Tonight is the “big shuuuu”, Ed Sullivan reference! 

Join us as we go Peasants def con 4 with the best of the best. Peasants with Torches at the TimberLake, 30 musicians artists and fun loving entertainers bring their talents from 6-9:30

Everyone in northern MN and beyond are invited to join their neighbors kicking off the fall/winter arts and culture season.

Oct. 12, 2016

I got the 411 on Brett Reid and Greg Kaczor today. These are two guys seemed destined to play together.  Both are from Grand Rapids that took some side ventures in life, now back with heaps of talent. Read on. 

 Brett left at an early age with his family for Texas where he got into the Blues scene. Some of the artists Brett shared the stage with or recorded with are: John Lee Hooker, Big Mama Thornton, Lightnin Hopkins Jahn Mayall, and Johnny Winter! How cool is that?

Greg Kaczor had a band called “Live n Kickin” still remembered by many of the locals. Scoring a deal with Warner Bros Nashville took Greg to the south. After “Live and Kickin” folded Greg toured with Terri Clark for over 10 years and 1100 shows! Greg has played ALL the big shows and TV circuit in country music: Reba, George Strait, Toby Keith, Good Morning America, The View etc. Brett and Greg met when they both returned to Minnesota in 2010. 

Tom Page editorial: I have heard these two play several times and I promise they are worth the price of admission alone. (I will refund anyones admission that feels otherwise)…”But wait, there’s more”, we will have many other (30) national quality local guys and gals bringing you the best this area has to offer. You will not find all this talent under one roof anywhere else.

Oct. 4th. Two days since the last blog but I could not wait longer to post this performance by three members of Hobo Revival: Kim Grillo Nagler, Joe Gibb/guitar and Robert Klaysmat on drums. This is original music and I love it. Hobo Revival will be one of 4 main stage acts and many side room talent as well, 21 presenters in all.

Click the arrow above for a short Reid & Kaczor video. More on them later.

Oct. 2, 2016

We are finally into October. The colors have turned and the nights are cooling off, sounds like Peasants with Torches season!

Starting Monday Oct. 3rd. you can go into Frame up, the MacRostie Gallery or Brewed Awakenings and vote for your favorite Peasants promotional graphic, they have them all, just choose one. This may be your most important vote of the season! The top tens graphics will be featured in the top ten countdown leading up to our gala event on Oct. 27th

Peasants springboard 1

I have referred to Eric Pollard, aka, Actual Wolf as “cryogenically frosty Dude”, and meant it. Smart, a talented lyricist great musician and just plain personable. He connects with the audience and delivers the sound. This year at PwT Eric will be performing with his musical collaborators; Mike Miller and Russ Sackett. Individually they are all rock stars, together they are the sum of those parts.

We have limited seating at PwT and encourage early ticket sales. Buy a table early and have seating choice. We are also offering a “Friends of the Arts” table. These tables help support the artists and allow special recognition and a few perks!

Don’t be shy, step right up. Tickets available at: Frame Up and the MacRostie Gallery

Sept. 20, 2016

I have to apologize for starting the blogging and Facebooking so early this year. I have been carried away by creating the graphics promoting the event. I enjoy doing it. Sometimes the message gets away from me but it is part of the great experiment, isn’t it? The graphic below tickles me somehow, so, with no further explanation, here it is.

peasants torch head  mod1

Sept. 17, 2016

Yes, tickets are now on sale at Frame Up and the MacRostie Gallery, both in Grand Rapids, MN. or you could buy direct from Tom at Brewed Awakenings. I’m usually good around the 9:30 to 10:30 shift. We like to determine the future of all mankind by 10: anything do good after that is just added value.

My morning brew inspired the attached graphic. So, next time you are staring into the artful beverages at Brewed Awakenings think about purchasing your tickets for Oct. 27th. 21 musicians, artists and a few surprises. 

peasants coffee cup latte posterized

Sept 8, 2016

Let me introduce fellow gallery artist at PwT, Jake Komula. Jake is a local guy that discovered an interest in art in an urban way. His work has a social headwall that we rarely, say never! experience in the land of fishing and hunting. Jake lays his work out in a style that exceeds his years. His use of cultural icons with spray paint are fresh, stylistic and full of rich colors. Not to worry,  Jake is not an uptown tagger, the photo below was merely a photo op. 

