With his unique jazz piano stylings and blues-tinged voice, the 12-track album established Croce as a singular artistic force in 1995. The rerelease features a bonus track, “If You Want Me to Stay,” recorded 20 years ago but locked in the vault until now which, features Red Hot Chili Peppers funky bass player Flea and had the vocals re-recorded by Croce this year in Los Angeles.

Hailed by The Boston Globe as “a thoughtful, probing record,” That’s Me in the Bar boasts appearances from the likes of Ry Cooder, Bill Payne (Little Feat), Robben Ford, Sweet Pea Atkinson (Was (Not Was)), Waddy Wachtel, Sid Page (Sly Stone & The Family Stone), and others. The album’s producer Jim Keltner was known for his selectivity behind the board, and he produced only four artists other than Croce: Jerry Lee Lewis and Ry Cooder, to name a couple. Croce and Keltner have remained close friends to this day.

Croce, son of legendary singer-songwriter Jim Croce, began his career at age 18 opening for B.B. King and has since spanned genres from jazz to Americana to blues to pop. He was blinded as a result of abuse from his mother’s boyfriend at age four, regaining partial vision at age ten. During that time he taught himself piano while listening to other great blind artists like Ray Charles.

David Wild of Rolling Stone considers him “one of our greatest young songwriters” – and with good reason. Croce has written with artists including Robert Earl Keen, Gary Nicholson, Roger Brown and Will Jenningsand headlined festivals and shared the stage with artists including Ray Charles, Lyle Lovett, James Brown and Rod Stewart. Croce‘s eight studio albums have charted on seven U.S. radio charts including Top 40, College, Americana, and Blues and charted 17 singles in the Top 20. Additionally, Croce has performed on Leno, Letterman, Conan and Austin City Limits and received praise from The New York Times, Rolling Stone, People Magazine and more.

 “A.J. Croce has wisdom beyond his years. With his music, he represents his generation with a profound sense of honesty in his lyrics and quality in his delivery. The future of entertainment is safe in his hands!” – Willie Nelson

Eddie Money Packs Pageant Hill Concert Venue in Custer South Dakota Saturday Evening

All Images: Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press.
By Herb Ryan

Custer, SD – Last year after the well attended “Firefall ” concert on Pageant Hill, organizer and local musician Van Arp and his wife Rose McMackin knew that the following year would be bigger and better. The plan for the Southern Hills Music and Art Festival grew and shrank as money and ideas were tossed about between Van Arp and second year partner Kevin Teasley. Van and Rose share the lead singing  in their band ” Pleasant Valley Sunday” and are both active in the Custer City and Custer Area Arts Council 2016 Summer Music Series.

Arp and Teasley both emphasized “that without the support of Custer City, the neighbors surrounding Pageant Hill, all 27 Bands that  entertained pre-concert Saturday afternoon and countless festival workers and volunteers, the event would not have been possible.”

After a cold chilly Friday night opening For Brule’ and Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr., Saturdays weather was most perfect, warm, sunshine and very little wind. The arts and food fair went off without a hitch and with 27 musical groups, pizza, walking tacos, mexican food, exotic meats, kettle corn  beer  wine and soda – a car show and that music all afternoon on four different stages, what more could you ask for.

The Spearfish band Max Temple pumped up the crowd for Eddie Money who bounced on stage and electrified the audience for the next hour and change. Typical of South Dakota, the audience came drifting in slowly and as night fell, a flood of people arrived, filling seats, bringing blankets and chairs and ready to rock and roll all night long. Arp and Teasley did not have to say a word once Money started playing, the smiles were huge, obvious relief that an event of this caliber had been pulled off in South Dakota knowing the Southern Hills Music and Art Festival would be back next year.

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Custer music impresario Van Arp and local businessman Kevin Teasley partners in Southern Hills Music and Art Festival, opening the Eddie Money Concert on Pageant Hill Saturday August 27, 2016.Photo:Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

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Eddie Money’s son Desmond Money performing at the the Southern Hills Music and Art Festival in Custer, SD Saturday August 26, 2016. Photo:Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

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Jesse Money, daughter of Eddie Money performing at the Southern Hills Music and Art Festival in Custer, SD Saturday August 26, 2016. Photo:Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

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Eddie Money makes personal contact with the audience performing at the Southern Hills Music and Art Festival in Custer, SD Saturday August 26, 2016. Photo:Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

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Eddie Money and son Desmond Money performing at the Southern Hills Music and Art Festival in Custer, SD Saturday August 26, 2016. Photo:Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

Davis and McCoo Entertain at The Southern Hills Music and Art Festival in Custer, South Dakota

All Images: Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. bring back memories at The Southern Hills Music and Art Festival premier weekend event in Custer, South Dakota August 26, 2016 .

