Bisotodeau bluegrass band to headline ArtSoup entertainment

Deb and Ken Bistodeau with daughters Deena (middle) and Sedra.

by Bruce Strand, Arts editor

The Bistodeau Family Bluegrass Band of Princeton is the featured act in the entertainment lineup of the ArtSoup festival in downtown Elk River slated for Saturday, June 18.

The Bistodeau band, slated to take the stage at 7 p.m., consists of Bob and Deb Bistodeau and daughters Deena, 22, and Sedra, 16. They’ve been entering for eight or nine years, said Deb.

They play Bluejgrass and Texas Swing, so get set for high-energy singing, clogging and fiddling. Fast-paced songs  like “Turkey in the Straw” and “Orange Blossom Special” are especially popular with audiences, she said.

“This got started when our oldest daughter wanted to learn to play,” said Deb, who, like Ken, is retired from the boilermaker profession.

“I’m from Arkansas and had a background in family music, and I  play the guitar. Then our youngest wanted to learn, too. My husband, we got him a bass out of e-bay, and that’s when he started. He’s not doing to bad, for  not learning until his fifties.”

The daughters are much-decorated musicians. Sedra won the Minnesota State Fair talent contest in 2009 with her violin rendition of Franz Listzs piano concert. Deena won the state fair contest at age 13. Sedra won national fiddle contests twice for the 9-12 age group and placed fourth in the Grand National division in 2010 in Idaho. She won the “Gone to Texas” divisions in Hallettsville, TX, in 2008 at age 13.

Both have won several Wisconsin state titles as well. Deena was a judge for Weiser National Fiddling Championships in 2010. Sedra, who favors classical music, has soloed with the Little Falls Orchestra, Bloomington Symphony and the St. Paul Civic Orchestra.


ArtSoup lineup

11 a.m. – Elk River German Band

Noon – Command Performance Girls Choir

1 p.m. – Fiber Fashion Show

2 p.m. – Road Dawgs (“story songs” a la Gordon Lightfoot, Crosby, Stills & Nash)

3 p.m. – Mooseknuckle Brothers (blues, rock)

4 p.m. – Elk River Community Theatre selections from “Phantom of the Opera”

5 p.m. – Rena Haus (folk, blues, jazz)

6 p.m. – Skamusik (Scandinavian music)

7 p.m. – Bistodeau Family Band (bluegrass and folk)

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