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'Pinewood Landing' features Sebeka hometown singer

"Pinewood Landing" plays only non-electronic acoustic instruments in the tradition of original bluegrass. They'll perform Aug. 4 on the shores of Spirit Lake. (Submitted photo)

"Pinewood Landing," a traditional bluegrass band from Duluth, will set feet tappin' Friday, Aug. 4.

They're performing at the "Sounds of Spirit Lake" outdoor music series in Menahga.

The 7 p.m. concert is free, on the shores of Spirit Lake near the public access. Bring a lawn chair. The rain venue is the Menahga School.

"Pinewood Landing has six members," all friends and relatives. Only non-electronic acoustic instruments are played in the tradition of original bluegrass. Band members are Kurt Salmela, Tim Bradshaw, Steve Carland, and Tom Salmela of Duluth, and Lyle and Larry Takkunen of Cloquet. Tom Salmela was born and grew up in Sebeka and all the members have friends and family in the Menahga, Sebeka and Wolf Lake area.

Bluegrass music has roots that go back to Ireland and Scotland. It was brought to this country by settlers, mainly in the South and Appalachian areas. The music evolved into what was and still is old-time and folk music. For decades old-time traditional music was played socially. Family and friends would get together to sing and play the music often using homemade instruments. Many of the songs were written musical stories about the life's struggles, hardships, events and joys of that era.

"Hard Times," one of over 200 songs written by Steven Foster during the middle of the 19th century, is one such favorite of the group. Most songs have been handed down with no one ever knowing the composer. Luckily, many of the songs have been passed through generations and thus preserved for us to enjoy today.

This concert is funded in part by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Five Wings Arts Council thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.