Summer Concert Series

Take in some great live music at the Surf Ballroom! The Summer Concert Series features live music by regional & well known musicians, hosted on Wednesday evenings from June 7-August 16, 2023.

Doors open nightly at 6pm, with donations for the Surf Ballroom & Museum's Education and Outreach Programs being accepted in lieu of admission.

Food delivery available from the Legacy Grill - dine at your table during the show!

Sponsored in part by Raymond JamesⓇ, Clear Lake Bank & Trust & Dean Snyder Construction.

Jack Knife & The Sharps

Jack Knife & The Sharps

June 7, 2023
Genre: Rockabilly

Jack Knife & The Sharps, led by the exceptional vintage guitar playing of Rick Hollister, is one of the leading rockabilly bands playing in Minnesota today. Formed in 1984, Hollister is joined by long-time producer and engineer, Jeff Bjork on drums and Scotty Christianson on upright bass. Rockabilly and roots music fans enjoy Rick Hollister’s precise, deep-toned guitar sounds and right-on-the-money vocals and find the relentless rhythms from the bass and drums to be irresistible.

Jack Knife & The Sharps’ primary musical style is rockabilly, although they blend different musical styles with ease and artistry. Country, blues, swing, and surf sounds all come together in one of the most spirited sets of good-time, rockin’ music you will hear. Hollister’s original songs are also standouts that could have been written 40 years ago and when the band plays the classics, they do it with a unique upbeat style that can't help but get under your skin. The group roars onto the stage like a custom-built vintage car with all the chrome and flash and no muffler. Their music is fast, loud, fun and definitely made for dancing. Retro rockers, rockabilly fans, and swing dancers count them as one of their favorite dance bands in the Upper Midwest.

Willy Porter

Willy Porter

June 14, 2023
Genre: Blues

Some folks are lucky to find what they love to do at an early age and quietly settle in for the long haul expanding and developing their work over the arc of a lifetime. Willy Porter is one of those artists. He has followed his own path to explore the sacred language that music truly is. 30 years after his solo recording debut, he continues to reach further into his guitar & pen while stretching the form of what his own music can be. He’s currently working on his 13th album for release in 2023.

Elie Alger

Eli Alger & The Faster Horses

June 21, 2023
Genre: Country

Corn-fed and headstrong, Eli Alger is churning new dirt in an old-school way amidst the Nashville country music scene. The Des Moines Iowa native singer/songwriter was raised both cutting wood for his chores and his teeth playing bars with his eyes set on a bigger stage. With black & white fridge door pictures of his great-grandpa Larry Elmo working stellar crowds sporting overalls and a fiddle, and parents who sang to him since he was in diapers, Alger was constantly exposed to all kinds of music. Ultimately, it was that traditional 90’s country twang that truly resonated.

Not Quite Brothers

Not Quite Brothers

June 28, 2023
Genre: Cover Band

Not Quite Brothers is Central Iowa’s fastest growing cover band. Formed in 2018, the band quickly became known for their huge sound, eclectic setlist and ability to enhance any party. Fans of all ages agree… “It feels like I am watching the band they are covering in their heyday” and “It’s so cool to see a younger generation playing my favorite songs on stage instead of overweight boomers in cargo shorts.”

Sam Johnson (vocals) and Isaac Johnson (guitar) are twins and although Cooper Corcoran (guitar), Ben Schmelzer (drums) and Blake Marsh (bass) are of no relation to each other, these five fellas are as tight as brothers… but not quite.

Reverend Raven

Reverend Raven & His Chain Smokin' Alter Boys featuring Westside Andy on Harmonica

July 5, 2023
Genre: Blues

Bringing crowds to their feet at the hardest to please and sophisticated nightclubs in the Midwest, Reverend Raven and the Chain Smokin Altar Boys play traditional blues, straight up with a big dose of passion. With smoking grooves, served up with hot harmonica and smooth stinging guitar they play original songs peppered with nods to Slim Harpo, Little Walter, Jimmy Rogers, Billy Boy Arnold, Junior Wells and the three Kings.

Born and raised on the south side of Chicago, the Rev has been playing the blues since 1971 when he first saw Freddy King play at the Kinetic Theatre in Chicago. After a 15 year hitch in the Navy, Chief Raven moved to Milwaukee where he began a long friendship and collaboration with Madison Slim, long time harmonica player for Jimmy Rogers.

Richie Lee

Richie Lee & The Fabulous Fifties

July 12, 2023
Genre: Early Rock 'n Roll

Richie Lee and the Fabulous 50's will take you back to the roots of Rock 'n' Roll history wrapped up into a high energy show! From Des Moines, Iowa, Richie Lee started out performing at a young age and has had the great opportunity in sharing the stage and opening up for many of the original Rock 'n' Roll greats. The music will sound just as it did back then. The band does their absolute best to stay true to the original sound of the songs. Just to name a few, you will hear music by Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, Elvis Presley, Ricky Nelson, Roy Orbison, Eddie Cochran, the Beatles, and many more!

