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Contemporary acoustic band based in Mankato headlining 2nd Street Stage concert

Useful Jenkins will bring their brand of funk and soul to 2nd Street Stage July 16. Band members are Pat Forsyth, guitar and vocals; Travis Blunt, guitar, vocals, didgeridoo; Chuck Boeke, mandolin, violin, vocals; and Ryan Donahoe, bass guitar, vocals.

 “Useful Jenkins” will entertain at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 16 as part of the 2nd Street Stage weekly concert  series.  Celebrate summer Thursday evenings from 6-8 p.m. with free music, a beer garden and family activities on 2nd Street in downtown Park Rapids.  “Useful Jenkins” is a contemporary acoustic band with a foundation rooted in bluegrass, and readily taps into other genres, such as folk, funk, rock and hip hop.   Their music generates emotion and sends a message to a wide range of listeners, giving the band an eclectic group of followers.  The band is a 4-piece at its core (bass, lead acoustic, rhythm acoustic, mandolin) and has currently been integrating the violin as a fifth melodic layer.   Four-part vocal harmonies accompany the wall of stringed instruments, leaving listeners with a strong, clean and unique sound.  “Useful Jenkins” thrives on energy; they flourish in the moment and have an unmatched resonance with the crowd.  The band was established in and currently resides in Mankato. In February 2009, the band released their first full-length album, “Fast Eddie,” which was the catalyst for their initial and continued success in the Minnesota music-festival scene.   Their second album, “Festival Express,” provided a more dynamic sound, capturing the raw bluegrass elements of “Fast Eddie” and combining them with funk and soul. Useful Jenkins continues to write and create music.  Organized by the Park Rapids Downtown Association, 2nd Street Stage is held every Thursday through Aug. 20. Bring a comfy chair.  To see the complete summer line up, go to www.parkrapidsdowntown.com.

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