Brian Miller and Randy Gosa perform lumberjack songs at MPR studios

Lumberjack songs
Brian Miller, left, and Randy Gosa perform Irish music from north woods lumber camps Monday, Mar. 25, 2013 at MPR studios in St. Paul.
MPR Photo/Jennifer Simonson

With a load of instruments in tow, Brian Miller and Randy Gosa visited the MPR studios earlier this week to perform a collection of lumberjack tunes.

Miller and Gosa share a love of traditional Irish music. And it was through a friend in the local Irish music scene that Miller heard about lumberjack songs. Many second-generation Irish immigrants whose parents came to the U.S. during the famine of the mid-1800s ended up moving to the Midwest. And many of them settled in lumberjack camps deep in the woods of Minnesota, where men played music after the workday ended.

The musicians found inspiration in networks of lumberjack music chat groups, a field recording and a 103-year-old Cass Lake woman who was born in a lumber camp.

BONUS SONG: Miller and Gosa perform a fiddle song by Leizime Brusoe

Before you keep reading ...

MPR News is made by Members. Gifts from individuals fuel the programs that you and your neighbors rely on. Donate today to power news, analysis, and community conversations for all.