Harmonizing, hunting and hanging out

Sue Kraft, Lifestyles Editor
Local singer Taylor Falcon, 17, poses for a photo with country music singer Aaron Tippin at the Spirit Water Inn on Friday evening. Tippin had just returned from hunting. (Journal Photo/Sue Kraft)

Country music singer Aaron Tippin may have scheduled a trip to the Lake Region to perform at the Spirit Lake Casino, but his mind wasn't on music during his entire visit.

An avid outdoorsman, Tippin was searching for a North Dakota whitetail.

“We have whitetail in Tennessee, but nothing like this,” he said.

Tippin arrived in Minnewaukan late Wednesday night to stay at the Spirit Water Inn. The inn is owned by Glen Delorme, who had acted as a hunting guide for Tippin several years ago when he last performed in the area.

Friday night, after hours of waiting with his bow and arrow in a tree stand near Minnewaukan, Tippin returned to the Spirit Water Inn to relax.

He admitted that he passed on a couple of deer, because they were too small.

“It would have been a great deer in Tennessee, but not around here,” he said.

Tippin said if he would have brought that deer back to the lodge, the boys would have been laughing at him and asking, “Where's its mama?”

But he wasn't giving up just yet.

“I didn't see the big one, but he's out there,” Tippin said. “That's how they get big. I bet he was watching me.”

Tippin's luck wasn't much better on Saturday. He admitted backstage of the concert that he again returned from the hunt empty handed.

On Sunday, Delorme reported that he took Tippin to Graham's Island and he finally snagged a deer before he had to hit the road. His next scheduled show is in Reno, NV.

Making new friends

Tippin wasn't the only visitor at the Spirit Water Inn last weekend.

Hall of fame bow hunters Myles Keller and Rob Evans were there to prepare for  a hunting segment they plan to film later this month. The duo, from Rochester, MN, set up tree stands and cleared brush for a segment on “The Ultimate Hunt,” which will air on the Outdoor Channel on Jan. 1.

Also stopping by was seventeen year-old Taylor Falcon from Belcourt.

Delorme had heard Falcon sing at a funeral and was blown away with her vocals. It was his idea to introduce her to the legendary country singer.

“He (Delorme) called me yesterday and I was screaming in the truck!” Falcon said Thursday evening.

On Friday night a number of people gathered at the Spirit Water Inn to listen to Falcon sing a few of her original songs, including Tippin, who asked her to prepare a press packet that he could take back to Nashville with him.

The daughter of Yvette and Ed Falcon, Taylor said she hopes to make it big in the music industry someday.

“I hope to be a big star like Aaron Tippin,” she said with a smile.

The concert

Dressed in camoflauge, sipping wine and sitting in the library of the Spirit Water Inn, it was hard to picture Tippin as a high-energy performer.

But that's exactly what he predicted.

“It's gonna be fun,” he said. “When you come to an Aaron Tippin show, you better wear your seatbelt.”

And he wasn't joking.

Saturday's show included a number of trucking songs, including “Roll On,” “Eastbound and Down,” and “Six Days on the Road,” among others. During one of the songs, Tippin began running cords and hoses across the stage, eventually attaching it to an air compressor to sound an air horn.

While singing “Working Man's PhD,” Tippin assembled a bike, with hand tools, which he later said would be donated to Toys for Tots.

Tippin's songs included patriotic tunes, a few “for the girls” and more than a few for the working class people. Tippin received a standing ovation before returning to the stage for a couple of encore songs.

Not bad for a guy who had originally selected a career in aviation.

Tippin said he is a licensed pilot and helicopter pilot, as well as a certified aircraft mechanic. He still enjoys flying, he said, but has found music to be his real calling.

“I had no aspirations for music,” he said. “But God threw me a bone — and that bone was music.”