Mad Ripple Hootenanny benefit for Foothold Twin Cities Friday at the Parkway

I love Minnesota music, I love events that lift people up and I like hearing stories so Friday night’s Mad Ripple Hootenanny at the Parkway was a perfect storm. It was a benefit for Foothold Twin Cities hosted by musician and writer Jim Walsh.

Foothold Twin Cities is a nonprofit that provides one-time donations directly to people and families who find themselves in a precarious position due to unexpected expense. I’ve spent enough time with people experiencing homelessness to know that losing your housing is a slippery slope for many reasons, keeping a foothold in your home can make all of the difference.

If you’re looking for a place where your small  (or large) donation may have a big impact – this seems like a good place. Sometimes it’s that $50 phone bill that allows you to get (or miss) the call from the next potential job.

But being fair, on a Friday night it wasn’t Foothold that got me out in the cold – it was the musical lineup.  With Jim Walsh (Jim Walsh & The Dog Day Cicadas), Lucy Michell (Little Fevers), Terry Walsh (Belfast Cowboys/St. Dominic’s Trio), Sarah Streitz, Doug Collins (Doug Collins and the Receptionists), Colleen Martin Oake and Lindsay Paine (Oake & Paine).

It’s my favorite kind of night – a smorgasbord of talent with three performers I hadn’t seem before! The show was an opportunity to hear original, often new material from everyone and one round of covers. I remember a songs about how the Vikings suck; I won’t pretend I caught every nuance but I know who they are. There was a pretty touching songs of love dedicated to a best friend, which is touching. Sometimes we forget how much our friends mean. There were songs about motherhood and Iowa – different songs, not the same one.

The music is good. It leans country, folksy, personal. As I listened I marveled at how much talent we have in the Twin Cities, especially singer songwriters. The most charming part of the evening is the on stage conversation. Clearly these are artists with a high level of respect and camaraderie among them. Sometimes that feels like inside baseball – but sometimes, like Friday night, it feels like an open house. Like an opportunity to be on the stage, be part of the story with everyone.

The highlight, and it really proves that warm welcome feeling, was the shout out from the audience for $1000 donation in honor of the singing, especially of Sarah Streitz.

This was billed as a one- night only but I feel like if you keep your eye out the opportunity at attend a Hoot might come around again.

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