General B & The Wiz: New Drummer, New Music, & Horror Stories From The Road

by Adam Wiltgen photo courtesy Seth Duin Originally published 10/28/14 at: Adventurous Twin Cities-based blues rock quintet General B and The Wiz return to Winona this week for a “Halloween Spook ‘n Roll” costume dance party at Ed’s (no name) Bar with soul band Ali and The Scoundrels. I checked in with guitarist Seth Duin ahead of […]

“Live at Ed’s” Album Review: Mike Munson Done Right

by Adam Wiltgen photo courtesy Mike Munson Originally published 10/28/14 at: Winona blues musician Mike Munson’s new live album successfully incorporates many of the desirable qualities of live recordings and very few of the downsides. Solid audio quality, impassioned performances, new arrangements, extended versions, delightful improvisation, a cohesive choice of songs that includes previously unreleased tracks, and a masterfully […]

Breakaway Builds Emphatic Electronic Sound with “Postcarious”

by Adam Wiltgen photo courtesy The Noisy Neighbor Originally published 05/27/14 at: From start to finish, Postcarious feels like an album Breakaway created with both feet firmly planted in an electronic sound. With only minimal and atmospheric use of guitar, Breakaway puts his trademark operatic vocal experimentation, impressive falsetto, and infectious intensity to use over a digital landscape […]

The Ultrasounds Champion Pixie-Goth Sludge Rock on “Lost My Mind” EP

by Adam Wiltgen photo courtesy The Noisy Neighbor Originally published 05/21/14 at: The Ultrasounds’ Lost My Mind EP is a solid debut recording that leans heavy on deft distorted guitar work — just like their raucous live performances. The EP is a polished snapshot of this co-ed quartet’s ’90s rock-influenced sound. And while the guitars are indeed prominent, the […]

Polish Pays Off Big on Debut EP from Jake Ilika & The Heavy Set

by Adam Wiltgen photo courtesy of The Noisy Neighbor Originally published 05/13/14 at: The new self-titled EP from Jake Ilika & The Heavy Set is a sophisticated and impressive debut. It boasts both high production value and well crafted songs, and for good reason. The songs and their arrangements benefited from the luxury of developing organically at […]

Gripping The Book of Love: Q&A with Jacob Grippen on Music Politics Love

by Adam Wiltgen July 2, 2013 Acoustic singer-songwriter (and southeastern Minnesota native) Jacob Grippen will be returning to the area Saturday, July 6th for a performance at Some Sum Studio in downtown Winona with Savannah Smith and Austin Weatherhead. Grippen recently released an original studio recording of The Book of Love from The Magnetic Fields’ epic […]

Downtown Businesses Get Boost from Earth Day Event at Levee Park, Renews Enthusiasm for Revitalization

by Adam Wiltgen April 22, 2013 Photo at right by Franklin Hessler – Musician Steve Kaul making some new fans. Sunny skies graced throngs of both tourists and locals taking in the activities at the Winona Park & Rec Dept.’s lively Earth Day Celebration at Levee Park this past Saturday. Although with an estimated 1,200 […]

City Pages MWMF Write-Up with Quote

Mid West Music Festival in Winona The three-day music event featuring more than 100 local artists celebrates its fourth year By Erik Thompson Wednesday, Apr 17 2013view original post here. When it’s time to ditch the Cities, the southern Minnesota college town of Winona is a gorgeous getaway with limestone bluffs towering over the mighty […]

Decorah Newspapers Farewell Reception Write-Up with Quote – original post available here 6/18/2012 1:54:00 PM KPVL Radio hosting open house reception for former station manager, Adam Wiltgen by Julie Berg-Raymond The Board of Directors of 89.1 KPVL Community Public Radio is hosting a farewell reception for Adam Wiltgen, who recently resigned as station manager and is moving to Winona, Minn. to […]

