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Six Mile Grove plays at last Berne Wood Fired Pizza night in 2018

Shake off the turkey stupor with Six Mile Grove and more this weekend. The Rochester band brings its Americana sound to the Castle Community this Saturday, along with the multifaceted Erik Koskinen and local troubadour Josiah Smith.

This show marks the start of a new tradition. Six Mile Grove played The Castle for its grand opening on Thanksgiving weekend last year, and Brandon Sampson, Six Mile Grove’s frontman, says he hopes to make it an annual event. “Thanksgiving weekend, especially Saturday night -- once everyone has had a chance to feast and shop -- has proven to be a great time for folks with visiting family and friends to hit the town and catch a show,” says Sampson. “We have a lot to be thankful for and appreciate the support from a hometown crowd.”

Six Mile Grove toured in support of their latest “Million Birds” record this past year and played a summer season that included at least 40 shows all over the Midwest. Several of those shows found them reconnecting with Erik Koskinen, an old friend from their popular 2016 Americana Showcase series. Koskinen released his “Burning the Deal” record this past June, and it’s full of American influences, from bluegrass to jazz.

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Josiah Smith

“Naura Anderson of Threshold Arts introduced me to the music of Josiah Smith as we were working on a lineup for the upcoming event,” says Sampson. “After a few listens to his songs online, I could tell he’s doing something special here in town, and I thought he’d be a perfect fit to open the night with an acoustic set.”

Josiah Smith describes his music, or “air wiggling” as he calls it, as “sad songs in major keys with a big splash of modern country.”

“The Castle is something I hope to take my kids to someday. Beyond proud to say that Rochester has such a venue,” he says. “I hope the local music scene is a powerful enough army to never let this castle fall.”

Six Mile Grove has been making music for more than 20 years and has released seven albums, but even if you’ve heard the band perform before, Sampson says this show might include some surprises. “Our songs have grown and developed over the past several months of playing them live. It’s exciting to see and hear how songs naturally shift when we’ve spent as much time with them as we have,” he explains. “Our set list has included a few surprises recently, and we may even include a new song or two that we’ve been working on.”

What’s next for Six Mile Grove? More of the best songs they can make. This winter, they plan to get back to work in their barn studio and follow their commitment to push themselves musically.

“(We’ll) lay down some new tracks and be the best band of dads with day jobs that we can be,” says Sampson.

Sampson is looking forward to hearing friends in that hometown crowd sing along and possibly even request a song or two. He promises that “the leftover turkey in your fridge will taste way better around 10:30 p.m., when you get home from the show.”

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