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Rising Stars: Meet Robert Wonderlich of Eveleth

Today we’d like to introduce you to Robert Wonderlich.

Hi Robert, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
Northern Acoustics started as a solo project in 2012 with me, Robert Wonderlich, doing vocals, guitar, and harmonica. I got hired by Louis Pettinelli Entertainment to perform private venue shows. Alex Kangas and I met through mutual experiences in music performance and performed under the name of Louis Pettinelli Rock Duo. I had a friend in radio named Rollie Dethloff who would invite me to perform on the show since he was from the Iron Range and loved local music. Rollie and I would perform covers together on his radio show Untitled hosted by KRFF radio in Fargo, ND. Rollie expressed interest in joining Northern Acoustics from time to time and finally convinced me when he moved back to the Range. Asking Alex to join was a no-brainer since we already had so much experience performing together. We’ve got to where we are by performing good music and serving the songs rather than ourselves.

Can you talk to us about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It hasn’t been easy for me. I was born with a genetic hearing deficiency, and I’ve had to put in a lot of work to become as good as I am. I surprise my bandmates with how good my ear is. The struggle to validate myself as a musician and prove my mettle has been challenging. I wouldn’t have been able to defy the odds without our public education here in Minnesota. I was taught to sing and perform music at a young age, even with my disability.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
The sound of Northern Acoustics is unlike anything you’ve ever heard before. When Alex Kangas, Rollie Dethloff, and I started Northern Acoustics, we knew we wanted to create something special. We are a folk band with a twist. Old world music meets modern beats: distorted bass, harmonica, and mind-blowing beats mixed with haunting vocals and storytelling lyrics. We’re an experienced band. We’ve had notable live performances on KRFF radio and local PBS stations. In one of our most recent performances, we performed on the same billing as Bob Dylan’s band members. We’re all about keeping the experience here in Minnesota unique and one of a kind.

So maybe we end by discussing what matters most to you and why?
Good music. The kind you can dance to, drink beer to, and sing along to with friends. Good music inspires people. What makes people dance, laugh, cry, and experience pain. We’re all for the music that sends chills down your spine. We’re dedicated to bringing that one-of-a-kind performance you can’t wait to experience again.

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Image Credits
Colton Flack

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