The Deep North With Fred Keller

is creating Songwriting, Music Performance, History, Teaching

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  • Entered in drawing for free show if I make $400/month goal!
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About The Deep North With Fred Keller

How It Works

First, I'm not merely fundraising. I don't need a check. Your signing up and pledging online is as important or more important than any dollar amount you care to pledge. You literally become a patron, a partner. You will receive premiums and exclusive access to my work. You become the inner circle, a tribe of the Deep North.  See below...

The mechanics are fairly simple but don’t look the same as Kickstarter or GoFundMe.
* Click the red button “Become a patron”
* Select a level of contribution with which you are comfortable. ANY AMOUNT HELPS! Even $1.00/month!
*Check out via paypal or credit card over secure server
You will be billed on the first of the month. You can cancel at any time.
*You don’t need to give much $ to help. As with many ventures done through the internet, numbers of supporters matter as much as the dollar amount. If I have 2,000-3,000 people chipping in a dollar a month, not only do I have a way to pay the bills so I can get out and play or teach music, I have another audience spurring me on.
*Another corollary of the numbers game is that the more supporters on board, the more people will be excited about joining. Once my friends join, others will be more excited to join in.

My Mission

Thank you for stopping by and thank you so much for your help!  Note that at the bottom of this page I have a couple special enticements that aren't part of the regular premiums.

I sing up the past. I play music, write songs, and tell stories. I’m also an ethnomusicologist and historian. I dig up old stories, learn about forgotten folks and events lost to history, especially Minnesota history. I interview extraordinary ordinary people: Neighbors, old timers, people with deep roots.

I create songs out of these stories, these largely ignored histories and unsung folks. When I play live, I make history accessible through music and story so that it’s fun and breathes anew.

I dream of being able to do this full time. I dream of traveling to every county museum and writing music based on their stories. I want to play every little town across Minnesota and the Upper Midwest and share my passion. I want to take my show into more schools. I want to fire kids up about history and inspire them to tell their own stories. I hope to share these songs and stories with the communities—especially the rural, under-served communities—that gave them life.

I want to learn more, write more, perform more, and help people understand that history is not dead. History is all around us, living and breathing right under our feet. It’s only dead if we stop singing and telling.

My Backstory

I play mandolin. Since 1994 I’ve played everything from bluegrass to blues to Irish to old-time to swing. I learned and played with some of the best pickers on the planet and played on stages across the Upper Midwest, Saskatchewan, and Ireland. Check out to learn and hear more.

I always enjoyed digging backwards in time, whether it was finding out that the fiddle tune “Shove The Pig’s Foot a Little Further In The Fire” was not about pork but about smelting or whether it was hearing DeFord Bailey behind Bill Monroe’s “Evening Prayer Blues.” No story ever ends; they build on each other.

And that notion, coupled with a realization that I needed to write about things closer to me, led me to haunt local history museums, to read newspapers from 1894, and to talk to neighbors whose families came here in 1900. I created songs about these folks, the local landmarks, and local events. I figured the locals would love them but maybe not too many others would.

Long story short, no matter where I went people told me how interesting and engaging and inspiring these local stories were to them. One of my favorite compliments came from someone who said “I always hated history until I heard your songs. I realize I love history; I just hate how I first learned it.”

Further Details

Every dollar you donate allows me to do more digging, more learning, more creating and more performing. In fact, I hope you can help free me to play for free. To that end, I intend the following enticements in addition to the premiums listed:

--For every $400 worth of contributions I receive, I will play a free show. If I receive $800, I’ll play two, and so on, each month. A lucky Patreon supporter will choose where. Could be at your home, a local Senior Center, or your local museum or art center.
--For every $2,500 worth of contributions I receive in a month, I will teach and play for a week in a school. I will take suggestions from you, the supporters, to determine which school. I also have a list of local schools who would like to book me but can’t afford it.

Thanks very much for visiting! With your help, we can show folks that history isn’t dead facts on paper. We can show them that history has a beat, a rhythm, a melody, harmonies, and that everyone can join in.
$195.91 of $400 per month
Free Show for a lucky Patreon Supporter.  If I make this mark per month, I will do a drawing for all supporters at the $3.00 per month level or above.  Closer every day!

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