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Pat mAcdonald, The Carpenter Ants Featuring John “Some Kind of Wonderful” Ellison

September 5, 2024 @ 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm

$20 – $25

A Musical Night of Talent at The West- Including Pat Macdonald, and The Carpenter Ants Feat. John “Some Kind of Wonderful” Ellison.

Since his techno-folk pioneering Timbuk3 days, Pat MacDonald has been tinkering in relative obscurity. His one-man electro-blues experiments of the late ’90s/early 2000s led to the Lowebrow-driven proto-rock of Purgatory Hill. Life-threatening illness in 2016 brought a long pause. Now, five years cancer-free, he’s writing, rediscovering the six-string, and reanimating his pre-T3 acoustic roots with finger-style remakes from his back catalog. The new songs flirt with a twisted spirituality, hints of hope, and optimism embraced and defaced by his trademark darkish humor.

For over four decades, The Carpenter Ants, a quartet steeped in Appalachian gospel, soul and country, has amassed a resume that rivals many national groups and includes some of the most creative artists in American music. The group has recorded and performed with British folk-blues icon Kevin Coyne; wunderkind singer/songwriter Nellie McKay; singer/actress/surrealist Ann Magnuson; and co-founder/host of NPR’s “Mountain Stage” Larry Groce.

A testament to its “solidarity,” the group still includes three of four original members (singer Charlie Tee passed in 2021) and has brought its sound – and the rich music of Appalachia – to listeners throughout the U.S and “across the pond.” Members are Michael Lipton (guitar/vox), Ted Harrison (bass/vox), Jupie Little (drums/vox) and Mark Bates (organ/vox).

In 2004, Rev. Jesse Jackson hand-picked the band for an eight-city tour and a subsequent Labor Day rally that drew 75,000 people; later that year, the Ants joined the Rev for a march in Atlanta that featured Stevie Wonder (who tapped Ants’ drummer Jupie Little to sit in). As the members approach (or turn) 70, performance requests have only increased. Collectively, the group welcomes its role as a “legacy artist,” imparting both experience and history to a new generation.

John Ellison was born in Montgomery, WV on the banks of the Kanawha River and grew up in the mining town of Landgraff in McDowell County. In 1959, he quit his job at the Carter Hotel in Welch, put his belongings in a grocery bag and bought a one-way ticket to Rochester, NY. Eight years later, he formed The Soul Brothers Six. None other than the legendary record mogul Jerry Wexler signed the group to Atlantic Records.

The group’s first release was “Some Kind of Wonderful.” In 1974, Grand Funk Railroad’s version reached the No. 3 spot in the nation. The song has since been covered by more than 75 artists and is known throughout the world. Other notable covers were recorded by Buddy Guy, Huey Lewis and the News, and, most recently, Rod Stewart. At 83, he continues to perform with the energy, enthusiasm and joy of a man half his age. His shows are soulful, rocking and filled with tales of his storied life. When performing in the U.S., The Carpenter Ants are his backing band of choice.

Ellison and The Carpenter Ants have performed together many times. In 2023, they toured through West Virginia, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. In December 2023, they joined forces for a pair of shows in Tampa, FL.

Experience all these talents live at The West!

Doors Open at 6:30 p.m.

Show Starts at 7:30 p.m.

Click Here For Tickets

Tickets are $20 -25 depending on seating.



September 5, 2024
7:30 pm - 10:00 pm
$20 – $25
Event Category:


The West Theatre
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The West Theatre
319 N Central Ave
Duluth, MN 55807
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