Sept. 4th, 2016

Will Downing and Bill Laplant were scheduled to play the big stage at the 2016 Peasants. Will had no choice but to give his ailing voice a rest and was forced to take a time out this year. We hope for Will’s full recovery over time. Will, your’e always welcome at Peasants. We did not want to lose Bill as well so Bill Laplant will play with Sam Miltich during part of the gallery viewing.

Tickets will go on sale at Frame Up and the MacRostie Gallery starting on Tuesday. We have sold this event out in the last two years and expect the same in 2016. Cash or check are our the method of payment. This will be the biggest Peasants event yet. We would love to see everyone come out and celebrate the arts and culture of our area.

Bill Laplant 1 cropped

Above: Billo Laplant 

Aug. 29th, 2016

I don’t have the full bio on these guys however I have seen them play several times. Their talent is far beyond their local reach. Makes me wonder if there isn’t a witness protection program involved. Brett Reid and Greg Kaczor will be first timers at Peasants and you have my personal guarantee they will not disappoint. They are just another testimonial to the local talent we have in the northland.

August 20th. 

Peasants with Torches will have first time music performer Patrick Zabinski playing during the gallery hour in room one of the banquet facility. Patrick has many talents but the talent he brings to Peasant’s is his spontaneous keyboard playing. While Patrick is playing the room Tom Page and Jake Komula will be exhibiting and selling their artwork. We will also have a table for the sale of musician’s cd’s. 

Tickets go to the printers on Monday and will be distributed for sale by the first of Sept. Tickets will be sold at the MacRostie Gallery and Frame Up in Grand Rapids, MN

August 18, 2016

I am occasionally asked the meaning of Peasants with Torches. Like most art, language in this case, you may apply whatever personal experience or proclivities to it that make sense in your world. My take on the concept is that arts are simply another language, one that primarily uses metaphor and symbolism to carry the message or as my friend Jim Zasoski puts it, “content”. Two words with a similar meaning, maybe a definition of abstraction on it’s most basic form. 

If a work of art does not carry a message it really falls into a category of decoration, not a bad thing but a lesser calling, my opinion. Artists get to control the message, many times it is personal or as we like to glorify  wt as “esoteric”. The imagery is usually the backstory to the message. This brings me to a quote I often use by Joseph Campbell to describe the meaning in art, “It’s not about the image, it’s about the message behind the image”. To cypher artistic meaning is as easy as solving the enigma code of WWll. That brings us to the work part of the artistic audience, not an easy thing to engage in, e all have busy lives right?, so why expend the time and energy. 

I will wrap this up by saying that our event name is simply artists gathering to take their message to the people much the same way, for different reasons, the peasants in Mary Shelly’s book took the torches to the countryside. Their intent was to deliver a mortal message to the “monster”. Our messages as much more benign than that.

August 2016, In November of 2015 my 93 year old mother passed away. The following months were occupied by many thoughts of her. A cleaning of her Minneapolis home left me with many items from the past. I spent several months painting some of these curios. They carry no great message except to me. None the less some paintings are worthy of showing in Oct.  Recently I have been back on portraiture in preparation for our Peasants event.  We will have at least 18 presenters and maybe some surprises. So please join us on Oct.27th 2016 at the TimberLake for this Grand Rapids State Bank sponsored event.

July 2016, first entry.

Greetings peasants of the northland. I am staring to put the web site together for the 2016 Peasants with Troches event. We have a commitment from all the musicians and artist, we’re just waiting to change over some of the graphics. The good news is, trumpets please, Grand Rapids State Bank has generously agreed to be a sponsor for the 2016 event. This is GRSB’s second year of sponsorship. Thank you GRSB for your arts and culture commitment to the northland.

