cut the conversation, we're here for the music...
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Kray Van Kirk
Friday March 14 - 7:30 pm

Kray comes to us from Alaska, and explains...

For a number of reasons, I no longer record CDs and I don't charge money for my songs - all of them are waiting to waddle across the world to everyone, leaving no footprints in the snow. Invite them in, see if they fit, and introduce them to anyone else who might like them. Travel for concerts is supported by ticket sales.
As a single father, however, I'm not able to tour full time. My Ph.D. is in fisheries population dynamics, and my day job (in addition to taxi driver, cook and butler) is figuring out how many fish are around, what they are doing, and why they are doing it. I divide my time between Alaska and the road as best I can, and the schedule can be rather erratic. If I'm in your town, please come out and say hello! If you're not on the schedule, drop me an email and we'll see if we can't make it happen, because I'd love to come and visit everyone.

All our yesterdays, the past through tomorrow,
forever gentle under the hill.

A season fine indeed.

Cara Luft
Friday April 4 - 7:30 pm

I always appreciate comments and requests that come off the website. An unidentified writer wrote, "
It would be great if you can get a chance to bring Cara Luft to your venue." I thought it was a pretty tall order, but I emailed Cara and she answered me right away while on her European tour with a resounding yes!

Cara deserves her solid reputation as one of Canada's finest live performers. She is a warm person who engages you and makes you laugh with her witty sense of humor.

She was a  co-founder of folk trio The Wailin' Jennys, and the spark behind the group. Her spirit and incredible musicianship were instrumental in their rise to the forefront of the North American roots music scene. Since leaving the trio, Luft has wowed audiences and critics across North America and Europe with her performances.

Cara is clearly at home on the stage, and invites audiences into her world with appealing confidence and humility. Folks, Cara's the real deal, there's nothing pretentious about her. She has honesty and integrity - her personality fills the stage. Every show is unique because she is never afraid to let spontaneity lead the way.

Josh Harty
with special guest Eric Addington
Friday January 24 - 7:30 pm

When I moved to Fargo in 2000. Josh was one of the first local musicians I heard play. He connects with the audience in a very authentic way. You don't feel like you are hearing a rehearsed show being played the 78th time. Josh is always fresh.

Josh brought Kelly Joe Phelps to Fargo, I believe, for the first time. It was an unforgettable concert in the upstairs hall of the old Moose Lodge. He drove Kelly to his show the next night at the Cedar in Minneapolis. My friendship with Josh solidified when I handed off a video cassette with a font row recording of Kelly's concert as the proprietor drug me by my ear to go tell Kelly what I had done. Convenient that Josh was standing in the right place at the right time...
Touring across continents, Josh's unique blend of American music has become a must-hear for those who keep the tradition of country, blues and folk close to their hearts. Born and raised on the plains of North Dakota, Josh has continued the old family tradition of playing guitar. His father, both a preacher, and the Police Chief of their small town, was also Harty's music mentor.

In the past decade Josh has put out three critically acclaimed albums, while touring continuously across Europe and North America, and shows no signs of slowing down. More than just moving along, he's spending plenty of time in the communities along the way, from Brooklyn to Harlem, from London to Portland. Josh is always looking for that balance between the rolling road and the people who inspire him, trading stories around kitchen tables and theatre stages. Harty's live shows prove that good story telling combined with journeyman musicianship is as American as music gets.

The last time Josh was here, he packed the house. Get your tickets early - the Fire Marshall doesn't like it when we get too full.

"An honest voice and fingers that seem to catch fire!"
-Atlanta Music Guide

"There is a dignity to this music making that leaves us feeling enriched for the experience. . . "
-No Depression
Special Guest: Eric Addington

Eric has headlined and opened numerous times for Eric Taylor at The Listening Roo. A fitting guest for Josh - The two often played at song-writer's circles around Fargo. Eric opened our 5th year with Bill Lempe as Flatlands.
Thursday, February 14 - Raining Jane - 7:00 pm
Special Vallentine's Day Show
Wisconsin-born Rawling spent many summers working atop a firetower in the Mt. Hood wilderness.  Wrapped in that isolation, Jenn was able to give focused attention to songwriting.  She is an artist governed by intuition, tapped into the poetry of human life, who bides her time painting, gardening, cooking and admiring salamanders. "I'm inspired by nature's seasons, and these are my love songs to the moon and stars, ballads to the birth of flowers, and human expressions of love and loss," she explains.

Born to hippie idealists in an adobe hut seven miles shy of Colorado's Mt. Blanca, Basho Watson Parks comes from radical origins.  From symphonies to punk bands, bluegrass barn storms to roma-gypsy trios, organic electronica chamber music to classic country, his twenty-six years of string-playing experience span a wide swath of musical genres.

Jenn and Basho met in 2010 while contributing their talents to bands around Portland, Oregon. Discovering common loves and tribulations propelled them to become an inseparable team both on and offstage. Rawling composes highly melodic songs from fascinating scraps of phrases and images, singing them with an engaging yodel-edged alto. Parks sings harmony, but his "voice" is heard in the form of the his distinctive string-playing, which has a dusty, mournful quality revealing classical, mountain and bluegrass influences. For the last six months the couple has been touring the U.S. in support of their debut album "Take the Air."

