The Foot-Notes from left are Beth Hoven Rotto, Jon Rotto, Bill Musser, and John Goodin.
Lanesboro Arts is pleased to present the “Foot-Notes Dance in the Park,” a free public concert and dance featuring music from acclaimed Scandinavian folk band The Foot-Notes. The dance honors volunteers and community support that help make Lanesboro Arts programs, like Art in the Park, possible. The event will take place in Sylvan Park, 202 Parkway Avenue North in Lanesboro on Saturday, July 15, from 7-9 p.m.
The Foot-Notes band originates from Decorah, Iowa, and represents a rich Norwegian-American musical tradition from the surrounding areas of Northeast Iowa, Southeast Minnesota, and Western Wisconsin. Collecting tunes from a variety of local musicians, the Foot-Notes have made a name for themselves as bearers of Norwegian-American dance music that reaches back to the house party and barn dance eras in the Upper Midwest.
The old-time music they play reflects their ties to Norwegian-American communities, including Decorah, where they now live. Most of the band’s repertoire consists of dance tunes that were popular at house parties, barn dances, and “bowery” dances in Northeast Iowa around the turn of the century and into the first few decades of the 1900s. They also incorporate a number of especially danceable tunes from a variety of other traditions – including Swedish, Finnish, Faroese, Russian, Irish, and American folk – into their repertoire, some of which are group/mixer dances.
The group has performed at local events such as weddings and Highlandville dances, but have also appeared on regional, national and Norwegian radio, at the Smithsonian’s Festival of American Folklife in Washington, D.C., the Festival of Iowa Folklife in Des Moines, Iowa, and performed as part of the “Masters of Tradition” series at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, D.C.