Luna Loca revving up to a return to area stages

If you haven't heard of Luna Loca, Ross Roenigk expects the collaboration of talented musicians will change that.

Luna Loca
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ROCHESTER — Luna Loca frontman Ross Roenigk will forgive you if you haven’t heard of the Rochester-based rock band.

“There’s not a whole lot of name recognition because there haven’t been a lot of shows under Luna Loca,” he said.

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Before recording his latest album, Roenigk played a show at Canvas and Chardonnay (now Art Heads Emporium) for the Art Heads Live concert series.

Roenigk returned to Rochester five years ago after moving to Texas in 2008 to write, perform and tour playing music.

He's hoping to move Luna Loca out of obscurity with in-person shows featuring Luna Loca's new album, “ Bolero .”


Roenigk is the main songwriter for the project, but after playing a few solo shows when he returned to Minnesota, he decided to expand the group instead of playing under his own name.

“I think it’s limiting, you attach an individual and an ego to that,” Roenigk said.

He recorded “Bolero” in collaboration with some of the musicians he’s met and heard play since returning to Minnesota.

“We were all in a mini-music community in Rochester,” he said, adding the album is a mix of rock, country with a blues bend.

That includes John Wheeler, who plays pedal steel guitar; Amanda J. Fuller adds vocals and plays piano on the album, Jared Blair, on electric guitar and vocals; Rick Swanson on banjo; Katrina Lee on violin and vocals.

“I liked going with a band name because this recording felt a lot different than something I was doing, it felt a lot more collaborative,”

With the album officially out and the musicians busy with their own projects, Roenigk assembled another ensemble to play live. He put out a broad social media appeal on the Rochester Musicians’ Network page on Facebook. To his surprise, he found like-minded and talented players willing to join the project.

“I don’t know how, maybe call it kismet?” he said.


He’ll be joined in upcoming live shows by Ted Eckardt, on guitar; Merle Kruse on drums and Jerry Spencer on bass.

He plans to record another album under the Luna Loca moniker with the current performing group.

The first of upcoming Luna Loca shows is Aug. 26 at Brothers Bar and Grill, 812 South Broadway Ave.

John Molseed joined the Post Bulletin in 2018. He covers arts, culture, entertainment, nature and other fun stories he's surprised he gets paid to cover. When he's not writing articles about Southeast Minnesota artists and musicians, he's either picking banjo, brewing beer, biking or looking for other hobbies that begin with the letter "b." Readers can reach John at 507-285-7713 or
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