This year we will have more presenters than our two previous years. We have reached beyond our city limits in our search for original and unique entertainment. Pleas check back often and…let us know if you would your thoughts of the event and any recommendations you have.

Nov. 4, 2015

OK, I may have been talking to myself the last several months on this blog. I work alone and used to having two border collies with cocked dog heads trying to understand my gibberish as well. However, this next part is important to me.

Somewhere in this universe there must be a community that would like to host a Peasants event. It’s really about the arts and that’s not a bad thang! As a charter member of this noble cause you receive all privileges absolutely free. We are coming up with some common sense guidelines, nothing to stifle creativity, just to make the arts stronger.

There is a contact page on this site. It will link you to my personal e-mail address. If you are or know someone that would like to tackle a Peasants affiliation in another town, I can make it easy. Contact me for further info. 

Nov. 3, 2015

Four days of recovery, I’m now ready to recap and thank those that attended our Peasants event.

Thank you Grand Rapids State Bank. Noah, your the best and the sponsorship was generous. 

Thank you Frame Up and the MacRostie Gallery in Grand Rapids

Thank you TimberLake Lodge, Jim Lempke and KOZY, Scott Hall and KAXE, Nathan Bergstedt at the Herald Review

We spent 4 hours entertaining the community with some fabulous home grown talent including;

Visual Artists:

Tom Page

Aaron Squadroni

John risberg

Chritsy Cole


Katie Benes, Katie Smith


 Will Hollnagel, 

Olivia Skaja, 

Sam Miltich and Friends with Sammo, Matthew, Russ Sackett and Greg Gaston, 

Actual Wolf aka Eric Pollard

Mississippi Hot Club with Alissa Jacobsen,Ian Stenlund, Joshua Parlanti, Luke Zupan and Joseph Downing

In an earlier Facebook entry I mentioned that the measure of a community could be by the quality of individuals it sent into the greater world. If that is true, I think it is, these individuals/artists/performers are the best ambassadors of our community. ladies and gentleman, it was a true pleasure. Thank you one and all

Finally, Thank you to all of those that attended the event. It is not without it’s reward, read on;

Oct. 28, 2015

A great way to start your “Date night” at tomorrow nights “Peasants” event is with dinner at the TimberLake Lodge, (Honey glazed salmon my fav.) their complete menu will satisfy anyone. 

If you plan on making the gallery viewing on time we suggest a 4:30-5:00 dinner reservation or drop in.  contact the Timberlake by clicking the box below the graphic. 

Oc. 27, 2015

Big news! Mississippi Hot Club will debut their New CD, Flour and Sawdust at this years peasant event. I am excited to hear the new work of this locally grown group. If you are in the breeding mood for future talented musicians, Grand Rapids seems to be the fertile ground. Join us in celebration of the arts, culture and now, CD preview. It just keeps getting better. 48 hours until PWT.

www.Mississippi Hot

Oct. 26, 2015

Don’t be left out in the cold. Buy your tickets in advance for the “Peasants” event.

Oct. 25, 2015

OK, Maybe this isn’t a world tour but we do have a world class event. It’s a celebration of community arts and culture. 

Thursday, Oct. 29th at the TimberLake Lodge, Grand Rapids,MN 6-10pm. Tickets available, (while they last) at: Frame Up or the MacRostie Gallery. Please join us.

Oct.25, 2015

Olivia and Deena Skaja, Oct 29th at the TimberLake Lodge. Sponsored by Grand Rapids State Bank. Please join us.

Oct. 24, 2015

Everything is in place and ready to go for Thursday nights event. There is lots of buzz in the air and ticket sales are considerably greater than last year at this time. I am confident that we will sell out and would like those that plan to attend to buy ASAP. 

Oct. 24,2015 

Save money, buy now. Frame Up or MacRostie Gallery, Grand Rapids, MN 

Sponsored by Grand Rapids State Bank

Oct. 23, 2015

Buy tickets and avoid the scalpers at the door. Available at Frame Up or the MacRostie Gallery.

