Beatle Project out with another album to raise money for schools


The Minnesota Beatle Project is back with its fifth and final album to help raise funding for music and art education in public schools across Minnesota.

The album features a diverse group of Minnesota musicians’ spin on 13 Beatles tracks. “Minnesota Beatle Project Vol. 5” features tracks from Grammy-winning The Okee Dokee Brothers, City Pages’ “Best New Band 2013” Carroll and 60’s soul icon Sonny Knight and the Lakers.

Past albums have featured MN-based or -born musicians as well as tracks by school that benefit from the proceeds of the albums. This year’s volume will finish up with a Duluth-based high school jazz band’s version of “Please Please Me.”

The artists are chosen by executive director of Vega Productions Mark Gehring along with the board of directors.

“I like to try and create a nice blend of new and established artist as well as an overall sound that jives from start to finish,” Gehring said.

The cover art, created by Minneapolis-based artist Adam Turman, pays homage to a few Minnesota icons, including Paul Bunyan and Fairchild, the mascot for the Minnesota State Fair.

Vega Productions, a nonprofit organization that strives to support students’ music and art education, began the Minnesota Beatle Project in 2009. The company has partnered with 89.3 The Current to release a volume for each of the past five years. The total donations for the last four albums has exceeded $100,000, said Gehring.

This year, the proceeds will be used with Vega Productions’ own cloud-based website, Instruments In The Cloud. The site, created with partner Software for Good in 2012, allows music educators to easily catalogue instruments and share unused equipment with surrounding schools that make requests. There are currently over 1,600 instruments in the cloud.

“Vega Productions will donate 100 percent of the net proceeds from the sale of the album to support music education in Minnesota,” according to a Vega Productions press release.

A record release party will be celebrated alongside Curtiss A’s 34th annual John Lennon Tribute on Sunday, Dec. 8 at First Avenue with Zoo Animal, The Cactus Blossoms and Sonny Knight & the Lakers.

The album will be available at Target, from digital music sellers and in local independent record stores on Dec. 3. The track list for “Vol. 5” is as follows:

1. Your Mother Should Know – Actual Wolf
2. Dig A Pony – Zoo Animal
3. She Said She Said – Carroll
4. I Feel Fine – Gary Burger of The Monks
5. Taxman – The Suburbs
6. Day Tripper – Sonny Knight & The Lakers
7. Because – Chris Bierden of Poliça
8. Here, There and Everywhere – Meme
9. Blue Jay Way – Dosh
10. Nowhere Man – Greycoats
11. Mother Nature’s Son – The Okee Dokee Brothers
12. This Boy – The Cactus Blossoms
13. Please Please Me – Denfeld High School Jazz Band

Laura Marrinan is studying journalism at the University of Minnesota.

If you go…
Sunday, Dec. 8
First Avenue Mainroom
7 p.m. / $15 / 18+