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The Roadhouse


  • Friday 5-7pm
Arts & Culture Interviews & Live Music
This program officially starts the weekend along the North Shore and across the North Woods. Hosts Buck Benson & Dick Swanson and producer Ann Possis provide two hours packed with insightful interviews,  weekend happenings, local features and toe-tapping music. You never know quite what to expect on the Roadhouse! 
Arts, cultural and history features on WTIP are made possible in part by funding from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Check out other programs and features funded in part with support from the Heritage Fund.


What's On:
courtesy Sustainable Agriculture Project

UMD farm provides 'lab' for research, learning and demonstration

The Sustainable Agriculture Project at UMD offers an experiential learning, research and demonstration farm that works with institutions and local farmers, and provides internships for students. Randel Hanson, assistant professor of geography at UMD, has been instrumental in the creation and expansion of the farm. He talked with Buck July 24 about the farm and how it brings together food, water, and energy research. You can learn more here.


Ben Weaver in Studio A

Musician Ben Weaver circumnavigating Lake Superior by bicycle...and song

Musician Ben Weaver is riding his bicycle around Lake Superior to engage people along the route in conversation about the state of our fresh water. He's performing his music at many stops along the way. He spoke with Dick, and played a few tunes, during a July 24 stopover in Grand Marais. As Ben says in this interview, "Why do we have to choose between jobs and fresh water?" You can learn more about Ben and his project here.


courtesy Wilderness Classroom

Adventurers Dave & Amy Freeman to spend full year in BWCAW

At the fall equinox, Dave & Amy Freeman will launch their canoe in the KawishiwiRiver and paddle into the Boundary Waters, where they will stay for an entire year. Dick spoke with them July 17 about why they're doing this, the logistics involved, and more. You can learn about their programs for students at, and about their goal of bringing attention to sulfide mining near the Boundary Waters at



Pluto mission explained by MN astronomer/educator Parke Kunkle

NASA's New Horizons--the first mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt--ended its 9 1/2-year journey last week as the spacecraft reached Pluto and started transmitting new information back to Earth. Parke Kunkle, U of MN Bell Museum of History advisory board member, joined Dick July 17 to explain the mission and why it's so important to science. You can learn more about New Horizons here.



Marlais Brand on her book of fables from the North Shore

Marlais Olmstead Brand, a Lakeville writer and wilderness educator, has written a new book, "The Hungry Coast: Fables from the North Shore of Minnesota." It's illustrated with woodcuts from Grand Marais native Noah Prinsen. Marlais spoke with Dave TerSteeg July 17 about the book and what inspired her writing. You can learn more about Marlais and her work here


The Wrong Omar

The Wrong Omar lands in the right studio--on The Roadhouse

Twin Cities band The Wrong Omar (from left, Becky Shaheen, Laura Lou, and Joey Shaheen) dropped by the station during membership drive to chat, laugh, and play some great original music. 


courtesy Lou Pignolet

Former chemistry professor transforms self into expert bowl turner

Lou Pignolet retired to Hovland about 10 years ago and took up woodturning. He's now an expert who makes gorgeous bowls and teaches at North House. He joined Buck July 10 to talk about how he got into this art and what it means to him. You can learn more and see his bowls here.


courtesy Sala Architects

Architect & 'cabinologist' Dale Mulfinger talks all things cabin

Architect, author & 'cabinologist' Dale Mulfinger stopped by Studio A on a recent visit to the shore. He chatted with Dick about our beloved cabins, what makes a cabin special (as opposed to a house), and recent developments in cabin architecture. You can learn more about Dale and his firm here.


Michael Monroe in Studio A

Michael Monroe plays from most recent album, "Folk Legends"

Local fav Michael Monroe stopped by Studio A July 3 to play a few songs from his most recent album, "Folk Legends," and to talk about his music and log cabin concerts. You can learn more here.


Gordon in studio July 3

Local blues favorite Gordon Thorne visits Studio A

Local bluesman Gordon Thorne stopped by The Roadhouse July 3 for a few tunes... as well as conversation about everything from obscure blues singers to waterskiing.