Beware ticket scalpers at the door

Oct. 23, 2015

Travel, late night performances, a hardscrabble existence makes our artists and musicians age prematurely. You know the saying? “I’ve suffered for my artwork, now it’s your turn!”, credit Marshall Crenshaw. 

Join us for the cultural solstice of the indoor season. 

marty felman w guitar

Oct. 22, 2015

Despite our incredibly beautiful seasonal weather, October marks the begin of the indoor season of entertainment. Peasants with Torches is the cultural solstice in this respect. We represent the first event of the dark season, (referring to the lack of daylight). 

Join us as we kick off this cultural solstice with home grown entertainment. 18 of the 20 presenters are natives or long time permanent residents of the area. Proclamation: All presenters will be given favorite son/daughter status for their entire stay in our village. 

Tickets are picking up and going fast. Do not be disappointed, buy now. 

Thank you Grand Rapids State Bank, a culturally responsible bank

Oct. 21, 2015

Just a word about appropriate dress at Peasants with Torches. State law requires clothing, sorry, can’t do anything about that. Do remember however, PwT takes place two days before Halloween. In my way of thinking anytime the week before Halloween is an excuse to dress up and act out. Nothing to embarrass the family name: a fake mustache, a discreet clown nose, a peasant hat, anything that says your midwest conservative but not adverse to letting your knickers show , if just a little..or just show up with a smile and pass it along.


Oct 20, 2015

Things are heating up down at the torch factory as we get ready for Peasants with Torches.  Something to keep the audience cool will be the performance of Grand Rapids native Eric Pollard AKA Actual Wolf. 

actual wolf  fankenstein  red glasses

Oct. 19, 2015

bride of frenakenstein

Looking for that perfect first date, rekindle an old affair, or just a curious night out with the Miss’s. Consider Peasants with Torches. The glow of the peasant torches is sure to bring an extra element of heat to the room. 

Oct. 29th,  at the TimberLake Lodge. Tickets available at Frame Up and the MacRostie Gallery, Grand Rapids, MN

Oct. 15, 2015

Two weeks to go. Tables are still available, reserve yours today at Frame Up or the MacRostie Gallery.  Everyone in our viewing are is welcome! No experience required. Tickets will be available at the door. Contact us via our contact page.

Oct. 13, 2015

A few words about Sam Miltich and Friends. What do you do with a prodigy that has grown past the use of the term? In the case of Sam Miltich you keep playing with many competent  musicians, create images and evolve the sound. He is a bit of a snake shedding his skin on an, “as necessary" basis. Sam plays the world stage every time he performs luckily for us he performs with the Peasants event for the second year in a row. It will be exciting to see what this years configuration of presentation he brings.

Oct. 8, 2015

Let me focus on Actual Wolf for a moment. Actual Wolf aka Eric Pollard.  Eric was born/raised in Grand Rapids, MN. Eric coached my sons youth basketball team, something they both had a good conversation over in a surprise meeting in New York City some time ago. 

My experience with Actual Wolf, when not listening to his music, is primarily over a coffee at Brewed Awakenings when he is flying out to a performance somewhere,  James Brown move over. I think Actual Wolf is the hardest working man in show business today. 

His travels and performances take him from coast to coast with every actual, (no pun intended) location between. Actual Wolf performs solo and with his group. He writes original music, plays covers or whatever suites him. I most recently saw him at the Grand Rapids State Bank event Forest Jam where Eric played with his old high school mates, major fun!

If you like a confident musician, wearing iconic red sunglasses, that has  the power to dial  the room temperature and mood by sheer talent, this is a not to miss performer. Worth the price of admission alone.

For a greater “Wolf” experience go to      www.Actual

Oct. 7, 2015

Peasants with Torches is about the messages brought by the artists and musicians through their art, music, lyrics, etc. This year we encourage messages from the audience via the large screen projection. You will be able to do this on your cell phone; Twitter, #peasants . So, gather your thoughts and come prepared to participate in this multi media event.