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Now Serving
Beer and Wine

Many of those familiar with Red House recording artist Ray Bonneville know that he is a hard driving, blues influenced, song and groove man who often writes about people who live on the fringe of society. Ray's vibe is loose and soulful. With a greasy guitar style, horn-like harmonica phrasing, smoky vocal style and pulsing foot percussion he immediately rivets audiences. His solo performance fills a concert hall with all the sound layering and drama of a full band.  The consummate, driven professional, Ray plays more that one hundred and fifty shows a year across the US, Canada and Europe.  He has a loyal, enthusiastic fan base wherever he goes.

In 1999 he won the Juno award (Canada's Grammy) and was nominated twice more after that. His song about the resilience of New Orleans, "I am the Big Easy" was the most played song by North American folk DJs, and won "Song of the Year" at Folk Alliance in Memphis in 2009, the same city where he took first place in the International Blues Challenge in 2012. About that award he says "I just went to Memphis to meet some new folks, so it took me by surprise when they announced my name; I see what I do as the offspring of traditional blues music".
Ann was with us in February of 2010, and as luck would have it, there wasn't an empty seat in the house! I don't expect things to be any different this time. But, we have a little bit larger room now, so if you send in your reservations early you stand a good chance to be seated!

Ann is a long-time favorite to Fargo and a welcomed friend of Deb Jenkins and her, "A Celebration of Women and Their Music." That's what brought Ann to The Listening Room the first time and we can't wait to hear her again!

She has appeared on Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion, ABC's Good Morning America, and NPR's Morning Edition, not to mention countless radio stations across the U.S. She wrote and performed Heroes, a theatrical presentation produced by Minnesota Public Radio..

Where the Earth Is Round is Ann's 20th recording. She wrote the lion's share of the songs on her albums - beautiful and memorable compositions that have been covered by other artists as well. She also has the dubious distinction of having penned the most songs that include the words "pronto pup." (For those of you not familiar with Ann's history of writing ditties for the Minnesota State Fair, check out her CD Songs for Minnesota, which features all five Fair songs.)

Among Ann's accolades: Minnesota Music Academy Performer of the Year, Songwriter of the Year, Best Recording of the Year, along with several awards from the multitude of nonprofits that she has supported while donating 25 percent of her time and efforts to organizations that primarily benefit women and children.

Dave McGraw & Mandy Fer

Human chemistry is indeed a mercurial thing. And adding any artistic endeavor into that mysterious balance can, every so often, create some true magic. For Dave McGraw and Mandy Fer (pronounced fair), the delicate intertwining of music, life and that always-fine interpersonal equilibrium has borne fruit in the shape of a truly one of a kind artistic partnership.

With the release of the songwriters' first official collaboration, Seed of a Pine, the duo's striking ability to blend their lush folk and Americana-influenced styles is on full display.

McGraw's consoling, velvety baritone voice, reminiscent of Greg Brown, coupled with Fer's soaring and subtly powerful vocal approach, likened to that of Patty Griffin, puts a spit-shine polish on the finely crafted body of songs they have generated together. The intricate weavings of their vocal harmonies are undeniably exceptional. McGraw's hard-hitting tunes echo narratives of the culture and landscape of the American West, wherein he thoughtfully spins tales of everyday folks looking for a little something more in their earthly existence.

Fer takes a more dreamy approach, evoking complex and ethereal imagery within her sultry and haunting melodies. Her potent electric lead guitar playing, in the vein of jazz-fusion guitarist John Scofield, bravely propels this duo through their uniquely heartfelt and spirited live performances, winning over audiences night after night.

cut the conversation, we're here for the music...
Thursday Feb 14 - Raining Jane - 7:00 pm
Note Time Variation - Thursday 7:00 pm

Raining Jane is an acoustic, indie-rock band driven by deep dedication to music and an independent spirit. The four band members first got together in 1999 in the UCLA music scene, and shortly thereafter left their post-college jobs to make music their full-time gig. In 2003, they began a hefty touring schedule, performing over 120 shows per year (for 6 years straight), all independently booked and managed.

In 2007 their career took an exciting turn when they began writing with Jason Mraz, a creative collaboration that continues to the present day. One of their co-writes, A Beautiful Mess, appeared on Mraz's platinum album "We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things," while another, Collapsible Plans was featured in the Cannes-Selection documentary "The Big Fix," which garnered them a Hollywood Music and Media Award for Best Song in a Film.
Over the years Raining Jane has released four albums, with "The Good Match" as their latest flame. The album showcases the band's uplifting and heartfelt songwriting, as well as rich vocal harmonies and diverse instrumentation (guitars, cello, cajon, sitar, bass.) Their music can be heard elsewhere with songs appearing on shows like "Grey's Anatomy" and "So You Think You Can Dance." They've also played on records for other artists such as Willy Porter's How To Rob A Bank.

