Monday, August 10, 2015

Dynamic Duo Pat and Donna Surface...Remember When?

The sights and sounds of the sixties...If you grew up in the 60’s and 70’s, this show will hit your musical sweet spot.  If you are too old for those decades, it’ll let you find out why the music made such a fuss.  And if you were too young, you can find out what you missed by hearing it live. “The Remember When” concert by Pat and Donna Surface is their most popular show and it will be at the Edge Center in Bigfork Sunday August 16th. It is a musical tour though the decades that were very import to everyone. Besides Pat and his wife Donna Surface the show includes 2-time Grammy winner John Ely, Butch Schmidt on bass, Marina Whight on harmonies, and MN State Fiddle Champion, Mary LaPlant. Donna Surface will be signing music enhancing the musical experience. This concert will be on Sunday August 16th, at 2PM. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children.

Donna Surface says, “This is our most popular show. We have been developing it for 5 years, with variations, and people love it. They really enjoy revisiting songs they couldn't wait to hear on the radio or from their beloved vinyl LPs back in the day. There are so many 'Oh wow, I LOVED that song!' moments throughout the show. The late 60’s into the 70’s was a pivotal era in so many ways, and woven through the music in this show are reminders of what it was like to be multi-media, interpretive signing, and Pat's vocal styling recall the events and pop culture that shaped that time”.

Pat Surface was born in St. Paul and placed in foster care.  At two years old he was adopted into a musical family, the LaPlants, who shaped his life and life’s work.  At 6 foot 8 inches, Pat grew up to be an all-star basketball player before music became his future. Pat is a singer/songwriter and leader of the Boundary Water Boys band. Pat owns a record label based in Ely, MN - Spiritwood Music of The Boundary Waters. Pat sings and plays his hand-built LaPlant guitar. The LaPlants are award-winning musicians themselves plus are instrument builders and family builders.  Pat has two adopted siblings: one Hispanic and one Native American.   Pat says, “My family is my inspiration for much of my music.  For family has taught me devotion and cohesiveness and how we are all the same.”

Donna began dancing at three years old and years later as an actress in New York, she appreciated using the body as an instrument to communicate. Her desire to learn American Sign Language is about accessing another culture, not just another language. American Sign Language is the second largest language used in our country. It is the language of the American Deaf community (ASL is common only in the U.S. and some provinces of Canada). Compelling and moving to watch, an Interpretive Sign Performance is a combination of American Sign Language, dance, acting, and mime. It is a way for the Deaf community to appreciate the music, but it "amplifies" the words for the hearing world as well.

John Ely is a master at the steel guitar, 115 years after its invention, it still is “new” to much of the music world. John can make it not only familiar to audiences, but appreciated. His addition to the Pat Surface group adds the different and charm of its special sounds.

Darrol (Butch) Schmidt picked up the guitar at the age of 16, and has had a musical instrument of one kind or another in his hands ever since. A winner of “Best Group” in the MN State Music Championship, he also plays upright bass in the Itasca Symphony Orchestra. His instruments include guitar, bass, fiddle,and mandolin.

Marina Whight: A native of the Grand Rapids area, Marina Whight has been involved  with many local theater and musical groups, including Reif Center Dance, and  Showboat.  One of her musical highlights was winning Overall Grand  Champion at the Minnesota Country Music Championships.

Mary LaPlant: Mary has an exceptional musical gift. She composes beautiful compositions, plays the piano, and, oh yes - there is that violin/fiddle that has won her much acclaim. With a classical foundation, Mary’s style is lyrical and sure, even when she is playing run-away fiddle tunes. At this time, she is a 4-time Minnesota State Fiddle Champion (be sure it is not stopping there). 

With the “Remember When Concert, return to a time when the lyrics and melody were the essence of a song is in this entertaining and nostalgic musical journey with Pat and Donna and their guests. In 1987, Pat began performing and touring full time. Singing and playing his hand-built LaPlant guitars, Pat has performed at churches, schools, colleges and festivals from “sea to shining sea.” He has reached over 20 million people and has recorded 71 CDs on is record label, Spiritwood Music Of The Boundary Waters. Edge Center in Biigfork, Sunday August 16th, 2PM, $10 adults, $5 children.

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