My Town My Music’s Local Artist Spotlight

David Wilson is the Lead Jammer of Rochester’s bluegrass-fusion band Root River Jam. He grew up in Preston, Minnesota. His father was a veterinarian; as a result, he spent many hours on random farms across the southeast region of the state, and thus developed a love of the outdoors.

Since he was young, music has been an important part of Dave’s life. Beginning in his elementary years, he performed in school concerts, plays, church programs, and in 4-H. It was through these activities that he realized he enjoyed being in front of an audience. Having older siblings who were also musically inclined helped shape him at an early age. And now, each gig that Dave plays is an opportunity to grow, explore, and hone his craft.

Dave finds that music provides him a place of refuge and room to challenge himself creatively. His songs focus on love, what-ifs, and what could be.

What is the strangest thing that’s happened to you at a performance?
No matter where you are, it’s strange to walk in and hear the owner say, “We have a band tonight?” It’s happened to me several times before.

Dave Wilson playing with Root River Jam at Peace Plaza, Rochester, MN
Dave Wilson playing with Root River Jam at Peace Plaza, Rochester, MN

Meeting which artist would be most intimidating?
John Lennon or George Harrison

What does live performance mean to you? Why is it important to our community?
Live performance is that medium between artist creativity and the fans. It’s a chance to connect with them as well. In Rochester, live music is really taking off, though it may not seem like it with the closing of some major venues. But the community is starting to tune in more to its musical artists.

Do you have any projects in the works? Shortly we will be heading for a little time in the studio.

What do you see as strengths of the Rochester music scene?
Strength lies in its people, both artists and fans. A balance of both will create the scene and venues we want. And, as usual, our strength is in our differences. We are stronger together.

What aspects of the local scene do you feel could use improvement/more attention?
Venue shows

As a performer, what is your idea of a perfect venue?
One that has people there to listen to the artist.

What is the best concert you’ve seen in Rochester?
A while ago, I saw the Little River Band at Riverside. They sounded great.

What artist(s) would you love to see come to Rochester?
Trampled by Turtles, Mumford & Sons

Solid Gold and Apollo Cobra in Rochester MN

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