The Deep North with Fred Keller
Very few people do what I love to do: Play a varied, engaging, foot-stomping solo music show and at the same time tell stories about the songs, tell stories about the ground beneath your feet and the people who once walked it.
Combine these two passions and you get a musician who loves writing songs about history. You get a historian who soaks up local stories—interviews, museums, books—and connects you to a Minnesota long past but not entirely lost. You get a storyteller who guides you through the Deep North: The old pineries, the trading posts, the portages, the camps and the settlements.
My programs entertain and inform, they draw you in by connecting the story with an original song. The logging era may be interesting to some, the trials, tribulations, and work of the lumberjack may fascinate occasionally. But the story of how Hiram Walsh, Bruno pioneer, came to live and work in the pines, how he encountered the notorious Doyle Brothers and Blackjack Dawson, what dastardly deeds he nearly fell victim to, and the song that goes with these stories make that time and place more real and immediate.
The core of my program weaves story, history, and song together to recreate our Minnesota. I’m also a veteran musician of twenty-five years, I’ve played all over the Upper Midwest with some of our finest players. I have musical programs for all ages and covering genres as diverse as Irish, bluegrass, old-time, jug band, blues, and Tin Pan Alley. Discovering and connecting with your group’s needs is what continues fuel my passion.
Singing Up The Past: Stories and Songs About Old Minnesota
-Themes include Voyageurs and Fur Trade, Logging and Lumberjacks, The Civil War, Immigrants and Settlement
The Story of American Roots Music
-Stories and demonstrations about where American music came from and how it got here
Kid’s Music and Dance
-Best for pre-k to 6th Grade, I get kids clapping, singing, and dancing
I Can Expand Any Program by Adding Musicians
– Need to see and hear the story of the banjo? The fiddle? I’ll bring them in!
Creative Writing Workshops
– Write songs, poetry, or stories as a group; discuss the creative process. My degree in English Lit and songwriting experience give me skills to help budding writers.
– For individuals or groups, I teach guitar, mandolin, how to sing harmony, and ensemble playing. I have experience teaching genres as well. For example: How to sound bluegrass or Irish or bluesy.
“That’s Different!”: A variety show covering the basics of Minnesota, from Aebelskivers to Lutefisk to Zambonis, intended to help your corporate group acclimate to The Deep North.