Oct. 5, 2015

Center Yoga and Fitness will be part of this years Peasants with Torches event! Christina and her staff graciously posed for photos, made into paintings that will be part of the gallery viewing on Oct. 29th at the TimberLake Lodge. Hopefully you will find the quiet physical confidence as well as their inner an outer beauty in the paintings. It is our pleasure to recognize Center as part of the social fabric of our community.

Oct.4, 2015

You may have heard the good news, Olivia Skaja has agreed to expand her play list as the opening musical performance for the Peasants event. She brings a bold sound to our event as a break out performer in the big room. Olivia will be followed by Sam Miltich and Friends, Actual Wolf and Mississippi Hot Club. Plus don’t forget Will Hollnagel performing during the gallery viewing hour. Tickets and tables are selling now. We sold out the house last year and I expect to do the same again this year. Buying early is recommended. You may buy tickets at Frame Up or the MacRostie Gallery in Grand Rapids, MN. See you on the 29th.

Sept. 21, 2015

I have to report there will be a schedule change to the musical part of our event. Samthing Completely Different will not be playing at Peasants with Torches this year. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may make. In the next several days I will make necessary changes to the web site to reflect this change.

Sept.15, 2015

The measure of a community can be made by the quality of individuals they send into the world. Grand Rapids should be proud of their progeny and the rich talents they possess and share with the world.

Peasants with Torches is a way of bringing back those that have left and those that stayed. Show your appreciation for this creative class of artists and performers by joining us Thurs. Oct. 29th at the TimberLake Lodge. 

This event is made possible by the culturally conscious Grand Rapids State Bank.

Sept. 14,2015

Show up early at the Peasants event, claim your table and enjoy the gallery viewing hour from 6-7 pm. Its’ a fine time to enjoy the artwork, mingle with your friends and talk with the artists. The gallery hour will be accompanied by Will Hollnagel and his Baldoni button box.

Sept 13 , 2015

Art history lesson 101! We experienced the first evidence of art making about 40,000 years ago, not really that long ago. Culture already had a long history by that time. Art and culture marched forward lockstep to contemporary times. Our mission is to celebrate what the creative class brings to the table in our time. We have also chosen to do this by celebrating local and regional talent. QUESTION, let us know your thoughts about our format of presenting local arts and culture or if you would prefer a statewide/national draw of artists, musicians, etc. By responding to this question you will help us plan the future of this event. Go to the contact page and leave a message. Thanks

Sept. 9, 2015

Would it be wrong if “Peasants" became a national event trend. Imagine cities, large and small across the country putting on their own evening of tribute to the artists and the messages they bring. Here’s my offer. If you have friends in the arts or know people that appreciate the creative class, e-mail them, offer them our name, platform and event model. Use our e-mail address on the contact page of this site to have them get in touch with me. I would love to see a Peasants with Torches Atlanta, Sioux Falls, Los Angeles, Keenewick, Moose Jaw, yes, why not Canada as well!. So, spread the word and let’s start a national movement voice and message through the arts. 

Sept. 8th, 2015

Peasants with Torches and our sponsor, Grand Rapids State Bank are excited to bring the two best Gypsy Jazz groups in the country, our opinion, to PwT.  Sam Miltich and his friends are a perennial favorite on any ticket. This year the Mississippi Hot Club will debut on the big stage at Peasants. Either one of these groups is capable of bringing the heat, together they can melt the tin off the roof! But wait, there’s more! Actual Wolf, aka Eric Pollard, will bring bring his unique sound. In About on the Wolf’s website  Aaron Brown is quoted in the following:

Eric Pollard is a Grand Rapids, Minnesota, boy better known by the name he shares with his stage persona, band and ethos: Actual Wolf. A few years back, he emerged from behind the drum kit to become a front man and accomplished songwriter. Listening to him was to hear to a wolf trying on sound; a vocal chameleon who could effortlessly channel Roy Orbison, Neil Young, Bob Dylan or a nameless country music singer drifting in on an AM signal. There wasn’t any doubt this guy could sing, write or play — you just didn’t know where it was going to go.