In addition to their musical work as a band, Raining Jane has always been passionate about community outreach. In 2010 they helped establish "Rock n' Roll Camp for Girls Los Angeles," a non-profit dedicated to empowering girls through music education. Now in its third year, the organization has reached 200 young girls, has inspired the help of hundreds of passionate volunteers, and has provided a vibrant, creative resource for Los Angeles. When Raining Jane is not on the road, they can be found directing music camps, teaching, writing, recording, accompanying other artists and enjoying life to the fullest.

Reservations by advance ticket
purchase at
The Spirit Room
Directions 701-237-0230
Musicians receive 100% of admission!

Rainin Jane Favorite Charity
Rock `n Roll Camp For Girls

Friday Feb 15 - I'm With Her - 7:30 pm

Angie Stevens and Haley Rydell bring a wealth of writing, recording and performing experience to the table. As part of this project, Stevens and Rydell are working on favorites from their individual catalogs and developing new songs. Rydell notes, "A lot of the music we worked on was new material, which was really fun, because even we didn't know exactly what we wanted to do with it yet. Over time, parts came together and it all made sense."

Melding the influences of alt-country, indie-rock, contemporary folk and pop, Angie Stevens has settled comfortably into the shoes of an Americana artist with soul-bearing, live performances that have captured audiences all over the map.

Haley Rydell taught herself to play and dreamed of someday playing in a band. For the past five years she has been the fiddle player for The Johnson Family Band and has led the folk rock group Haley E & the Rydells, both in Fargo, ND. She recently relocated and is now living in Denver- writing and recording with I'm With Her.

Reservations by advance ticket
purchase at
The Spirit Room
Directions 701-237-0230
Musicians receive 100% of admission!
This performance is a joint effort of The Listening Room and the 16th Annual Celebration of Women & Their Music

For more information go to:
Celebration of Women & Their Music

This performance is a joint effort of The Listening Room and the 16th Annual Celebration of Women & Their Music

For more information go to:
Celebration of Women & Their Music

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Tickets Go On Sale
January 25!

Donation: $11
100% goes to the musicians!

Donation: $15
100% goes to the musicians!

Donation: $11
100% goes to the musicians!

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Peter "Madcat" Ruth
Saturday April 26
Concert - 7:30 pm
Introduction to Ukulele workshop - 3:30 - 5:00 pm
Introduction to Blues Harmonica workshop - 1:00 - 2:30 pm

This has been the year for listener recommended musicians and workshops! One of our listeners introduced me to Grammy Winning Peter "Madcat" Ruth for Best Classical Album in 2005. Now, it might seem unlikely that a blues harp player works with symphony and orchestra, but Madcat's musical diversity puts him with folk and blues, progressive rock, jazz and classical. He is also a winner of the Bernie Bray Harmonica Player of the Year award from The Society for the Preservation and Advancement of the Harmonica.

Madcat extensively tours the US and his international tours have taken him to Brazil, Japan, Singapore, Spain, Poland, Canada and the Cayman Islands. He has toured with jazz pianist, Dave Brueck, Shari Kane and now is also part of Triple Play, a jazz trio with Joel Brown and Chris Brubeck. He performs at music festivals throughout North America and teaches a variety of workshops.

You can spend the day in Madcat's workshops and stay for the evening concert, or just come for the concert!

Special Guest - May Hay
With a weathered guitar and the voice of a peppered badger, Max's music is a spicy departure from the traditional acoustic act. A savory mix of American Country, Blues, Irish Folk, and sharp-witted original songs make for a gourmet entertainment experience. Max's delivery is a full body workout of stomping feet, articulate harmonSpeica work, percussive guitar, and the occasional egg-shaker! Expect Appalachian, Irish, Jamaican, and Blues rhythms mixed with inspiration from the likes of Tom Waits, The Pogues, Mark Knopfler, J.J. Cale, Lyle Lovett, Bruce Springsteen, and more.
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For the Harmonica Workshop, participants should bring a 10 hole diatonic harmonica in the key of C.
For the Ukulele Workshop, participants should bring a soprano
or concert size ukulele tuned to C tuning: (G C E A)
Friday May 16 - Aaron English & Shane Alexander - 7:30
Music by Both Aaron and Shane has been featured on "Bones"
Shane has licensed over 80 songs for television shows, including The Real World, Laguna Beach, Brothers & Sisters, Bones, Big Shots, "White Collar", Criminal Minds, and Wildfire.

Friday September 26 - Sarah McQuaid - 7:30

Friday October 24 - Peter Mayer - 7:30

Friday November 21 - Galactic Cowboy Orchestra - 7:30
Live Music, Fargo, Acoustic Music, Folk, Blues, House Concert, Concert, Fargo, Spirit Room, Listening Room, Fargo ND, Scott Curfman, coffee house, music, Sound Rental, Audio Rental, PA Rental, AV Rental, Fargo

Click Here For Tickets!