West Bank Blues Revival

West Bank Blues Revival
Photo by Cameron Wittig

In 1971, Papa John Kolstad was sifting through some debris in a condemned building on the West Bank when he came across an old tin sign with the words “Mill City Flour Factory” painted on it in swirly Victorian script. The sign inspired him to write a song, “Mill City Blues,” which he went on to record with his band, The Sorry Muthas, and use as the title track of an album that helped define the thriving West Bank folk scene.

Forty-two years later, Kolstad is finally getting around to re-releasing the album as a CD (it’s only been available in vinyl) and is gathering all the living members of The Sorry Muthas for a reunion CD-release concert in the heart of the West Bank, at The Cedar. “I want this to be a special event, not just a concert,” says Kolstad. “It’s Father’s Day, and we’re all family.”

June 16. The Cedar, 416 Cedar Ave. S., Mpls., 612-338-2674,


When its founder died, the Stone Arch Bridge Festival almost died with it. But the festival survived and is better than ever, with 250 featured artists, three performance stages, a car show, and food market.

June 14–16. St. Anthony Main, Mpls.,