Root River Jam invites the community to dance in new music video

The Southeast Minnesota band put out an open cast call for June 5.

Colton Simpson, of Storysage Productions records as Dave Wilson, left, lead songwriter with Southeast Minnesota Americana band, The Root River Jam, performs a solo atop a parking structure in downtown Rochester Tuesday, May 24, 2022.
Colton Simpson, of Storysage Productions records as Dave Wilson, left, lead songwriter with Southeast Minnesota Americana band, The Root River Jam, performs a solo atop a parking structure in downtown Rochester Tuesday, May 24, 2022.
John Molseed/ Post Bulletin
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ROCHESTER — Want to be in a music video but you don’t play an instrument? The musicians from The Root River Jam say that’s not a problem. Can’t dance? Also, not a big issue.

Already have plans for June 5? Well, The Root River Jam can’t help you there.

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However, if you are free on June 5 and want to be in The Root River Jam’s first-ever music video, anyone is invited to show up outside Riverside Elementary School for a group shoot.

Each of the band’s musicians have completed their solo parts and want to see some group support for the video’s final shoot.

People will be asked to perform a short, simple group dance routine, or clap, or cheer or whatever else they might feel like doing in a group, Wilson said.


Over the last couple weeks, band members performed in and around Lanesboro and Zumbrota. On Tuesday, David Wilson, the group’s guitar player and lead songwriter, balanced on a pillar atop a parking ramp in downtown Rochester as Colton Simpson, of Storysage Production shot close ups.

Root River Jam video Wilson Bonde.JPG
Colton Simpson, of Storysage Productions, left, records Dave Wilson, center, lead songwriter with The Root River Jam, and Blake Bonde, performing on top of a parking structure in downtown Rochester Tuesday, May 24, 2022.<br/>
John Molseed / Post Bulletin

“That’s perfect right there,” Simpson said. “You can’t move on me.”

Wilson used his cell phone to play along to his guitar solo on the song, “Love is Unity.”

Wilson said he wrote the song in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I was seeing a lot of division among people who really have a lot in common,” Wilson said. “The message is, let’s try to love one another.”

The student-designed mural on the north and west sides of Riverside Central Elementary School is an appropriate spot to wrap up a video for a song with a message about unity, he added.

When Wilson told Simpson that the video would include a group dance number, Simpson said he was a bit skeptical at the time but is ready to help make it happen.

“I said, ‘OK Dave, you make it happen,’” Simpson said.


Root River Jam video Wilson 02.JPG
Colton Simpson, of Storysage Productions, hands a guitar to Dave Wilson, lead songwriter with The Root River Jam. Simpson and Wilson were on top of a parking structure in downtown Rochester to shoot a music video Tuesday, May 24, 2022.
John Molseed / Post Bulletin

The shoot atop a parking structure with a city skyline was also part of the message, Simpson said.

“If we shot everything out in the country, it wouldn’t be very unifying,” he said.

Wilson was later joined by Blake Bonde, who plays string bass in the band.

Bonde was one of the first members to join the Southeast Minnesota Americana band when Wilson formed it in 2012. Bonde answered an online advertisement Wilson posted looking for a drummer and bass player to help him start a new music project. Wilson said he had spent years playing in different cover bands but had kept the songs he was writing at home to himself.

“It isn’t very gratifying playing nothing but covers,” Wilson said.

Bonde said he joined because he felt like he could be a part of a collaboration and bring to the band his experience and education from University of Minnesota Twin Cities double bass performance.

“I don’t want to just be there to go, plunk, plunk, plunk,” he said.

For Wilson, that trust and collaboration in the last decade has been as much a learning experience as honing his songwriting skills.


“What I’ve learned to do is not only trust the people I play with but trust them and their vision too,” he said.

He added that’s why he recruited Simpson to shoot, edit and help storyboard the video.

“(Simpson) and I just hit it off,” Wilson said. “He’s got good vision.”

For Simpson and his company, the project is a bit outside their usual scope of corporate videos, but that makes it a fun challenge.

The shoot is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. until 3:30 p.m., Sunday, June 5, 2022.

If you go

What: The Root River Jam Music video shoot

Where: West of Riverside Central Elementary School,
506 Fifth Ave. SE

When: 1:30 p.m., Sunday, June 5, 2022

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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