Fall 2011 KPVL Fundraising Letter

by Adam Wiltgen This letter was sent to a list of 200 prospects ahead of the station’s Fall Membership Soiree at the Decorah Elks Lodge. Dear John Q. Listener, Nearly eighteen months after moving its main studio to Decorah, KPVL has much to be grateful for. As you know, non-profit non-commercial stations like KPVL are […]


by Adam M. Wiltgen Originally published 9/05/11 at Saint Paul, MN alternative-folk quartet, The Brilliant Beast, will be in Decorah to open for Luther College blues-rock darlings General B & The Wiz on Saturday, September 24th at the Americana Bar & Grille. The concert is sponsored by Norheast Iowa’s independent community radio station, KPVL […]

Decorah’s Damsel Fly: Youth + Sheer Talent

by Adam Wiltgen Originally published 12/05/10 at: Damsel Fly is an amazingly talented, all-female, teenage folk quartet from Decorah, IA. Their heart-swelling, four-part harmonies induce chills, warm feelings, and collective healing in all who are fortunate enough to experience them. The group’s lethal combo of youth & sheer talent is less perplexing when one […]

Rearview Mirror 2010 Reunion Shows: Reflecting the Past

by Adam Wiltgen Originally published 09/27/10 at: “Nostalgia: it’s delicate, yet potent,” is a phrase Don Draper once uttered in an episode of Mad Men. September’s Rearview Mirror reunion shows balanced this dynamic elegantly–serving up the songs old-school fans pine for, while also allowing the band to have some fun as well. The crowd […]

Meet the Unseen Ghost Brigade

by Adam Wiltgen Originally published on 08/13/10 at: Meet the Unseen Ghost Brigade: a theatre ensemble dedicated to the proliferation of communal joy through the arts that is currently in the midst of an ambitious 2,000 mile performance-journey down the Mississippi River on a raft. Utilizing street theatre to infiltrate everyday life, each member […]


by Adam Wiltgen Originally published on 07/01/10 at: Jonathan Miller creates exactly the kind of music I had hoped to encounter when I formally launched this site in January. The Minneapolis-based multi-instrumentalist will be bringing his psychedelic trance-pop act Hands to the Acadia Cafe for the Driftless Music Showcase on July 16. Jonathan graciously […]

The Johnson Twins Capture Emotional Power of Live Show on New CD

by Adam WiltgenOriginally published on 06/06/10 at: The Johnson Twins are lead by identical twins Patrick and Sam Johnson. The brothers both attended Perpich Center for Arts Education and share vocal duties. Pat plays violin, while Sam handles bass and accordion. They are frequently joined on stage by Sara Horishnyk on drums and Joe […]

Good Diction: Authentic Blues

by Adam Wiltgen Originally published on 04/10/10 at: Regularly booking and promoting shows can sort of make one feel jaded at times–especially if the acts your working with are “developing” or “emerging” ones. Of course that is the mission or purpose of the shows I do with local non-profit DEMO. Great, organic moments can […]

Clear Skies for Birds of Virginia

by Adam Wiltgen Originally published 03/10/10 at: The thoughtful folks in Minneapolis alt-country act Birds of Virginia sent me a copy of their debut album Trees at Dusk in advance of their appearance at the Driftless Music Showcase at Acadia on Friday. Recorded by Chad Weis at the Devil’s Workshop Sound Studio in Minneapolis, […]

Akai Heats Up with The Coldest Hour

by Adam Wiltgen Originally published 3/4/10 at Akai was kind enough to give me a copy of their debut album, The Coldest Hour, after their performance at the Driftless Music Showcase on February 19th. The eight-piece ensemble immediately commanded the room’s attention with an intense set of sweeping alt-pop. (Scroll down for a video […]

A Tale of Two Steves

by Adam Wiltgen Originally published 01/21/10 at Driftless Music got a nice little write up in the Second Supper today (page 5). Choice quote: “Many of the events take place in the Twin Cities–which our geographer friends may not classify as being in the Driftless Region–but La Crosse gets lots love too, and in […]