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The April Fools at The Parkway Theater

We had a ball at the release party for our latest CD “Wonderland” at The Parkway Theater in Minneapolis. There are so many people to thank for making the release show a success that it’s hard to know where to start.

First, we need to give credit where it’s due to Mike Owens of Blackberry Way Records. Without Mike’s hard work and expertise we wouldn’t have a CD to release. Thanks also to Jackson Buck at KFAI and Bill DeVille at 89.3 The Current for giving us some advance airplay and mentioning the release show.  Jessica Paxton and all the staff at The Parkway did an amazing job of making us feel welcome and keeping the show running smoothly. Our pal Neil Catura kept our many guitars at the ready and kept our spirits high with his positive attitude and a healthy dose of humor from his rock’n’roll past.

Turn Turn Turn kicked the night off with a set of great songs. And those harmonies! Not an easy act to follow. We have a trove of fab photographs thanks to the talents of Paul Lundgren and Scott Streble. By the way, if anyone has video from the show we’d love to see it.

Of course the people we most want to thank are the ones who came to the show. The Twin Cities are lucky to have an abundance of talented musicians, so it seems that there are always multiple shows happening. We’re grateful that so many folks chose to spend their evening with us, and we really appreciate all the kind words that were posted after the show.

We hope everyone has a great and safe holiday season. See you in 2022!

The April Fools, Minneapolis Rock band

Working on a record through the pandemic has been a challenge. As we were getting ready to begin recording our fourth studio album the world was becoming aware of a new term, COVID-19. We were not aware that this would soon take over our lives and lock us all down. As this reality set in our original bassist Scott Hreha made the decision to leave the band. The remaining members, with the sad reality that we wouldn't be playing any shows for who knows how long, decided to forge ahead with making a new record. The plan was to bring in a variety of bassists that we knew and loved so we could hear their interpretation of these new songs we'd been working on up to that point. As we recorded with great caution, often one band member alone with audio engineer Mike Owens, we realized this was going to be a slow process. Trying to get used to the new idea of wearing a mask at all times, we chipped away at the foundation. Brad reached out to his friends in the Old 97s and brought bassist Murry Hammond on board for a remote session to add his distinct style to the song "Lose Your Mind". We also brought in bassists Paul McFarland (Lolo's Ghost) and Nick Salisbury (Ryan Bingham, Brian Fallon, and many Twin Cities bands) to add their unique styles to the songs. With touring all but shut down The April Fools invited Salisbury to come on board as a full time member. He proceeded to finish out the remaining bass parts on the record with some stellar playing. Many months later, and many small recording sessions later we are excited to release this album into the new world. Some songs we've never played together live as a group and some that were written pre-pandemic that have taken on an entirely new meaning.

More details coming soon as we finish up, but we are super exited to share this music with everyone and get back to playing live music!

Stay tuned!

The April Fools

The music blog Zachary Mule recently published a glowing review of our latest release, Third - you can read it in the press section of our website. Thanks to author Darren Tracy for the kind and insightful words!

Check out our new video, "The Making Of Third"—produced by wurm in conjunction with Twin Cities eMedia & Blackberry Way Records. This is the first in a series of Blackberry Way "In Studio" videos planned for release in the coming months.

Tracks from our new record Third are already hitting the radio airwaves: thanks to KFAI's Jackson Buck for spinning "Shaky Ground" on the April 4 edition of Freewheelin', as well as to Andrea Swensson for playing our rendition of "My Back Pages" on 89.3 The Current's Local Show on April 7.

Also be sure to tune in to Freewheelin' again this week (April 11) to hear an interview segment with our singer/guitarist Brian Drake!

Even though the calendar shows the first of April, it's no joke that our newest release Third is out now on Blackberry Way Records. Head on over to the music page to listen and/or buy yourself a copy.

And don't forget that our release party is coming up on April 13 at The Hook and Ladder Theater & Lounge in Minneapolis, with our friends Rich Mattson & The Northstars and Adam Levy rounding out the bill. All paid admissions receive a complimentary copy of Third!

Another milestone we can check off our collective bucket list: our first review in a language other than English. Rooted Sounds had some kind Spanish words to say about our most recent release, Colorwheel, calling it "una obra multifacética llena de matices y con una excelente producción, donde el lirismo y la muy personal voz bowieniana del compositor Brian Drake es magnificamente secundada por arreglos instrumentales exhuberantes y convincentes, a la par enérgicos que armónicos".

(English translation of above quote: "a multi-faceted work full of nuances and with an excellent production, where the lyricism and the very personal Bowie-esque voice of the composer Brian Drake is magnificently supported by exuberant and convincing instrumental arrangements, at the same time energetic and harmonious".)

Thanks to the Musicperk website for the first official review of our recently released 2nd album, Colorwheel. In addition to reviewing all 10 songs on the record, they gave it an overall 7.5 out of 10 stars, stating that "Colorwheel is an album that covers a wide array of genres in a well-packaged offering, in many ways serving as a homage to the respected bands of the previous era."

Musicperk also selected "Give It Up and Let It Go" as their pick of the week for March 5, 2018. "A rocker of a track with big-band influences, Give It Up has a cool Country sound and that oomph factor going for it. Refreshing with a generous dose of attitude..."

We're proud to have been the featured artist on the February 23, 2018 edition of Tom Lambert's Independent Music Show.

We are also featured in the March 2018 issue of the show's monthly magazine.

This is our first airplay outside of North America (at least that we're aware of). Thanks to Tom Lambert for the support!

Big news from The April Fools!

It's been hard to keep this under our hats, and now, here it is. On Sunday 11/19, the day after our smash CD release bash at The Hook & Ladder, Clay Williams told us he was leaving the band. We were stunned and sorry to hear the news but we all respected his decision. No gossip, no drama, no acrimony—we loved every single note we played over our four years together and we made two records that we're very proud of. We wish Clay all the best with all his current and future endeavors.

Things change—people come and people go as a matter of routine in the world of Rock and Roll—and life rolls on. If you're in it for real, you simply pick up and move forward. And, that's what we did.

We're very pleased to introduce our two new members: Dallas, TX transplant and guitarist/vocalist extraordinaire, Brad McLemore; and the beautiful and crazy-talented Minneapolis veteran (Flamin' Oh's, Tetes Noire, and more) Terri Owens, on guitar, mandolin, and vocals. They are both killer performers, singers, and writers. We knew exactly who we wanted and were beyond thrilled when they both enthusiastically said "yes!" After our first rehearsal it was pretty obvious we all made the right choice—and you'll get to hear us on 12/28 at the Aster Cafe in Minneapolis.

You're gonna dig it. We promise.