It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was just OK: NYE musical acts return to 2021 – Rochester Minnesota news, weather, sports

As 2021 draws to a close, some musicians in Southeast Minnesota are talking about the past year and what lies ahead.

2022 promises to be radiant!

Brody Heinzel, from the local rock band


, has high hopes for the new year.

The group will kick off 2022 at the Winona brewery

New Years Eve Celebration in Island City

, starting at 6 p.m. on Friday, December 31 (65 E. Front Street Winona). The band play a mix of classic covers and original songs.

The amateur guitarist can’t wait to fill the seats of the 300-person auditoriums in the New Year.

A three-hour series of shows at Hop & Barrel Brewing in Spring Valley catapulted the band from 45-minute opening hours to three-hour concerts in November and December.

“It’s really exciting, all of these shows,” said Heinzel. “We are really starting to take off. “

The Spring Valley shows taught the band how to train more effectively, he said, while the 2020 shutdown was a “blessing in disguise” that allowed the band to record new songs in the studio’s studio. member Alex Ortberg, Blue Lagoon.

There, they “put knots and ribbons” on the group’s discography.

“We’ve optimized our setlist where we’re really, really energetic all the time,” Heinzel said.

“I have the chance to sometimes play in front of an audience (children and adults)”, says Amanda Grace, musician from Winona. (Photo provided)

It’s time to cut those losses


Amanda Grace

learned to take it slow in 2021.

Grace will join Amateur and Mike Munson on the Island City stage on December 31st.

While last year was better than 2020 for shows, Grace said, that didn’t mean much. Often times, she booked and promoted shows and then saw them canceled due to increased risks of COVID-19.

“(I) played about half the number of shows compared to 2019,” she said.

A handful of its 2022 shows have already been canceled, Grace added. She will probably do gigs online at the start of the year to “diversify (her) work / time”. She tries to find sponsors to organize concerts online to cover travel costs, the time her bandmates spend away from their families and the costs of recording new music.

Grace did release “Please Dear Sun” in July, after re-recording parts of it to the bustle of a full house.

The album was nominated for the Blues and Roots Radio Album of the Year award.

“Maybe it made an impact despite my struggle, or maybe people were just looking for new music more than usual,” Grace said. “Some songs were written from the experience of a lost loved one; others from our adoption experience.

themselves play on an outdoor patio.

Twin Cities acts solo

Contribution / Tom Smouse

2021 has been great, but it’s time to cash in

Twin Cities solo act


had a great year.

But Doc Dougherty – pronounced “Dockerty” – plans to cut things back in the New Year after a final

show at Thesis Beer Project

with Durry and Good Morning Bedlam. The music will begin at 4 p.m. on Friday, December 31 at 1929 Second St. SW, Rochester.

Dougherty’s solo project began after a few multi-member groups fell apart. “In a strange way, I was looking for a group that could survive the apocalypse,” they said. And he did.

themselves turned “pretty hard” during the pandemic due to the fact that they were a one-person band – hands playing guitar and feet playing drums.

“I feel bad to say it, but it’s been a really good year for me,” said Dougherty. “But it’s easier for me to take precautions solo. “

Dougherty, who had booked at least two shows a week throughout the fall and winter, doesn’t plan to tour as much in 2022, as they’re “sitting on an EP about 30% completed” and ” that omicron thing looks pretty scary. “

So far, there is only one concert scheduled each month, from January to April and the next album is expected to be released during the summer.

“I see this year like, ‘hey, you made a good kid, but don’t look at a gift horse in your mouth,’” Dougherty said. “I kinda feel like a Wild West figure, you know, ‘Okay, it’s time to cash in the chips and leave the table before things start to get hairy.'”

New Year’s musical resolutions

Doc Dougherty: “Don’t take it for granted. … Look around and count your lucky stars that you are able to do this and it puts food on the table.

Brody Heinzel: “Learn more songs – come up with more songs too. “

Amanda Grace: “I think most of us in the industry will think the same thing: just try to take care of yourself and your family first. It’s hard not to do as much (as) what you think you should do, but musicians can still play for themselves, at home, because music is good therapy. Play on!”

Corina C. Butler