Eli Gardiner

Eli Gardiner

July 19, 2023
Genre: Singer-Songwriter

Eli Gardiner is a songwriter from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, currently located in Minneapolis Minnesota. Coming off the 2020 release of his album, The Fire and The Medicine, he formed his full band composed of drummer Greg Schutte (Mickey Hart, Ryan Bingham) lap steel/electric guitarist Dan Schwartz, keyboardist Kevin Gamble and bassist Nick Salisbury (Ryan Bingham, Brian Fallon).

The upcoming live album, LIVE IN MINNEAPOLIS was recorded on a cold night in February at The Aster Cafe by Alchemy Audio. A few of the songs are live versions from the latest album, “Boat at Sea”, “Mountain”, “Villain”and “The Right And The Wrong”. This album also has a handful of new songs that have never been released. The groovy “Bad Weed”, “I’m like a bad weed, I’m growing all the time” a song about being stubborn and growing through bad life circumstances. “Flatlands” written while Eli was living in an old farmhouse in Iowa, paints a picture of midwest poverty and tornadoes. And “Saints Among Us” , the most recently written song, “how do you see the world when it turns to dust…Saints among us” lays out an optimistic view in the face of a crumbling world.

The Meditations

The Meditations with Irie Sol

July 26, 2023
Genre: Reggae

As part of the foundation of reggae music, Ansel “Meditation” Cridland has for over 40 years been producing, writing, arranging, and performing for fans all over the world. As leader of the legendary trio The Meditations, Ansel and his fellow band members performed at the historical ONE LOVE PEACE CONCERT at the request of his friend and collaborator Bob Marley.  Legends like Jimmy Cliff, Sly and Robbie, Philip Smart, Willie Lindo and Gregory Isaac are among the people that Ansel has worked with. These contributions have sculpted the sound of Roots Rock Reggae over the years, making The Meditations a fundamental and essential part of reggae music. Accompanying him are vocalists Laury Webb (who is also featured on The Good Of Man album) and DaddyLion Chandell. Together, they’ve been touring the United States performing for massive crowds at venues like the Red Rock Amphitheater twice in seven years.  The Meditations' music is Roots Reggae at its finest.  The love is overwhelming and it’s an inspiring experience to see The Meditations live.

Junior Williams moved from Kingston to the US with the dream of fusing music from his home island with international and American genres. Based in the Twin Cities and Eau Claire, Irie Sol’s members hail from Belize, Brazil, Ecuador, Italy, Jamaica, Nepal, Russia, South Korea, Tanzania, and all over America.  Irie Sol has shared the stage with George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, Wyclef, and the Wailers.  Our original music has been featured on the BBC, CBS, Converge Radio, KFAI, KMOJ, and MPR. We're honored to return to the Surf Ballroom in support of reggae legends The Meditations.

Dos Santos

Dos Santos

August 2, 2023
Genre: Latin-American

Dos Santos is a Chicago-based alt-Latinx band known for their powerful live performance and their progressive compositional layering of various Latin/American musics. The core band consists of drummer Daniel Villarreal, percussionist Peter “Maestro” Vale, bassist Jaime Garza, guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist Nathan Karagianis, and multi- instrumentalist/singer/lyricist Alex Chavez.


Dickie with Joel Sires & Jacob Lampman

August 9, 2023
Genre: Singer-Songwriter

On Dickie’s self-titled release, singer-songwriter Dick Prall took a succession of personal losses and nestled them inside a beautifully-layered soundtrack. And equal to his songwriting, it’s never certain what Prall will offer up for a live performance, but it’s guaranteed to leave you with the reminder that music can make a beautiful lasting impression, and will continue to bring you back.

Joel Sires is a proficient songwriter, guitarist, producer, and performer. Born, raised and living in Iowa, Joel has become a well-known figure in music scenes throughout the Midwest since hitting the scene in 2004. From the very start of his musical journey Joel Sires has been a song chaser. Sires’ work has run the gamut from psych pop to glam rock, and power pop to singer songwriter folk. His latest work features hushed tones and acoustic guitars, breaking new ground by bringing the volume down and pushing the song and lyrics to the forefront.
Bridgid's Cross

Bridgid's Cross

August 16, 2023
Genre: Variety Band / Celtic

For 25 years and counting, Paul Baker and Peggy Goonan-Baker have brought an eclectic and entertaining collection of music to the stage. Formed in 1996, Brigid's Cross has played it all: true-to-heritage traditional Celtic folk, contemporary Irish music, country, rock, alternative, and originals. Truly eclectic music, with a Celtic twist! Audiences are pulled into a vortex of fine musicianship, humor, high energy and audience participation when they see a BC performance. Currently, Brigid's Cross mostly performs as a two piece, and has for the last 12 years or so. Paul (Paulie) is the Master of Ceremonies, and a master violinist, to boot. He has been performing in bands for over 40 years, and as a soloist since he was a young child, and his talent and experience certainly shine. Peggy and Paulie are both strong singers, and Peggy's main instrument is the keyboard; she really wallops on the bodhran, as well, not to mention her AMAZING SUPER HUMAN BEER FOUNTAIN!!!  She has been involved in music since she was a young child, and has been performing professionally for over 30 years.  Paulie and Peggy's stage banter together is often said to be one of the most entertaining parts of the show. They often utilize technology to fill out their sound, frequently using backing guitar tracks featuring their semi-retired guitarist, and nephew, Richie Reece.

Summer Concert Series