Soundfest 2011 coming to Pekin this weekend

Staff reports
The Olde Tyme Kings

The Nelson County Arts Council will present Soundfest 2011 on Sunday, Jan. 9 at the Pekin City Auditorium. The event is sponsored by Nelson County Farmers Union.  

Soundfest 2011 starts at 2 p.m. and continues until 8 p.m. The featured local bands will perform music that stretches from classic swing band tunes to foot stomping bluegrass.

Five bands will take the stage, with The Old Tyme Kings taking the stage first to play swing and old standards. The group features Elmer Bjorlie on piano; Lester Larson, sax; Don Willey, accordion; Bud Loe, vocals and "sitting in" with the group will be Monte McDaniel on sax and clarinet.

Next up are newcomers Country Cousins from Devils Lake. For nearly 15 years this group has been together playing a wide range of waltzes, polkas and more, all in a classic country style. They perform a couple of times a month for community events, area clubs and have appeared at the Stump Lake Threshing show. Band members are Mary Ann Rhault, Gordie Grad, Marlene Grad, Mike Schmidt and Gary Grad.  

Returning this year with a third band member will be the Radio Stars Trio. These musicians have appeared on Garrison Kellior's Prairie Home Companion and are now becoming well known all around North Dakota as host band for Dakota Air, a live radio show broadcast by Prairie Public. Recorded live in venues all across the state, this lively and entertaining radio show offers up humorous musing along with great music all with a North Dakota twist. The featured trio in Pekin will be: Merrill Peipkorn, host of Hear It Now on Prairie Public Radio, as lead vocalist and guitarist; Loy Larson on fiddle, mandolin and guitar; and performing with them this year will be RP Sell, guitarist and vocalist.

Another favorite group, The Diers family band, will be back this year. This trio from Grand Forks won rave reviews last year playing a wide range of tunes from bluegrass to country, rock to classic standards. Mark Dier (Papa) plays guitar and sings along with his very talented daughters Hannah, the lead singer and Kathy, who plays a "mean" fiddle and also sings. Their new CD will be available for purchase.  

Last but not least is the North River Ramblers also from Grand Forks. These musicians really played a wild and entertaining set last year playing such instruments as acoustic guitar, harmonica, fiddle, mandolin, banjo and didgeridoo. James Feist, Kris Leirfallom, Josh Driscoll and Xavier Pastrano share a passion to play and a love for old time music that is wonderfully displayed through traditional arrangements and their own originals.  

Hot dogs and pulled pork sandwiches with all the fixings, beer and non-alcoholic beverages, popcorn and bars are included in the admission fee. Those in attendance may come and go as they please throughout the afternoon.

North River Ramblers