Listen to five Minnesota artists with Local Show host Diane Miller
Whatever sound you are into, there is a Minnesota musician for you.
Diane Miller is our guide through the variety of music that is popping across the state. She hosts The Local Show on MPR News’ sister station, The Current.
Miller joined MPR News host Cathy Wurzer to highlight five artists with new songs or upcoming shows.
Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation.
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DIANE MILLER: Hey, good to be here. Thanks for having me, Cathy.
CATHY WURZER: So the track we played at the start was called "F.I.N.E"-- F-I-N-E by Malina Moye. Who is Malina?
DIANE MILLER: Malina Moye is a blues guitarist to the fullest. Guitar World calls her one of the best in the world. She's a billboard-charting artist. In fact, she played the National Anthem before the Vikings' greatest comeback in NFL history, which was just in 2022. So she's got magic in her body and possesses it. And she grew up in the Twin Cities and is just a guitar phenom. She plays upside down, lefty guitars, just like Jimmy Hendrix. She's collaborated with guys like Buddy Guy. Just a wizard at guitar.
CATHY WURZER: Wow, she sounds amazing I'd love to watch her. We'll listen to another track.
[MUSIC - PROPER-T]
PROPER-T: (SINGING) So hard to soothe my soul, so hard to find my way--
DIANE MILLER: This is an artist. His name is Proper-T, and a brand new track. He's a former member of this Minneapolis supergroup called Astral Black that featured a lot of these artists that gone on to do individual solo careers, including MMYYKK-- that's pronounced, Mike, that I've played many times on my show, and have also interviewed him on my show.
But Proper-T, in particular-- I feel like, if you're a fan of D'Angelo from the '90s with that sultry, gorgeous falsetto voice, and with this hip soul and R&B sound that just sounds like it's in outer space, Proper-T is so great. He's an incredible vocalist and all around musician and songwriter from right here in the Twin Cities.
CATHY WURZER: Wow, he sounds fantastic. And you're right-- D'Angelo? Also fantastic-- that voice. Mm, mm, mm. So the winner of the Best Name contest is FruitPunchLoverBoy. I desperately want to know how FruitPunchLoverBoy came up with the name. But first, we want to take a listen to a little bit of music.
[MUSIC - FRUITPUNCHLOVERBOY]
FRUITPUNCHLOVERBOY: (SINGING) Crack open my window. You came through later than last time.
DIANE MILLER: Still laughing about FruitPunchLoverBoy. Tell me about "Fancy Coat."
CATHY WURZER: FruitPunchLoverBoy. I don't know, and it's all one word-- all together. You got to put the capitalization on the F the P and the L and the B. So I would describe FruitPunchLoverBoy's sound as what the Zoomers, the Gen Zers, are really into. I mean, he comes from that generation where it combines this classic R&B, hip-hop sound with a little bit more electronica, modern vibes.
But FruitPunchLoverBoy, in particular, is a really great collaborator and he's been used a lot for singing hooks for other people and his own track fancy coat is such a great song. And it was produced and collaborated with a guitarist, Zak Kahn, who is also collaborates with all these other musicians in this burgeoning, up-and-coming group of musicians, including Papa Mbye, [? Haroun. ?] Be on the lookout for all these young names in this music scene. I know FruitPunchLoverBoy was also one of the best new bands for First Avenue's big performance that they do once a year, usually in January, and he was on the lineup in 2020.
DIANE MILLER: Papa Mbye, by the way-- that was a really fun interview that we had with Papa Mbye here on Minnesota Now last year. So yeah, you're right about this whole crop of new musicians coming up, which is really exciting. Say, I hear that, perhaps, if you are a James Taylor or Judy Collins fan, you might like this next one It's "Here's to You" by Sarah Morris.
[MUSIC - SARAH MORRIS, "HERE'S TO YOU"]
SARAH MORRIS: (SINGING) Kind of fancy the nape of your neck on display. Slip on a dress with a skirt that sways at your knees.
CATHY WURZER: And you are right. I am a big JT fan, and yes, I do like this. Sarah sounds like she's just perfect. This is a nice song-- "Here's to You."
DIANE MILLER: Absolutely. Sarah Morris is a veteran songwriter, and she's very much a to-the-T definition songwriter. She very much focuses on lyricism and guitar-based singing and folk-- Americana sensibilities. And she's-- you think about James Taylor's voice, and you think about how warm and lovely and calming his sound is, and that's very much what she embodies.
Everything from her recorded music, all the way to her live show-- I've seen her perform live many times, and there's just like a comforting presence she brings into her sound and into her voice, into her music. She just released a new record, and it is also called Here's to You. And yeah, I'd I definitely love to give her a big shout out because not only is she a veteran in the music scene. She's also champion of the local music scene. She performs often around town, and then she also has her own YouTube series called Toilet Tunes where she interviews other artists in the scene and boosts their profile a little bit. So love Sarah Morris.
CATHY WURZER: Sarah Morris-- all right. Before you go, there's one more group that you wanted to talk about. They're called Barlowe. So tell me about them.
DIANE MILLER: Barlowe is-- Nathan Barlowe is his name, and he's also an actor around town. But he also happens to have, like a lot of actors do, multi talents, including singing falsetto vocals over dance-worthy tracks. And I like to compare his sound to Justin Timberlake-- FutureSex/LoveSounds, plus 20/20 Experience. There's something about the vibe of this, which-- he's worked with two other noteworthy producers, including Bionics, who's worked with Lizzo, and including Eric Mason. And Eric Mason who has collaborated with the likes of Caroline Smith, a.k.a. Your Smith, and Abby Wolf who, I know you've had on your show before, too. So he just released a new album, and it's so good. And if you're into dancing and if you're into feeling and grooving, you will love Barlowe.
CATHY WURZER: All right, we're going to go out with some of their music, by the way. Hey, you know what, Diane? You do such a good job. Thank you so much for joining us.
DIANE MILLER: Pleasure, anytime.
[MUSIC - BARLOWE]
CATHY WURZER: That's Diane Miller. You can hear her every Sunday evening at our sister station, The Current. She hosts the local show airing from 6:00 to 8:00 PM on Sunday. You can also find it online at TheCurrent.org.
[MUSIC - BARLOWE]
Say, we've been talking about the torrential rain over the weekend in portions of Southern Minnesota that caused mudslides in some places, like in Brown County. Meanwhile, dry weather kind of a problem today across portions of Northern Minnesota. A fire weather watch is up for Beltrami, Clearwater, Cook, Itasca, Kittson, Koochiching, Lake, Lake of the Woods, Marshall, Pennington, Polk, Red Lake, Roseau, and Saint Louis counties because low humidity, warm temperatures, and the winds-- they're all aligning. If a fire starts, that wildfire, that could be a problem. Thanks for listening to Minnesota Now.
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