It’s all good, it’s all night, 6-10 and it’s at the TimberLake  Banquet Room in Grand Rapids,MN Best of all, everyone is invited. Tickets on Sale at Frame Up and the MacRostie Gallery.

We recently added a fourth visual artist to the event. Christy Cole will be included in the gallery viewing between 6-7pm. Christy is an art educator with a strong background in representational art. Among the artwork she will be showing are a series of popular music icons from the international music scene. We are looking forward to her presence at “Peasants” and the artwork she will bring. Below is a sample of her artistic style.

Robert Plant by Christy ColeOct. A



Will Hollnagel will play during the gallery viewing at Peasansts this year. Will is a local icon and community contributor of the arts. Well lives a quiet life but plays spontaneous style of music on his Baldoni “squeeze box”.  He entertained for years at the Forest History Center in Grand Rapids. Now Will joins us as an official “peasant”. Will, will heat up the buttons and set your toes a tapping at 6pm on Thurs. Oct 29th, TimberLake Lodge banquet room. We hope to see you there. 

will 2

Olivia Skaja

We try to showcase locally grown talent of all kinds. Itasca county is rich in musical talent. The 2015 Peasants event will include some of the best musical talent not just in Itasca county but in the country. Many of the musicians are third generation. 

On the big stage we have Olivia Skaja stating the evening off with something to put us in the mood. Olivia played during the gallery viewing last year and has moved into the big room in 2015.

Olivia is our youngest musician but skilled and powerful in her performance. She is comfortable with chamber settings and ensembles, she excels as a soloist and plays with an attitude of confidence and contemporary acuity. She is guaranteed to please and entertain. The attached photos are some of her most recent.

Art & Culture of Yoga

This year part of  the visual arts presentation by Tom Page will be paintings from a photos session with the staff of Center Yoga and Fitness Center in Grand Rapids, MN. Paintings of the following instructors exhibit their serenity, beauty, fitness and repose of  their craft: 









We can all anticipate the opening of the new Center owned and operated by Christina Anderson. More about this later.

First blog 2015

We hope you will join us this Oct. 29th for the second annual Peasants with Torches Arts and Cultural event. This year we are pleased to have the Grand Rapids State Bank as our sole sponsor. Their support and expertise will make this event bigger and better than 2014. 

We have expanded the number of event presenter and  hours,  we also have added a light offering of food in the admission price.

This year we have 17 performing and presenting peasants. The event has been lengthen by an hour, 6-10 pm, food and fun. We are adding a dance floor and some interesting twists to the event. A portable bar will be available for beverages of your choice.

The tickets will be available in the next week at Frame Up and the MacRostie Gallery, both in Grand Rapids, MN. Out of towers may contact us through the contact page

If you have any questions please feel free to contact us. 

The Peasants are coming for you this October!

It may not feel like October yet but we know it’s to far off, right? The peasants are just heating up their acts for the cultural event of the year, Peasants with Torches. 

The Peasants will convene on Oct 29th at the Timberlake Lodge. We are extending the hour to 6-10Pm, adding more talent than Ed Sullivan with hours of non stop music, three visual artists, actors and some surprises. 

This year we are very pleased to have Grand Rapids State Bank sponsoring the event. GRSB has a long tradition of sponsoring the creative class in the Grand Rapids area. Thank you GRSB.

 If you enjoy the company of friends, the talents of local artistry and a general good time this should be on your calendar. To tease out what you can expect in the visual arts we are posting this Painting of Joseph downing. This year we have three visual artists; Tom Page, John Risberg and Aaron Squadroni. 

Tickets on sale now at The MacRostie Art Center and Frame Up in Grand Rapids. 

Get the best table and seating by purchasing now.  Maybe you would like to consider a” Friends of the Arts table”, details on the tickets and details page.

If you have specific questions or would like to be put on our e-mail list go to the contact page and give us a shout.

First Post

© Thomas Page 2014