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CCRI clients plan hootenany

A recently renovated south Moorhead rambler wouldn't appear to be the practice space to one of the area's more interesting bands. Inside the living room, however, a group of five middle-aged men are making quite the scene.

Jamming
CCRI caseworker John Peterson, on banjo, organized the housemate hootenanny, which features Lane Larson on washtub bass. John Lamb / The Forum

A recently renovated south Moorhead rambler wouldn't appear to be the practice space to one of the area's more interesting bands. Inside the living room, however, a group of five middle-aged men are making quite the scene.

In one corner, Lane Larson holds down the rhythm on the washtub bass. Next to him, from his wheelchair, Brad Nelson keeps the beat on a washboard.

In a chair across the room, David Dickson swings a cowbell. On the couch in the middle, Greg Schaff strums a guitar while watching John Peterson pluck away on a banjo and sing "I'll Fly Away." On the coffee table in front of them sits a jug, a set of bongos and a kazoo.

It's a spirited performance while it lasts, but not without a casualty.

After the second song, "Mama Don't Allow," Larson announces, "My Band-aid came off. I was playing too hard."

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The Dale Street Jug Band is tuning up for its public debut Thursday night at the Creative Care for Reaching Independence talent show.

The group, like all of the other 20-some participants with disabilities, gets five minutes to show off a routine.

Peterson, a CCRI caseworker, organized the other four, roommates in the Dale Street house, for regular hootenannies.

"It's something they look forward to. It gets everyone in the house involved with one activity," he says.

During the performance this past Friday, the group even drew a crowd of family members and other caseworkers.

The band members each come from different musical backgrounds. Dickson's mother explains that his father was a pianist and organist. Larson plays DJ in his room, Peterson says. Schaff is the dancer in the group. After the performance, space is cleared on the floor so he can bust a move.

"When I was 14, I played in my uncle's band," Nelson offers. "I like to play drums."

So what does he think of his new group?

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"Kind of amazing," he says.

Rhonda King, executive director of CCRI, says the show, in its fourth year, gives the clients an opportunity for self expression.

"People tend to focus on what (the clients) can't do, but we all have things we can't do," she says. "I can't sing."

Not all of the clients will play music, but all are dedicated to giving their best performance. King talks excitedly about one performer's stand-up comedy routine and how another worked for three months with a caregiver on a routine from "High School Musical."

The Dale Street Jug Band will perform the traditional American folk songs, "I'll Fly Away" and "Mama Don't Allow," selections made by Peterson, an Appalachian music expert who plays with the Ogg Creek Stringband.

"Most of the music I play is pre-1940s, so stuff like Backstage Boys and Britney Spars ..." Peterson says, then pauses and laughs at his mistake. "Or Britney Spears, there's not a lot of modern stuff I'm aware of."

Nelson will make up for Peterson's old school selection by also performing Brooks and Dunn's "Cowgirls Don't Cry."

"He's one of those guys you have to take the microphone away from," King says of Nelson.

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If you go

  • What: CCRI talent show
  • When: 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday
  • Where: Triumph Lutheran Church, 2901 20th St. S., Moorhead
  • Info: This event is free and open to the public. (218) 236-6730 Readers can reach Forum columnist John Lamb at (701) 241-5533

Jamming
Brad Nelson of the Dale Street Jug Band keeps the rhythm on the washboard. John Lamb / The Forum

Related Topics: MUSIC
For 20 years John Lamb has covered art, entertainment and lifestyle stories in the area for The Forum.
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