This Cedar performance marks the debut concert appearance of a new combo, one that's been years in the making. It's a recent addition to the Minnesota music scene, even though it's members aren't all newcomers. The mostly acoustic trio plays a roots-oriented blend of blues, folk, country, gospel and rock'n'roll, with a little r&b on the side. "It's American music," Glover says, "and a piano-guitar-harp unit is the quintessential band combination."
Tony Glover (vocals, harp or rhythm guitar) has been familiar to local (and national) music fans for four decades, playing with his partners Spider John Koerner and the late great Dave Ray, as well as writing extensively on rock, folk and blues. He's also had a long relationship (both personal and professional) with Galen Michaelson, (lead guitar, vocals), the second member of the group. Their friendship goes back to the coffeehouse days in Dinkytown, near the U of M, when Galen was giving Bob Dylan rides on his motor-scooter, and making some of the earliest live recordings of Ray & Glover on a home machine he'd dragged in. They also played together in their 70's electric band Nine Below Zero, and Galen occasionally joined the duo on bass for their residency gigs at the 400 and Times Bar. Galen also was regular drummer in Dave Ray's Volunteers of the Blue Knight for some 6 years in the 80's, while Glover played rhythm guitar. Jon Rodine, (lead vocals, rhythm pianist), the junior member of the trio, has only recently begun playing music in public, but has performed and recorded with Glover, the Front Porch Swinging Liquor Pigs, the House of Mercy band in St. Paul, and others. He's currently readying an album for release.
V3, in the words of Glover, "is about songs, not technical virtuosity.". After Michaelson and Glover discussed the idea of playing together again on a regular basis, Glover called Rodine, whom he'd first played with while opening for Ralph Stanley in 2001. The three had similar tastes in songs, and one thing led to another. The tunes grow organically, vocal chores and harmonies are traded off, and Galen would like to be singing more, but for now the docs won't let him. "We share responsibility pretty equally," says Rodine, "not just in playing and singing, but also in the tunes we bring to the project. It really is a group effort, and, like Tony said, it's not about being flashy. It's from the heart, and a little bit raw."
Tonight is just a beginning. Be sure to look for V3 in the next few months, playing in coffeehouses and venues around the Twin Cities.
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