Bowie’s fine with the Cities, adores Koerner, Ray & Glover

by Jon Bream, StarTribune

Bowie fans in Minnesota have a chip on their shoulders. They think he doesn’t like the Land of 10,000 Lakes because, even though he has toured regularly, he performs in the Twin Cities only once a decade.

He played in St. Paul in 1974, 1987 and 1997.

‘I don’t think Minneapolis is alone,” said Bowie, who makes his Minneapolis solo debut Sunday. (He did perform in the Mill City festival as part of the group Tin Machine.) “I think there’s quite a few places we haven’t done over the years.

‘This is one of the biggest tours we’ve had in a long time. We [mostly] did overnight type things where we did, like, just six cities and that’s it. They’ve been more on a promotional basis than really outright tours.”

So Minneapolis is not New York or Chicago. But only four concerts in the Twin Cities in 32 years of touring? Are logistics one reason that Bowie hasn’t gigged here more often?

“Oh, hell, don’t know,” he said without any hint of anger. “Get the chip off [your shoulder]. I’m coming.

Bowie’s first encounter with Minneapolis was through a 1963 Koerner, Ray & Glover album. In a recent story in Vanity Fair, the London-bred superstar cited the Twin Cities trio’s “Blues, Rags & Hollers” as one of his 25 favorite vinyl albums.

I adore that album,” he said of KRG’s first LP. “I had that album when I was so young. They had liner notes on the back and this moody black-and-white photograph on the front, wearing pretty cool jackets, I think. The notes on the back caught my eye because they were throwing around references to older blues artists and all that from Bill Broonzy onwards.

“I thought these three white guys doing this stuff, I want to hear this.’ He said he liked the “rawness” of the recording. “It was so deeply invested with a sense of the real blues. This is so not-what-else-is-going-on-at-the-time with the white acts.”

Told that Dave Ray died in 2002 but that John Koerner and Tony Glover still perform, Bowie sounded heartened. “That’s how I think all rock should be: Keep it around and work it.’

-Jon Bream