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Billy Davis Jr. and Marilyn McCoo perform at The Southern Hills Music and Art Festival premier weekend event in Custer, South Dakota August 26, 2016 .Photo:Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

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Marilyn McCoo performs at The Southern Hills Music and Art Festival premier weekend event in Custer, South Dakota August 26, 2016 .Photo:Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

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Billy Davis Jr. performs at The Southern Hills Music and Art Festival premier weekend event in Custer, South Dakota August 26, 2016 .Photo:Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

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Billy Davis Jr. and Marilyn McCoo perform at The Southern Hills Music and Art Festival premier weekend event in Custer, South Dakota August 26, 2016. Photo:Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

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Billy Davis Jr. and Marilyn McCoo still lovin it, perform at The Southern Hills Music and Art Festival premier weekend event in Custer, South Dakota August 26, 2016. Photo:Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press.

Brule’ Performs at The Southern Hills Art and Music Festival in Custer, South Dakota

All Images: Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

Brule’ performing at the Southern Hills Music and Art Festival in Custer, SD Friday evening August 26, 2016.

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Paul LaRoche Brule’ piano/lead singer performing at the Southern Hills Music and Art Festival in Custer, SD Friday evening August 26, 2016. Photo:Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

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Nicole LaRoche Brule’ Flute player performing at the Southern Hills Music and Art Festival in Custer, SD Friday evening August 26, 2016. Photo:Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

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A Brule’ member performs the “Eagle Dance” at the Southern Hills Music and Art Festival in Custer, SD Friday evening August 26, 2016. Photo:Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

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Vallusis Perkickis Brule’ drummer performing at the Southern Hills Music and Art Festival in Custer, SD Friday evening August 26, 2016. Photo:Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

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A Brule’ member performs at the Southern Hills Music and Art Festival in Custer, SD Friday evening August 26, 2016. Photo:Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

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Shane LaRoche Brule’ guitarist performs at the Southern Hills Music and Art Festival in Custer, SD Friday evening August 26, 2016. Photo:Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

 

 

 

The Matthews Opera House Kicks off 2016-17 Season With A.J. Croce Live Concert

 

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(Artist promo photo.)

KC and The Sunshine Band

All Images: Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

Custer, SD – KC and The Sunshine Band at the Central States Fair in Rapid City, SD, August 23 2016.
If you liked disco and funk, the Central States fair was the place to be Tuesday evening. The Little River Band warmed up the crowd with old favorites, “Long Way There” “Happy Anniversary” and “Take it Easy On Me. The band members were Greg Hind lead vocal, Rich Herring guitar vocals, Ryan Ricks Drums and Chris Marion keys and vocals.

KC and the Sunshine band was a polished production with choreographed dancing, complimented by dramatic stage lighting, the combination of lighting, drumming and guitar riffs in the introduction number set the upbeat mood for the evening. It was full speed ahead with everything from “I’m Your Boogie Man,” “That’s The Way I Like It,” “Get Down Tonight,” and “Shake Your Booty”.

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KC (Harry Wayne Casey) and The Sunshine Band perform at the Central States Fair in Rapid City, SD, August 23 2016.Photo:Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

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“Get Down Tonight” with KC and The Sunshine Band at the Central States Fair in Rapid City, SD, August 23 2016.

 

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KC and the Sunshine Band drummer David Simmons performs at the Central States Fair in Rapid City, SD, August 23 2016.Photo:Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

 

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Harry (KC) Wayne Casey and backup singer Maria DeCrescenzo perform at the Central States Fair in Rapid City, SD Tuesday evening August 23, 2016. Photo:Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

 

Montgomery Gentry Band Performs At Central States Fair in Rapid City

 

All Images: Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

With Mickey and the Motorcars cranking up the volume as the first act, the near capacity crowd at the Central States Fair in Rapid City Monday evening was primed for the explosive opening act. Montgomery Gentry has more than 20 charted singles, and earned CMA, ACM and Grammy awards with blue collar anthems “Hell Yeah.” “My Town” and “Hillbilly Shoes” and have five No. 1 singles with “If You Ever Stop Loving Me.” “Something To Be Proud Of,” “Lucky Man,”Back When I Knew It All,” and “Roll With Me”.

Tuesday evenings entertainment  is “The Little River Band” and “KC and The Sunshine Band.”
Tickets for KC and The Sunshine Band

 

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Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry perform at the Central States Fair in Rapid City, SD Saturday night August 22, 2016. Photo:Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

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Troy Gentry on guitar and bass guitar player perform at the Central States Fair in Rapid City, SD Saturday night August 22, 2016. Photo:Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

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Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry perform at the Central States Fair in Rapid City, SD Saturday night August 22, 2016. Photo:Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

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Troy Gentry on guitar and rhythm guitar player perform at the Central States Fair in Rapid City, SD Saturday night August 22, 2016. Photo:Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press