2014-15 Subscription Series Kick-off Event
Meet the Mullet River Boys – musical purveyors of vintage vaudeville, jug band and rag-timey bluegrass music. Led by EMMY Award winning songwriter Jack Norton, the boys have been called, “one of the most entertaining acoustic groups in the Midwest” by the Minneapolis Star Tribune. BUY TICKETS
This dynamic band kicks off our Subscription Season with original music, gypsy hokum, and ragtime. Songs are performed with old-school vocals. This group of musicians feature the banjo, ukulele, guitar, bass, trumpet, and harmonica. They also feature unique homemade instruments such as washboards, kazoos, combs, tuned bicycle horns, slide whistles, harmonicas, washtubs, and more. A unique element that The Mullet River Band adds to their show is “vaudeville in miniature” as well as sight gags and comedy. They say their goal is to “corrupt an audience with pleasure.”
Band leader Jack Norton was born in Mullet River, Minnesota. As a child, he turned to music for solace. He explains, “I closed my eyes and left reality. I buried my head in the horn of that phonograph machine and would leave the sadness of reality…to travel back to a simpler, happier time. The music of Rudy Vallee, Bing Crosby, Al Jolson – that was the soundtrack to my youth.” With the help of musicians Tiny Tim and Leon Redbone, Norton began picking on the guitar and ukulele while he was only in elementary school. Norton was the youngest author published in Random House history by the time he was in high school. At the same time, he was touring nationwide with the Mullet River Boys. Traveling with him was his high-school sweetheart Kitty, who co-created the band with him.
With Jack Norton’s early years heavily influenced by Tin Pan Alley style music, the Mullet River Boys take the audience back in time. Aided by their vintage microphones, the Mullet River Boys have a sound that is truly reminiscent of another era. The croony jazz vocals blend beautifully with their blue-grass beat and swinging trumpet.
Video: “Man and his Brush”
Video: “Rag, Mama, Rag”
The Mullet River Boys are incredible,” says Matthews Art Director Sian Young. “They combine raw talent, a passion for bluegrass, and a love for humor in an outstanding show that everyone can appreciate.” Many others agree. In 2000 the Minneapolis Star Tribune called them “one of the most entertaining acoustic groups in the Midwest” and “Artists of the Year.” They were nominated for a Minnesota Music Award for the “Best Acoustic Folk Group” in 2004. After seeing band member, Jack Norton, the popular crooner Tiny Tim professed, “He’s the greatest entertainer I have ever seen.”
This is a Subscription Series event. Tickets may also be purchased individually for $25 adults, $10 youth and BHSU students. Individual tickets go on sale September 1, 2014.